Deciding to turn your passion for hair into a business is just as exciting as it is stressful. Bringing your well-defined vision to fruition is full of intricately balancing the creative with the functional while ensuring that any regulatory and tax concerns are being met. You do not want to sacrifice your creativity when the time comes to develop the operational foundation for your salon, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain this balance.
So where do you start? Your vision, while important, is only a small piece of the puzzle. You still need to have a solid business plan in place, one that can easily be changed as your salon circumstances evolve. This allows your business to be nimble in an age where change can literally sneak up on you overnight. Keeping these key steps in mind gives you a solid starting point for opening a hair salon.
#1 Define Your Brand
A brand encompasses much more than your name, services, or even your eye-catching logo. Your brand projects your identity into the world at large, and will also include things like perceived reputation and skill set, your ability to communicate, and the atmosphere you create within your salon.
You want your customers to know who you are and what it is you stand for. Do you have a cutting-edge look with knowledge of the latest trends or are you providing a serene family-focused approach? Are your stylists friendly and conversational during appointments, or do they give a non-nonsense get them in, get them out the type of experience? Defining these key attributes of the services you want to provide will give you a clear idea of not only the style of your salon but also the types of clients you want to serve.
#2 Listen to Your Clients
A creative passion for hair and brand presence may give you initial success, but it’s important to remember, that your efforts will not be etched in stone, and you’ll need to always have flexibility and change in the back of your mind. This makes it imperative that you design a strategy to monitor how your customers react to the atmosphere you provide, so you can give them more of what they love.
There are many methods that can be used to accomplish this task, but none as effective as an innovative POS solution. The data-driven aspects of many of the POS systems available today will give you the accurate data you need to keep the customer experience fresh and exciting. This gives you a clear-cut way to adjust how you project your brand while inviting other customer enticing options into your salon, such as advanced appointment booking.
#3 Create an Accessible Scheduling Platform
Managing appointment bookings and coordinating these among the varying scheduling of stylists is a complex dance that is open to error if not done correctly. Using the latest technology can reduce the stress on your staff and customers by handling all aspects of taking and changing appointments. However, deciding on a booking solution is anything but easy, so what can you do to quickly whittle the list of potentials down to a reasonable size?
The ideal approach is to present a next-gen scheduling solution to your clients and stylists via a POS-integrated app. Scheduling becomes simplified, thanks to the high level of transparency and the control it gives to clients. Clients can view the availability of their favorite stylist, and book the appointment. And, since many of these solutions allow you to add time allowances per each service, the number of late-running appointments will be drastically lower than those of your competition, giving your salon yet another edge.
#4 Let Your POS Solution Pull it All Together
The impact that a feature-rich POS platform can have on your salon from day one will help you to beat the odds. The advantages that a modern POS system provides for you include using the modern business gold standard of data to drive change and adjustments from top to bottom. Scheduling, managing staff and payroll, and using sales data to predict customer behaviors will leave you with a decisive operating edge immediately.
Your ideal solution should include time-saving features such as:
- Transparent fee scheduling
- Cloud-based scheduling and appointment booking
- Inventory control and customizable bundle/special/discount options
- Customer loyalty and gift card programs
- Employee management and manager access functions
- In-depth data analytics and intuitive reporting dashboards
#5 Open a Hair Salon with Confidence
With the right POS platform in place, you can open a hair salon without sacrificing your quest to instill your creative vision throughout your business. Your clients will be engaged and become invested in your business as they see you listen and respond to their feedback. Not only will this technology help you to build a long-lasting, successful business model, but it will shorten the hours it takes to do so.
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