If you run a salon, there’s a big chance you’re not as productive as you could be. Low levels of efficiency are a huge problem for companies everywhere. Unnecessary meetings alone cost American business $399 billion in 2019.
But you don’t need to despair. As a salon owner or manager, there are a number of simple things you can do to boost efficiency dramatically. You’ll end up with more clients, fewer complaints, and happier staff.
What’s more, none of the suggestions in this post have high up-front costs. Most don’t cost anything at all. And they take virtually no time to implement.
1. Retain Clients by Encouraging Pre-Booking
Research shows that salons only retain around 30% of new customers. By most business standards, a 30% retention rate isn’t bad. But in the salon industry, it’s needlessly low. Why? Because business-owners can quickly boost repeat business by leveraging pre-booking.
Instead of recommending that clients phone up at a later date to book an appointment, encourage them to book a slot before leaving the salon. Not only is this a positive move from a business perspective, but it also frees up time and resources that you might otherwise be spending on client retention.
Even better, offer a straightforward incentive like a discount for pre-booking.
2. Use an Online Booking Software
How much time do you waste every day managing phone bookings? When everything’s added up – scheduling, rescheduling, confirmation calls, and so on – you’re probably talking hours rather than minutes.
Booking is a major part of running a salon, but it’s also a big drain on time. For small salons with only a handful of staff, ensuring there’s always someone to answer the phone can be difficult.
Salon booking software is a time-saving tool that allows customers to schedule and reschedule appointments without a member of staff’s direct involvement. Whenever a slot is claimed, the salon’s calendar will update. Notifications about upcoming appointments are handled by the system automatically.
3. Automate Marketing Processes
Marketing automation is an inexpensive way for salons to streamline a host of business tasks that usually take significant amounts of time. Most salons don’t have extensive and sophisticated marketing campaigns. And simple software solutions often have the functionality to take care of the most resource-intensive tasks.
Use a mailing list app to manage newsletters and broadcast emails. Tools like Zapier can also be leveraged to create if-then rules between platforms, automating the flow of information. And with integrations like Yesware, you can create canned email responses, letting you reply to clients and colleagues in a fraction of the time it usually takes.
4. Implement Ongoing Training
Most salons recognize the importance of ongoing staff training. Yet most also run haphazard, ill-thought-out programs that don’t drive measurable results.
There are two things that salons can do to increase the efficiency and impact of staff training. For ongoing programs, a “little and often” approach works far better than one-off events, where entire days are blocked off the calendar for training and team-building exercises. Training on the job and setting aside small portions of the day (rather than the whole day) help maintain a sense of continuity and concrete progress.
Secondly, it’s always worth considering outsourcing training programs. For most salons, the loss of revenue due to planning a training event will far outweigh the cost of passing it on to another specialist company.
5. Sell Products Online
If you sell products as well as services, you’re likely doing your company a big disservice if you don’t sell them through a website.
An ecommerce store gives clients a chance to make repeat purchases while also freeing up your time and providing an additional source of revenue. If you regularly deal in-person with return customers that want to make product purchases, this point is particularly important.
You might be thinking, “I don’t have time to build an ecommerce store!” And it’s a fair criticism. But the reality is that a range of straightforward site-builders allow small retailers to create professional, automated online stores quickly and inexpensively.
Boosting your salon’s efficiency is about claiming lots of small wins. None of the tips outlined in this post will have a drastic effect on your business’ efficiency when implemented on their own. But when used together, you’ll see a significant reduction in wasted time and resources.
Over time, this will help you build a well-oiled salon with happier customers, motivated staff and, of course, higher revenue.