The news that a record number of salons opened last year will come as no surprise to most business owners, who have long been feeling the impact of increased competition on the high street.
While a rise in salon numbers is certainly a positive sign for the industry as a whole, signalling buoyancy and strong client demand for treatments (see page 13 for the full story), it also makes it tougher for existing salons to stand out and retain clients. For many, when faced with a drop in footfall, the first instinct is to compete on price.
Although that’s rarely a long-term strategy, there can be a place for strategic discounting to retain loyalty while you take a fresh look at your offer and switch it up if necessary. Hellen Ward shares her experience of doing just that on page 51, opening up about the mistakes she learned from when trying to compete with the low-cost nail bars.
Of course, long-term loyalty usually comes from developing the sort of relationships with clients that can’t be replicated overnight by any new salon that pops up down the road. It can be hard to make sure all your therapists reflect your passion for service, but as Aromatherapy Associates chief executive Tracey Woodward explains on page 55, drawing up a set procedure for how to welcome and communicate with guests in your salon can be a great starting point to getting younger therapists more confident in dealing with clients from all walks of life.
One of the best ways to set yourself apart from your competitors is by winning a Professional Beauty Award. So, as the 2018 awards open for entries, we take a look at the top 10 reasons to get involved. From fantastic media coverage to valuable feedback, find out how entering will boost your business on page 26.
And if you need any more inspiration, check out our interview with PB’s Therapist of the Year 2017 Jody Adele Taylor on page 64, where she explains how developing a specialism was key to helping her stand out from the competition.
Eve Oxberry - EDITOR