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Management Practices

Avoid Stagnation in 2015

Stacey Soble | January 5, 2015 | 6:57 PM

Hooray and welcome to 2015! The dawn of a new year always turns thoughts to new growth and new opportunities. What do you have planned for the next 365 days? Have you thought about it? Or was 2014 a pretty good year in your salon so you’re just planning to do it all over again?

If that’s the case, well, good luck. Here’s the good news: for all intents and purposes, the Great Recession is over. Jobs are being added and people are spending money again. But don’t get too excited just yet. Wages are not increasing and although consumers are spending money, they aren’t spending a whole lot, and they are very selective where they open their wallets. The economy is growing, just not fast enough. It’s still fragile, despite a decent holiday retail season. So where does that leave us.

Maybe it's no longer about the recession, it's about stagnation.

Stagnation exists when your Guests are still coming in, but it’s likely they make fewer visits and aren’t as likely to spend as freely as you would prefer. On top of that, today’s consumers are smarter than ever before. Thanks to mobile devices, they have unlimited access to information always at their fingertips. The on-demand economy is revolutionizing consumer behavior and if you don’t keep up, you will be left behind.

So what are you going to do? It’s time to sit down with your team and get creative because our slow and stagnant economic growth is not going away soon. Put your heads together and come up with three or four new ideas. Your guests are mobile, and you should be too. The beauty of trying a promotion digitally, whether on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook or via text message campaign, is 1) it’s a fast, low-cost way to get your message out, compared to newspaper or radio ads, and 2) you don’t have to worry about a long-term marketing failure. The digital age allows you to try everything and anything, measurement is instant, and if a campaign bombs, you know it right away. Tweak it on the fly, learn from any missteps and try a new idea next month.

Most importantly, make it CONVENIENT and EASY for your customers to do business with you. Note that we didn’t write, “affordable.” That’s great too, but more importantly, be in their space, at their fingertips. Do you have a mobile app? Do you allow online bookings or send out appointment reminders via text message? How quickly do you reward your best guests and your new guests for their patronage? Do you even reward them at all? It’s 2015 and if your marketing plans don’t include a mobile component, well, 1998 called and wants its promotions back.

In this stagnant economy, you will have to fight even harder for every dollar that comes from your existing clientele and the new customers you attract. Don’t wait to see how the New Year shakes out – get creative now and have some fun.

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