When is it OK to discount in your salon?

What do you do when you have white space in you diary? Most salons offer a discount on treatments. We used to do this in our salon and it was great as it filled up the diary and got the salon busy. 

However, we then realised we were upsetting some clients who were already booked in, and we were having to discount them as well, so we were losing even more revenue. 

We looked into this to see if it was financially beneficial and we found that there was nothing to be gained apart from making the salon look busy. All our profit had gone out of the treatment and we were using products, and then re-ordering, to do clients who were paying full price.

Nevertheless, discounts do have their advantages. For example, if you are a new salon and you’re looking to build your clientele, then you do have to offer something to build your client base. Make sure you are making the most of it by ensuring you are wowing the client while they are there and making sure they re-book. You can also try upselling their next treatment or retailing products.

However, you should be strategic in what you are discounting. Don’t discount your most popular treatments that you know will always get booked in (such as nails). Instead, choose something that does not get booked regularly to introduce your clients to something new that they may have again in the future.

Finally, if you are want to offer discounts to clients – and we all know clients love discounts – create a VIP scheme. This is where clients pay a fee to join then receive discounts all year round on treatments, products and courses. We have done this in our salon. It has worked fantastically for us and clients think they are special being a VIP at the salon.

 Gemma Holt is the owner of Lily’s Beauty Salon in Whitchurch, Shropshire, and has worked in the industry for 20 years.