Recession busting strategies

Posted on February 9, 2009. Filed under: marketing | Tags: , , , , |

I have mentioned to you before that our primary advertising tool for the salon is Citysearch.  It works well for us and so we keep at it (in good times and bad.)  I wanted to share with you an email I got from my Citysearch account manager.  I was impressed with the personalized service and as I read the message, I couldn’t help think that she was following the same advice she was giving.  It can’t be easy to sell advertising to companies who are facing cash flow shortfalls, but she is working it.  If you are in the Seattle/Tacoma area, I suugest you give her a call and see if she can help ypur business.  If you aren’t, check out Citysearch in your area and see what other salons are doing.

Hi Aura,

This morning, I listened to a great presentation on the Salon/Spa/Massage industry, focusing largely on how small business like you can make it through these times. I thought there was some great advice presented, so I am passing on these recession busting strategies I learned today.

From one professional to another…“The last thing you should do is put a blanket over your head… This is the time you invest in your customers and seek to gain new ones.” Lee Anne Sullivan, Salon Owner in Hyannis, MA

What you can do:

Create extra value

Give them another service free for booking a service

A how-to night on make-up application

A champagne social night

Focus on retention

Reward repeat client with discounts on additional products or services

Thank your customers with an email post visit

Be Positive

Create an oasis from stress

Survey your clients

Use data to improve your service

Market aggressively—and efficiently!

If you need any help thinking of promotions/incentives or help adding them to your Citysearch listing, let me know.

All the Best,


Marie Kochert

Senior Account Executive

P: 206-215-4120    C: 206-375-3727    F: 213-351-7013



An operating business of IAC

419 Occidental Ave S, 3rd Floor

Seattle, WA 98104

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Does your business card suck?

Posted on August 2, 2008. Filed under: marketing, small business | Tags: , , , |

A client of mine is starting a solo practice as a lighting engineer and designer.  She printed up some business cards using raised ink because she thought that felt really elegant.  I told her they were awful and that before she printed another batch to let me work with her on the project.

This week she came to me with her “improved” version for second printing.  I told her I would work on it.  See if you can guess which one she did and which one I did.


Need help with your lackluster business card?  Email me the file and I will throw you some ideas.

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Is a franchise salon the right choice for you?

Posted on June 16, 2008. Filed under: small business, startup | Tags: , |

If you want to open your own salon, but feel like you could use more than a bit of help, a franchise could be the answer you seek.

The upside of a franchise is the assistance you get from the main company and the benefit of being a part of a bigger marketing machine than you could afford on your own.

The downside is that you are agreeing to do things the company way.

It’s all about choices.

Check it out to see if this looks like a good fit for you and your business personality.

Be sure to read up on franchising in general, as well.  I don’t want you to have any surprises.

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My salon’s blog receives favorable review

Posted on June 4, 2008. Filed under: marketing, small business | Tags: , , |

I was tickled pink to see that the blog Business and Blogging stumbled across my salon’s blog and gave it a nice review.

It’s not that I need someone else’s confirmation to know what I am doing is good, but it is a nice bonus!

Here’s a little taste of their kind words.

The blogger leaves me with the impression that I know her and that she is someone who could know me.

If I lived nearby, would I visit this salon?


And, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Read the full review here.

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So, you think you want to open your own salon? (from GSH archive)

Posted on March 30, 2008. Filed under: startup | Tags: , , |

Ah, small business ownership.  The Great American Dream.

I talk people out of it all the time.

The biggest reason?  There is less money in it than you think.

The next biggest?  It is more work than you think.

The next?  Just because you are a good hairdresser doesn’t mean you will be a good business owner.

Here is an article for you that gives you some myths and realities about small business ownership.


Myth #1 – Life is easier when you’re your own boss and you own the business.
Reality – Nope. Not a chance. You become the face of your company. Anything that goes wrong, or that doesn’t go perfectly right is 100 percent your fault. You have to fix it. If one of your employees drives your $45,000 delivery truck across a newly poured concrete driveway and cracks it to pieces, you get to pay for it. If your credit manager mistakenly writes down the wrong lien date on the legal paperwork, you get to eat the loss. If you screw up on your taxes, you don’t get to blame anyone else. If someone claims they got sick at your restaurant, I hope you have insurance and a good attorney. You get to pay both of those bills, too.

Here is another with reasons to not be an entrepreneur.


8. Lack Of Reward Begats Lower Motivation – When running your own business, there really is no telling when you will be rewarded or even how you will be rewarded. You may hope for a bigger bank balance or aspire to develop an industry leading product, but that can’t happen without motivation and drive. Becoming an entrepreneur essentially means taking risks in hope of receiving reward, but without ever really knowing when the reward will come. If that’s something you can’t deal with, then starting your own business is not the ideal choice.

Yes.  I know that some people have huge success with their own salon.  But the truth of the matter is that most salons make little or no profit other than the income the working hairdresser/owner generates.  You can read more about this topic in  The E-Myth.

What is the E-Myth?

The “E-Myth,” or Entrepreneurial Myth, is the flawed assumption that people who are expert at a certain technical skill will therefore be successful running a business of that kind.

  • “I want to be my own boss”
  • “I want to make more money”
  • “I want to have have more time to enjoy my life”

Most small business owners assume that owning their own business will deliver on these goals.

It’s a common misconception that because someone understands the nuts-and-bolts technical work, they will similarly understand how a business providing that sort of product or service should function.

If you are hell bent on the idea of going into business for yourself, please do yourself a favor and spend a good year researching the industry and deciding what you will do to be different and to stand out in a crowded marketplace.  Don’t do it because you think the salon owner you are working for is getting rich off of your hard work (chances are they aren’t.)

Here is an article with a very basic checklist for first time business owners.

Here is an article about determining startup costs.

The last thing the world needs is just another salon.

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New home for salon related content

Posted on March 28, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I wanted to give all the salon focused information its own home, so instead of posting such things at my main blog Get Some Hairapy, I have created this new blog as a hub of info for all things that I find that relate to the crazy world of salon ownership.   All facets of the salon experience are fair game here, and comments are not only welcomed, they are celebrated.  It is the conversation that makes the content.  I am only one of many people who are crazy enough to want to own a salon, and the world needs to hear from us all!

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