Going to the salon is so much more than just getting your hair done. It's a chance to relax, hang out in a cool place, and catch up with a friend. A salon appointment is as much a social experience as it is a service. Atmosphere and personality are what separate one salon from another, and for this reason, a person's salon choice can be based as much on these attributes as on stylists' skills.

A great way to attract potential new clients to your salon-and give them a taste of how cool/fun/unique you are-is by holding an Open House. Since making an appointment at a new salon can be a weighty decision for some, an Open House is an excellent way to bring people through your doors who've been wanting to find a new salon but haven't yet taken the initiative to make an appointment. During the Open House, attendees will be able to meet and socialize with stylists while getting a feel for your salon's vibe. You can even choose to offer select services, like eyebrow waxing, at no charge. Make sure that all of your stylists attend, and have fun with it!

Before your Open House, send out emails or call your current clients, informing them of the upcoming event and encouraging them to attend and to bring friends or family members. You should offer them an incentive, such as one raffle ticket for each person they bring in. That gives them the chance to win a gift certificate or free service from your salon. You can choose to serve hors d'oeuvres and beverages, but be conservative with your spending, and don't advertise this aspect of the event-you don't want people showing up just for the free food!

Open Your Doors to New Clients

Once guests arrive, make sure that you get their contact information so that you can follow up with them later. During the Open House, announce that you have a special offer for that day only. For example, if guests schedule an appointment at the Open House for sometime in the next month, they will receive a discount. This is a very important step, as your goal with the Open House is to acquire new clients, and attendees will be more inclined to make an appointment on that day if they have an incentive to do so. After the Open House, send attendees an email thanking them for attending, and encourage them to call and make an appointment

With a little planning, you can attain new clients, reward current clients, and have fun while doing so.

Open Your Doors to New Clients

Meg McCall is the director of marketing for MINDBODY, a developer of online business management software for salons and other wellness-based organizations. McCall holds and MBA and has a love of writing. Her long-term understanding of other wellness industries offers a unique perspective to salon owners. For more information on MINDBODY, visit www.mindbodyonline.com/salon.

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