Frank Gambuzza and Scott Missad. For a salon business, continually gaining new clients is important, but the simplest, cleanest, most profitable way to really grow your company is to maximize your existing client base. When your current client base participates in more of your service and retail offerings, that’s productivity.
Unfortunately, too many salons operate under the old beauty school wash-andset mentality that dictates the only way to make more money is to speed up your services and jam more people in the door. Too many salon owners don’t consider the extra cost that comes with servicing those extra bodies—whether that’s in hiring and training more staff or the utilities used to provide more services or in the building out of more salon space. And, continually cramming more and more clients into your operation just isn’t a sustainable business model—eventually something’s going to break down, either the quality of your service is going to erode and your clients will disappear or you and your staff members are going to burn out.
When we’re talking about productivity, we’re talking about giving your clients an experience they can’t get anywhere else and charging them extra for it, because people will pay for the experience.
The Value of Productivity
The simplest way to show you the value of productivity is to boil it down to the actual dollars it could mean for your business. For example, let’s say your salon sees 2,000 clients per month. What if you could get each one of them to spend an additional $4 average per month by either purchasing retail or additional services. Not too challenging, right? That would mean an additional $96,000 in sales per year for your salon. And, you added that without the expense of building out your salon or adding and training new staff.
If you have the proper infrastructure in place to provide a quality experience for your clients that allows you to charge more, two things are going to happen. First, you’ll be a more profitable business because you’re more productive. But second, you’ll also be more sustainable. As your top clients try more services in the salon or spa areas of your business, they will become familiar with different service providers, so now their loyalty subtly shifts from the individual to your business. Gradually you are taking them out of the market for another salon or day spa.
The other interesting caveat of focusing on productivity is the better you take care of the clients you have, then the process of getting new clients takes care of itself because your clients talk about you to their friends and family.