3 Tips for Salon Businesses Going Through Tough Times

Even the most successful businesses experience rough patches, but like the old adage states — people don't plan to fail....they fail to plan. The ones who put aside time to strategize are able to push through. In tough times, salon owners can utilize technology to empower themselves and their stylists and pave the way to improvement. After all, hard times are the perfect times to breathe new life into your business.

Some advice: “No one ever climbed to the top of Mt. Everest alone. It takes a team of experts and committed individuals,” said Lauren Gartland-Roberts, Founder and President of Inspiring Champions, a consulting company with a 20-year track record of revitalizing salon businesses. “It’s okay to say ‘I need your help!’” “The school of hard knocks is the most expensive school you will ever attend,” she told Salon Today magazine. “Remember, suffering is optional!”


Here’s how you can overcome tough times:

1. Don’t shut down. The old, trite phrase “the first step in solving your problem is admitting you have one” is true in this case. As a salon owner, it’s okay to admit when you have room for improvement. Actually it’s more than okay, it’s smart. The quicker you acknowledge it, the quicker you can move on. Instead of shutting down – literally or emotionally – surround yourself with stylists that believe in your business. Ignoring the problem or promoting a defeatist atmosphere will only demoralize your staff and make matters worse, especially in a creative atmosphere like a salon.

2. Identify your strengths. Take a step back and analyze your numbers from year to year. Make note of trends, patterns and changes. Specifically, zero-in on important areas like staffing, retailing and inventory management. Highlighting your strong suits will help your salon shine even in the darkest financial times. Salons can promote and draw attention to their high-performing services by renegotiating contracts with vendors and media outlets. Also, based on client events and behaviors, salon owners can a launch social media marketing campaign to expand their reach. Offering coupons and discounts on your best-selling products is a great way to do so – research shows that 58 percent of Facebook users expect exclusive offers from business pages, according to HubSpot.

3. Trust in technology. Technology serves a dual purpose in the salon setting. Not only can it provide owners and managers with powerful analytics to drive their business decisions, it can give their salon atmosphere a more modern vibe that contributes to their credibility.


The look: Solutions like POS systems and salon management software will make your clients feel like they are in a tech-savvy salon of the future, not just “some place down the street.” A smaller, sleeker system could distinguish your salon from another that is using an old, outdated system. The more “sexy” your salon looks, the more people will trust your stylists to make them look it, too.

The knowledge: These systems can shed light on transaction history over time, inventory tracking, stylist productivity and labor percentages. With concrete numbers, you won’t have to make guesses about your salon’s next step. You can base your business decisions on hard facts.

The savings: Most importantly, owners and managers can save money and improve their business practices by implementing new technology. By optimizing these aspects of their salon, you can make sure you are only spending what they need to. You can create employee schedules based on the average number of clients per hour or day, so that you don’t spend more than necessary on labor. You will no longer lose clients because of an insufficient selection of beauty products, long waits due to understaffing or unsatisfactory styles due to low-performing employees. What struggles are you experiencing in your salon? Are there strategies you have tried that have really worked?


Milano develops software for Booking and Reservation systems as well as Retail stores (Point of Sale software).

© 2014 Milano Software

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