“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”
— Steve Jobs
Having a successful and profitable salon is not an easy feat. It is a very tough and competitive industry with no Monday to Friday 9-5 workweeks. It takes years to put together the right team, build a clientele and establish a brand. There are no overnight successes.
So what goes into having a successful salon?
Unfortunately there is no simple answer. So, in this post, I am going to touch on two key elements that I think are paramount.
Staying on top of the trends.
Trends are what the beauty and fashion industry is built on.
Salon owners have to evolve with the times. They need to know what is hot in beauty and fashion – they need to look the part and make sure their stylists do too.
In the age of social media hair trends spread like wild fire – people see a look on a celebrity and they want it. Salons have to stay on top of all the new techniques – know what they are, how to do them and make sure they have stylists with the right skills, tools and products to execute them.
Establishing a brand and culture.
I like to use a ice cream metaphor when I explain this to people.
There is plain vanilla ice cream – then there are flavors like milk chocolate mousse. When you are building a salon culture you want to be the latter. Something that will leave an impression and stand out.
You want to build a brand and culture that is authentic. So, when you walk into the salon – the vibe – stylist, salon music all blend together seamlessly.
These days it’s not just about having a nice space, serving coffee or wine and WIFI, it’s about offering a complete experience. Something that is unique to the salon.
A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.
‘occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary’
If you search #selfie on Instagram you’ll get over 300 million results.
I find it impressive, when small businesses capitalize on trends. They take something that everyone is doing and find a way to turn it into a brand builder. It’s so smart. And, it is what sets them apart from everyone else.
The Silver Scissor Salon photo wall is memorable and unique – it is an ideal background for a selfie. When people see it they will either (a) want to know where it was taken or (b) know it by reputation or recognize it from news feeds.
I think it is brilliant. Taking a social media trend and turning it into a marketing/branding opportunity.
In a time where attention spans are diminishing rapidly – it draws people in and makes them stop.
The art wall’s allure as a social media-worthy photo op has been embraced by retailers as a marketing opportunity. Over the past two years, retailers ranging from Adidas to Gucci have commissioned highly visible murals that are part ad, part art — and ideal Instagram bait.
In the Age of Instagram, Murals Take on New Meaning
The Business of Fashion
Recently, Texture Hair Salon in Ottawa underwent a face lift and now has street art adorning the walls of the salon. This new look fits the salon culture perfectly. This makeover is genius. It is capitalizing on a trend and turning it into a massive marketing opportunity.
Within time – people will automatically connect the background from a selfie on their Instagram feed with these salons.
And guess what…
The next time someone is thinking of trying out a new salon – who do you think they’ll think of?
So, take the time to really think about your salon culture/brand – is it working or is it time to hit refresh?
FYI: I’m not a salon owner, or a hair stylist but I have been blogger for years, read a lot of industry articles and come from a family of stylists and salon owners – that and common sense is what my opinion is based on. So take it for what is worth.
Cover photo: Texture Hair Salon – Ottawa, ON