Leon Alexander, president of Eurisko
Leon Alexander, president of Eurisko

Most owners believe they they own a salon and view their business as service-oriented. When you adopt that mindset, you have a vision and a strategic blueprint that is aimed at only one segment of your business.

If you really want to maximize your business opportunities, then a major paradigm shift in thinking is required. Cease thinking of your self as a salon, and begin to think of yourself as a consumer location.

What's the difference between a salon and an ultimate consumer location? Salons provide service and offer services (color, cut, etc.) In contrast, a consumer location is focused on the consumer's experience. Such a location is designed to be visually enticing and alluring from the outside, complemented by an exciting storefront and visual merchandising.

The key is to create an environment that is conducive to serious retailing. The environment should be as comfortable and inviting for the consumer who only wants to purchase products as it is for the customer who comes to receive services. The business should be equally focused on retailing and service, integrating one with the other in a natural flow.

Effective retailers outside our industry already are designing their stores to meet this philosophy. The beauty industry can understandably profit from emulating this proven strategy.

When you consider the people who come into your location as clients or guests, you give them service. When you think of them as consumers, a whole marketing opportunity arises and you maximize on the potential of your business.

The consumer location views itself as two businesses that operate in a single location. Two separate strategies, one each for retail and services, should be devised and implemented in alignment with the overall vision.

If you aspire to offer the ultimate consumer experience, ask yourself the following questions. What would you offer consumers if you charged an admission fee to enter your location?

The world is changing at a pace that requires decision makers to constantly review and appraise their businesses. While you are reading this article, your customers are being contacted on the internet and by email.

A consumer location should be measured against the standards of best available retail practices. We need to look outside of our own environment and examine the best standards of other retailers, service providers and marketers.

Consumers demand that each return visit be a progression from the previous one. They will reward the businesses that meet this standard with the most precious commodity of the new millennium: their loyalty!

A consumer location strategy positions your salon as one of the pioneers of our industry. Take that step and allow your customers to experience one giant leap.

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