Think you’re ready to grow your business further and expand? These blossoming salon brands share how they’ve opened new sites and curated a brilliant experience for clients
Your salon is bustling, your stylists are busy with happy clients loving their work. Could now be the right time to expand your business? And what’s the secret to doing it all again at a new site or a revamped location?
More than ever, salons can’t just rely on clients returning faithfully; they need to focus on growing their customer base all the time. It makes sense then to plot out that experience carefully. Salon Emotion, L’Oréal Professional Product Division’s business programme, breaks down the customer’s journey into key areas, helping salons to better understand their clients, enable them to embrace the digital change and to benefit their businesses.
That digital footprint today is key – the new sample sachet initiative from Redken is designed to help drive consumers online after their salon visits. Exchange glowing reviews and social snaps for personalised discounts and get a digital boost for your salon. Online reviews, social media optimisation and digital window displays will certainly go some way to keeping your social-savvy customers’ attention.
Inside the salon it’s worth thinking about perfecting every client touchpoint to ensure the best possible experience. From a super-friendly welcome and dedicated service menus to fun and quirky shelf-talkers in an easy-to-navigate retail area with lots of opportunities to smell, touch and try the products.
These salon brands have helped their clients feel welcomed, relaxed and empowered, immersed in a totally enjoyable experience, every time they visit – which is why they’ve all grown to meet demand! Discover exactly how they’ve supercharged their brilliant businesses…
Toby and Amanda Dicker
Growing from one salon to six throughout the South East has kept The Chapel founders Toby and Amanda Dicker on their toes. “Going from one to two was the biggest challenge because you need a whole new mentality when it comes to delegation and management responsibility,” Toby admits. “You need to put in place systems and get the team following them as it’s simply impossible to be in two places at once. You can no longer have a control freak, hero mentality – that it’s only you that can make a difference.”
Taking on properties as diverse they have – an old school house, a public house and church buildings for starters – the last thing Toby wanted to create was a set of carbon-copy salons: “Each property has its own unique feel, decoration and space. The aim was for the customer to feel the familiarity of the brand without needing the same decoration or space.”
When it came to choosing a brand to pair with, Redken was the obvious choice. “We were looking for a product that had personality. Redken colour is so clever – it doesn’t make the hair look like one block colour, it allows the natural tones to come through,” explains Amanda.
It’s important to remember that scaling up doesn’t mean expanding out. “Don’t do it unless you’re absolutely sure that the one you have running is maxed out,” Toby advises. “Originally we moved to be in the biggest property we could imagine needing – that allowed us to grow from five team members to 30. If you’re looking to expand, this is what I would always advise doing first.”
Paul Bertram and Natalie Hamilton
Chapter One Hair Spa
When their first salon was at maximum capacity after just one year, Chapter One Hair Spa’s co-founders Paul Bertram and Natalie Hamilton wanted to avoid putting together a group of completely new people before opening a second site in Edinburgh – keeping the brand’s culture consistent across both sites was key.
It was also an opportunity to assess that areas of the salon were working hard. After taking part in a Salon Emotion workshop, Paul left with plenty of ideas on how to further finesse the client experience and maximise retail.
The salons now sport digital screens in the window: “This means clients see Redken products before they’ve even walked in,” says Paul, and the reception and retail areas have been overhauled. “We wanted a more relaxed experience, where clients could touch and try products,” he says. And the impact has been “massive” – Paul cites an incredible 28 per cent rise in retail compared with the same point in 2018.
His biggest piece of advice before branching out? “Before anything, I would say it’s essential to know your figures. Make sure that the fixed costs of the second site can be covered for a minimum of 12 months from the profit of the first salon.”
As the Rossanos group continues to expand throughout Ireland, keeping that connection with its branding has been a key factor in its success. “The Salon Emotion programme was updated last year and we sent two of our key members of staff on a course about it so that they could deliver the new updates back to our team. It’s important to have a system that works for all team members throughout our three salons, guaranteeing and delivering the elite standards that represents our brand,” explains Rosemary Danagher, group director.
Rosemary has focused on keeping her staff passionate and educated with all of the most up-to-date techniques. “If your team doesn’t understand the importance of brands and the differences between them, all salons would be the same,” she insists. “As a brand we have to stand out in a crowd of fantastic salons – which is why we use Redken and recommend it to our clients. It’s extremely important that our clients trust our judgements on a day-to-day basis. Having that education, that knowledge and experience is crucial.”
Richard Wallace Hair
“Every salon experience is broadly similar,” muses Richard Wallace, founder of Richard Wallace Hair in Solihull. “Creating the right emotions for our customers is the challenge. Building loyalty to the salon – not just the stylist – and ultimately making you the first choice for your clients is the goal.”
Richard is a big believer in building brand loyalty – especially given he’s been with Redken ever since his first job at one of the first UK Redken salons. He believes it’s crucial to work with a brand that resonates with your own philosophy.
For fledgling salons, he recommends ensuring that they establish the fundamentals from the get-go. “Create a price structure that allows you to reward your team for their efforts, but ensures you stay profitable,” he says. “Build a wage system that is simple, transparent and allows the team to grow. And finally, understand that the skills required to be a great stylist are not the same skills and knowledge you need to be a successful salon owner.”
It’s this differentiation between salon owner and stylist which sees many salons struggle. Being the best stylist in the business is no guarantee that you’ll make a great salon or business owner.
Learning these skills was a key turning point for Richard’s career: “The best piece of advice I ever received was to ‘get educated in business.’ I knew how to build a column and look after clients, but I didn’t have a clue about accounting, marketing, managing people and so on.
“So I started to learn that side of the business and never looked back.”
Want to be a business genius?
Get inspired with Redken’s Creative Business Consulting course, led by the inimitable Carolyn Sweeney. Twenty years ago she took that leap of faith to open her own salon – and steadily grew it into the team of 40 at Creations, Chichester, today. With her help, this four day programme for salon owners and managers is designed to help you lead, motivate and educate your team. Choose individual course dates, or book all four for 25 per cent discount – genius! Book at lorealaccess.com/uk.
5 June, 3 July, 31 July, 11 September
Want to learn how to refocus your customer experience and grow your business to future proof your salon? L’Oréal is hosting a 2019 Salon Emotion Roadshow across five UK cities.
Contact your Redken sales consultant or email firstname.lastname@example.org