Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Beauty Biz Will Survive!

There is so much buzz about the economy and the negative effects of our current financial environment, I figured it was time to share some positive news. Historically the beauty industry has resisted the impact of a declining economy! Yes it true...even as far back as WWII (when the sales red lipstick was the highest ever in history) the beauty industry has survived the economic ups and downs!

Why is that? One reason is beauty boosts morale. Never underestimate the power of a great haircut! When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you can tackle the stresses that surround you. Another reason is that beauty is the "great escape". Getting lost in a relaxing massage or manicure can take the edge off and allow problems to melt away…if even for a moment.

So does this mean we rest on our laurels and ride out this wave of economic uncertainty? No way! This is an opportunity to prove to your customers the real value of the dollars they spend with you. Customers want to feel they are getting the most bang for their buck more than ever.

Here are some proactive steps to survive these economic times.
  • Incorporate the Stress Buster /Great Escape idea. Customers might not be able to afford luxury trips or cars right now, but they are willing to take a little vacation close to home. A service idea-- Can't afford that Jamaican vacation? Take a day away with our Great Escape Beauty Day. Feature a coconut inspired body massage, mango facial, papaya manicure, throw in some tropical influenced music and a fruity drink. A vacation without leaving their city!
  • Always Provide Spectacular Customer Service. Have a business associate visit your establishment as a mystery shopper. Get their feedback and share with your team. You might be amazed what you find out and how small changes can have huge results!
  • Manage your Customer Relationships. Write a quarterly newsletter touting your newest retail products, treatments, services, or events. Call key VIP customers about specials. Send promotional offers. Start a loyalty rewards program. Returning customers take the least amount of effort so keep customers coming back for more!
  • Keep expenses in check. Review your strategic plan at least monthly. See where you can cut back or hold in check. Don't go too crazy cutting expenses. Marketing is the driver of business so down let off the gas! Simply pick proven performers and get creative with your budget.
  • Communicate, communicate, and communicate. Take the pulse of what your customers are feeling, thinking and experiencing. Your beauty technicians can be a great tool to assess customers’ thoughts. Ask for customers feedback, use what they tell you, and then communicate back what you are doing about their concerns. When customers feel valued, you have a customer for life!

No more getting bogged down in doom and gloom. Focus on the positive and remember the beauty industry is resilient. Let's navigate these rough waters together towards success!

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