Having a beauty salon can be a lucrative business in South Africa. According to the head of the South African Spa Association, Dr Nadine de Freitas, growth in the spa industry, despite challenging times for SMEs and there has been an increased demand for both male and female beauty treatments. Thembeka Johnson, the former beauty editor of The Oprah Magazine and True Love, has a successful luxury hair salon in Melrose Arch called Mane Salon. One of Thembeka’s golden tips is to offer a wide range of services to be able to keep up with the growing needs of customers. “Having a huge demand is a welcome problem for any business”, she says.
If you’re in the beauty industry you are either offering a niche service or more general services. Each business strategy has its pros and cons. A one-stop shop is always convenient for a client to have access to all their treatments in one place. On the other hand, a niche offering like hair care or skin care can ensure that you aren’t spreading yourself too thin and can hire the most qualified specialists in that niche area. This can help you build your reputation as the place to go for an unmatched service. However, it takes more than just a good business model to help your business grow.
Here are 3 things you should remember if you’re in the beauty salon industry:
You need to stay ahead of the game
The beauty and wellness industry is known to develop at a fast pace. There are always new techniques and new technology to take advantage of in this growing market.
Just imagine if your hair salon still used the old fashion wash and set technique that provided the perfect curl if you didn’t go outside, make any sudden movements, or shower until your next weekly appointment. Today all it takes is a good quality hair straightener or product treatments to give you perfect silky smooth hair.
Skin treatment has also taken massive leaps and bounds. Facials and other skin care practices are no longer just about throwing on a face mask. There is technology that can help to improve scarring or pigmentation and have reverse effects on ageing skin.
And while beauty treatments used to be seen as an exclusively female-orientated industry we have woken up to the fact that men should also have the luxury of skincare offerings, hair treatments, massages, and hydro therapies.
Keeping up with these beauty trends comes at no small cost to your business. In order to stay ahead of the game, can require investing in new equipment, equipment upkeep, product purchases or staff training and development. Customers want the best service, and this goes beyond their interactions with your business and how they are treated by your staff. Good customer service includes the best value for money. To provide the best value for money you need to be able to offer services that keep up with industry standards and offer the most effective treatments. If you don’t there will always be a competitor around the corner that will be ready to snatch up business from you.
You need to put some attention to marketing
Marketing may not seem like a top priority, but it can significantly help your business grow. It’s important to make your business known to the right audience. If you don’t tell people about your business they won’t know about it.
Marketing takes effort and can cost money. This is why being strategic about how you market your business can help. Don’t spend time and money marketing in the wrong places and with the wrong tools. If your target market is more likely to find out about your business through offline marketing tactics like flyers or newspaper advertising then use those mediums. If they spend most of their time scrolling through social media or searching online for a beauty salon in their area, then consider marketing through social advertising or AdWords. Spend some time making sure that your Facebook or other relevant online channels, including your website, have the necessary information a client would need to find out about when you are open, how to find you and what your pricing and offerings are.
If you’re running specials don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your client base aware of these when they are in the beauty salon. Hang posters up to highlight this or send out an email campaign. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Valentine’s Day are always great occasions to run special offerings or offer gift cards for those wanting to spoil their loved ones.
You need to plan for seasonal highs and lows
Your salon can see an uptake in summer when the weather is good and it’s the holiday season. This time of the year people may want to spoil themselves and indulge in luxury treatments, spa days or massages. Summer and spring are also more likely to see weddings booked and planned for because the weather is good. And each year matric dances roll around and you may find yourself inundated with hair appointments, nails, and makeup so that everyone looks their best for the special occasion.
Outside of these peak times, business can still be coming in but it can look a little slower. There might be a lull in winter when people aren’t always willing to venture out while it is cold or rainy. Monthly cycles exist as well. As everyone gets to the end of the month and is waiting on payday, you may see business slow down.
It’s probably right about this time that you need to purchase more inventory for the influx of business that the start of each month sees. You don’t want to be cash-strapped at these times, so be sure to plan for these monthly or annual highs and lows. This can help ensure that even when business is slow you are managing to keep up with necessary inventory purchases and other business expenses.
Staying ahead of the game, marketing your business or planning for seasonal highs and lows are all important aspects of your business. If you know that you should be doing these things, or are already doing them, but need some financial assistance for your marketing efforts or to purchase new equipment, consider short-term business funding with Lulalend. With our product offering, you can get funding of up to R500 000. Our quick, easy online application process also ensures that you can get access to funding in 24 hours, making it more convenient and easily accessible than those traditional bank loans.