Four Salon Pricing Myths (That Destroy Profits)

“Dear Andrew ~ I continue to be so happy that I am on your subscribers’ list! I just love your thoughts, and how you express them! This pricing lesson is the most perfectly pitched wisdom on the subject I’ve read in a really long time. I’m planning on forwarding it to many of my clients and just telling them to substitute “salon” for “fitness studio/kitchen remodeling/fire safety contractor/chiropractor/ or lingerie shop”. Brilliant!”–Larry Heiman, E-Myth Coach

Four Salon Pricing Myths (That Destroy Profits)

When business is flat or down, the knee-jerk reaction of most salon owners is to run a special or drop prices – and what happens is they dig

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themselves a deeper hole to crawl out of – a hole that can both pummel profits as well as permanently damage a salon’s reputation.

Busy Salon owners know that pricing salon services is an integral part of a salon’s business strategy. Pricing, along with a host of variables – the decor, the look of your team, your selection of retail products, as well as your online presence, helps you define not only who you are but the type of clients you both want to attract.

And when it comes to pricing the question is “what prices should we be charging to create the type of business I want to own?” For sure, the ultimate objective is to maximize the amount of profit your salon makes. It’s on the way to profitability that you can use pricing as a strategy.

However, before making pricing decisions it’s important to wipe your mind clean of these four big pricing myths – because if you hang onto them, you’ll dilute any advantage that a pricing strategy will bring to your salon.

So what are these four pricing myths?

Myth #1Price is the client’s most important buying criteria. Ok we know that price is important; however it’s not number #1 on consumer shopping surveys about what’s important to them – for that matter it usually comes up at #4.

Of course there are people who buy based strictly on price. The question you’ll want to answer is do you want them in your salon?

Myth #2You have to match or even

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slightly under-price your services in a competitive market. With so many different ways of differentiating your salon I’m astounded that salon owners are even thinking this way.

Instead of just competing on price you could:

  • Specialize in a particular niche within the salon niche – check out how the Quidad salons specialize in curly hair.
  • Tout your experience or credentials (an education at the Sassoon Academy is the industry’s equivalent of getting an MBA from Harvard)
  • Partnering with top of the line product manufacturers (carrying a line like Kerastase, with its premium price, it serves as a perfect launchpad for a premium priced haircuts and color).
  • Limiting your accessibility – (the best doctors in the world have waiting lists a mile long — why not salon owners who work behind the chair?)

Myth #3Pricing just involves taking the cost of your services and marking it up by your desired profit margin. Unfortunately too many salons don’t have a handle on their true costs – so even if they wanted to do what is called “cost-plus” pricing, they couldn’t.

Myth #4If your sales are down just drop the price – and the sales will increase. Remember that people put a high value on quality as well as on price. In the salon business, perception is reality – so by lowering the price you’re chipping away at the perception of your quality.

Yes, there are ways salon owners can justify lowering prices – but only if you can retain the clients once you have them in the door – and introduce them to other services and products.

However by lowering your prices to increase sales you could very well be accelerating your losses.

Don’t forget to sign up for my bi-monthly ezine “The Finkelstein Report”

Why Salon Emails Get Ignored–and what to do about it.

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Full Article Below:

Why Salon Emails Get Ignored–and what to do about it.

In the old days before Match.com made approaching people easy, social dances were a way for young men and women to meet one another.
 
How would they meet at a social dance?
 
They’d line up at opposite ends of a room and then the host would ask the men (or occasionally the women) to grab their partners for the next dance.
 
And those who made the “right” first impression danced the night away – while the other – the “wallflowers” – were left in their seats.
 
Why were the “wallflowers” left behind? It’s not that they weren’t interesting or smart, or even beautiful…they simply didn’t make a good first impression…and thus they were all but ignored.
 
And the same holds true for your salon email. If it isn’t making the “right” impression sitting in your client’s mailbox it’ll be ignored too – as will those beautiful offers which your clients will never take advantage off.
 
So precisely how do you get your salon’s emails opened?

By writing headlines that have impact.

And what does a headline have to look like to have impact? Make yours:
 
1) Specifically detailed rather than too vague – for example:

–Why a Busy Salon Haircut is the Key
–Why a  Busy Salon Haircut is the Key to Your Look
–Why a Busy Salon Haircut is the Key to Looking Great 24/7
 
 
2) Clear and clean – with one thought not a jumble of two or three thoughts…

Does your hair color enhance your best features or is your hair stylist making these basic mistakes?
 
As opposed to…

Headline 1: Does your hair color enhancing your best features?
Headline 2: Is your hairstylist making these basic mistakes?
 
There are two separate thoughts here – either one can be a headline with the other a “sub-headline”
 
Example: Does you hair color enhance your best features (expert stylists will show you how).
 
3) Curiosity provoking – attract by mixing the familiar with the unfamiliar
 
Example: The Dry Bar – For HairDrunks Only!
 
The bottom line? Salon owners who don’t want their emails to be like wallflowers who get ignored will write headlines that are specific, clear and of course curiosity provoking.

You can do that too,  that way your salon stands out in the “in-box”

Don’t forget to sign up for my bi-monthly ezine “The Finkelstein Report”

5 Simple Strategies for Using Pinterest To Grow Your Salon

In less than two years Pinterest, a Virtual Pinboard with 20 million members has catapulted into it’s new position as the darling of the social networking scene

So what does it actually do? Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web – and, when properly understood and worked can be great tool to help you grow your salon business.

Why is Pinterest a great tool?

First of all it’s all about the visual – and if you’re like most salon owners you’re a visual person.

So it goes without saying that you’ll have a natural affinity for it. At the very least you won’t struggle writing copy!

Second, like the majority of your clients, Pinterest is decidedly female – please excuse me if I sound sexist but frankly if you’re operating a barber shop I don’t recommend your spending your precious resources – time, money, energy on Pinterest. According to Inside Network’s AppData, women are almost completely responsible for Pinterest’s Success – in fact 97 percent of the site’s users are women.

Third, as the power of Pinterest unfolds there will be other business opportunities for your salon to take advantage of.

But just like when you build a house, you’ll want to make sure that you build Pinterest right – from the ground up.

Want complete details? Watch this video

Here are five points you’ll want to be sure to cover if you want Pinterest to work for your business.

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  1. Add the “Pin it” Button to Your Site. –What your “Pin it” Button does is allows other people to share your content – and it goes to all their followers.
  2. Create a Pinterest account specifically for your business and set up the account properly
    –Use the name of your business – not your first and last name – unless of course that is the name of your brand.
    –Choose your brand as the “user name” (this is the name that appears on the top of your Pinterst page) Note, this user name is not carved in stone. Unlike Facebook where you can’t change name of your page after you have 25 fans (“likes”) Pinterest allows you to change your user name at any time.
    –Directly state (in the action section) what your salon is all about is all about and use key words to build back-links.
  3. Create your own original content (especially images) so you’re strategically linked.

    –Blog posts
    –Opt in pages
    –Product pages
    –Listings
    –You Tube Channel
    –Results (before and after’s) and Testimonia

    Strategic links then help drive traffic to where it best serves you in marketing your salon.

  4. Pin useful information onto Pinterest

–Videos
–Info graphics
–Tutorials
–How-To’s

By creating this information you’ll not only keep people on Pinterest but you’ll pique their curiosity and get them to your website or blog.

5. Create captions that always feature
– CTA’s (Call to Action)
– Keywords
– Prices (where applicable)
– Links

Doing this ensures you get the most amount of engagement and exposure per pin.

Interested in learning more? Attend this Free “All About Pinterest” webinar.

It’s short – the info part is only 50 minutes – and well worth your time as it could change the future of you and your salon forever. Click here to watch!

Quotation: If you’re willing to do only what’s easy life, will be hard. If you’re willing to do what’s hard, life will be easy – Joe Polish

How to Create a Salon Audio Logo

Savvy salon owners know that being a wizard with the scissors is not enough to bring salon success – they have to be a salon-marketing wizard too! 

While most salons are owned/operated by hairdressers who still work behind the chair, there are owners who no longer do as well as those who never did.

But mastering the technical part of the business while nice is not something necessary for knowing how to market the salon so that it gets and keeps more high quality clients.  

To be a salon-marketing wizard you must know how to communicate to your target audience – to both clients and prospective clients so that they will take the action you want them to take. And depending upon where the person is in relationship to you the action or next step you want them to take may vary. For example you may want your target

  • to try your salon for the first time,
  • to comeback to salon for another vist
  • to subscribe to a newsletter 
  • to refer a friend or 
  • to order a product 

But no matter what that next step is you’ll want to have your audio logo in your salon marketing toolkit.

So what’s an audio logo? It’s a sentence or two that captures the essence of what you and/or your business does. Think of it as your logo in words. And why do you need an audio logo? Simply because it helps you and your people get the target’s immediate attention and get them to engage with you rather than politely acknowledge you or even ignore you and your message.

Your audio logo will get someone asking you the question “please tell me more” and “please tell me more” gives you permission to take them another step  towards building a lasting and mutually rewarding relationship.

But if you’re like most salon owners you’re busy with little time to spare- and  learning how to be a marketing wizard takes time. Having said that you can still be a sorcerer’s apprentice by using templates and other marketing tools to learn the whys and wherefores of the science of marketing.

This week’s ezine gives you a six step marketing template for writing your audio logo.

Step 1 – Identify your Target Market

Simply put – for your message to be successful, it must reach the people you want as clients. So first describe whom you work with first – this helps your audience know what you offer is for them or they can easily identify other people who fit the description.

Example: “You know how some salon owners went into business because they were really good at cutting, color or styling and their clients loved them…”

Step 2 – Describe the Problem

Here you’ll articulate the problem your target market experiences in a way that’s meaningful to them.

“And what they found was the business of beauty involves a lot more that just being a good technician or people person…”

Step 3 – Explain the Predicament

Now describe the situation/pain your target is in as a result of living with that problem.

“So while they’ve got a lot of creative juice, they get overwhelmed by the minutia of running the business, and what began as a labor of love turns into a drag.”

Step 4 – Describe the Solution

Once you’ve identified and described your target’s problem your next step is to present your solution.

That’s where we come in. We work with professional beauty business owners just like you…”

Step 5 – Explain the benefits

Remember people are run by their emotions. To make your message more “emotionally charged” describe how clients typically benefit from your solution.

“To help them get to a place where they’re getting more clients, making more money, working smarter and enjoying the heck out of their business. After we’ve worked together my clients always tell me the difference is amazing.

Step 6 – Why You

Why should your prospects use you? What make your business different or unique from others who might offer similar services. To make this part brief, palatable and relevant, present your information in a way that emphasizes your expertise in the area you are offering your services.

“Well what makes us different is our more than 25 years of salon business success but also that we guarantee the results of our marketing programs that help them get and keep more clients thus creating more profits, productivity and prosperity.”

Remember you can use this six-step marketing formula for creating letters, emails as well as other marketing communications.

So be a salon marketing sorcerer’s apprentice and click here to get a free copy of your audio logo template. 

What Not To Do With A Dog Yelp Review!

It’s only normal for your stomach to sink when your salon gets a lousy Yelp review.

But if you’re harnessing the power of social media you’re bound to get a doggy review or two.

Since you can’t remove a lousy review don’t squander this opportunity in disguise by trying to:

  1. Accuse Yelp of extortion for your not advertising with them. Why? Because you clearly don’t know how Yelp works and you’ll just look like a big paranoid baby to them.
  2.  Crying libel – that the review damaged your reputation and hurt your feelings. Why? Because if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. The Internet simply isn’t for you.
  3. Cajole users into giving you good reviews to smother the bad ones.

According to Yelp’s director of business outreach, Luther Lowe, in explaining how Yelp’s robot filter works – “Businesses that are pretty aggressive about soliciting almost always have a lot of reviews filtered.” Click here for full Yelp article.

Money for Molars – loosing clients who want to stay

I’ve never seen anyone sweat like that in my chair before, Dr. Alex exclaimed to his hygienist after seeing the color of my light grey polo shirt going to nearly black. What gives?

Well that patient was me and what gives is that I had a severe case of dental phobia that started when I was a kid whose pediatric dentist had both a heavy hand and bad

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breath – and being a kid, the only choice I had was to grin and bear it .

So why couldn’t I just switch dentists? You see my first dentist, Dr. Marvin, while not a relative, was was married to mom’s childhood friend and college roommate, so getting away from his chair was as tough as escaping from Alcatraz.

But when the right time came – when I was earning enough money that I could pay my own dental bills, I escaped from Dr. Marvin’s clutches, and found my way into Dr. Alex’s office.

Now while some people think Dr. Alex is a bit of a lunatic, he had a reputation for being a darn good dentist. Or at least my definition of a good dentist – a professional who minimized my pain, got me out of the chair as quickly as possible, explained things to me so I could make an educated decision, didn’t compromise his work, and ultimately did work that stood up to the test of time.

But like everyone, Dr. Alex was getting older. And practicing dentistry as well as running the business of a dental practice can take its toll. So he and his partner sold the practice. But as part of the deal with the new owner Dr. Alex stayed on and continued to work on his clients.

Meanwhile the new owner, who had plunked a lot of money down to buy the business and fancied himself a “young turk” type of dentist, immediately started to change things up – after all is said and done he had to get the cash flow going or else he’d have to close up the office.

So he brought on a dental practice consultant who advised him to save money by consolidating the back-office of the combined practices. He also invested in marketing to bring in new business and raised prices for the existing clients.

And here’s where things started to unravel with me. While Dr. Alex had always been at the top end of the pricing scale, to me he was worth it because not only was his work good but I was afraid of leaving his chair. So while price was always a consideration it alone wouldn’t be enough to drive me away. As I trusted Dr. Alex.

The only thing was that Dr. Alex no longer was running the business – he was now a hired hand.

So when the office called to confirm my next checkup I asked a simple question I’d never asked before. The question I asked the new receptionist was “what is this checkup going to cost me? “

Well you’d think I was asking a state secret or something because after huffing she barked out the price. I was stunned when I heard the price, and asked her again saying that I’d been coming to to Dr. Alex for years – and believe me it wasn’t cheap then but now – the price was out of sight.

She confirmed the new price and proceeded to brake it down for me saying that one amount was for the cleaning and another was for the dentist to check my teeth – telling me they did it that way for insurance purposes.

I shot back at her saying I didn’t have dental insurance so frankly I couldn’t care less about their pricing rationale. Then I said I was canceling the appointment to which she replied she’d hold it open for me should I change my mind.

Three days later she called to confirm the appointment and once again I confirmed my cancellation. I’d found a new dentist who I’ll be just fine with. And I found him through good old fashioned word of mouth!

In the course of telling this story I discovered I had many dental phobic friends who were more than happy to give me a recommendation to the dentist who stopped their sweating too!