Do you really understand how your clients and prospects view and experience your salon business? I don’t mean your shopfront (though that’s part of it). I mean the whole box and dice – how your salon operates on every level from your front door to your till, and everything in between. That’s what I call your salon’s kerb appeal.
The best way to critique your salon’s kerb appeal is to test drive another salon. That’s right. When did you last treat yourself to a treatment at a competitor’s business? In the hair space, you should be doing this at least three times a year, and encouraging your team to follow suit. As a stylist, you’ll grow within yourself and, as an owner, you’ll see your salon through a new prism every time.
When I was a salon owner, I made these visits every couple of months and they always inspired fresh ideas and new learnings. It’s like a chef dining in someone else’s restaurant. If you don’t do it, you’ll never know what your
competitors are up to.
The key is staying aware and keeping all your senses attuned through each visit, so you evaluate the full experience. Here’s a kick-start for you – my 13-point list of where to focus your attention to gather real and useful insights:
Do you see a stunning, inviting website developed by an industry expert? For many people, your website will be the first window into the world of your salon. Make it count.
2. SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE.
Across all social media platforms, look for professional images and well-considered content, not tacky, ad hoc messages like “we’ve had a cancellation today at 2pm”.
3. SHOPFRONT KERB APPEAL.
Stand across the road from the salon. Take a long, hard look at the signage and the self-image the salon is portraying. Is it inviting? How does it make you feel?
Does a receptionist greet you on arrival? Do they convey a sense of welcome and offer you refreshments, magazines, the latest promotions?
5. RECEPTION COUNTER.
Is it clean and cared for? Or do you see a tired dried flower arrangement and old stock gathering dust in a discount bowl?
Is the salon’s product game on point? Are the shelves fully stocked, shelf talkers doing their job, products priced
and info brochures on display?
I’m not talking about discount packages and “book with a junior” offers – they’re not generating profit for the salon. Look for updates about latest treatments. Check out how they’re being promoted and tracked. When was the last time you added something new to your salon?
In every nook, cranny and crevice. Pop on a mental white glove and check for a gleaming front door, freshly wiped skirting boards, corners without cobwebs and dust-free product shelves.
Is it thorough? Are you asked about your three main concerns? Are you offered solutions – treatments, services,
products, tips, ideas to take care of your concerns?
Is it slapdash or totally awesome? Every task has a service level. For making you a coffee – do they take time not to burn the milk, add a leaf design or love heart to the froth, make it with true care? You deserve to be looked after in every way.
11. PERSONAL PLAN.
Are you offered recommendations to help manage your concerns at home? Is your selection of services and products noted down as a plan for reference during future salon visits?
Does someone mention the magic word: rebooking? Why would you even rebook if there was no ongoing plan to look after you and your concerns?
13. END OF SALE.
This isn’t about “goodbye”. It’s about “looking forward to seeing you in two weeks for your toner and blow-wave before you head off on your cruise”. Do you get a definite “come back soon” vibe?
Now, rate the salon you just visited a score out of 10 for every one of my 13 focus points.
“YOUR WEBSITE WILL BE THE FIRST WINDOW INTO THE WORLD OF YOUR SALON. MAKE IT COUNT.”
Visit two more salons over the next few weeks or months and do the same.
Here’s where it gets interesting: go back through my list and rate your own salon the same way you did your competitors. Compare and contrast your scores and you have some serious insights to work with. Where are the missing links? What are the patterns? Where can you improve? Where did your salon underperform or outshine the others?
Plunge into your new-found clarity. Make a list and get cracking on the actions you need to take. Maybe it’s fixtures and fittings. Maybe it’s training and technologies. Maybe it’s marketing and making recommendations. Maybe it’s polishing your front door until it gleams.
Just use your fresh insights for good and you’ll soon be kicking your salon’s kerb appeal into overdrive.