I know the calendar states it’s August. No, I am not one of those people who begin their annual Christmas countdown now. As you know, I manage a salon/retail shop and, although the sun is shining and others are making their trek to the beach and planning their strategy to avoid tan lines, yours truly is sitting at the shop, planning her retail strategy for the holiday season.
If you are a salon owner or manager, you should be as well. Before you know it, it will be November 1st, and your clients will be looking for gift ideas—and they will be prepared to buy. Why not be sure they are buying from you?
When it comes to holiday retail—and retail in general—the following seem to be the most popular worries:
“That is a big investment.”
“I can’t afford a big invoice all at once.”
“I don’t like those products, so I know my clients won’t either.”
“Why should I sell it if the other salons in town do?”
“Why would I spend the money to have something sit on my shelves?”
For some, these comments may hold some validity. However, in my experience, these statements are made out of fear and worry – two emotions that can prevent a salon from the benefits of the additional revenue through retail, and all around success. Before you allow all the what if’s to creep into your mind, take a breath. Then another. I have compiled a little how-to list for holiday retail:
– Yes, purchasing for the holiday season is a big investment…A big investment with even bigger rewards! Your salon revenue will increase, which in turn will increase profits and ease the financial strain you may be feeling. Retail sales can cover expenses, payroll, rent and utilities.
– As for the ever-present invoice – speak to your rep. Many distributor’s can send your order in two separate shipments, with two separate invoices. This will ease the financial strain and also helps keep your shelves from looking cluttered with product. By the time the second shipment arrives, you will have sold out of your first one, and you won’t need to make any frantic calls to your accountant.
– Only selling/stocking the product you like is a mistake, plain and simple. Thinking of your client/customer. You may not agree that a firm hold hairspray is what your client needs, but if your client wants it, that’s what matters.
– It does not matter that other salons in town may sell what you do. Your client is not at their salon, they are at your salon–and that is why you need to retail product. If you do not sell to your client, trust me, another salon will. It happens at least five times a week at our shop. I gain a new customer in the shop and, many times, our salon gains a new client.
– As for the last statement, “Why would I spend the money to have something sit on my shelves?” Well, your clients will be looking to purchase gifts for their loved ones, for their child’s teacher, for their co-workers, and even their mailman. Your clients will buy their products from you if you sell them the products. It really is that simple. Your client is already in your chair. They have driven over to your salon. Your client likes you and trusts you and your opinion. Your client likes the way their hair feels and looks when they leave your salon and wants to feel like that every day, so help them until they see you next. Sell them the product you use, and stock the products they like.
Planning your retail strategy, not only for the holiday season, but for the whole year is the best gift you could give to your clients, your customers, your stylists and your salon.
Sara Stancu is the manager of a salon and retail shop, and has over 20 years of experience in customer service and sales. She blogs regularly as “That girl in the red coat” with the aim of educating and enlightening clients, stylists and salon owners. Her plain and simple approach to telling it like it is when it comes to all things salon-related comes from her experience as a customer and a decade of working in the beauty industry. She also used to be that woman who could not stand her hair (but now it is fabulous).