Times change. Just as people. And the identities of companies and different businesses change right along with them. That’s only natural: human existence is based on development and progress. No one would want to stagnate at any point in their lives. As a salon owner or manager, you most probably would like to evolve in what you do. 

The brand identity of your salon needs to change as it grows. It needs to become more and more sophisticated and, of course, more and more expressive of your salon personality. No matter where you stand in your career, the point is to always be faithful to yourself and the image you represent.

If you’re curious about how you can evolve in the salon industry, read on! We’re going to show you the three significant levels of salon brand evolution beauty professionals, and salon owners tend to go through.

Beginner

It happens very rarely that someone has the resources to open a salon right away after finishing beauty school in order to make the most of their newly-gained skills and qualifications. On the contrary: it takes a lot of time and effort to build up a salon business. Usually, people interested in this line of business start out slowly. Here are the strategies that beginners generally take on during this phase of salon brand evolution. 

Apprenticeship

Future-to-be beauty pros typically get their qualifications before everything else – a cosmetology certificate or diploma. Obtaining one of these is absolutely necessary for you to even start thinking about building a beauty career. However, some people work as apprentices during their studies to gain practical insight right from the start. Apprentice programs can be beneficial to your career for a bunch of reasons. 

First of all, you’ll learn directly from professionals already well-established in the salon industry. This will allow you to get a feel for that particular salon’s culture. You’ll get hands-on experience and learn new techniques by the day. Also, apprenticeships can help you earn some extra money while still in school and make your transition from student life to the workforce a whole lot easier. 

Work from Home

So after getting a diploma, it’s time to start working! You might not manage to open your very own salon right away. That’s because it requires a lot of financial resources and even more business-related tasks and responsibilities. 

One can try applying to different salons to take them as help. But even if they gain admittance to one of them, it’s improbable to receive meaningful jobs at first. For example, if you apply to a hair salon, you’ll mostly prep the clients, wash & dye their hair, and clean up in the first few months. Here are some great tips on how to open a salon with no money. 

Another widely practiced alternative amongst beginners is to start working at home. The first clients of home-based beauticians will be their family members, friends, and acquaintances. Then, via word of mouth and a little social media marketing action, they attract more people. 

These people will eventually become their regulars if they provide exceptional service and customer experience. So you can turn them into returning clients. Yeah, building a steady client base is a teeny bit more complicated at home than in a conventional salon. 

A distinct advantage of working at home is that it’s free. You don’t have to pay for the physical space. However, you still have to purchase all the necessary equipment, tools, appliances, and furniture to create a professional atmosphere where clients can feel in safe hands. 

Discount Prices

Naturally, when you’re a beginner, you can’t charge as much for your services as an experienced professional working in the hustle and bustle of the city. But pricing below the market isn’t always a disadvantage! 

Firstly, setting discount prices is a solid marketing tool. You attract clients to your home salon via referrals, charge less for the same immaculate services as they provide in salons and spas, thus you gain their loyalty. When you start slowly raising your prices, your loyal clients will be willing to pay more, because they’ll have a good perception of the value that you provide. 

econdly, if you have relatively lower prices than your competitors, you can make up for the lower profit through higher sales volume. In other words: sell more than the ones working in regular salons.

Average

The average beauty salon is the next step on the salon brand evolution-‘ladder.’ This level is probably the most familiar for most people. Average salons have all the necessary licenses and permits (beautician license, business license, health and safety compliance permits, seller’s permit) and physical space – usually a rented lounge – that they operate in. 

They also have competent professionals who offer their regular services and retail products for reasonable prices, but typically, nothing groundbreaking happens. 

Market Pricing

Average salons mostly take the approach of pricing their services and products at the market to match their competitors’ prices. They do this because they don’t have a substantial competitive edge that would enable them to price higher than all the other salons. Here is a quick guide on how to corretly price your sercives.

Website

Nowadays, even the smallest businesses need to have a website in order to live up to their potential clients’ expectations and be searchable online. If you were the customer and you heard that a cute little salon just opened from one of your friends, you’d presumably like to look it up to find out if this salon is anything for you. Social media business pages may be enough for home salons, but not for ‘full-on’ salons. 

Of course, not all businesses can afford to hire a salon marketing agency to build their website. A lot of owners and managers create their salon’s website themselves, which is always a considerably cheaper option. 

And hey, there are so many good and simple website builders (WordPress, Wix, GoDaddy, and Squarespace) for salons available today! Almost anyone can assemble a basic page that contains all the relevant information about their business. Or if you need help feel free to contact us and we will take care of the website for you.

Retail Products

Besides selling beauty treatments and nail- & hairstyling services, average salons often turn to offering retail products in order to keep their clients happy and increase salon profit margins. Everyone likes to look on point all the time, not just after leaving the beauty parlor. 

That’s why selling different products that help them maintain the results achieved by a cosmetician makes them happy and satisfied. It’s great for salons too: they can make a nice extra profit in under 5 minutes by adding some retail to a customer visit. However, only those beauty salons can indulge in selling retail products that are already well-versed in the management of product-orders and inventory.

Own Staff & Rented Chairs

As a business becomes more and more successful, the owner or manager likely needs to hire a few people and build a team. Working as a solo operation is convenient in many ways. However, growth inevitably requires more human resources. So if you’d like to book more clients, but can’t fit them into your schedule; if you feel like you need help servicing clients; if you think that it’s the right chance to grow your business further – the time to hire your own staff has come. 

Another common practice in salons is chair/booth rental. That means that the owner rents out space in their salon to an independent stylist. The stylist then pays a fixed weekly/monthly fee for it. This way, both parties make money off the deal. What is more, the owner needn’t worry about marketing and attracting clients to that particular chair. Aslo, the renter needn’t worry about the infrastructure of her/his workplac

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High-End

Ah, the peak of salon brand evolution. Ultimately, these are the beauty establishments that are visited by celebrities and important public personalities. These are the places that somehow can offer better, more reliable, and innovative techniques and solutions to their clientele. 

Professional Branding and Website

High-end salons need to be professional in every aspect, inlcuding branding. They must provide immaculate services at all times and even better customer experience. And here comes the brand into the picture. 

Having a cohesive brand or image online anf offline is part of the customer experience: people like catching, yet simplistic approaches that they can instantly relate the service provider to. It’s not enough now to be a DIY type of person. You’ll need to hire a good design and marketing company that will be able to translate your vision into a strong and unique brand identity, online marketing campaigns, and a website.

Websites for high-end salons aren’t just places where one can look up the service menu and prices. They’re interactive platforms that provide you with all kinds of useful information, articles, trivia, quizzes, and so on. The average customer likes a website where she/he can be somewhat independent and pro-active. That’s why almost all high-end salons have websites that have a self-booking option linked to an appointment scheduler. 

High-End Products & High Prices

It’s no surprise that high-end salons only use the best products that truly make a difference compared to regular drugstore goods. Quality has its price, though: immaculate services combined with exceptional customer experience and high-quality products contribute to the considerably costlier pricing structure of high-end salons. 

Once a salon becomes renowned, pricing shouldn’t really be an obstacle in any way. Generally speaking, people are willing to pay not even for the service itself, but for the brand too. And that’s even more true in today’s social media-driven world. 

Nevertheless, being high-end can have its downsides too. For example, it is observed that during economically less well-off times, high-end salons feel the pinch, while budget salons tend to see a pick-up in business. People will still need to have their beauty routines, and they will figure out a way how to make those cheaper. 

Salon brand evolution strategy steps (1)

All in all, this is how a potential salon brand evolution looks like. All stages have their own beauties and sorrows. Of course, people always long for more and more. But the real key to success is to give yourself and your business time to flourish. 

All good things come to those who can wait, after all. Also, always be true to your personality, your values, and goals, and then you can have fun doing what you know and love.

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