My coaching clients are encouraged to ask me as many questions as they want to find a solution to their problems. Probably the top question I get asked is “How can I get more new clients?”. I must admit I find this question a little frustrating. Not because the salon wouldn’t benefit from new clients, but more so why they continuously need more new clients, above all else. The questions that flow into my mind when I hear this are: • What problem are you trying to solve by getting more new clients? • Are there better ways to solve this problem? Let’s explore these alternate questions a little more deeply. I’m going to make an assumption here. That assumption is that the problem that needs to be solved is actually a lack of profit rather than a lack of new clients. Not just more money in revenue, but the real profit that’s left over after you’ve paid expenses and yourself. The reason I’m making this assumption is that without profit there is no business growth. Without profit, your business cannot sustain itself. Without profit, it’s almost impossible to maintain personal enthusiasm and momentum which are the core elements required for success. So the actual problem isn’t really about getting more new clients, but about using a multitude of strategies that will create a more profitable business. Here’s what I usually find when I dig a little deeper into the situation… In the majority of cases, salons are way too focused on gaining new clients and not focused enough on keeping the clients they already have. When I review statistics for salon owners who ask me about new client attraction, what I see in nearly all cases is a steady and reasonable number of new clients who find the salon organically. These are often clients who either see the salon as they are passing by, or are sometimes referred by friends. The other thing I see is that they are losing clients as fast as they are gaining them, which of course is the real problem. My approach to solving the real problem of profit deficiency is always multi-pronged and generally, goes something like this… 1. Dramatically reduce the loss of your existing clients. There are multiple strategies you can implement to help you achieve this, but whatever can be done, must be done. 2. Increase your profit margin. This means either reducing the expense involved in providing your services or increase your prices (or both). 3. Find ways to sell more to each existing client. This can be achieved through up-selling services e.g. Basic facial to an advanced facial, add-on selling e.g. Selling additional services to each client or selling product. 4. Source new clients to replace those that leave. This is probably the most expensive step in the entire profit-generation process. 5. Reduce expenses. Particularly wages (which are often one of the highest and most overpaid expenses in any business). As you can see, in my opinion gaining new clients is only a small part of the real solution to the problem of how to increase profits. It’s number 4 on my list of 5, so I don’t actually consider it to be anywhere near the top in terms of priority. If you’re focusing on just gaining new clients constantly, you’re ignoring the real solution to your actual problem and therefore not investing your time and money in the right place. So, if you choose to constantly try to solve your profit problem by sourcing new clients, then I leave you to do so. However, if you want to really grow your business in a more sustainable and realistic way, you must think past simply gaining new clients and instead focus on gaining more profit.