All businesses need to look good to attract clients – none more so than beauty salons. Emma Hobson explains how you can give yours a facelift.
Have you stayed in a hotel recently and thought to yourself, “Hmm…this place is looking a bit tired, a bit dated; it could do with a face-lift”.
It’s easy to see when it’s someone else’s business that’s beginning to look at bit tired, because you’re looking with a fresh pair of eyes. It’s not always as easy when it’s your own business, because you are looking with familiar, un-noticing eyes!
Just as hotels date quite quickly, so do skin treatment clinics and salons. There’ll always be new business opening nearby so it’s important you don’t become the ‘tired’ neighbour. Caring for your brand image is paramount to you and your customers ‒ that’s why it’s so important to keep your business looking fresh and current.
A change in visual and kinaesthetic scenery also prevents customer boredom. For regular clients it’s essential to stimulate their interest and keep them engaged; you can do this with relatively small ‘tweaks’ by simply ‘making the familiar, unfamiliar’.
You constant need to demonstrate:
- Magnetic Charm: Your image and strong branding is the ‘magnet’ to attract new customers. Strong, clearly branded imagery translates to a powerful marketing message.
- Enticing Appeal: Does your business ‘entice’ and ‘invite’ with the eyes? Does it encourage people to come in and want to ‘buy’?
- Exciting Engagement: Does your front of house offer the customer an easy, engaging and fun shopping experience? Are you capitalising on every retail sale available?
- On-point messaging: Does your business visually state that you’re progressive, evolving and at one with industry trends?
Having a regular ‘nip and tuck’ business adjustment signals to your customers that you care about your business ‒ and you care about them too. You don’t have to break the bank with a total overhaul; all that’s required are a few simple but effective changes that can make all the difference.
The Golden Dozen checklist
- A new coat of paint: Consider changing the colour ‒ perhaps just slightly if you don’t want to deviate from your business colour palate. Ensure the colours you are using are not considered dated. Neutrals and pastels are hugely popular and work well in the relaxing treatment room environment. Try to avoid using ‘pink’ as many women are over the use of pink in representing something as ‘feminine’.
- Declutter: Because less is definitely more. If your ‘space’ is starting to get cluttered with too many pieces of furniture, trolleys, nail stations, plants, ornaments, magazines, merchandising pieces. etc., have a ‘cleansing session’. You won’t believe how good it makes you feel! Creating space and clean lines allows simple clear messaging to be communicated to your customers. Also ensure your retail area is working for you; not too many tester units fighting for space, or insufficient shelving allocated to stock.
- Remove all barriers – Is it time to have a new reception area? Do you need that big desk? Desks can be seen and more importantly felt by the customer as a barrier. Is the desk in the right position? Many progressive businesses today don’t have an actual ‘desk’, instead they use a small station housing just the till/computer on it. Any reception area must always be neat and tidy.
- Statement pieces: Introduce a few new subtle statement pieces, perhaps a rose gold light fitting, an orchid in a stone plant holder, or a new fashionable mirror; something that coordinates with your colour scheme but also attracts the eye and attention.
- Touch points: It may be time to purchase some new towels or headbands, maybe in a new colour. Nothing feels nicer than fresh, clean, fluffy laundry. Look at your bed layout. Can you add a ‘visual’ display on your treatment bed that the customer first sees on entry; rolled towels with a fresh flower, a complementary inhalation therapy tissue or a beautiful customer jewellery box? Disposable slippers, warm pillows, heated blankets in winter… the list is long as to the small personal touch points you can choose from to incorporate at different times of the year.
- Music: Ensure your music is also changed regularly; have more than one type of themed music so you can change it up from time to time. Providing the customer choice within the individual treatment rooms is also a fantastic personal touch.
- Imagery: Change or at least move your posters and art work around. Clients get bored staring at the same imagery in your treatment and reception space. By moving things around you make the ‘familiar, ‘unfamiliar’. Avoid putting posters up that are unframed as they soon curl around the edges, and never place on the wall with blue tack! Consider installing a TV screen in your reception area that plays your businesses advertorials.
- Update your merchandising: Look at getting some new merchandising pieces, acrylic frames, boxes, cubs etc. to spice your merchandising up a bit.
- Beautiful bathroom: This can be a real let-down for many clients. Ensure there’s a ‘touch of love’ in your bathroom. Firstly, it needs to be spotlessly clean with a fresh coat of paint, subtle statement piece(s) are a nice touch, a great image or marketing piece on the wall and don’t forget the back of the toilet door – a great place to advertise! Have disposable hand towels available and toiletries that correspond with your business brand.
- Rotating hot spots: Move your ‘hot spots’ around making the ‘familiar, unfamiliar’
- Mood lighting: Consider getting a lighting expert in for a consultation. Reception lighting along with mood lighting, including colour therapy in your treatment rooms can make a HUGE difference to the overall ambiance, even installing something as simple as dimmer switches (if you haven’t already) is a great start.
- Change it up: Since most shelves are adjustable, move them around and re- merchandise all your stock making the ‘familiar, unfamiliar’. Your business consultant is normally eager to help you with this job.
If you’re not sure where to start, check some of the great online decorating sites (I personally love Houzz), alternatively buy some home styling magazines for inspiration or, if you want to push the boat out, hire an interior stylist.
The first hurdle may be the hardest ‒ recognising that it’s time for a change and making the commitment and putting the time aside to do it. Once you get over that, the rest can become almost pure pleasure, especially as most of us love to shop!
Once your ‘business face-lift’ is complete, ensure you post on your social media pages for all your customers to see. The benefits of this simple exercise are all positive as you’ll feel fresher, lighter, freer and more engaged, and your business will look and feel amazing.
Emma Hobson is the education manager at The International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, Asia Pacific. For more information call 1800 659 118.