Taking Care Of Business

January is gone? Really???!!? I promise you, I sometimes feel like there’s something freaky going on with time. I think, maybe, it’s my age? Nah.

So far, the February weather has been more pleasant…not to say it has been fantastic, but it has at least been above freezing. The sub-freezing temperatures of late have really slowed things down at the salon, but when the pretty days hit, the phone starts ringing and the walk-ins start, well, walking in! Last week was pretty awesome, thank God. I even worked on Saturday! I started 2014 with some goals, and one of those was to be in the salon more, even when the book says I don’t have to. I can see that paying off already!

I had some ideas for the new year to increase my business. One of my favorite quotes ever, and I don’t even know who to credit for it, is this: The best way to get new customers is to take good care of the ones you have. It’s so true, and I know that I feel a greater sense of loyalty to businesses who go out of their way to show me they truly care about my needs. That brings us to another goal of mine, which is to remind my customers on a regular basis that I appreciate each and every one of them, and that I have their needs in mind, even when I’m not in the salon. And I really do! I love my customers, and I love that I am trusted with their hair, that they value my opinions and my professional knowledge. I am constantly “hair shopping” for clients; I search the internet, people watch, and even sketch out hairstyles with a particular client in mind, especially ones who love change. I try to stay on my toes with the latest trends in hair, and I am always learning. But I know I can do more, and I’m hoping to come up with new ideas throughout the year to really reward my clients for choosing me, in ways that they can really benefit from.  And ya know, people love to tell other people about their experiences…good or bad, doesn’t matter.

One Wednesday afternoon I noticed that my Thursday morning was still bare. I decided to do a little social media promo, just to see what I could muster up. I announced on Facebook that I was declaring Thursday morning “Happy Hour”, and gave a specific time frame in which to book to receive $3 off a haircut. Within an hour, I had filled my gap, and I even filled a couple of afternoon slots by the time I left that evening. Also, one of my Happy Hour clients booked with me for her wedding in May… I would call that successful! I’ll be having more Happy Hours, that’s for certain. I’ll have to come up with some guidelines, but my trial run was definitely worth it!

My next idea came to me on one of my sleepless nights. I have had promotions in the past to give clients an incentive for pre-booking, because in a perfect world, everyone would pre-book. I wanted to do that again, but make it a little bit more fun. I decided to make some “wild cards”,

Yes, I blurred the deets to protect my privacy...the internet is a big ol place!

which is my business card with a star on the front and a discount on the back. I even threw in a couple of ‘free haircut’ cards, and shuffled them in with some others. When a client pre-books, I write their next appointment on one of my cards, so when the wild card comes up, I get to holler, “Yay! You won $3 off your next service!” Everyone loves to win, right? So far, I’ve had two winners, and one of them was a free haircut, so her next visit with me won’t cost her a dime. Pretty cool, huh?  Not only is it incentive for more people to pre-book, it also rewards the ones who already do and have for some time.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am just not a believer in promotions for ‘new customers only’. I know that if I take good care of all my customers, and let them know how much their business means to me, then the rest will fall into place. I am thankful that I get to do what I love for a living, and it’s all because of the wonderful folks who sit in my chair everyday.

I have other ideas up my sleeve for the coming months.  If you have ideas for promotions you would like to see, feel free to shout them out in the comments.   Some things are more difficult to do since we are all independent in the salon, but I love hearing ideas and getting feedback from clients about what I can do to serve you better.  Let’s make 2014 your best hair year ever!