Beauty and the Business: How to Compete and Thrive in the Salon Industry

Beauty and the Business. Photo by Startup Stock Photos. License: CC BY 4.0.

The beauty industry is one of the most competitive work forces in America. Many beauty professionals fail to learn the business management aspect of their salons – and this has led to the beauty industry yielding the second highest failure rate of any industry.

To truly succeed in the beauty industry, there are four important tips that every salon owner needs to understand before they undertake such a big enterprise.

1. Never forget about social media

Every small business owner knows that social media is pivotal to a fledgling company. But beauty businesses have even more to gain from social media. Since they offer an aesthetic, utilizing the visual aspect of online marketing is important for beauticians and salon owners.

This means each salon should have accounts on Google Plus (to take advantage of it’s gif capabilities), on Facebook (especially with a customized header/Facebook profile picture), and on Twitter (complete with a personalized hashtag and dedicated hashtags to each of the stylists.)

2. Diversify your services

While more traditional salons are used to offering one or two major services, salons are increasingly expected to offer an array of beauty procedures – from waxing to hair coloring.)

In this fast-paced world, clients expect a one-stop shop when it comes to their beauty needs. This means offering as much as you feel you can cover. A good rule of thumb is to cover the basics:

  • Hair Care (Cut/Style/Color)
  • Nail Care (Manicures/Pedicures)
  • Spa Treatments (Facials, Scrubs, Waxing)

If you don’t know how to do these, or if your employees are more focused in one area than the rest, either offer training in these other areas, or hire a couple of experts to focus solely on those other categories.

3. Splurge on salon-quality products

Consumers go to the salon to be pampered. You need to make sure you’re giving them the kind of service they could get nowhere else – especially the kind they couldn’t do on their own. This is why it’s worth it to splurge on more expensive products – many customers will buy them from your stock, and they will come away with a much more valuable treatment than they would if you opt for the cheaper brands. Remember that the key to the salon experience is luxury. Don’t skimp on your products!

4. Crunch those numbers

While the beauty industry is of course focused on just that – beauty, aesthetics, and appearance – you still need to have some financial and business savvy to stay afloat. Many boutiques fail simply because they worked very hard for the beauty services of their business, but failed to establish the strong foundation that every business has to sit upon.

This means you have a decision to make. If you don’t feel comfortable running your own books, you definitely need to hire an accountant to work for you. While that may look expensive at first, the cost of having a dedicated number cruncher will be nothing compared to what you’ll save. Accountants can help you understand and claim the right deductibles on your taxes, ensure you stay out of trouble with the IRS, and coach you through the various ins and outs of your businesses finances. They hugely come in handy when you start spending too much on something that doesn’t return the investment, or when you need help understanding the kinds of loans you may need or what kind of raises you can give to whom, and when.

Remember – beauty is a business!

You can have the business of your dreams – if you do all the work!

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Cassie Brewer from Southern California has had a passion for anything beauty related, especially make-up, ever since she was little. As she got older, she knew that she wanted to make a career out of this passion, so she attended Make-up Designory School (MUD) in Los Angeles. After graduating from the program, she began getting involved in doing makeup for short films, weddings, parties, and high fashion runway shows. To her, makeup is an art and it can be used to make others feel confident in themselves. Along with actually doing makeup, she also loves writing about it and sharing her expertise in the beauty world. She has been freelancing for several years in her spare time.

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