Monday, November 30, 2015

How to Turn Your Salon into a Spa!

A successful salon is one that is constantly seeking new ways to improve their services, decor, and profits. Turning your salon into a spa can produce a significant return on your investment if executed correctly. If you are willing to invest the time and money to expand your business, consider the following suggestions to make a smooth, rewarding transition.
  • BUDGET: Take a careful look at your finances to decide if you have the money to expand your services, and if so, how much can you afford to invest in your renovation and the salaries for additional employees? If you have an accountant, ask him or her to help you decide on a budget that will not endanger your company's current well-being, and if needed, plan the transition in phases!
  • PLANNING: The first step is deciding what spa-like services you would like to offer in the future. Would you like a massage room for customers? How about a nail salon? Another option is offering facials and make-up services for customers. What feedback have you received you’re your customers? You should also take in to account whether your current facilities have the available room to house the spa or whether an addition will have to be made to the building, or new space found. The funding budgeted for this expansion can help you decide whether to go with one of these alternatives or all of them.
  • DESIGN: If you are creative and can envision how to redesign your salon to incorporate the new services being offered, you can save money by planning the redesign yourself. Otherwise, you will need to engage the services of an interior designer or construction company. The next step is to contact 2-3 reputable contractors to obtain bids or estimates on the remodel and decide how much of an overhaul you can afford to make.
  • STAFFING: Once the work is being done to convert your salon into a salon and spa combination, you can then focus on staffing. Just having a license for aesthetics, nails, or massage does not necessarily mean that the applicant is a good fit for your new addition. Since the main purpose of a spa is to offer relaxing, luxurious amenities, you will be requiring employees whose qualifications and personalities harmonize with your business goal.
  • ADVERTISING: As the date comes close for the grand opening of your new establishment, the big question is how to make the public aware of the beautiful new spa and its services. Begin by planning a festive grand re-opening to give people in the community the opportunity to tour the new salon/spa combination. Have postcards printed with details of the changes you've made that will serve as invitations. Advertise in the local newspaper. Use social media to your advantage by sharing the event with customers, family, and friends. Finally, consider creating a new logo for your salon/spa to use for advertising purposes.
  • THE EXTRAS: With the addition of a spa, you will probably be selling new merchandise such as nail polish, makeup, and skin products. Nothing says "luxury" like beautiful packaging to send the spa goods home in. Personalizing it with your new logo will add a special touch. Stock matching tissue paper, ribbon, and wrapping paper to gift wrap for customers buying for a special occasion.

Adding spa services to your hair salon can be a big jump. Doing your homework by planning carefully and adding those extra little touches of glamour can take your business to a new level. Contact us for help with your packaging needs to ensure that your patrons leave the spa feeling pampered and content.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Closed...on Black Friday!?

REI announced it will not only be closed Thanksgiving Day, but it will not open its doors for Black Friday sales either! Many other retailers are following suit regarding staying closed on Thanksgiving night (but will be open for Black Friday), including Staples, Game Stop, Home Depot, and DSW, to
name a few.

A recent poll revealed that 47% of the participating shoppers think retail stores should stay closed on Thanksgiving, and not open their doors after the leftover turkey is put away. But, it is well-known that the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year, bringing most retailers out of the red and safely into the black. So why is REI breaking the mold this year?

REI's announcement may have shocked fellow retailers, but it should not have come as that big of a surprise. REI’s mission focuses on their employees, with many employee-first policies, great health coverage, tools for wellness, and even sabbaticals. So, naturally, they would want to give them this time off to be with their families, celebrating the holiday.

It has been said that only well-known, big-box chains can afford to consider a drastic move such as closing on Black Friday. So, how could a small business or “mom and pop” shop survive – or even benefit from – such a closing?
  • With social media, early promotion of holiday sales before Black Friday for the first week of December could encourage shoppers to wait for the better price on a less crazy day; also, if you have e-commerce capabilities – you can promote and run sales any time you want!
  • Small communities, in particular, take note of businesses that care about their employees, and will be more inclined to shop there – during normal working hours!
  • Happy employees translate into more productive work, which leads to better customer service – and that will keep customers coming back again and again – whether you are open on Black Friday or not!
There's no doubt the risk is great in closing on the biggest shopping day of the year, but perhaps REI is on to something. Maybe if more retailers shift to employee health and family time first, big sales and a healthy business profile will follow.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Secret Retail Weapon? Set the Mood!

Your brand is your baby and the tone you set in your store – from the layout to the lighting to the color scheme – embodies what means the most to you. But do you have this same control over how your store feels to customers? What are the subtle nuances—the ambience—that can make customers want to linger—or lunge for the door?

A lot of it has to do with music! You probably already know that music has a marked effect on a customer’s shopping and purchasing decisions. If you’ve ever noticed how the ambiance can suddenly shift in your store when that perfect, magical song comes to an end, then you’ve already seen how music has tremendous control over the human mood. But you might not be aware of studies that have been conducted in this area, which can help you pinpoint exactly which elements of music have the best retail-friendly effects on your customers.

The European Journal of Scientific Research found the following in their study titled “Effect of Background Music on Consumer’s Behavior:”
1.      Mood. Through tempo and volume, music can affect a customer’s mood – which can be positive or negative – leading customers to stay in the store longer and potentially buy more, or leave sooner.  
2.      Perception of Time. Music can also affect a customer’s perception of time, causing them to stay in the store longer – although this may not necessarily increase the probability of a sale.
3.      Perception of Merchandise Worth. Certain types of music can, through an association with an elite segment of society, create a perception of enhanced product worth, which could result in a sale.

·         Studies regarding the loudness of music have shown that customers left more quickly from supermarkets where loud music was being played, but that this did not necessarily affect sales
·         Studies in tempo have indicated a relationship between slower-tempo music and a lower traffic flow—yet a paradoxical increase in sales
·         Studies also indicate that while they’re listening to music, customers have a more realistic perception of passing time—meaning they could end up lingering in your store because they don’t have that nagging feeling that they’ve been in there longer than they really have.

So the big question is, with something as subjective as music, how to best create a playlist that will keep customers shopping long enough to appreciate everything your store has to offer! The answer might be a bit more scientific than simply plugging in your sales clerk’s favorite band. Music might well be just as important an aspect of merchandising as fixtures, lighting, and attractive window displays!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Build Your Brand This Holiday Season!

Tis’ the season! Retailers love the end of the calendar year as it brings several different holidays that increase sales and can spell the difference between a successful year and a mediocre one. Instead of simply focusing on how you can increase sales, however, the winter holidays are also an ideal time to build your brand through retail packaging.
  1. Put Your Logo On It! Packaging, gift wrap and bags in which shoppers take home their treasures can go a long way toward keeping your brand in front of customers all year long. Consistency is one of the keys toward brand identification. Company logo and slogan are important elements in packaging, and should appear on all items in your lineup.
  2. Choose Multi-Use Items! Take a look at what large successful retailers like Victoria's Secret or Bath & Body Works do during the holiday season – both provide special collections often placed inside sturdy, attractive packaging that not only displays the brand's products in the store, but may also be reused by the consumer during the year to store toiletries, knickknacks and the like. Packaging your product line in similarly suitable containers will keep your brand in front of customers throughout the year.
  3. Glamorize Your Everyday Packaging! Already have a large stock of everyday bags or boxes? Add holiday flare in the form of a belly band, hang-tag, or festive ribbons and bows. This will allow customers to reuse the bags and boxes throughout the year, and will allow you to continue to give out your everyday, branded bag, but with an additional holiday touch.
Action Bag can customize your store's packaging and help you increase your brand this holiday season! Call us to discuss your options today!

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