The 5 Key Strategies to Building a Strong, Loyal Clientele and Maximize Your Earnings as a Stylist!
There are so many different strategies out there that are meant to help you grow your business behind the chair it can be a bit overwhelming and confusing. How much time do you actually want to spend trying to figure out which strategies work? It doesn’t have to be so complicated. You can keep trying to do the same things with little to no results or you can simplify things by utilizing the 5 Keys to Building a Strong, Loyal Client Base and Maximize Your Earnings. These strategies alone can help you grow your business and take you to the next level no matter where you are in your career.
1. New Client Acquisition (NCA) New Client Acquisition measures the average number of new clients that you service per month. How do you measure New Client Acquisition? If you have software that produces this report, use it religiously. If you’re not automated, you can easily figure it out with a pen and paper. Divide the new client count by the total number of clients you serve in a particular period (1 week or 1 month). That is your New Client Acquisition.
Example: If you acquired 5 NEW clients in a month and you serviced 80 clients during that time, your New Client Acquisition is 16%. 80 divided by 5 equals 16%.
It’s smart to aim for at least 15-20% or higher for new client acquisition because It’s common to lose approximately 10% per year on average. Mostly for various reasons that are out of your control.
By acquiring at least 15-20% New Clients, the 10% loss is easily absorbed and you can still maintain a steady growth rate of at least 5-10%. What would an increase like that mean to you? New Client Acquisition is a must if you want to your business to grow, stay motivated and avoid burnout. When you focus on New Client Acquisition, your income, flexibility and lifestyle will flourish. Make it a priority to take your business to the next level. Every business needs new customers to grow. Yours is no different.
2. New Client Retention (NCR) New Client Retention measures the total number of new clients who return usually within 90 days of their first visit. NCR is important for obvious reasons. Gaining loyal clients, right? But the real significance goes a little deeper. Unfortunately, the national average for NCR is roughly 35%. This means that nearly 7 out of 10 new clients do NOT come back. You cannot grow a business by only having a 35% retention rate. 40%-50% is better but 60%-80% is excellent.
If you are experiencing low new client retention rates don’t worry. This can be improved. The important thing is to discover what your current NCR is. If you don’t know where you are, you can’t possibly get to where you want to go. It doesn’t matter if it’s high or low. You just needs to be track it so you can determine whether you need to maintain or improve your new client retention rate. Your growth depends on New Client Retention. It’s your reputation. It’s up to YOU to position yourself with an outstanding New Client Retention rate if you want to see your business grow.
3. Average Service Ticket (AST) Average Service Ticket measures the average dollar amount a guest spends per transaction. The goal obviously is to increase your average service ticket. This is done by utilizing 3 key strategies daily.
Add-on services during the dry consultation
Recommend other services and treatments when you make discoveries during client’s services
Upsell other services at the time of scheduling clients’ appointments.
These three techniques alone will not only increase your revenues, they will also position you as an expert stylist who cares about your clients’ needs and wants - you are looking out for their best interest. Do this daily for 30 days and you’ll see the difference. Do it for a year and you’ll make an impact. Start gauging your Average Service Ticket today.
It amazes me to see how much money hair stylists and other service providers leave on the table when it comes to increasing their client service ticket. And it’s not only money they’re leaving behind. It’s professionalism, trust from the client and it demonstrates a lack of expertise.
Look at this scenario: A client is scheduled for a haircut. You do a dry consultation and discover that their hair is dry or dull. You offer a hydration treatment, gloss or color service and you just increased your ticket by that difference. This alone can substantially increase your income. But it’s not only about the money. It also builds trust and loyalty from your clients. They will view you as a true professional and know that you are looking out for their best interest.
How much is a conditioning treatment? Add it! A Gloss? Add it! Color Service? Offer it to a client when they are scheduling! Face-Frame Highlights? You get the picture. Don’t leave all this money on the table! Your business and livelihood depend on you tracking your Average Service Ticket.
List a few add-on services that your clients could benefit from and increase your AST.
4. Frequency of Visit (FOV) Frequency of visit (FOV) measures the average number of times a guest visits the salon per year.
If you want to increase your revenues, one of the easiest things you can do is increase your FOV. The more often a client visits per year, the more money they’ll spend. There are so many other benefits when your FOV is high. But that’s for another segment. I want to keep this simple. Look at the chart below to see what 1, 2 or even 3 more client visits per year can do to your bottom line. Focus on getting your clients to visit more often. Research shows that clients who do not pre-book their appointments usually wait approximately 2-3 weeks before realizing that they need a haircut. And sometimes it takes 1-2 weeks to get in due to scheduling conflicts. They can literally go a whole month PAST DUE before a salon visit. OUCH! No wonder why the Industry FOV average is so low. It’s also no wonder why that when they finally do make it in, their biggest complaints are that they’ve been trying to get in for weeks and that they’ve been struggling with their hair.
The main to this problem is… PRE-BOOK! By pre-booking you not only keep your clients hair looking great all the way to their next appointment but you also secure and increase your income. WIN! WIN!
Here’s a simple rule to follow when pre-booking your clients:
Short hair 3-4 weeks
Medium length hair 4-6 weeks
Long hair 6-8 weeks.
Do more short haircuts is what I say lol.
One more thing regarding pre-booking. Always pre-book before they pay. When a client pays, they feel that the service is complete and they are ready to leave. If they have to do one more thing afterwards, it becomes an inconvenience and they’ll most likely opt to call you when they are ready. This means back to low FOV and continued struggles with their hair.
How much does your Average Service Ticket need to be to make $100k per year? What if your AST is $40, $50, $60 or $125?
The higher your average service ticket, the less clients you will need and it takes about 200 clients to have a full book.
5. Productivity Productivity is simply a measurement of how busy stylists or other service providers are versus their scheduled hours. Example: If you are scheduled to work 40 hours a week and you are busy servicing clients for 20 of those hours then your productivity is 50%. If you are busy 30 of those hours, then your productivity is 75%. 20 divided by 40 or 30 divided by 40. The importance of knowing your productivity is to help you determine when to raise your prices. It’s simply based on the basic business principles of “supply and demand.” Before raising your prices though, you should have a high productivity rate. The goal should be anything above 80% productivity.
When you find that you are 80-100% productive, then you should strongly consider a price increase. How much is completely up to you. But here are a few guidelines to help get you in the mood.
An all across the board price increase. In this case you might want to keep your increase to around 10%. I like to round it off to the nearest dollar to avoid a price like $42.50.
Increase your prices on a specific service(s). Haircuts only or Color services only.
New client price increase. Only increase the prices to new clients. Make sure you have a good New Client Acquisition and Good New Client Retention rate.
Combination of all or some of the above.
Ultimately, it’s up to you. Play around with different scenarios and implement what feels most comfortable to you. Implement “The 5 Key Growth Strategies” immediately and take control of your business and your future. Each one of these strategies are unmistakably powerful by themselves. But by combining all five strategies could send your career and your income to heights very few ever reach.
I always have hair stylists asking me how I grew such a strong and loyal clientele and how I am able to charge the prices that I charge. Part of my secret is doing exactly what I shared with you in this article. I use these same strategies daily and it helps me stay on track. I also strive to provide exceptional value to my clients. That’s how I am able to continuously perform at such high levels for so many years.
“When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” -Benjamin Franklin
My goal is to provide you with valuable information and tools you can implement and benefit from. If you find value in this article, please comment and share with 3 other stylists. It would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions regarding this article or anything else that pertains to growing your business, please ask you questions below. I love hearing from you. Your feedback is valuable. I learn from people who engage and I am always striving to improve the quality of my content.
My promise to you: To continue to improve and provide you with helpful, quality tools that help you reach high performance levels in your business and personally and help make a difference to all who want more in life.
“Your focus determines your outcome”
-Michael Sesko Hairstylist, Salon Owner, Coach, Mentor, Trainer and Creator of Masters Hair Academy ™ and Total Salon Blue Print™. Helping Hair Stylists and Salon Owners reach high performance levels in their businesses and personal lives and making a difference.