Captain’s log, stardate 20200522
Sent by Jonathan Stark on May 22nd, 2020
In a recent message, I suggested that one of the most effective things you can do to combat price objections is to create new offerings that are more profitable to you and the prospects you’re currently attracting.
Fellow list member Robert Akstar replied with a follow up question (shared with permission, lightly edited for clarity):
How do you transform something into a new product or service?
For example, I have a friend who owns a salon. How would she transform her haircut service?
Love the content, by the way.😀
Given the specific nature of a hair salon and how they have been impacted by COVID-19, I’m going to split my thoughts into “pandemic” and “non-pandemic” sections. This is going to be a long answer, so I’ll do the pandemic ideas today and the non-pandemic ones tomorrow. Let’s go!
Some ways a hair salon owner might be able to innovate their products and services during lockdown:
The very first thing I would recommend doing would be to contact every single one of your current and past clients to simply ask how they are. No ulterior motive; just genuine concern. Start conversations with them. Listen closely to what they say. Be present. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Encourage them to join your mailing list to make it easy to keep in touch. And then keep in touch with them via email AT LEAST once per week.
I’d be willing to bet that this exercise alone would present you with enough novel opportunities to keep the business running, albeit in completely new ways. Here are several ideas - some crazier than others - that I imagine could be inspired by chatting with your clients about their hopes, dreams, worries, and fears:
- Home delivery of fancy hair and beauty products that clients can use to spruce themselves up at home. Shampoos and conditioners and gels and pastes and hair color kits and home perms and hair dryers and flatirons and more.
- You could also go the manicure/pedicure route with nail polish (and remover) and emery boards and cuticle trimmers and pumice stones and hand lotions and essential oils and so on.
- While you’re at it, why not offer an assortment of men’s grooming items? Razors and brushes and shave cream and aftershave and beard trimmers and mustache wax and all that fun stuff.
- Your clients’ friends and family members still have birthdays and anniversaries and graduations and other special occasions, even during lockdown. You could create themed gift baskets to make it easy for your clients to gift your fancy hair and beauty products to their friends and family. You could even include chocolates, champagne, and jewelry to enhance the “at-home spa experience” for the recipients.
- Some of your clients might feel uncomfortably unkempt on all those video Zoom calls they’re having for work. You could offer 1-on-1 remote video styling consultations for folks like this, during which you’d assess your client’s grooming situation, and then give them some tips and tricks to tame the mane. Maybe a little bang trim, or a spot root touch up, or some tips on how to rock an up-do would be good enough to get them through til their next in-salon visit. Maybe there would even be demand for makeup / skin / accessory tips, which you could provide yourself or bring in a colleague if these are outside of your wheelhouse.
- The more daring (or desperate) of your clients might be interested in DIY hair cutting instruction and supplies for themselves or their kids. You could consult with a client over Zoom about what they might be able to do on their own (or with the assistance of a family member) and then package up and deliver the tools and supplies they’d need to do a DIY haircut. You could then provide live remote assistance again via Zoom. I could certainly imagine someone with 6-12yo kids valuing some expert guidance while administering a bowl cut or wiffle. I know they’re just kids, but you don’t want them to end up looking like Tiger King junior.
- I don’t know if it would actually be feasible, but what if you could get some kind of hazmat suit and go around safely doing “haircut housecalls”? Show up in your van, suit up outside, set up in the driveway, and do your thing. If your clientele included people like local TV newspeople or successful YouTubers or other folks who make a living on camera, they would probably pay hundreds of dollars for a hazmat haircut in the comfort of their own yard.
Some of these ideas are are probably dumb, but that’s okay. They’re not meant to be implemented directly... they’re just examples of the kind of things that I imagine could theoretically be inspired by reaching out to all of your past and current clients to find out how they’re doing and how you can help.
Here’s the thing...
The big picture here is that salon owners aren’t in the business of cutting hair; they’re in the business of making their clients feel better about themselves. There are lots of ways to accomplish this without a pair of scissors in your hand.
Stay tuned for some general “non-pandemic” salon business tips tomorrow!