Bart Foreman, president of Group 3 Marketing
Bart Foreman, president of Group 3 Marketing

You are doing business in the new economy. What does that mean for salon owners this holiday season? Well, it's not business as usual. If your holiday plans are the same as last year, you might not see the growth you need to survive. Yes, there are positive signs to the end of the recession, but the recovery will not  be swift or easy. Your guests expect more and they expect it for less.


After all, every retailer is discounting virtually everything they are selling this holiday, and they are managing their inventories much tighter, so product availability will be limited.


Your guests are not the same as they were last year. They are more frugal, more worried, more stressed and more diverse than any time since the Great Depression. The concept of the average American is gone, probably forever. The notion of the "nuclear family" – married couple and two kids – is the minority, accounting for only about 22 percent of households.


All this means that you have to carefully think about the services you offer, the retail products you sell, and how they are priced to appeal to current and new guests to maximize guest counts, sales and profits.


This holiday season create your salon culture to absolutely dazzle every guest. If you dazzle them, they will come back. And, when you dazzle them, they will be willing to pay full price. We offer these dazzling thoughts:


  • Begin by being the CEO – the Chief Encouragement Officer. Inspire everyone around you to embrace the dazzle.
  • Create your own dazzle quotient. This is the magic formula that rates every service and, importantly, service combinations. A cut has a dazzle quotient of one; but a cut and color is a three; and a cut, color and texture is a seven. Add a retail sale and it's a perfect 10. Are you getting this? Think of the fun you can have making more money every day just by dazzling.
  • Be pragmatic. Especially about the services and products you sell. Change is really tough, but it is happening all around and in your salon and spa. Find ways to turn a haircut into an experience. Find ways to expand and upsell a service to add on not only dollars but increase your dazzle quotient.
  • Remember the dazzle is all about your guests. Put them at the heart of your business. The pay the bills.


Two traffic and profit-generating holiday ideas you can do today:


  • Go Express: Shake up your menu with more express services to increase frequency. Guests relate best to the idea of "express" services versus "mini" services. Consider trims and touch-ups to break the cycle of longer gaps between visits. You can implement this quickly and easily and get your team pumped up for more business.
  • Emphasize Retail: Shake up your retail product mix and how it is merchandised. Why give away sales to the discounters and drug stores? Bring in a new retail line for the holidays that complements your color line or has a lower price point to give guests more choices. Add some new tools and appliances and make a dazzling retail display no one can miss. Guests love new products, and with a recommendation, the dazzle quotient goes up and up. 


It's your business. Take it seriously and make it thrive.



To learn more about Group 3 Marketing, visit

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