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Overcoming challenges as a Salon Owner in India

Updated: Aug 30

tips for managing your salon in India


There are about 30 + salons in every locality in India. Even if one shuts down, another opens. Why? Because we all know how profitable a salon business can be. But we also know that opening, managing & growing the salon in India is not as easy as it looks. There are some common challenges faced by every salon owner. But there are solutions too to solve these problems.

Let's look at them.



TIP 1 - THE TEAM

People come from diverse cultures & backgrounds in India. The task to manage people is therefore threefold here - getting them on the team, keeping them motivated, & retaining them.

  • While you hire, ensure you are transparent with the work profile & the salon vision with the candidate.

  • Attract only those who align with them; this makes lesser group outs.

  • To keep them motivated, build an environment that has inclusions. People have different styles of thought & working. Make sure you are mindful of all.

  • Build activities and open conversations to help people mingle & feel comfortable with each other and consider themselves part of the team.

  • For their growth, provide learning programs, and arrange courses that help upgrade their skills.

  • To retain, provide growth opportunities and work-life balance, and make them feel seen & heard.



TIP 2 - CHOICE OF PRODUCTS

Products that you use to provide service to the customers play a vital role. Choice of products has to be done keeping in mind the salon, its customer's needs & the product company. To find a balance of products on your shelf, follow these tips.

  • Don't just blindly follow what the salesperson has to say. Do your own research.

  • Buy required products, not just look at the deals & offers. Look at the manufacturing & expiry dates. Obviously, pick the ones that are newly prepared & have a long shelf life.

  • Always bargain, and ask for deals & discounts.

  • Purchasing in quantities will give you wholesale rates and lower your purchase cost. But yes, buy only depending on your prediction of use.

  • In India, we are spoilt for choice, therefore if your client demands a particular brand, suggest the product you have while explaining to them why this is better & the benefits it gives.

  • .Also, stock up on products for sale.

  • Maintain a record, make notes for what products are fast selling & being emptied in your salon, and order the next time accordingly.



TIP 3 - RETAIN YOUR CUSTOMERS

An old customer is worth more than a new customer? Why? Because it tells us that we have done something right for them to revisit us. Now doesn't this build up our confidence? Remember, In India, it takes just one thing wrong done by you or a right done by your competitor salon to take your customer away from you. Few things to keep in mind to make your client revisit you.

  • Maintain your service quality, and it sure will increase customer retention.

  • Never cut down on quality, as you had served them for the first time, follow that, don't change thinking they are regular and now you can take them for granted.

  • Keep a connection with them. Not just always about selling your service & talk about business. But otherwise, like sending your clients birthday wishes, wishing them on festivals, etc.

  • Send personalized texts occasionally. Remember this must be done from the Salons official account, don't overdo it & spam them.

  • In today's time, ask them to follow you on social media, so you are always on their feed.

  • Offer some offers and discounts regularly to delight them.



TIP 4 - PRICE SETUP

For Indian people, the most affecting thing can be the price. Lower your price & it does grab the eyeballs & sure to attract a few new customers for you. But can this keep you in the long-run game? Practice this.

  • Let your service do the talking. The service talks for itself.

  • While you talk about your price, you can also talk about the reason behind it, maybe because the product you use for the service is superior.

  • Don't drop your rate just by looking at the competition.

  • Too many edits in the rate card can affect your reputation badly. Instead, stick to your price & provide them with the total value for the rate charged.

  • Also, keep yourself around the market price. If there is a huge difference, then make sure you justify it to

  • Add extra value to the services you provide, the things people don't find it elsewhere & are ready to pay a premium price to.

  • Improve your customer service experience.



TIP 5 - MARKETING YOUR SALON

In today's time if people can't see you or don't talk about you, are you even in the business? To make sure you are in the market "active",

  • Outsource your marketing activities. Hire a pro who can build your website & handle it on a regular basis.

  • Run local campaigns to target your specific audience.

  • Register yourself in local business directories

  • Build a website & be on every social media platform.

  • Stay active & be fun - make your page a fun page.

  • Don't always think about sales; think about adding value to the customers too.

  • Plan different campaigns, analyze the results, and see what promotional activity works & what does not.

  • Accordingly, plan suitable campaigns looking at past results. All this can be done by your marketing team.

  • Depending on your budget, your best bet is to hire a team or a person exclusively for your marketing purpose.



TIP 6 - REGULAR FLOW OF INCOME

Any business irrespective of size, scale, industry, etc. from time to time questions itself about how to maintain a regular flow of income. To make sure you are, remember :

  • It is essential to maintain a reserve for bad days.

  • Keep track of the minimum monthly earnings required to survive. Accordingly, plan a reserve that could be used to - pay bills, salaries, etc. on a bad day.

  • Ensure that you have multiple sources of revenue. You are earning not just by providing beauty service to the clients but by other modes too.

  • Think about the sale of beauty products, wedding functions, etc.,

  • Also, try out consultation services, renting out salon space for complementing activities like a coffee shop, etc.

  • Take advantage of the festive season in India. Like weddings, festivals - these time brings in a rush at the salons. Make sure you are equipped with your staff, product, tools & time accordingly.

  • On dull business days roll out offers & discounts to keep your staff busy as well as the inward flow of money.

  • Always think of expansion & growth. Growth in sense of an increase in footfall, adding new services, opening new branches, etc.



TIP 7 - SALON MAINTENANCE

Looking after the salon space is an ongoing continuous process. It is the most critical part. The space, the tools & equipment & much more. Keep in mind to

  • Always maintain the salon space neat & clean. Never compromise on the hygiene factor.

  • The room is where the client spends most of the time, make sure it's presentable.

  • If you can make your room as appealing as to the five senses of the body.

  • For smell - work on the scent & smell of our salon. For eyes work on the lighting & the colors in your salon. For ears work on soft nice music playing in your salon. For taste work on the refreshment you provide to your clients. For feel make your place as comfortable as you can.

  • Stock your tools, products & equipment as much as it is needed. More than required will only add clutter to your space & demand unnecessary maintenance.

  • Sanitize the space as frequently as possible.

  • Keep your pantry area closed & not in direct visibility to your clients.

  • Have a record of all your salon things that need maintenance - its last service date & its upcoming service time.

  • Anything you see needs cleaning or servicing, get that done.



TIP 8 - MANAGE FINANCES

Managing finance doesn't only mean adding the income & subtracting the expense. There's a lot more in between. The returns, the deductions, the prepaid, postpaid, etc. Remember,

  • The best & easiest thing is to maintain it online.

  • Rather than doing handwritten work, shift the process online.

  • Take into account all the details & record it

  • Segregate all incomes & expenses into their specific groups.

  • Mention all related/ unrelated income & expenses.

  • Do your accounting & auditing on regular basis.

  • For earnings in advance like memberships, gift cards, packages, or advances - make a note of it.

  • For day-to-day expenses like client refreshments, travel costs, and little sudden spends. Maintain a petty cash book.

  • Always maintain an emergency fund with at least 1-2 months of salon expense reserve (depending on your salon capacity & your plan.)

  • Hire a pro, who is an expert in this field & can do justice to your finances.

  • Also, depending on your budget, keep an expert who could give you tips on managing your finances & help you increase your income & decrease your expense.



TIP 9 - BRING IN NEW CLIENTS

What is tougher than maintaining old clients? It's to bring in new clients. Because every person has a different need, so to attract them is all a game of trial & error till you find what works the best. Try these,

  • Use word of mouth, to let people know about your salon.

  • Focus on maintaining quality with your existing clients, so as to make them spread the goodness of your work to their friends & relatives.

  • Offer referral benefits to existing clients to refer your salon to new people.

  • Keep promotion local, this attracts clients residing near your salon. The chance of them being your customer is higher.

  • Make your salon be seen. Work on your salon board, signages, space outside your salon, etc.

  • Up your social media game. Be active. Let people see your work & your offerings.

  • Showcase how your salon and service are better than the other local salons.

  • Offer discounts & deals to get them to try your service.

  • Always find exciting ways to attract new clients by running different campaigns & promotional events.

  • Your staff can too attract new clients with their work & behavior.

  • And always keep your salon name heard & popular in the market with your work.




The tips mentioned above are 100 percent result-proof. But do you have the time, energy & expertise to solve all the above-mentioned issues yourself? Usually, the answer is no.

The best tip for a salon owner is to outsource different activities to professionals. As an owner, one must deal with a vastly diverse set of actions. The list is endless - marketing, finance, purchase, hiring, management, etc.

The answer to decide which activity to do by self & which not is best known to you. Because as a salon owner, you know your strength & weaknesses, and planning out accordingly is your best bet.




How much you outsource, you still can be very much involved.

There's always the option where one can supervise.

As a team, the result is much better, faster & inclined towards salon growth.


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