Let’s shift in 2022
Once upon a time, if you needed a plumber, you used the yellow pages. If you aren’t familiar with the yellow pages, it was a HUGE yellow book, filled with listings for every business whose services you could ever need.
As a local business, you could choose to just have a free listing, somewhere in the depths of the 1,000s pages, or you could choose to place an advert, at a fee. Now, some clever businesses used their brains and named themselves things like AA Plumbers and they paid for an advert. So, when Mrs Jones had a blocked drain, she’d flick to the alphabetically listed plumbing section, and AA Plumbers would be the first thing she would see – thus delivering them a constant stream of new clients. This system worked excellently for many many years. It was a point of reference for many households for many services.
But, if AA plumbers are still depending on sourcing customers this way, they are probably finding the phone never rings. Because things changed. When the internet became commonplace, eventually new listing systems replaced it. Like Google.
In order for AA Plumbers to survive now, they’d need to adapt to the new way of doing things. And that very much applies to us this year. What was the norm in 2019, is now a distant memory.
I see an epically concerning number of posts from salon owners looking back wistfully at what once was and feeling frustrated. I mean I get it. It IS frustrating, but if we turn our heads and look forward, and focus on what will be, we are much better equipped to ride the wave and take advantage of the changes ahead. It’s all about adapting. What worked for us 3 years, may not work for us now. Like advertising in the Yellow pages.
So, what can we see ahead in 2022 and we can use it to our advantage to grow our businesses even more?
With the news heavy with reports on inflation, increased costs of living, supply and demand and the impact of the pandemic, we have to get comfortable with increasing our prices too.
As much as we love to encourage our clients to put those £/$ higher to eliminate the bad clients, earn your worth and justify your skill set, at its most BASIC form right now, from an economical point of view, we have to increase the price just to cover our additional costs. If you don’t, you will go backward.
High ticket items
A huge trend is emerging in our industry right now. High-end treatments that deliver BIG results, quickly. A wave of clients are seeking high-impact experiences and they are willing to pay the big bucks.
Laser hair removal, extensions, face lifting treatments, fat loss, body shaping, aesthetics – this seems to be the way the industry is headed. This gives every salon owner an opportunity to jump on board, and deliver high-end treatments at high-end prices.
Retail remains a sticking point for so many therapists and stylists. The transition from ‘taking care of clients’ to ‘selling something to clients’ continues to be a difficult one.
But here is the thing. During the pandemic, I saw a whole slew of savvy salon owners take advantage of the free internet tools available to us (like Instagram and Facebook) and sell retail like crazy. Their dream clients were sitting at home, twiddling thumbs, unable to attend their treasured salon appointments – and were eager to listen, learn and buy. There was a huge surge in homecare sales and clients learned so much more about how to care for their skin/hair / nails/body. Now, here in the UK, further lockdowns look unlikely, and our friends on the other side of the world are hopefully through the worst too. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embrace the online power we have for sales and continue to educate our clients on home care. It’s potentially a huge additional source of income and will garner better results for your clients too. It’s a win-win.
Understanding your clients’ habits
The way people now approach their salon appointments, their buying habits and their spending is changing. Again, we have to adapt to accommodate and understand this.
If we look back over the last few months, what do our diaries tell us?
- Are people booking at the last minute more?
- Are they more reluctant to pay deposits or booking fees?
- What treatments are being consistently booked?
- Has regularity increased or decreased?
If you have a decent booking software in place (and if you haven’t, what are you doing?! Get Timely!) you’ll be able to quickly and easily work this out. And this will help you to understand how to plot your future plans. Most of our future planning can be determined by the most recent experiences in our business. So, get familiar with how the trends are changing, so you can work with them, rather than against them to keep your business strong.
Remember, we can make 2022 our best year ever, IF we look at how we ride the wave and possibly shift our perspective somewhat.
It’s all set to be a fabulous year. Let’s make it happen!