Captain’s log, stardate 20200527
Scaling “The Makeover Maven”
Sent by Jonathan Stark on May 27th, 2020
In response to a reader question, I’ve been spending the past week or so thinking about how a hair salon owner could transform their business to respond to pricing objections from clients.
Here’s the premise… if you were a garden variety hair stylist who sold low-value “unisex haircuts for children and adults”, how could you transform yourself into an in-demand hairstylist who commands premium fees?
Last time around, I gave you 13 steps to follow to increase awareness of a specific value proposition with folks in a chosen target market so that you could charge 10x your current price for an appointment.
If you stopped here, you’d have gone from selling $50 appointments to anybody who walked though the door to selling $500 appointments to a very specific, upmarket clientele. But… you’d still be doing a lot of high-touch sales and delivery, which can get old pretty quickly.
Today, I’m going to talk about leveraging your brand to create new products and services that scale up without requiring more of your time selling to and working with clients 1-on-1.
Scaling up The Makeover Maven business
To recap: at this point in the story, you have transformed yourself into “The Makeover Maven” and are getting $500 per appointment.
The first challenge you’re going to come up against is repeat business. Can you charge $500 for visits AFTER the initial makeover? Probably not, because it’d be more of a maintenance visit than a transformational makeover.
So what are some things you could to that would add value for your clients and be profitable to you?
Here are a few ideas:
- Sell one-off Makeover Maintenance Visits for $250 each. This is half the price of what the initial makeover cost, but is still 5x more than you were making per visit in your “unisex” days. Once you’re booked solid, you could raise your prices to decrease demand or hire and train “Mavenettes” to handle the maintenance visits.
- Sell an annual Maven Maintenance plan for $5000 that is not available to the general public (i.e., just folks who have purchased the $500 makeover) and entitles your clients (i.e., “Mavenistas”) to unlimited cut and color appointments, priority scheduling, discounts on products on other services (e.g., makeup, skin, nails), etc. If it turns out that your past clients are coming in more frequently than expected, increase the price and/or hand them off to your Mavenettes to handle the overflow.
- Sell a top-tier, invitation-only Maven Royale plan for $15,000 per year that includes unlimited visits for hair, nails, makeup, access VIP spa services by appointment. I’d also include a reserved parking space for each client with their actual name right on the sign for everyone else to see as they enter. These signs would confer status like crazy and would be the subject of much discussion and envy.
Okay, but at this point, we’re still really just selling haircuts and related salon services. What other line extensions could you sell under The Makeover Maven brand?
- Products—Offer a collection of the best and most effective hair and beauty products for your target market. This could be a curated collection of products from other premium brands, or you use a private label service (like this or this) to create a custom-branded line, or you could go nuts and find/create your own exclusive original products.
- Courses—This space lends itself pretty well to online video courses. You could do how to videos with tips and tricks on various hair and beauty topics. Titles would be in the form of “The Makeover Maven Teaches ” where could be things like hair care, styling, makeup, skin, fashion, accessories, etc.
- Community—Launch a paid private membership community for women in your target market who want to connect with other women like themselves who have recently gone through a major life change and are considering reinventing (or have already reinvented) themselves.
- Speeches—After a year or so of delivering transformational makeovers, I imagine that you’d have plenty of material to put together a talk on the subject and give inspirational speeches to ladies in your target market who would benefit from your perspective. You could give it away for free to charity organizations (like this or this), or get paid to deliver it to for-profit groups and government organizations (like this or this).
- Books—If your speech seems to be resonating with audiences, write a book on the subject. You could self-publish or try to get a deal with a traditional publisher. Unless it’s a huge hit you won’t get rich off of it, but having a book confers authority and would have a beneficial effect on sales of all your other offerings.
- Franchise—Once you have “The Makeover Maven” business model ironed out, you could franchise so other hair stylists could become “The Makeover Maven” of their town. There would be a million things to consider with a deal like this and I’m not an expert, but I imagine that you could require that all the locations sell your hair and beauty products exclusively. So in addition to the upfront franchise fee (a Snip-Its kids haircut franchise starts at $100,000) you would get ongoing income from product sales and probably a million other income streams that I am not aware of.
- Certification—If franchising seems like too hard or risky, you could launch a $5000 certification program for hair stylists who want to become “Maven Certified”. If you’ve already been training your own Mavenettes to handle your overflow business, you probably already have all the training materials you need and would just need to formalize it into some sort of workshop package. You could set up a referral network (e.g., “find a Maven Certified™ stylist in your area”), offer a revenue split on any of your products that they sell, and a referral fee if they send any friends in for certification.
- Reality Show—This is pretty farfetched and I have no idea what you’d need to do to get “The Makeover Maven” reality show made, but there are plenty of examples of similar shows (like this or this) and I betcha if you had a big community and a track record of business success (e.g., a chain of salons or a best-selling book), then you’d have a non-zero chance of making something happen. This is a real moonshot but if it worked you’d be set for life.
Okay, hopefully that’s enough to get your gears turning because this is going to be my last message on the hair subject. If I think about it any more I’m going to start the business myself! 😂
If you know a hair stylist who would like to become The Makeover Maven, please have them email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if they’re really serious about it, I’ll give them the domain (I bought it to fend off squatters).