Whether you’re a new salon or a household name, everyone has slow days. While some salon owners might close or focus on prep and maintenance during these times, there are plenty of ways to get customers in the door.
Remember that the easiest way to win new customers is through solid marketing. You may be the best in your field, but without a strong advertising campaign — how will new customers learn about you?
Create “Free Service” Cards
Most small businesses run promotions to incentivize new transactions. Plus, everyone loves a freebie. While it’s not always easy to run a BOGO in a salon, try to imagine what services you can offer for free or at a terrific discount.
Don’t push yourself too far outside of your means, as advertising a service below cost may hurt your business or devalue your brand. Instead, focus on the little things that you can share with your customers to make their day.
For example, can your salon offer a complimentary bang trim with a free consultation? If you’re looking to lure in more men, can you provide free neck trims?
Either of these specials is strong enough to get a customer to come check out your salon, where they might not have without a promotion. To run this deal, design a new card wherever you get your business cards with your salon and special’s details.
Be sure to print and explain that the special can only be redeemed on Mondays, Wednesdays, or whatever your slow days are. You wouldn’t want someone stumbling in for a free bang trim when you’re flooded with walk-ins on a Saturday.
Find New Customers
When you’re trying to win new business for your salon, one of the best things you can do is reach out to your new neighbors. Create a flier that you can slip into the mailboxes of new arrivals because they’re going to need help finding a salon.
Putting your name out there makes you more likely to win their business and establish your salon as a local favorite. After reading your flier, they’ll begin to build brand recognition once they drive by your salon or see your ads over other mediums.
The easiest way to do this is to meet with an apartment manager or a local neighborhood’s HOA. In some towns, you may even be able to speak with your Chamber of Commerce. They can tell you more about how to create “welcome packets” for your new neighbors.
Each of these parties can tell you who else is advertising in these welcome packets, so you can get a sense of what kind of promotion to run. Remember that this audience is one of the easiest to win and retain, so you’re going to want to offer an unbeatable deal.
Grocery Store Advertising
Another way to impress customers, new and old, is to meet them where they shop. Running a supermarket advertisement through programs like coupon-receipt advertising is a great start, as this allows you to print your ad on the back of grocery store register tape.
This means that you’ll save on print and ink costs and be able to send every single shopper home with your advertisement. With thousands of people visiting grocery stores each week, you will see a ton of impressions on your ad and should keep track of how many coupons end up getting redeemed.
One of the best things about grocery store advertising is that it allows for hyper-local targeting. Because grocery stores typically pull customers in from a three-mile radius of the store, they allow small business owners to “target” people who live near their business.
Moreover, grocery store advertising can also promote your salon as a local option, as it’s such a community-oriented medium. This is all part of why supermarket advertisements remain a valuable medium today, especially for small business owners.
Remember to Advertise to Everyone
When the fall rolls around, many salons will see plenty of “back to school” bookings. This can be a competitive time, as everyone will run specials to vie for the teen market.
That being said, trying to find a way to win this business throughout the year can provide better daily security for your brand. Consider running an “after-school” special on your slow days, where kids can get a discounted haircut.
Otherwise, you can always run a “buddy” promotion, where customers who bring in a friend are both eligible for 25% off. This is great for parents because it means that the carpoolers can all get their hair cut in one swoop.
Remember that while these “clients” are certainly younger, they’re no less picky. Many will be even more “trend” conscious than older customers, and staying up to date for these appointments is a must. If you can impress one of these kids, then they’ll insist on coming back and probably end up bringing their siblings or neighbors with them.
Keep an eye out for community events where you can donate your services or show up and show out! While it’s probably not cost-effective to run a booth at every event, don’t be afraid to go big for the causes you find important.
Once you become familiar with the teams who run these events in your town, you may be asked to join in on the next event before you even hear about it!
More than anything, these fairs, dinners, or celebrations are a great way to get your face out there and promote your brand. When you set yourself in the middle of your community, you’re sure to get some attention and meet new people who will remember your face. Then, the next time they’re looking for a salon, hopefully, they’ll have your card on hand and call.
Otherwise, imagine their surprise when they stumble in for a walk-in appointment and see you there to greet them! The more recognizable you are in your community, the easier and easier it will get to win new business.