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Keys to Success: Expanding Your Client Base
When you've found all the clients you can attract to your business, how do you keep expanding your business? Many hairdressers and beauty salons get caught up in trying to “steal” clients from other salons, while preventing their existing clients from switching. It's a dangerous game to play, particularly since some consumers are stubborn about the brands and salons they're loyal to.
That's why it can be hard to attract new clients – everyone already has a hairdresser or beauty salon of choice, and probably won't switch unless they start to strongly dislike their favorite place, they move, or you offer them a better deal, higher-quality services, or something similar.
Expanding your client base is one way to expand your business – specifically by reaching out into markets you aren't targeting right now. If you focus on general women's hair styles and cuts, you appeal to a broad cross-section of the population, but you're still missing many smaller markets that might be reluctant to go to a “general” salon.
Look at specializing in one or two areas that you really enjoy. For instance, you could specialize in and practice bridal hair styles and cuts, vintage styles, or punk cuts. These are three very different markets that all seem to fit within the women's general hair stylist category, but customers from each market are often reluctant to frequent a salon that isn't known specifically for being good at that area.
You should probably choose three specialty areas maximum, and even that might be pushing it, unless you have a large salon, are working with several stylists, or have a reputation for delivering the best in each category. It's hard to maintain your reputation in more than a couple of niche markets, after all.
Furthermore, you probably want to make sure the specialties you choose are either compatible or don't detract from one another. Specializing in “granny cuts” won't win you any favor among the punk style community, and vice versa. Vintage and bridal hair, however, aren't mutually exclusive, and some women may even love what you can bring to one area with your knowledge of the other.
If you already have training or experience in your chosen specialty, then you're several steps ahead. All you have to do is start marketing it! If you haven't yet gotten the experience, however, try to practice however possible, take additional education or training, and otherwise do your best to show that you know what you're doing in these areas.
Once you're ready to market yourself, remember that you can market two or three different aspects of your hair stylist experience. One beauty salon ad could appeal to general women's cuts still, while you could place additional ads for the chosen specialties.
Getting a toehold in the market is critical. Once you do that, you can ask happy customers in your new niche to recommend your salon to others who are looking for a stylist in that area. Clients will spread the word if they love what you're doing, and if they know that you're looking to get more clients in this niche.
Through expanding your client base by choosing specialties, you can ensure that your business continues to grow, even when you think you've attracted all the clients you can.