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Know Your Market. Reap the Rewards

If you run a hair or beauty salon, or indeed, any customer facing business, market positioning and a robust business strategy is essential.

Understanding your unique selling point

Good marketing starts with knowing your customer and your competition. Start with your customer in your target market. Think about the services or products you are selling and who you’re selling to. Then look at competitors who are offering similar things to you. Where are they strong and where are they weak? Are their goals clear and how do they attract customers? Is there something that makes them stand out from the rest of the market?

You need to gather as much information about the market and the competitors in it as you can and work hard to understand them. When you have this information, you can start to see how you fit into the wider market and where you can stand out with your competitive edge and ideally a unique selling point that isn’t offered elsewhere in your target market. For example, you might offer a superior customer service that’s accredited to external standards and known by everyone who steps into your salon. Exceptional professionalism, service, friendliness and standards are key to attracting and retaining your customers. A great service strategy can allow you to charge healthy prices rather than targeting the price conscious section of the market that may simply chase the cheapest deals rather than build up repeat custom to a single provider.

Another great differentiator is product, particularly in the health and beauty industry. For example, you might look to offer innovative services such as micro-dermabrasion and bee ‘venom’ facials, or gigi brazilian wax products to tempt in your customers. Innovation in this industry is a vital marketing strategy, as many customers love to try out the latest products and services and keep up to date with trends and developments in the market.

Marketing yourself

Make sure you understand your proposition and positioning before you begin to market yourself, then work with a designer to create a simple brand and logo for your business. This should then be used across your marketing channels, with everything from your business cards, staff uniforms and promotional flyers to signage, car livery and vouchers. Show a consistent brand experience by using the visual identity and language that expresses who you are. An online presence is also a vital marketing tool and getting onto social media can really boost custom. Look at working with a developer to build a simple website that explains your services and offers rapid contact for customers to book. Consider a call back system, if possible, to show that extra service.

Further considerations

As well as spending time and money on your promotions, the full customer experience will be affected by the other decisions such as how effectively you manage your salon operations, purchasing and stock, health and safety, company finances, legal and insurance requirements, staff training and more. It’s worth joining any local business support and networking groups to learn from other business owners. Think about a mentor or a knowledgeable business partner or salon manager if you are new to business ownership. The learning curve is steep, but it’s also fast and extremely rewarding!

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July 5, 2012 um 3:34 am
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