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How to Grow Your Salon or Spa Business Without Hiring More People

By Lisa Starr

Spas and salons in most markets have reopened and begun the climb back to pre-COVID business levels. With costs a significant concern for many businesses, it's important to optimise the way your business runs before adding another employee to the payroll. Plus, with COVID-19 capacity constraints, you want to try to get in as many clients into your salon or spa as possible. Here are some options for growing your revenue without bringing on additional people.

Make sure it's obvious when your salon or spa is open

Regularity in all aspects has been upended; typical operating hours and days and customs for almost every business have changed. Don’t assume prospective clients know when you’ll be open, or what the process is to visit. This is a common mistake for salons and spas to make. Do clients need to book ahead? Are you accepting walk-ins? Make sure to post your particulars on your website home page and Facebook page, in your social media posts, and on the door to your location. If the schedule is temporary, add that adjective.

In some regions, in order to adhere to guidelines on physical distancing, your salon or spa may need to adjust appointment scheduling flow, as well as staffing. Let’s say you have a four-treatment-room spa; if you start appointments in each room on a schedule with a 15-minute stagger (i.e., 10:00 AM, 10:15 AM, 10:30 AM, etc.) you can have all four rooms operating without clients running into each other in the reception or public areas. This is a tactic long employed to avoid crowds in lounges and at check-in or out, and it works just as well in this instance. If you are increasing booking times to allow for additional room cleaning, be sure to factor that in.

Leverage online booking

Now more than ever, our clients have become accustomed to conducting a huge percentage of their lives on their mobile devices. When your client is sitting on the couch, scrolling through Instagram or their preferred social media, and remembers they wanted to book a facial, they should be able to book it at that moment. All they need to do is pull up your website. They shouldn't have to wait for your phones to open the next morning.

You can take it to the next level with a branded mobile app, keeping your salon or spa right on your clients' home screen. Not only does offering online booking enable you to book revenue when you’re not even open, but it also frees up your customer service staff to focus on greeting, upselling, and rebooking the clients who are with them.

Check out all the reasons to move your salon or spa to online booking.

Raise your prices

Not all of them—at least not all at once, but this is one of the simplest ways to increase your average ticket. If you instituted a PPE or other COVID-related price hike in 2020, then you may have already addressed this. But if not, it may be time to take a closer look at pricing in your competitive set and make a few adjustments.

Perhaps you increase prices on a few services in each section of your service menu. Just remember, the impact will be larger on the more popular services (but that also holds true for your clients, so don’t go crazy here). Even a $2 price increase on a popular 50-minute massage can yield almost $8,000 per year in a spa offering massage in three treatment rooms and open for 50 hours per week.

Further to the pricing tactic, ensure your service menu has options that enable your staff to upsell or add-on to the original booking. A serum or mask added to a facial, aromatherapy to a massage, a scalp treatment for hair, all can add revenue and value when correctly deployed by your staff.

Employ email marketing

Especially when you may be short of front desk staff, or they are engaged with additional cleaning and daily tasks, use the tools at your disposal to generate some business for you. With Mindbody's Marketing Suite, you can create an array of offers and promotions that will entice your clients to pay you a visit and keep them engaged, without distracting your front desk staff from their people-facing duties.

While social media marketing is the common standard, don’t forget about tried-and-true email marketing with your client database. You can include more information than in a social post, and your customers will read these if they offer beneficial information. Use your recent social posts as the basis to build a monthly email newsletter, adding some interesting pieces about staff members and future promotions or events. Including tidbits like wellness and beauty-related book reviews or even recipes for a healthy soup or smoothie will give your digital newsletters a sticky quality. Marketing Suite can also help you to get rave online reviews from happy clients, helping you to attract new customers.

Check out our playbook to win at email marketing.

Bring in the AI

If you are short-staffed at the desk, you're likely to miss a call or two. Leveraging an AI assistant means never missing another call. If your front desk is busy helping the client in front of them, Messenger[ai] can pick up the slack. Messenger[ai] can schedule appointments, answer frequently asked questions, and even follow up after appointments to encourage clients to rebook!

See why Messenger[ai] is a win-win for your salon or spa.

Sell that retail

When it comes to extending the benefits of a salon or spa visit for your clients, nothing works as well as sending them home with some products. They’ll get better results with their self-care when they use what has been recommended, and they’ll think of your business every time they do (hopefully, more than once per day). Make sure clients know you offer curbside pickup for their essentials. And for those clients who are still timid about venturing out, you can enable e-commerce that is connected to your actual inventory in your software. You don’t need to offer your entire inventory online; just take the top 20% of your retail sales performers and start there.

Check out our guide to how you can build your salon or spa business with retail.

Expand your audience

Another way to grow your salon or spa business is to welcome more people into it. If you’ve previously been focused on marketing to moms in the area, think about welcoming students in. During the pandemic, many have increased their focus on wellness. Men and Gen Z, as it turns out, are more likely to spend more time on their beauty and grooming than they did pre COVID. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to expand your reach to more types of customers.

Get our guide to see how you can create a welcoming salon, spa, or wellness business.

You don't have to hire a new employee just to grow your salon or spa. Use these tips to reach new clients, create a stellar experience, and generate more revenue (while maintaining your current payroll costs).

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About the author:

Lisa Starr Headshot

Lisa Starr

Principal

Wynne Business Consulting

Lisa is the Principal of Wynne Business Consulting & Education, which specializes in spa, wellness and salon businesses. Starr has over 35 years of experience in the beauty and wellness industry, spending the last 18 years as a consultant and educator helping wellness businesses optimize their operations while providing exceptional experiences for their guests. Starr is the Task Force Chair for the Global Wellness Institute’s Consulting Initiative, a Contributing Editor at Dayspa Magazine, a regular contributor to global trade publications, and a highly rated speaker at industry conferences. She also offers live spa management courses both online and around the globe.

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