Nabeelah Almulad is an experienced hairdresser with more than 20 years of experience. But when she launched her very first salon last year, she learned dozens of new things.
1. Don’t stock up too much
– Don’t go crazy buying too many products! As retail products for salons and spas are known to be highly profitable, Nabeelah used to always buy the biggest package available from her colour reps. That left her sitting on too much expensive stock. Always keep your specific clients and their preferences in mind when purchasing retail products and purchase in reasonable quantities!
2. Customer loyalty is everything
It takes a while, and it certainly doesn’t come for free. Build relationships with your customers so you can rely on their custom and plan your hours more flexibly. In the beginning you’re adapting to your customers – but in the end, your customers adapt to you. Remember that building relationships is ultimately an investment in your own financial future.
Always ask yourself what your customers would find interesting.
3. Be creative
You know your customers best – use that knowledge. Offer them samples of new products and suggest new hair styles that match their personalities and preferences. Nabeelah just got a new blond-me range. It’s perfect because most of her clients are blonde. Find out what treatments are best for your specific customers and try to make each individual feel special.
4. Send newsletters to them
One way to help you build those important relationships with your customers is to stay in continuous contact with them. How? By sending out carefully crafted newsletters that are everything but spammy.
If you’re reading a lot of salon blogs and other sources to stay on top of trends, why not quickly store the links to your favourite articles – and add them as curated content in your monthly newsletter? Be sure, though, to add a personal touch to the newsletter – and always start by asking yourself what your customers find interesting.
Test the email initiative for five to six months; evaluate open rates, and tweak your content. If you’re doing it right – you’ll definitely boost customer loyalty. Make a habit of collecting the email addresses in your Zettle POS app system when the transaction takes place in a few easy clicks.
5. Learn from your mistakes – and focus on what you’re good at
If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I try to embrace life as much as I can and be open, says Nabeelah. She didn’t really have a mentor or anyone to consult when launching The Hairboutique by Nabeelah – instead she’s learnt from her mistakes. Having never been a fan of accounting, it was challenging for Nabeelah, but she’s found ways of improving.
Now I put everything into files and give it to my accountant, I’m getting better with that side of the business, she says.
6. Leverage the location
Nabeelah’s salon is located at Beckett’s Farm – where several independent shops, a cookery school, restaurant and conference centre are located. So it’s easy for her customers to start the day with breakfast in the farmhouse, do their hair at Nabeelah’s, then run some other errands – all in the same place.
7. Make sure to love your work
Launching your own salon gives you the opportunity to craft a concept that you fully believe in and love yourself.
“I wouldn’t do this, if I didn’t love my work”, says Nabeelah. She looks at her little salon as an integral part of her life.