As we continue to settle back into post-COVID normality, you may be taking the opportunity to think about ways in which you can grow your business and build on your current customer base. There are always new consumer trends and technological advances that can inform your decisions to help improve your business and Ellisons have written up three main ways in which you can make the most of these.
1.Are you missing opportunities for potential business?
Most businesses sell services to a distinct segment of their market, this is typically based around demographics, age, gender, location or psychographics - how the customer feels about the choice they are making. After the abrupt halt to most activities, now as restrictions to normal life start to ease the questions of how to recoup some of the money lost during lockdown and how businesses can position themselves to take advantage of new audiences should be at the front of your mind.
Will your business still sell to your previously regular customer? Behaviour has changed, and new habits are forming, particularly around online shopping and search. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner (GKP) and Google Trends (GT) will help you keep up to date with what people are searching for online and guide you towards any new skills or services you may need to acquire. Finding different search terms may help you find new audiences that you could sell to. For example, ‘mobile hairdresser for seniors’ receives a high volume of monthly searches on Google. Could you introduce your service to a different age group?
Beauty and hairdressing trends are constantly evolving with changing fashion and product innovation. Ask yourself and those close to you what it is that you do well and what you can build on? Then looking forward, what could I offer to clients in the future?
2. Do you have a thirst for knowledge and acquiring new skills?
It's also worth reviewing and revisiting techniques that you may have not performed for some time. Could you or your team share new skills with each other? Before embarking on external training courses, are there gaps in your skill base which could be addressed with help from colleagues?
Looking beyond in-house training, taking time out to improve skills, enrolling on professional training courses can be the most valuable investment in yourself and your career. Consider a development plan for each member of your team. This could include practical skills or the development of wider business skills, such as marketing, customer service and team leadership.
Ellisons have launched several new beauty courses that will allow you to broaden the range of treatments you can offer to your customers. From brow lamination to deep tissue massage, there is sure to be something for everyone. You can gain an IHPM and guild of beauty therapists accredited qualification in your own time at your own pace. You can even be guided by your customers themselves by researching what interests them, as outlined in the section above.
3. Is your website and social media updated?
Communication and engagement with your clients on social media is a key part of marketing and growing your business in the modern world. Whether it’s reassuring them by communicating on your website and social media about practices you’re adopting to ensure they will be kept safe, or keeping them up to date with your latest offers. Also, you may want to consider boosting your business’s profile on social media as since the start of the pandemic studies have shown that up to 80% of customers feel more motivated to use a brand or service if they follow them on social media.
It’s also worth giving a bit of TLC to your website. Many websites are still not designed for browsing on mobile devices, even though statistics show that up to 50% of web surfing is now done via smartphone or tablet. This makes it difficult for clients to search using mobile and limits your ranking on Google. Just as you refresh your salon from time to time, keeping your website up to date and looking fresh plays a role in how your clients perceive you and your business.
It’s important to keep communication with your clients alive. Keep sending emails and posting updates on what your staff are doing. Engaging with customers on social media is quickly becoming the number 1 way of increasing awareness of your brand, so try and create time in your schedule for developing content and monitoring your social accounts.