4 ways to future-proof your beauty business
One of the joys of being alive in 2018 is how connected we are as a global community. From Manchester to Melbourne, and Bristol to Berlin, the internet offers an immediate gateway into other worlds that hold more possibilities than we ever dreamed of.
We can share a friend’s journey as they road trip across the USA, get business advice from an expert in Sweden or splurge on the latest Korean skincare, and we can do it all without ever having to leave the house.
The ideas and ideals of our friends and family no longer confine us, and the patterns of thinking shared by people in our postcode no longer define who we are. Yet, as a salon owner, how often do you draw on this endless stream of inspiration to fine-tune the way you do business?
Here’s four ways to keep your finger on the pulse and push through the information fatigue to future-proof your business.
Sure, you’re no scientist or statistician, but if you’ve already made the switch from advertising in your local paper to investing in your Instagram feed, you’re already halfway there. Whether you realise it or not, you’ve made a decision based on current consumer habits.
Understanding consumer behaviour (how your clients think) should inform every single decision you make. If you don’t know who they are following on social media or what they’re up to this weekend, it’s time to find out.
All this info will help you hone your approach so you can build authentic connections with your community, which will ultimately translate to more paying customers. If you’re interested, I highly recommend doing some Googling about the way people’s emotions affect their spending habits too, I promise it’s more interesting than it sounds.
Draw inspiration from others
Today’s everyday technology in one industry is tomorrow’s ground-breaking innovation in another. Take the travel industry, for example. They’ve been asking guests to pay upfront when they book a hotel room or flight since forever. Why? Because they know that people are more likely to show up if they’ve already parted with their cold, hard cash.
This thinking has recently been translated into the hair and beauty industry, with big benefits for salons and spas. If you can spot a trend and implement it in your business before the masses get to it, you’re sure to gain the competitive edge.
So, don’t just turn to award-winning salons or your favourite hair and beauty brands for inspiration – take a look further afield and you might be surprised at what you discover.
Don’t become “Blockbusters”
When’s the last time you rented a video? Yep, there’s a reason why these guys are no longer at the top of their game: it’s because they stuck stubbornly to their guns and refused to innovate. Convinced that online streaming was a passing craze, they clung to their outdated stores and even more outdated business model, and watched as their world (and share price) came crashing down.
Don’t have a Blockbusters moment. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “I’m already killing it, I’m sweet,” because, let me tell you, tomorrow’s business superstars are today’s boundary-pushers and risk-takers – not the guy who’s sitting at the back of the bar, patting himself on the back with a self-congratulatory glass of whiskey in hand.
Creativity and longevity go together like tea and toast, so if you want your business to be thriving in 10 years’ time it’s time to start challenging the status quo. Encourage creative conversations with your team and collaborators and become hungry for new ideas – your business will be so much more likely to stand the test of time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Let me tell you a true story. Last month, I had a new washing machine delivered and the hose was one inch too short. No problems, I told myself. Armed with blithe optimism and the delivery guy’s dubious advice, I dashed off to Bunnings for supplies and dived right in. Needless to say, it did not end well.
You know what? This mistake was a valuable lesson in knowing my limits. I learned the hard way that sometimes it is perfectly acceptable to admit defeat and call in the experts. Just don’t leave it until you’re a damp mess of defeat sitting in a growing puddle of water in the middle of your laundry floor.
Something tells me you’ve got a bit of common sense. You wouldn’t try to fit out your entire salon without calling in an expert, and you definitely wouldn’t try to re-plumb your entire laundry without phoning a friend. So, when it comes to wrapping your head around the latest tech, get professional advice. We’re here to help, after all.
Shortcuts is the leading salon software provider for the hair, beauty and male grooming industries.