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Salon Business strategies for tough economic times – part 2


In last week’s business article, I gave you 4 low cost strategies to reduce your expenses and increase your income. In case you missed it, click here to read the article. This week we carry on from where we left off and we discuss eight other practical ways to gain market share in a down economy.


This is a simple idea, but it is often overlooked from a strategic perspective. Every Rand saved flows directly to your bottom line. Finding cost saving methods of producing, distributing, advertising, and servicing your customer’s needs will seriously impact your Nail Bar’s ability to grow profits.

Here’s a challenge for you and your staff. At your next staff meeting, have a brainstorming session and see how many ideas you can come up with for reducing operating expenses. You will be surprised by your people’s ideas. Take the best of those ideas and implement them immediately and I guarantee you that you can reduce your costs by 10%.

One word of caution – never cut costs that will affect the quality of the product or service that the customer walks away with. Never cut costs in an area that will affect customer satisfaction!


Business oriented agreements normally cost more and more the longer they are in place. But usually the value you get from the agreement doesn’t go up proportionately.

Take a look at all your business contracts (i.e. rent, cellphones, internet fees, insurance etc…) and see if you can renegotiate the package.  Below are a few areas you can explore to give you a start:

  • Telephone and Cellphone contracts. Do the research and find out if there are better, more cost effective packages for you and your business.
  • Rental agreements including lease agreements on property, spa equipment, etc.
  • Supplier agreements on pricing and payment terms.
  • Professional services fees like accounting, printing, cleaning and garden services etc.
  • Insurance products including life, business and short-term insurance. Most insurance companies don’t want you to now this, but every couple of years you can get a better insurance product for less than you are paying now. Contact your broker and see what they can do for you and your business.


Boost your margins by partnering with other nail businesses. Are there other businesses owners you know of near your area that use the same professional product brand that you do?

Why not team up with three or four of these businesses in order to pool your finances so that you can buy in bulk from your supplier?

Very few suppliers will say no to offering larger discounts on products bought in bulk. This concept works, however, it is dependent on finding the right people to partner with.


One Salon Owner I spoke to recently was dishing out Cappuccino’s left right and center to all her clients. Some clients would have three or four cups before they left the nail bar.

She has now changed her policy. The first Cappuccino is free, (Actually, it is built into the price of her treatments) but every additional Cappuccino the client orders is added to her bill.

This change in policy has resulted in a nice boost in profits. What products and services are you giving away for free that you can start charging a nominal fee for?


There is a time and a place for discounting. However, for most spa and salon owners, discounting is their entire marketing strategy. This ends up creating a precedent where clients will only do business with you if you cut your profits.

Many Spa’s and Salons do this because they don’t have a working Marketing Strategy. They don’t know where the next customer is coming from so they do anything and everything to hold on to this customer even if it means working for virtually nothing. Take a look at the following figures. If you sell your product or service at a gross profit of 40%:

  • Offering a 5% discount means you need to sell 14% more volume to make the same Rand amount of gross profit.
  • Offering a 10% discount means you need to sell 33% more volume.
  • Offering a 20% discount means you need to sell twice as much!
  • Offering a 30% discount means you need to sell four times as much!
  • Offering a 40% discount means you don’t break even no matter how much you sell!

Before you discount, please note that a 10% discount does not necessarily equal a 10% increase in sales. The moral of the story is simple.

Don’t give away discounts unless you are 100% sure that you can generate the additional sales volumes to cover your losses. The next time a customer asks for a discount ask them the following question, “Would you like a lesser quality result with your discount?”

If you want to learn how to create special offers and raise prices, then make sure you join us at our next marketing workshop where we teach you how to earn R1000 profit per day. Click here for more info


Every Nail Bar has customers who were once loyal regulars but for some reason they have slipped through the cracks and have stopped coming back.

The only reason why we don’t contact these people is because we are afraid that they are going to tell us something about our business that we don’t want to hear. Remember, clients like these are more valuable to you than an expensive marketing Consultant.

Get on the phone and contact these clients. Yes, it may be awkward, but just accept that any complaints are great opportunities to strengthen your relationship with your customer. Don’t get into a contest, for you to win your customer must win first.

Forget about whose right, solve the problem. Ask the question, “What can we do to solve your problem and win back your trust?”


I recently discovered an amazing hair and nail business in Centurion. It doesn’t matter what time of the day I have been there, the place is always full of customers!

I asked the owner what the secret of her success was and guess what she told me? She makes sure that her staff always rebook  and confirm her clients for their next haircut or set of nails.

In any nail, hair or beauty business, rebooking clients is a vital business  priority.

Rebooking a client before they leave is one of the simplest ways a Nail Tech can guarantee future cash flow. Never let a client walk out the door without rebooking her in for her next set of nails.

Some clients will say no, but if it is done right, most will say yes to doing business with you again.


Studies of high performing individuals have sited that a key trait of top achievers is what scientists call an action orientation. In other words, they don’t sit on new ideas too long before implementing them. And they aren’t scared to try something new and different.

All of the above ideas are easy to do and don’t cost you much money. Select the top three ideas and get busy putting them into action! There is nothing you can do about the current economy, but you can take action and do something to boost your cash flow.



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