Do you dream of owning your own hair salon?

In a saturated market, you may be wondering how to stand out from the crowd. Should you use only organic products? Should you focus on edgy haircuts, an unforgettable experience, or something else?

If you already own your own hair salon, you’re wondering how to increase revenue and how to take your business to the next level.

In this article, we’re going to review what’s worked for other businesses, and what the data has to say so that you can take advantage of strategies that you already know will work.

1. Sell Gift Cards or Gift Certificates

When it comes to boosting your hair salon’s revenue, selling gift certificates isn’t just a good idea, it’s a no-brainer.

In the U.S. alone in 2016, gift card sales are expected to hit $140 billion.

By allowing existing customers to purchase gift cards or gift certificates for friends and family, you not only bring in new customers, but you also increase sales and get paid immediately in full, even if that person never takes you up on your offer.

To encourage customers to buy gift cards, make sure they’re aware that you sell them in the first place. Advertise at the counter, in store windows, on your website, and via email. Encourage your stylists and employees to promote them.

And, don’t forget to make it easy for people to purchase them. E-gifting is on the rise too so allowing customers to purchase gift certificates directly from your salon website is another good idea. Make it easy as possible.

You could even offer a discount to those who purchase them—perhaps a $100 gift card for $90?

Don’t forget to harness social media to let people know how they might leverage your gift certificates. Birthday presents, Christmas presents, thank you gifts, graduation gifts, you name it.

2. Create a Referral Program

Referral programs, done right, are win-win opportunities. Your customer refers a friend and both they and the new friend receive a discount—money-off, a free product, a free consultation, or some other service—and you receive a new customer!

This is a good way to get new people in the door, and to simultaneously foster loyalty with existing customers.

In fact, a customer referral program may even be your ticket to transforming your struggling business into a thriving business. According to a study conducted by The Wharton School of Business, a referred customer is 18 percent more likely to stay with the company over time than someone who found you on their own. Sharing a bond—or a common hair salon, in this case—is likely a contributing factor to customer loyalty statistics.

Of course, when it comes to picking the reward given in exchange for the referral, you still have to be strategic. Consider the time it takes for each service and the cost of the products used. Naturally, you don’t want to be gifting a service that’s too time-consuming or expensive. On the other hand, you have to make the reward worth it or the program won’t work. Waiting for a customer to refer 10 people before they receive their reward is probably a program that will never work, whereas asking someone to refer three people in exchange for a free blowout is much more likely to succeed.

3. Implement a “Frequent Flyer” Program

If you think frequent flyer programs are for airlines alone, think again. The hair salon version of this program may be as simple as giving first time or new customers an incentive to return. It’s a great way to keep people coming back for more.

In fact, one hair salon has used this marketing technique to immense success. Davis Hairdressing, a Massachusetts-based hair salon, offers a free visit to clients who prepay for a certain number of visits. For new customers, they offer a 50 percent discount if they come back for a second visit.

Designed to keep customers coming back for more, at its core this tactic is a loyalty program. There are many versions of loyalty programs, so if you don’t like the idea of offering as much as 50 percent off on a return visit, there are dozens of other ideas.

In fact, Davis Hairdressing also has a service they’ve called “The Fling.” When you purchase this service or membership, you pay a one time fee for unlimited blow drys in a month.

To learn more about loyalty programs, read this comprehensive article from the Hubspot blog on using these programs to add value, and then download their free guide on how to use loyalty programs.

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