3 ideas on how to make your salon stand out from the competition
There is no way around it: the beauty industry is a pretty competitive one, with more and more salons and mobile businesses blooming around the country. Some areas are affluent in hair & beauty salons (citizens of Sheffield know what we are talking about!) so if you are trying to thrive there, you are up for a challenge. And although you are most probably friendly with many of your competitors and happy to be a part of a community, you are still contending with each other in the fight for customer attention - and not everyone can be a winner in such a race. Let’s look at 3 ideas to make your business stand out from the crowd even if you are running it in a very competitive neighbourhood!
1. Find your point of difference - and capitalise on it
Have you ever come across the term “point of difference”? In business, it is used to describe factors or characteristics that make your product or service different from others in the market. A point of difference must be positive, distinctive and bring a certain value to the client.
In the beauty industry, there are many different areas that may become a point of difference. They may relate to:
- Experience and popularity - for example, being a part of a well-renowned industry association
- Higher quality of services and better processes - for example, using high-end products selectively
- Specialisation - for example, targeting a defined niche
- Location - for example, having the salon located in the city centre
- Branding and theme - for example, having the salon be proudly eco-friendly, pet-friendly, children-friendly, etc.
There are a few rules to keep in mind when choosing your point of difference.
- It should bring real value to the customer. Avoid choosing a finicky marketing gimmick that has no real benefits besides the initial lure factor.
- It should bring relevant value to the type of customers you have. Imagine making selling high-end retail products your point of difference while most of your clients visit you due to the affordability of your services. Not so effective, isn't it?
- It should be distinctive and provable. Vague, self-proclaimed values that you have no concrete proof of, such as a “friendly atmosphere”, won’t work.
- It should be realistic. Don’t choose a point of difference you do not associate with and won’t be able to maintain.
- It should be cohesive with your business as a whole. If you want to make being eco-friendly your point of difference, it will be hypocritical to keep using products that are not cruelty-free. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
How can you capitalise on your point of difference? Mainly with the marketing! Begin to spread the word by promoting your point of difference via all of your social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok). You can create an enticing campaign where you, for example, showcase your salon’s eco-friendliness with a series of short videos that you can then publish on all your fan pages. It’s also a smart idea to get your regulars know about the development of special something by launching a blast massage campaign using your trusted Booksy software.
2. Engage your reviews like you never did before
Reviews are the backbone of the beauty industry. Good can elevate your business like nothing else while bad can lead to catastrophic results. And while making sure you know how to react to bad online reviews is crucial, it’s nonetheless important to know how to capitalise on the great ones!
Nothing makes your business stand out from the crowd quite like kind words from your clients. You may fill your social media with beautiful promotional materials, but it’s genuine reviews that give you the most credibility. People value different things when it comes to hair and beauty salons, and if they see someone else praising your business for delivering exactly what they are looking for, then you are already in a winning position. It all comes back to your point of difference - if you focus on doing something great and people notice and appreciate that, you are going to attract more and more similar customers.
Now, how can you make sure your raving reviews are not going unnoticed? With Booksy it’s very easy. Our system allows you to choose your favourite reviews and make a custom, visually appealing digital flyer that you can then publish on Instagram and/or Facebook.
Make sure to use reviews that give concrete examples of why your salon is worth recommending. “I loved everything, 10/10” tells potential customers nothing. “The stylist made sure to understand my vision perfectly and delivered exactly what I asked for - and the salon is LGBTQ+ friendly!” is an absolutely fantastic ode to your values. Choose what you promote wisely!
3. Specialise, because sometimes less is more
How many different services do you offer on your menu? Some salons thrive by offering a very wide range of treatments, especially if they are bigger and have the capability to employ multiple professionals specialised in a given field.
However, “more” is not always “better”. Some beauty businesses fall victim to the trap that is trying to provide everything at once while not having fitting conditions to do so. As a result, they spread themselves too thin and excel at nothing, or at the very least, the average value of the quality of all their services is pretty lukewarm. Then you have situations where a client scheduling an appointment for a Brazillian wax is going to be super satisfied while the client scheduling eyelash extensions leaves unhappy (and leaves an appropriately unhappy review). The general rule is - if you cannot deliver great quality of a given service, let it go. Focus on what you are fantastic at and keep getting even better.
Making your salon a more specialised one can be super beneficial. You need to start by doing some research - your Booksy software will help you with it, as you can check the statistics on which of your services are the most popular and which are chosen very rarely. If you notice that there is a strong tendency towards certain treatments, consider focusing solely on them.
Clients tend to love specialised salons. Most people who engage with beauty treatments look for “the best of the best” and prefer businesses with proven expertise in one area over parlours where you never know whether the provider is truly a master of bridal makeup or would rather prefer to do nail art.
Becoming more specialised or targeting a specific niche is an important business decision that can take your salon in a completely new direction, so it is crucial that you analyse your specific case and weigh all the pros and cons. When done right, however, it may be a starting point to becoming a business that does not have to fear any competition.
Technology at your service
Regardless of your chosen point of difference and promotional strategy, there is one thing that all salons benefit from - a complex salon management system. Or, to be more specific, the best one available on the market - Booksy. Booksy can assist you in each step of your business management process, delivering tools that make it much easier for you to focus on doing what you love. Start your trial today and see for yourself how much easier it is to have a digital helper always at your fingertips!