When business is a little slow, the first strategy many salon owners turn to is discounting their services. While discounting may seem like a sure-fire way to get people into your salon, it could also be a sure-fire way of going broke.
As a business coach and mentor, I believe discounting is simply a substitute for good marketing. Instead of helping the salon owner grow her business, it can instead lead a business into a downward spiral, where clients become no longer willing to pay full price for their services.
When you discount your services, the client believes that you can afford to do so and still make a profit. They simply don’t believe that you would offer a service for less than it costs to deliver.
Also, once a client receives a discounted service, it’s almost impossible to get her to pay full price for that service again. It no longer has the same value to her, and she’ll hang out until it comes back on special.
This is a lose-lose situation for both of you.
Something that many salon owners don’t realise is that with the high cost of the products and specialised equipment required to provide many of today’s up-to-the-minute treatments, there’s really not that big a profit margin to play around with.
Even a small discount on services may mean you’re providing your services at less than cost.
What’s the solution?
If you can’t discount your services, what do you offer to entice your clients into your salon? Well, without a doubt you must learn how to effectively value-add. This means always maintaining the integrity of your prices for your primary services, and offering extra value to your clients using your secondary services.
What are primary and secondary services?
Each salon will be a little different depending on their specialities. Primary services are those that should be your big revenue earners. For salons who’ve invested a lot of money in equipment, it would be the services provided using that equipment.
If your salon is built around providing cutting edge facials, then you must never discount those facials, as these are your primary services. Perhaps your clinic is all about body treatments, and if so, these treatments are your primary services.
Secondary services need to meet two main criteria. They must be
- inexpensive product -wise, and
- quick to provide
And when it comes to using them for value-adding purposes, they must also meet a third criterion, and that is the client must appreciate their value.
If your salon is a little quiet, and you have more time available than money, this is the only way to offer a special or run a promotion. It not only maintains the integrity of your important services but also gives your clients a little something extra to enjoy.
How to implement this marketing strategy.
Take a few minutes to identify and list your primary services, and then do the same for your secondary services. Use the criteria provided earlier.
Once you’ve created your lists, use them when developing your special offer or promotion. It will be much easier to create a profitable offer, and you’ll be able to provide something worthwhile to your clients while ensuring you won’t make a loss on your most important (primary) services.
Remember, your special offer should never be sold at less than the total value of all the primary services being offered.
Now you can forever say goodbye to discounting your salon services.