Party in the Salon

Holding a promotional event in your salon can help boost business and introduce new clients to your premises. But where do you start with planning an in-salon event?

We're hurdling into party time as Christmas draws near, and hopefully your appointment books are filling up as we speak! But as we all know, the beauty world doesn't stand still, and savvy business owners are thinking ahead to how they can make the busy days of November and December last into the New Year and beyond. With this in mind, they might be thinking of a few promotions to keep clients coming back for more, long after Santa has headed back to the North Pole. 

Another option is to take advantage of the party spirit and hold a promotional event in your salon. Jennifer Linton and Jaye Macdonald, co-directors at Linton & Mac, say that this is an excellent way to promote your business within a neighbourhood. “In-salon events are a great way to raise your profile, both within the industry and your community, and are a fun and exciting way to attract new clientele. Equally, filling your salon's calendar with in-salon events helps to boost morale and inspire creativity within your salon's team, giving them lots to look forward to and plenty of opportunities to network, meet new potential clients and showcase their skills. 

“At Linton & Mac we often host our ‘The Low Down' events – both at the salon and in local venues – with the intention of supporting local business. Our first event gave ten local businesses a platform from which to showcase their products and services. Held in our salon, the night was massively popular, attracting more than 100 guests, and proving to be a unique way to tackle the current economic climate by encouraging shop-local thinking and supporting creativity, while inspiring and informing locals on the latest trends.

“An exciting knock-on effect of running events like these is that it can introduce so many potential new clients to your salon, giving them the opportunity to view your services and visit independently in the future.”

New business

The key with in-salon events is to plan them carefully, to make them really special, and to not have too many during the year. Marsha Abrahams, the owner of Boost Beauty Solutions and distributor of the Juliette Armand Skincare line, explains further: “Salon promotions are great for bringing in new business or rewarding your loyal customers, but all promotions should be done with caution, as the last thing you want is to devalue your brand and only have customers coming to you when you have an offer on. If you start competing with another local salon where you both keep on offering discounts, neither salon wins.”

Marsha recommends thinking carefully about why you want to run an event or promotion, and whether it's worth doing. “When deciding on a salon promotion you need to consider several things – these include: 

•  Who am I targeting – New customers or current customers? 

•  How will I let people know about the promotion? 

•  What do I want to get out of this promotion: is it to increase cashflow, promote a specific treatment or product, get rid of excess stock, reward loyalty, promote a national event (ie Christmas, Mother's Day)? 

•  Do I have a budget?

“Once you know these factors you can work out exactly what you want to do. If you are looking for new customers you need to work out a way to reach new customers.

“If it's to get more revenue from your existing customers then make sure you have kept your database up to date – every person who makes contact with your salon should be asked for their email address and mobile number. It is much cheaper to reach your existing contacts than to get new ones. If you have a good salon software system, this will make life a lot easier.” 

Getting help 

Once you have decided that it's worth running something, and worked out what you want to gain from an event, it's time to start planning. Marsha recommends that you look at what you have and see if you can get someone to collaborate with you – which will help with the cost.

“Let's focus on a promotion for existing customers, say to promote a new skincare range you are offering,” Marsha explains. “Talk with your supplier; see if they can help you with anything, or provide you with something. Will they offer someone to come and help at the event, something for the goody bags and help with an actual promotion on the night, can they help with imagery for the promotion? They could have an idea on what works best as they have more than likely carried these out before. Normally what a supplier will offer you will depend on your spend with them. The more you put in the more they will put in.” 

Once you have decided what you're doing, it's time to let people know about it! “Don't forget to create a buzz around the event,” says Marsha, “for example, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts with ‘watch this space', ‘coming soon' or ‘shh, can you keep a secret' then follow this up with information about the event on social media, as well as emailing and sending a text to your current client database. Another idea is to put up posters around the salon. Ask people to register so you have an idea of numbers.”

Special offers

A popular way to boost profits on the night is to put on a promotional offer – this can have an added effect in selling treatments that could be booked during the slower months of January and February to boost footfall. 

Remember with your promotions to try and add value rather than discounting,” says Marsha. “Here are a few that have worked for me: 

•  Free cleanser with two products purchased 

•  Half price facial with two products purchased 

•  Free facial with three products purchased 

•  Free back massage with a facial 

•  A value package for only €99 (you decided what goes in it) 

“Make sure everyone who works for you knows what the promotion is and is able to talk about it. Nothing can be more frustrating to a customer than calling to find out about the event and having the person who picks up the call not know what they are talking about. 

“Finally, above all, make promotions fun and enjoy them!”