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How to Grow Your Beauty Business

Amie Parnaby
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Grow your beauty business

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10 ways to increase your revenues and client base

This year has been challenging for everyone, but the circumstances have hit service industries like the beauty industry hard. While you might think that your loyal customers will come flocking back to you, as soon as your doors reopened, the chances are that you will still need to make a concerted effort to draw them back in. If you can’t, you’ll need to attract more and new business revenues to grow your beauty business.
Clients of beauty salons and spas can be the most spectacularly loyal customers, but they are also extremely demanding of consistency. It only takes one poor (or even less-than-perfect) visit, and they will go directly into the arms of your competitors.

Make a Plan

Before you do anything to grow your beauty business, you need a plan. If you don’t have a measurable metric for determining the success of your salon growth, you will not focus your efforts on the aspects of your salon that need your time, effort, and budget the most.
Strangely, your plan shouldn’t start with attracting new clients. If you do it right, the first three steps should make a start on attracting new customers and help you grow your beauty business.

What do you want to achieve?

Who is your target clientele?

When do you want to achieve it?

And the last one, HOW do you go about it?

Invest in Your Clients

The long-term success of a beauty business relies primarily on your retention rates. The fact is that your continued success needs your customers to come back, usually on at least a monthly basis. While usually, the annual retention rate sits at around 70-75%, it is possible to increase that rate with careful investment in customer experience and service. Client loyalty is crucial to your business, and below are just a few ways of getting it, and keeping it.

Make your clients feel special and valued

1 – Ask Your Clients What They Want or Need

Your clients are the first port of call when it comes to finding out what your business needs to grow. Long term clients know what they need to make their experience with you perfect; they also know what they would like to see you add to your repertoire. It pays to listen to these clients because when you implement any of their requests or suggestions, you make them feel heard and valued. 

2 – Offer promotions during less busy times 

A client who knows your services and loves them is more likely to take time to make an appointment at a slow time to get a discount or take advantage of extended services. The key to offering promotions is to let your current clients in on it first. Make them feel special and appreciated with that little extra boost, or paying that little bit less. If you want to really push the promotional offer at quieter times, you can even apply the promotion to a friend if they also book in a less busy period.

3 – Offer new services and products. 

If you’ve asked your clients what would make their visits perfect, and you’ve asked what they’d like to see on your service menu, why not invite those current clients to use them first of all? Your clients should be your inspiration for all improvements and development of the beauty services you provide; they should get the first crack. 

With all the investment in your existing clients, you don’t just improve your relationship with them; you also enhance their Lifetime Value to your business. Happy, valued, and appreciated clients are the most likely candidates for advocacy. The better their customer experience, and your service to them, the more likely they are to recommend you to their friends and family. You can take it even further, and incentivise referrals with gift cards, discount vouchers or even loyalty points. 

Invest in your business

There are so many ways you can invest in your beauty business to help it grow that I could write an entire article just on that subject. However, two key areas stand out when it comes to growing your business, client accommodation and the tools you use. Identifying your niche and the tools you use are key areas that can help you give the best service you can.

4 – Identify a Niche 

Does your core customer base have a particular or prevailing sub-type? If you cater to a broad spectrum of clients, then don’t worry too much about it, but identifying your primary customer demographics will help you to focus your marketing efforts. Give your client list a thorough analysis to see who comes through your doors regularly, and act on the information you get. Maybe you’ll find that you have more of a single customer type than any other. 

NB If you have a distinctly narrow demographic, it might be worth capitalising on that because you will be one business out of very few serving that sub-section of clients. They are also more likely to act as advocates with their social circles because so few companies cater to their needs.

5 – Use the best tools and products

Quality products and tools are crucial

I’m not just talking about the products you use on your clients, but also the tools you use for the business. A hairstylist won’t deliver a great job without sharp scissors, and a masseuse can’t do much without a couch. 

Not for one moment would I suggest that you pay out for the MOST EXPENSIVE tools, but I will say that you should invest in the best you can afford. In the long term, it will be better for your business, your staff and your clients.

The same applies to the tools you use to manage the business, your schedules, and your payments. Your scheduling management system should be easy to use for both you and the client and should be able to arrange your staff availability. Your payment system should allow the client to pay in the most convenient way for them, but it should also work well for you and collate all incoming funds against services provided.

Invest in Your Staff 

These are the people who will wield the tools you have and provide the customer experience that will keep your clients coming back. If you don’t invest in your staff, you risk poor service, loss of clients to a competitor, and even worse, the loss of your staff and the clients who love them.

6 – Train them well

Whether they come to you fully trained or you have to start them off from scratch, the staff in your business all need to achieve the same levels of competency. That applies both in the beauty services they provide and the customer care they deliver. 

Whether you hire your staff fully trained from a course or you teach them yourself through work-based learning, you need to ensure that your staff are fully qualified to deliver the beauty treatments you offer to your clients. Unqualified or inadequate service delivery providers lead to one thing, sending your unhappy client to the competition.

Invest in your staff

7 – Motivate Them 

How you motivate your staff is critical, sure getting paid well is a good motivator for everyone. If you sell products that compliment the services given or even add extras to the services for an additional fee, incentivise your staff to upsell product and service add-ons.

Another way to motivate staff is to set client retention rates on a monthly basis. In the beauty industry, the most common period between visits, whether that’s for hair face or body, is approximately 4-6 weeks. If your average retention rate is 70% and specific staff manage to increase theirs to 75% or even 80%, sure that is worthy of a reward. Maybe you don’t want to monetise everything, but an extra holiday day wouldn’t be unwelcome.

Another motivational cue not used as often, but can be key to keeping staff in-house, is continuous development. If you’re in a position to keep your staff up to date with current trends and new techniques, do it. The more new things your people learn, the more your business can offer to your clients.

And Finally – Attract More Clients

This is where it has all been leading. To grow your beauty business, you need to gain more new clients than you lose. It’s simple maths.

Even if you have a great business that brings the customers back time after time, you will lose roughly 10-25% of your clients annually. It’s a sad fact that first-time customer retention rates have stayed pretty consistent at the “massive” 30% level. That means, on average, for every ten new clients your marketing attracts, only three of them will become repeat customers.
With that in mind, even to maintain your business, you always need to be looking to attract more clients. If you have made your investment in your existing clients, your business, and your staff, you’re already ahead in terms of attracting new clients.

8 – Use ALL the Online Marketing Channels Available (especially the free ones)

Google (my) Business is an essential tool for a business providing localised services. It’s also beneficial when you use Google local ads to promote your business.

Use your social streams, such as Facebook and Instagram, and ask your clients to follow you. If you make sure your social followers get the first taste of any promotions you want to hand out or competitions with a good prize, you’ll ensure that people keep coming back for a look, even when organic reach isn’t putting you in their news feed. People remember the pages that offer valuable insights, useful information, and excellent offers occasionally.

Marketplaces for services are another valuable place to put your business, and sometimes you can even find one that will let clients book directly, as well as advertising any current promotions.

Please make use of email marketing, whether you do it yourself or as part of an automated campaign, emails stick around in an inbox and entice people when they scroll through. 

9 – Grow Your Followers

There’s nothing wrong with trying to do it all with the free social channels, but you shouldn’t neglect the paid advertising. The “beauty” of using paid advertising for a beauty salon or a spa, is that you’re unlikely to advertise to a broad geographical audience because it’s not a service you can provide at a distance. Localised advertising is much cheaper than trying to address large cross-sections of the population. This is another reason to nail down your niche market (if you have one) you can drill down further in the target audience to want to reach. When you use paid advertising, you just need to get people to follow your social business pages. The rest is ensuring you have active profiles and sharing valuable information. 

Another way to increase your followers is to get your existing clients and followers to share your posts. You can track your engagements on social media to check who shared and who didn’t. You could even use referral links so you can track which of your clients has shared and from whom you received a new client.

10 – Add Value

You’ve probably heard many times, but starting a blog for your salon or spa opens up a world of new clients who judge a business on their expertise. When you start blogging about your business, you initiate the beginnings of your life as a subject expert. Even if you offer beauty or hair tips on your blog, you still attract people to your business.

Your blog can always be a vlog

When you talk about the services you provide, how you do it and introduce the people providing the services, you make your business much more visible and accessible.

Growing A Beauty Business

While you might think that to grow your beauty business, you simply need to increase your client base, that’s really only the last step. If you’ve done your utmost to create a welcoming and engaging atmosphere for your loyal returning clientele half your job is done. If you look after your returning customers, you have a homegrown and “free” marketing stream in word of mouth.

When you invest in the business, to make it targeted, with the best tools to streamline things you free up admin time, downtime due to poor resources management (or poor resource longevity), and increase available appointment time for paying clients. By targeting the most receptive market for your beauty services, you also reduce your marketing costs.

When you incentivise staff to up-sell products and services, you gain a wider audience for those products and added extras, and your staff also feel the benefit. Investing in qualified, (customer service/experience) trained, and continually upskilling staff is a win all around. Motivated personnel are also more likely to act as ambassadors for your beauty business.

When you grow your beauty business, it is more than just marketing to a new stream of customers. It’s looking after the ones that you already have first. Although, you still need the marketing, just let some of your happy clients do some of it for you first.

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