How To Make Your Salon Stand Out From The Competition

Are you a new or current salon owner? Are you looking for sure-fire ways to attract new patrons or even just to simply reinvigorate your business with some new bells and whistles? With more than 80,000 salons in the U.S. accounting for roughly 20 billion dollars in annual sales, the competition for a piece of the pie is exponential. As you continue reading, this article will detail how to make your salon stand out from the competition.

The three simple, tried-and-true ways to make your salon stand out from the competition are to offer superior guest service, build a reputation for quality through talent acquisition and premium products, and to offer a variety of services to capture the broadest audience possible. With these tools in your toolbox, you will undoubtedly set your salon apart from all of the rest!

| Guests vs. Customers |

Your first task in setting yourself apart from the competition is to transform your “customer” service mentality into a “guest” service mentality. With so many other salons to compete with, every person that walks into your salon is an opportunity to make a raving fan. Show them that you are willing to go above and beyond just for them. Treat them like a guest in your home as opposed to just another customer. You must adopt the idea that every customer that enters your business is not merely there to get a haircut or have their nails done, but they are a guest that has come to experience your welcoming style of hospitality. This approach will not only make an unforgettable first impression but will resound with new guests and encourage them to return in anticipation of a consistently genial experience.

Listed here are the four pillars upon which to build your pantheon of salon hospitality.

  1. Make “YES” the answer – Make this your mantra! Going above and beyond in this aspect will instantly endear your salon to your guests. Allowing them to get exactly what they want, every time, without compromise will make your salon their first choice. Every time.
  2. Spa Chair Therapy– Remember that everyone that walks in for a haircut also has at least a hundred other things going on in their day when they do so. The salon has always been the spot for gossip and a safe space to confide in someone you see on a semi-regular basis. The ability to read the room, so to speak, will allow you to effectively interact with everyone that sits down in your chair with an amount of tailored attention. A genuine attitude is a go-to mood to wear, but empathizing with whoever sits in your chair is also a must!
  3. Communication – Clear and effective communication ensures that the guest gets what they want, exactly how they want it. This also means saving them from themselves when they come in for that outrageous hairstyle or nail color.
  4. Attention To Detail – This goes a bit deeper than merely paying attention to how they like their bangs. Attention to the finer details allows you to get to know each guest that sits in your chair on a deeper level. This will further improve their experience time and time again. Recognizing and remembering their preferences makes them feel like a V.I.P. each time they walk into your salon.

| Quality Built Service |

How To Make Your Salon Stand Out From The Competition

With more than 700,000 people currently employed in the beauty care industry (, finding the right people to stack your bench with talent is imperative. With the competition for repeat business driven by the quality and consistency of service, getting the best people for each of the specialized positions needed at your salon will set your business apart from all others. Having a talented professional heading each segment of the different services provided at your salon also allows you to market your salon for more than just a simple cut or style. There are a few different avenues to explore when talking about talent acquisition. 

  1. Scout – Recognizing which schools in your area have the most rigorous and diversified curriculum is step one in recruiting young talent to build for the future. Staffing with young professionals not only brings new creative energy to your business but allows you to stay on top of new trends and plan for the future at a cost-effective rate.
  2. Experience Just like in any other profession, the positive prior experience offers a good basis for recruitment. Hiring someone who already has a solid background in their field gives you peace of mind and saves your business money on training dollars. Recruiting experienced beauticians can also have residual benefits in regards to enticing their loyal client base into defecting to your salon. 
  3. Money Talks Offering a wage on the higher end of the competitive median entices quality prospects to accept your offer to come onboard at your salon. If you like them and they fit your needs, make them an offer they can’t refuse. Offering even a little more than you think you should not only show the prospective team member that they are valued but will keep them from considering their options for the foreseeable future.

Along with recruiting quality talent to staff your salon, you should also consider the products that you offer as well. If a client’s hair color fades quickly or their nail color chips they will, inevitably, question your services. Only stocking great products, to use as well as sell, will give you an edge up and help build your reputation for quality and value. Because product sales offer higher margins than services and account for roughly 25% of revenue in salons (FirstResearch), it is key that you offer reputable name brand items in a well-displayed area of your salon. Think of this as a small, in-store marketing opportunity in addition to the potential sales that it could generate.

Not sure where to find good employees? Check out our guide HERE!

| Full Body Beauty Services |

Full Body Beauty Services

Just as with any business, you’ll need to always be seeking out ways to improve upon your current business outlook. One of the many ways to do this is to add on additional services; some at no cost. Modern-day salons offer more than just a cut and a style. So, to be competitive, your salon must diversify the services that it offers. Below are lists of both basic and extended services that you could make available at your salon that are more than just the cut and color (PDH Beauty).

  1. Shampoo and Conditioner – Though most salons do this already, this is an opportunity for a little extra touch that sets you apart. Recognizing that your client needs a leave-in conditioner, showing off that eucalyptus shampoo that’s on your shelf, or giving a quick scalp massage are all small examples of making your experience memorable.
  2. Perms or Relaxing Hair – Common techniques taught in schools that smaller salons tend not to have the equipment for. Adding even one specialized chair for this could end up bringing in additional revenue.
  3. Weaves and Extensions – Adding these services will allow you to reach into a different market altogether. Not only making hair shorter but also having the ability to make it longer helps you cater to yet another demographic entirely.
  4. Massage Therapy – Who says that a salon can only make you look good? It should make you feel good too! Adding a masseuse to your staff offers your salon the opportunity to be a one-stop-shop for self-care.
  5. Aromatherapy – Whether this is a personalized experience or something that you do to create a relaxing atmosphere for the entire salon your guests will, undoubtedly, remember this aspect of your business.
  6. Facials – This one should be an easy up-sell every time! Who doesn’t want a facial after their haircut?
  7. Mani, Pedi – Doing manicures and pedicures used to be a stand-alone service on its own. Now, salons that are offering these services in addition to cutting hair can capture another group of clients that they weren’t able to before. 
  8. Blowouts – A very trendy procedure currently that allows a stylist to add volume and gloss for special occasions.

In addition to offering some, or all, of these different services, some salons have also gone as far as to install full working bars in their establishments. Offering cocktails or even simply just coffee drinks to the menu of self-care services that you offer can help increase revenue exponentially. As with the products that you sell, the margins on selling cocktails or wine can be upwards of three to four times the amount that they wholesale for! This also offers a comfortable and trendy atmosphere for guests, or uncomfortable husbands, to wait at while offering your salon another easy revenue stream.

With these three simple concepts, you now have the tools to set your salon apart from the competition. Even exploring just one of these ideas will invigorate your business and bring new avenues for revenue and ultimately, repeat business. Success is yours for the taking!

| Related Questions |

Best Operating Hours for Your Salon

What are some other small, no-cost services that you could offer at your salon?

You could do complimentary eyebrow trimming or hot towel service as little ways to improve the guest experience.

Are there avenues for continued education for salon workers?

Yes! There are both online and in-person courses. You can attend for continued education and to stay up to date on new styles, trends, and techniques.

Should you consider offering discounts to generate new business?

Though this is one of the first things that a business owner considers to generate business, it is a short-sighted tactic. Offering quality service consistently is the best way to obtain repeat business and bring in new business as well.

Looking to start your own Salon? Get the documents you need to get organized and funded here.

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.