Anyone who enjoys being outdoors - maybe in a park, or forest, or gardening - knows that this time of year is, well… kind of dead. Or at least it seems that way at first sight. The beautiful colors of Fall have gone, and now the ground is rock hard. It's cold, there could be snow, and those lazy days of summer seem a very distant dream.
And yet, look more closely. There may be signs of tiny buds on the branches of trees. Beneath the soil, seeds are making their first attempts to push up to the light. So although it seems like most of nature is fast asleep, we know that there's a whole heap of stuff going on. Take squirrels - those clever guys who lay in a stock of food at the start of winter, then hunker down for a long snooze. They’ve figured out that when the weather gets warmer, they will wake again, reach for their stack of acorns and engage with the coming spring.
You know what? We humans aren't so different. Except sometimes we're not as smart as the squirrels. We know that warmer, better, sweeter times are coming. But do we plant the seeds or lay in our food stock for the future? Strangely, often the answer is No.
Let's see how that fits with Spas and Salons across the country - in particular, those already offering laser hair removal, or considering it. Right now, it may feel like the chill winds of winter are blowing through our industry, but just as spring sunshine follows the snows, things will get better. The pandemic effects are slowing, and perhaps most importantly, there is a huge desire of people to get back to normal life and ‘business as usual’. Whatever the rules are, whatever the economic indicators, it's time to start looking good and feeling great again. The esthetics industry plays a huge and vital part in that for very many people. So just as the seeds planted in the garden will start coming through as the weather warms, so too will plans made now come good in the very near future.
But here's the trick: those plans have to be in active development now.
It’s true that America is so big that the weather is not the same, stretching from Alaska to Hawaii, but winter is still winter - sometimes very mild, sometimes harsh. It’s also true that some States have suffered less than others in the pandemic, but for Salons and Spas everywhere there have been really tough times. Many have been just hanging on in there, holding their breath to see when the market will warm up again. Naturally that has meant caution about investing in new equipment, and taking new initiatives, but now is the time to plan for a better future.
There are many ways that an Esthetics business can gear up for better times. Here are some suggestions:
Let’s take each of these in turn.
OK, it’s not Spring yet, but let’s start planning! Spring Cleaning is a great tradition that goes back centuries - with the brighter light and longer days people tackled dusty corners, cleaned the windows and aired the beds. Of course we’re not suggesting that Spas and Salons need cleaning, but there’s a strong chance that some refreshment would be a good idea.
As an owner, can you see your business through the eyes of a customer? How fresh is the paintwork, how soothing are the colors? If you have plants in the reception area, are they well-cared for, or looking kinda tired? And what about those pictures on the wall? They were good a few years ago, but now… Well, let’s say that things need sprucing up.
Looking at the business with the critical eyes of a new or returning customer isn’t likely to result in big spending, which is a large plus point. A lick of fresh paint here or there, or even laying out the waiting area in a different way may be all that’s needed to accomplish a makeover. Think always: “Is this place truly welcoming, and professional-looking?” If there’s any part that isn't, then attend to it.
And if you can put hand on heart and say, ‘Yes, this place really does look great’, then congratulations, you have a modern business ready for the uptick in customers. In which case, let’s move on.
The majority of esthetics business owners are not marketing experts, and are likely the first to admit it. They’re in business because they love what they do - and are ‘people people’, who like working with customers and giving great esthetic advice and treatments. But marketing, what’s that?
Well, no matter how good your staff are, or how refreshed the premises are, that doesn’t count for much if no-one knows you exist. And don’t rely simply on returning customers. We’ve all experienced ‘the great reset’, where we’ve stopped doing the things we used to do (just look at how many people now work from home rather than a traditional office). Customers for Salons are the same - they have broken with their old habits and even if they used your services in the past, that’s no guarantee they will in the future. Perhaps there are new, more marketing-aware Salons just around the corner. Your old customers might easily consider giving those a try if you are being a little shy about promoting your activities.
Marketing doesn’t have to be a big deal, in terms of effort, and it certainly doesn’t have to be costly. In fact, at its most basic level, it’s free, and simply about talking with your chosen group. Thanks to the many forms of Social Media available, that’s incredibly easy to do. If you already have a Facebook or Instagram (or whatever) presence, then great! But are you keeping it refreshed with frequent postings? If the answer is No, then get going! You don’t have to be wordy, or complicated. Show people something simple, such as an image of your premises or staff. Invite your customers to dialog with you by asking them questions: ‘Who’s ready for some TLC?’, or ‘What have you missed most in the last 2 years?’
It doesn’t really matter what the answers are, because the important thing is that you start a conversation.
Here’s the key thing though: keep at it! Sometimes owners say, ‘Oh yes, I tried that for a coupla weeks and only got 7 followers and zero replies.’ Well, it takes time, dedication and stick-ability, but in the end your marketing will pay off as you slowly build an audience which is exactly interested in the messages you have for them.
Those messages aren’t just ‘chit chat’ either. Marketing can encompass all kinds of offers, deals and voucher schemes. Think about special times of the year, like Spring Break, the Summer Vacation period, or - later on - Thanksgiving and Christmas. All of these are milestones in the year, and in people’s lives, when Salons and Spas can really help them feel great by looking good. It doesn’t take a lot of creative thinking about what’s upcoming next in the way of holidays and special events, to see that building a mini-marketing program can really raise interest. It’s a simple choice: do you wait for ‘passing trade’ to find a way to your door, or do you get proactive, using easily-achievable marketing tools and techniques to boost business?
One of the very best ways of making a marketing splash is to be able to talk about significant improvements in the business. That might be by announcing a new Cosmetician joining the company, or making an upgrade to key equipment. Laser hair removal has long been both an important feature for many esthetics businesses, which customers seek out, but also an area of worrying high outlay, for relatively poor returns.
That second point has now decisively changed with the arrival of the European market-leading laser hair removal device, Elysion Pro. This isn't the place to make a pitch on the many features and benefits of this game-changing system, but it’s enough to say that it does everything laser hair removal was always supposed to do, but failed to deliver. Elysion Pro is quicker, more efficient and gives comfortable treatments which customers really appreciate.
And on top of all this, the Return On Investment is proven, and far faster than with any other laser hair removal device on the market.
What this means is that when a business acquires an Elysion Pro system, it boosts its capabilities and profile massively. And referring to the previous importance of marketing, there is now a great repeating story to tell potential customers. The Elysion Pro website also offers continuing advice and valuable tips about how to make great social media postings to effectively spread the message.
So, three ways to beat the winter blues and start thinking about springtime and better days ahead! It’s always better to do something rather than wait helplessly to see what will happen, and the suggestions here will all boost customer engagement. That in turn will lead to increased profitability.
Plant the seeds now, and they will grow and bloom!
For an Executive Summary, majoring on the efficiency and profitability of Elysion-Pro, we have a 3-minute read brochure for you. That’s a super-quick guide to how the system offers such a great Return On Investment.