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Retail Sales Success Strategies For Stylists & Salon Owners

One of the topics I get asked about more often is how to successfully sell retail in the salon.

While many stylists today have convinced themselves that Ulta and Amazon have destroyed their business, some stylists still attribute 20% or more  of their annual revenue to retail sales.  The income potential is still there, you’ve just got to set yourself up for success.

Just this week I received these questions:

"How many product lines should you carry as a suite renter?"

"People just don't seem to believe what I say about diverted products, and now on top of it, the new Ulta in town is killing our retail business! We are a Redken Elite salon, so we are kind of stuck with a saturated market. Any suggestions on how to beat the conglomerate?"

I’ll be real and say that I have a very specific and strong opinion on what it takes to be successful in retail sales which I cover in Thrivers Society, but there is more than one way to achieve retail success so let's tackle some of the big hurdles:

How many lines should I carry:

The rule of thumb will always be less is more.  Think about it...would you rather buy from somebody who swears that they carry 10 shampoos that are all amazing or somebody who say that they’ve tried many brands and only carry two options because they truly believe there is nothing better?  The stylist who has gone all in on two shampoos within a singular brand will win every time because it shows a true passion and belief in something incredible instead of carrying a plethora of options in hopes of making a sale.  

If you’re a studio suite owner, I strongly suggest carrying just one line and a range of 8-15 products within that line.  I gave this advice to a studio suite stylist last year and her retail sales doubled, almost tripled within the first 6 months because she narrowed her focus.  Just saying.

If you are a salon owner, I can make an argument for carrying a lower end and a higher end line if you have stylists offering services at a range of prices, but never ever offer more than 2 lines.  As soon as you go past the rule of 2, the remainder of your lines will struggle and you’ll tie up too much money in the inventory sitting on your shelf.

How do I beat the big competitors like Ulta or Amazon:

There are three reasons why a consumer shops at these stores; discounts, rewards and convenience.  Soooo, that means all we have to do is play their game and offer the same three things.  We can’t beat them, you’ve got to join them so by introducing well structured rewards programs, monthly promotions and a convenient system to be sure they never run out of product, you can easily combat the big chain stores.  

Never underestimate the fact that your clients do you love you so if you can meet them halfway by offering them what they’re looking for, they’ll choose you over the big box store every single time.

Should I offer discounts or samples to stimulate sales:

Abso-freaking-lutely!  I always say “let’s give them something to talk about” and by offering promotions and samples you can’t help but create talking points.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could say to every guest this month “I don’t know if you’ve heard that all of our shampoo’s are 15% off,  it’s a great time to grab a bottle even if you still have some at home”.  Easy, quick and takes care of both the pricing and convenience factors that we know our guests value so highly.    Imagine that you’ve talked about a killer thermal protectant only for the guest to say “no I think I’m okay with what I have at home”.  Instead of responding with “okay let me know if that changes” you can say “I tell you what, I’m sending you home with a sample because I know this will change your life.  I’m going to follow up with you next week and if you’re loving it, I’ll set it aside for you for your next visit and offer 10% off your first bottle”.  So simple and the guest feels so well cared for.

I always love to give you some real numbers so let’s wrap it up with the real talk.  If you are a salon or suite owner selling your own retail with a 100% markup (meaning you charge double what you pay to bring it in), if you sell just $25 in retail each day, working 4 days per week, you’d profit an extra $2,400 this year.   If you’re an employee or a renter making a 10% commission on retail sales, you’d make an extra $480.  Either way, that’s some real money and I’d take it!

We also can’t forget that retail=retention and there is nothing more precious in our business than a well retained clientele.

Happy retail sales my loves!


XOXO

WANT MORE? CHECK OUT MY FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST COVERING "5 MISTAKES STYLISTS AND SALON OWNERS MAKE WHEN IT COMES TO RETAIL SALES" BELOW:

5 Mistakes Stylists & Salon Owners Make When It Comes To Retai...

Let's cut the bullsh*t and tackle the excuses that you're using to validate your lackluster retail sales as a hairstylist. We'll overcome the challenges, streamline your retail sales offerings and make the sales process a breeze by looking at the 5 mistakes most stylists and salon owners make when it comes to retail sales. www.brittseva.com/blog

Posted by Britt Seva-Social Media & Marketing Strategist For Hairstylists on Wednesday, May 17, 2017

8 Shocking Truths About Hair Stylists & Salon Owners: Realities Of The Industry Today

Do you ever wonder if you’re totally alone in the way you’re feeling about your career?  If any other stylists have the same concerns, struggles, goals and aspirations?

I did too so I thought “hey, why don’t I just ask” !?!?!

Just a few months ago I sent out a survey asking stylists to candidly tell me about their life, their personal income, their retirement savings, their mistakes as stylists, their major wins.  I wanted to know it all!  Lucky for me, you guys totally spilled and the result is this amazing list of the 8 shocking truths about our industry that every stylist should know.

 

Shocking Truth #1- Only 9% of stylists surveyed are on track to have the $1,000,000 we’ll all need in order to retire successfully

Now this one really broke my heart.  We spend our entire life working hard to support and build a beautiful life in hopes of one day being able to slow down and step away comfortably.  I know we all love this industry, but I don’t know about you, I don’t want to be working 30 hours a week to support myself when I’m 70.  

Us News reports that most Americans will need somewhere between $600,000-$2,000,000 based on your marital status, lifestyle, state taxes, etc to successfully retire.  Most of us dream of doing things like traveling, enjoying our kids and grand kids, maintaining a comfortable lifestyle and affording quality healthcare.  All of those things cost real money and the cost to have those things will only increase over time.

If you’re in Thrivers Society, we talk about financial management and saving for retirement through the course, but even if you aren’t enrolled yet I strongly encourage you to prioritize retirement savings starting now.  I started saving for retirement at 17 when it seemed like a distant time that there was plenty of time to plan for, but man am I happy now that I started early because the longer you wait, the harder it becomes.

One stylist surveyed said: “We are in a pattern where we save then spend to have a better future! First we saved to have our daughter and now we have saved to open a salon. Next a house! Then retirement”.

I’m so sorry to say this isn’t a working strategy.  Statistically, the longer you wait to start saving for retirement, the odds of you ever retiring decreases dramatically year over year.  Compound interest is a huge factor in retirement and without that interest building for decades, it becomes increasingly more challenging to ever get there.

Shocking Truth #2- 54% of stylists polled take advantage of free online education resources daily!

Yesssssssss, this made me so happy.  We are living in an age where there is no excuse for being uneducated.  Education is at our fingertips and available to watch 24 hours a day at home. 

Resources like Youtube, Facebook Live, private Facebook groups for hair stylist education, podcasts and more are everywhere. and you’ve got to get involved.

Here are a few of my favorite business building resources for stylists:

If you aren’t already following me, you can join me here at Britt Seva Social Media & Marketing Strategist on Facebook for live weekly business building strategy videos, breaking social media tips and the opportunity to get my eyes on your business through my weekly Q&A opportunities!

American Salon Stories Podcast- Presented by Gordon Miller and American Salon Magazine, this podcast features inspirational industry leaders sharing stories of both successes and failures on the rise to the top.

Michelle Hair Business Facebook Group- Presented by Orange County CA Salon Owner Michelle Stevenson, Michelle hops on Facebook Live weekly and shares her strategies for building as an educator and salon owner as well as successful social media marketing strategies.  

Free Salon Education Youtube Channel- I love this channel for it’s balance of business building and technical tutorials. With videos as short as 60 seconds and podcast episodes that are 45 minutes long, there is a great mix to review here if you’re looking to up your game. 

Shocking Truth #3- 67% of stylists polled spent over $1,000 on advanced education in 2016.

So awesome.  The best part is that many of those stylists reported spending $4,000, $7,000, even $10,000+ on education.

But wait, why bother spending all that cash if I just mentioned above that there is free education everywhere?

Because I don’t know a single educator who shares their best, most effective strategies for free.  I know I don’t!  The reason why so many of my followers join my Thrivers Society program is because they realize that while my free stuff is good, there’s got to be something more and, holy sh*t, what I share for free is only the tip of the iceberg.  The real, effective, strategic stuff is what my students pay for and it’s well worth the investment.  

When you see a good educator and really apply what you learn through the experience, the money you pay to educate yourself should pay for itself and then some.  Apply good education to your business should always come back to reward you.

This being said, I also saw many stylists say things like:

“I am a educator so I get free education from the company”

“My salon provides free education so I’m covered”

You’re sooooooo not covered.  When you rely on your company or your employer to provide all of your education you’re missing out on way too much and you’re selling yourself short.  The elite 5% of our industry always spends at least $500 a year on advanced education out of pocket and beyond what is provided.  Make a commitment to yourself that this year you’ll do the same.

Shocking Truth #4- Overall, 36% of stylists polled said they are at a place in their business where their priority is enjoying their free time, even if it means they’ll make less money.

This is a fascinating reality, not just in our industry, but in all industries trending right now.  For so many years we were all taught to believe that the goal in life was to work hard, support yourself and create financial stability at all costs.  Fast forward to today and we are all making a shift where we realize that life is too short to work it all away.  

The best part about our industry is that you can have a healthy work-life balance if you work strategically.  It doesn’t have to take decades to get to that place, it just takes a structured business building plan, but any stylist really can make that happen.

Shocking Truth #5- 72% of stylists polled stated that they are truly happy with the money they are making right now.

This shocked me for two reasons; reason number one is because I hear SO many stylists saying they really need to be making more money and reason number two is Shocking Truth #6…..

Shocking Truth #6- 62% of stylists polled stated that they are currently in debt

Wait, wait, wait.  How can you say you’re financially satisfied, but also in debt?  Those two things can’t go together but clearly many stylists who stated that they are financially happy are also in debt.  

If you aren’t able to live a debt free lifestyle, technically, you aren’t making enough money.  A mortgage on a home is a longterm investment and one of the only forms of debt that is healthy to carry, beyond that, if you can’t pay off all of your bills each month you really can’t financially doing well with the money you’re making. 

Shocking Truth #7- 17% of salon owners don’t know if, knowing what they know now, they’d choose salon ownership again.

This actually didn’t sock me that much, but I think it’s really important to share.  I think there is this idea that salon owners are raking in cash, living the good life and it’s really the golden ticket to success. This couldn’t be farther from the truth and it’s important that all stylists know that.

Now, brilliant and modern salon owners are pretty happy campers.  They are attracting great talent, happy working behind their chair and coaching their team.  You can 100% have that but it comes down to great leadership, staying current, offering incredible benefits (and I don’t mean health insurance benefits) and 

Salon owners who said they aren’t sure if salon ownership was the right choice also said:

“My biggest regret is not hiring a business coach sooner”

“I know now that as an owner you’ve got to get rid of the rotten apples as quickly as possible”

“I should ever have hired my friends.  It hurt the friendship and the business.”

Shocking Truth #8- 71% of stylists admitted that they got in to this industry to either make great money, become a salon owner or some variation of both.

THANK YOU!!! Seriously, thank you all for being so honest because, let’s be real, we love our clients, we get to be creative, but you do this because you want to make great money and that is okay!  Most people don’t choose a career in hopes it will make them broke.

So often when I ask why stylists got in to the industry I hear responses like:

"to make people look and feel beautiful" or "to be able to be creative at work"

I get that, but those are more fringe benefits of the work that we do.  They are the pieces that fulfill us and say "yes, I love my career and industry", but creativity and positive vibes don't pay the bills.

Wanting to make good money that provides a beautiful lifestyle is a great thing!  I personally don’t think money is everything, but I wouldn’t work if it didn’t bring me income and, come on, admit that you wouldn’t either.  We are very blessed that we do get to get paid to do what we love, but never forget that this is what you do to financially support your lifestyle.

XOXO

Trying to find a job as a hairstylist or finding talent as a salon owner just got way easier...

 

For years salon owners have asked me "how the heck do we find great talent to work behind our chairs"?  

The ironic thing is I've received dozens of messages from stylists saying "where are all of the amazing salon owners at.  I'm so talented and just can't find the right place for me"

Finding great talent or a great salon to work at has always been a struggle for our industry.  Stylists always ask if Linked In would be a good place to get listed and find salons.  I always said that I didn't think it was the right platform for our industry and discouraged the effort.  Anybody who has posted on Craigslist or searched on Craigslist for salon jobs knows it's just the worst.  Frustrating, time consuming and overall a losing effort.  Social media stalking can actually work really well, but it's yet another frustrating process that leads to more dead ends than warm leads.  

Word of mouth has truly been the best option for years, until now.

On Wednesday February 15 Facebook announced it's new Jobs feature which completely has the power to change the way salon owners find stylists and stylists find amazing salons. Now verified business pages can build job postings directly from their Facebook page completely for free and the job ads look amazing!  Applicants can submit a resume right through the app which will hit your Facebook messenger and alert you that somebody is interested in your posting

Here's a peek at how it works....

You'll create a job post from your page:

You'll build out your post and include as many or as few details as you'd like:

Applicants can see your post and apply right through the app!  The tool will pull information from an applicants profile to speed up the process, but anything can be edited or adjusted as needed.

Now, I know what you're thinking..."This is great and all, but my Facebook posts hardly reach anybody as it is.  How will this be any different"?

Well, as per usual, Facebook once again has you covered and there is a "local jobs" feature now available through the app which will allow local job searchers to see your post even if they've never heard of your salon before..

You'll also be able to share these posts within groups, to personal pages and through messenger as well.  Pretty awesome, right?!?

Since this new feature only launched a few days ago, it'll take some time to get up and running, but this feature is predicted to give LInked In and other job search sites a run for their money.

Now, here's the catch (there's always a freaking catch, right?!?)....the most awesome job post in the world won't do anything to find you an amazing stylist if your Facebook page sucks.  That is a harsh reality but it's the truth.

We'll talk next week on the blog about what today's stylist is looking for in a salon (it'll blow your mind), but the truth is that the burden is on the salon owner to level up and provide something exceptional if they want to attract an exceptional team.

Just having a page, posting often and playing with Facebook video isn't going to cut it.  There is an entire strategy behind using Facebook successfully and if your page isn't up to par, you won't attract a good team no matter what kind of ad you put together.  

I put together a Facebook Page Jump-Start check list to help you get started on rebuilding your page.  It doesn't cover nearly all of the important details, but it will get the process started and you can get your copy by clicking here.

I've got really great news for you.  I've been working on a Facebook Mastery program specifically for hair stylists for months and it'll be launching in a few short weeks!! I currently have a team of 27 stylists from across the globe testing the program and I'll be sharing their success stories with you all soon.

If you are ready to step up your Facebook game or are interested in learning more about Facebook Mastery click the link below to download your FREE FACEBOOK PAGE JUMP-START CHECKLIST and get on the waitlist.  I'll be sure you're the first to know when the doors open!