What's hot in salon services?Leverage these trends that define the 2010 marketplace to get the most from your service menu and to shape recommendations for your clientele.

  1. CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM: Indications that the worst of the recession is over has consumers beginning to anticipate more prosperous times. Reflecting the gradual and spotty nature of the recovery, they're moving forward slowly and thinking through their purchases, but they are buying.
  2. AGELESSNESS: Everything from home decor to fashion design is taking age out of the equation. Individual taste and needs are driving marketplace behavior; consumers will not heed warnings that something is "too old" or "too young" for them.
  3. INSTANT ACTION: Very few things are worth the wait to today's consumers. Through online "status updates" and texting, they've grown accustomed to immediate communication, information and gratification.
  4. PRACTICALITY: Separating wants from needs, consumers no longer use their wish list as justification for spending; multifunctional products and services that deliver tangible benefits will be in high demand. Luxury is still in play when it's viewed to have value, but this year you won't see much indulgence or showing off.
  5. FLEXIBILITY: Consumers want the freedom to express all facets of their look and personality. They thirst for information in how to transform themselves back and forth from day to evening, blonde to brunette, long to short.
  6. EMBEDDED GENEROSITY: Between the high unemployment, plummeting property values and earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, consumers are sensitive to the misfortunes of others. They expect profitable companies to incorporate giving and community service into the everyday fabric of doing business.
  7. ECO-EASY: People appreciate any simple ways for them to do their part in preserving the earth's resources. All things being equal, they will choose environmentally friendly products and processes.
  8. URBANISM: City chic continues to draw interest. People like to be seen as sophisticated; they want access to culture and crave to be among the first to learn what's hot in the music and fashion of the street.

What's hot in salon services?CONNECT TO BUILD BUZZ

Delighting clients with new service options and revolutionary products will give you a competitive edge and land you on top of one more trend that will continue to dominate: the online buzz. Social networking sites and online customer reviews give the traditional word-of-mouth an instant, viral shot of adrenaline that reaches far beyond your community. Use your own Facebook or Twitter accounts to let them know of new service opportunities and to share good feedback. It's your clients who will be the final arbiters in determining your reputation. Make sure they're tweeting with a smiley face.

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