It’s finally here! Tanning season! The months we wait for all year long. By now, you’re starting to see some familiar faces in your salon and will begin working on building your business with new guests.
These days, having a positive online presence is crucial to business success. Posting special offers on websites like Groupon and Living Social can reach potential new customers that other advertising formats may not. For a small cost, you can get a big return. Spend some time researching and looking at other advertisements so you can create an ad that really POPS OUT when potential customers see it.
The most common mistake business owners make with Groupon or Living Social deals is not getting that new customer to take advantage of your special offer once they’ve walked through your door. Prepare your staff with add-on deals and packages created exclusively for those customers so they continue using your salon when their “deal” has expired.
Of course, the Internet is another huge advertising tool. If you’re not utilizing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you are losing many potential customers. I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your website up-to-date and promptly answering viewer inquiries. This lets the public know that you are truly interested in helping them.
Another great way to enhance business is a referral program. What better way to thank your current customers than with a reward that directly benefits them? By encouraging them to bring in their friends and family, you can offer them free or discounted tanning sessions, exclusive product deals and membership upgrades. This is a small but very powerful tool as you lock in guest loyalty and assure your salon steady and continued business. There is no better time than the present, so implement one! Rewards go a long way toward boosting sales and giving your guests the salon experience they desire. Positive word of mouth, aka referrals, will be the difference between a thriving business and one that merely gets by. By creating a positive environment and giving back, your business will grow and you will feel a great sense of satisfaction.
Most tanning product distributors have a lot to offer your business – make sure you’re doing more with them than just ordering lotions and lamps. Many distributors host free online web courses – educational opportunities covering everything from add-on sales, and EFT memberships to marketing your salon. Make it a priority to attend some of these web courses so that you’re taking full advantage of the knowledge that is out there. Some distributors even offer free or discounted demographics reporting, which can help you know the best possible places to advertise and help you get a jump on your competition.
Whatever lotion company you choose to give your business to, remember to not only look at the aesthetics of the products, but also to what that company can offer you as a partner in your success. Some lotion makers offer a loyalty rewards program, which as a small business owner, you can use to increase your bottom line. They will also offer web training and in-store training, when one of their knowledgeable product educators comes to your salon and teach your staff on how to sell their products.
Knowledge and confidence are the most important keys to sales. Make sure your team is prepared and use your resources and free training to help your staff boost sales. Look to your lotion manufacturer as your business partner and not just as a lotion provider. Salon promotions and in-store events are also things your lotion manufacturer can contribute.
Keeping your guests happy by rewarding their loyalty can go a long way with helping to build brand awareness, so as you see your salon start to slow down or you need a sales pick-me-up, host an event or free tan weekend. Most manufacturers will send you free samples, posters and literature to help make your event a success.
Everyone from product distributors, lotion makers, lamp providers and beyond want to see you succeed! The better your salon does, the better our industry does. Keep yourself relevant and thriving by utilizing all available resources.
Happy Tanning Season!
As Director of Brand Development for Devoted Creations’ family of brands, Lisa brings 17 years of industry experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to all aspects of the business, including social media, product development, training, customer relations, public speaking and marketing strategies. Lisa worked at the salon level managing a large chain of salons, which infuses her sales training and brand concepts with real world experience. Lisa has been chosen IST Magazine’s “Person of the Year” four times.
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