Competition...It's fierce and it's welcomed.

Updated: Feb 12, 2019

Hair salons are like coffee shops, there's one on every corner and usually more than one on the same street. How will you ensure your salon or spa stands out from the crowd?

Eighty percent (80%) of salons fail within the first two years of business. Reasons include poor financial management, lack of knowledge of the industry and/or industry standards, and failing to deliver upon customer expectations.

“The Salon Industry is now worth more than $150 Billion dollars annually and since 2003 it has been growing at a 5.5% annual growth rate.” (Regis Corporation Statistic) "The driving force behind the tremendous growth is raising consumer demand.” (Statistics Canada)

According to the preliminary findings of the 2007 Spa Industry Study by the International Spa Association (ISPA), the spa industry is maturing. The number of salons and spas is still growing, but overall revenues are down. Revenues are dropping as more salons and spas are opened. The economic downturn brought change in the consumer; salon clients are more aware of value received for money spent and have high customer service expectations. They will no longer give a salon or stylist a “second chance”.

With competition comes a challenging recruiting process. Industry graduates and professionals have a choice as to where they work and often do their research (secret shop, web search, etc) before applying for an advertised position. Many salons and spas are offering signing bonuses, benefits, and profit sharing to their employees. Employee retention ensures consistency in service delivery, relationship building, and referrals; thus directly impacting client retention.

Salon Skipper is a concept developed in response to the de-regulation (in most of Canada and being propsed in many States) and growth (competition within) of the salon/spa industry. Salon owners now, more than ever, need salon business education (i.e. benchmarking, staff and client retention, and inventory control), assistance in developing effective promotions, and statistical and trend information. It is crucial to the success of a salon to develop systems and procedures for cost control, to bring in new clients, retain existing clients, and to deliver more value to their customers.

While competition is fierce, it should be welcomed. Merriam-Webster defines competition in business as "the effort of two or more parties acting independently to secure the business of a third party by offering the most favorable terms". It is competition that encourages the creation of new products, services, and promotions which give salon and spa consumers a greater selection of, and better, products and services. Competition also provides the opportunity to re-evaluate your business practices, re-structure your company, and set new goals for success.

Consider building alliances with your competition, sometimes your worst enemies become your best friends. Work together to elevate the industry standards: share ideas for success, combine education dollars, and fund-raise for charities. Alliances are mutually beneficial. Learn from your competition and allow them to learn from you, remember that having someone "borrow" your ideas (and vice versa) is the greatest form of flattery.

You will stand out from the crowd by inventing creative promotions, offering client loyalty and referral programs, incorporating added value into your services, maintaining excellent client relation management, and delivering 100% guest service and satisfaction.

Don't be a statistic, be a success!!!

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