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Know Your Clientele, Research the Market

September 21, 2011

Shift in Demographics

A shift in your clients’ demographics can have a profound impact on the way you conduct your business. For example, in normal times you would typically focus on your loyal clientele to increase your revenues. However, if they are cutting back and reducing their spending, you need to start looking at your not so loyal clientele; the ones who come to you for some services and retail, but are clearly not giving you their whole pie. For your salon or spa to attract their business you must first determine what their needs are and then close the gap. This may require that you retool or review your processes, services, assortment and offering. Perhaps they are looking for a younger and hipper salon, or something more trendy and less expensive at retail? There is no way to know unless you start doing some research.

Market Research

So where do you start? The first step is to purchase good salon software (if you don’t already have it). Nowadays, salon software systems are far more than just a computerized appointment book and cash register. Look for software that has a built-in marketing module and data mining capabilities; meaning the software is able to dig into your consumer files and retrieve their purchase and service history, average transaction information, response to past promotions, and any fluctuations in their purchasing patterns. Once computerized, the next step is to ensure you are using salon/spa software to its fullest capacity. Do you run client file accuracy and completion reports to assess the accuracy of the information you are gathering? Do you track your customer’s pre-booking frequency or your inventory turn-over by category and by brand? Are you comparing figures from this year to those of previous years? Do you analyze your vendor performance in terms of return on investment, sell-through, and profit margin? If not, then enroll yourself in your software provider’s webinars or contact their call center to figure out what more you can be doing with your system.

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