A festive season is often incomplete without a few dramas one way or another, so I trust yours was eventful – for all the right reasons. And now, we find ourselves stepping into 2023!
With a brief glance back, I am extremely thankful that somewhat against the odds – factoring in the energy crisis and global supply-chain issues – business wise, 2022 was an exceptionally busy year for me. There cannot be a single person on this planet who could have predicted the combined events of the last three years and I am sure none of us imagine a repeat of such challenging times ever happening again in any of our lifetimes.
And now we have entered a new year! The New Year always provides fresh impetus, energy and desire to drive forward. It is a perfect opportunity to review and refresh, to re-visit protocols and, importantly, to look carefully at exactly who our customers are, understand exactly why they use our services and products, as opposed to a competitor’s, and what we can do or provide to improve the experience for them.
To remain successful, it is essential to keep pace and strive to exceed the expectations of our customers.
Our industry is continuously evolving and so to remain successful, it is essential to keep pace and, of course, always strive to exceed the expectations of our customers.
Sticking with the status quo in our businesses simply because (to use an idiom) “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is perhaps now more short-sighted and damaging an approach than ever before. Even with the global challenges we are all facing, our industry continues to grow at a time when many others remain static or are, unfortunately, in decline. Of course, there will always be salon closures. But we should all look and learn from the identifiable reasons why this happens at a time when other salons are growing into chains and established chains are expanding.
The overriding factors we see evidenced time and time again with salon closures are: a sustained lack of investment combined with ambitious, new competition; and a heavy dose of poor decision-making by owners who simply refuse to shift gears from what has always worked for them.
And before anyone thinks I am challenging the mindset of salon owners who are over a certain age, I absolutely 100% am not. There are countless examples of very successful salons that have been trading for decades and certainly could teach us all a thing or two!
We can, indeed should, always continue to listen, watch and learn in all areas of our lives and that absolutely includes how we run our businesses. A recent tanning bed user research initiative undertaken across the UK highlighted some very interesting information about who, why, how, where and when people tan. These findings have identified some potentially exciting new trends for our industry and the information will no doubt prove to be very useful for professional salon owners as they plan ahead for this year and beyond.
Understanding and educating our salon guests about responsible tanning must, of course, always remain at the core of every professional tanning service. Shaping and evolving a successful tanning salon business will, without exception, include how best to deliver this core value service. It will also need to meet and exceed customers’ experience expectations with exceptional service and product offerings. And, of course, training and retaining excellent staff is the glue that makes it all happen.
Are you ready for 2023? Let’s go!
In the tanning industry since 1982, Gary is Managing Director of the UK subsidiary of Ergoline, and runs Ergoline Plus, the exclusive distributor for a wide range of sunless products and spray systems. He is also Chairman of the Media Committee for the UK’s Sunbed Association & a European Sunlight Association member.
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