Make Your Salon Spa Competition Proof

3 keys to being competition proof
Christopher Brazy

With low price massage and facial franchises competition popping up all over and large health club spas making a big presence following these steps is a must to keep your client base from straying.

Be Unique
As attractive as “one stop shopping” is as a profit idea from the owners standpoint, focusing on a niche is what is excelling. Look at all the department stores and malls that are on the way out. And what’s in? Specialty stores. Starbucks, take-n-bake pizza and so on. By focusing on what you specialize in, you are creating a unique image. You can still offer additional services, but don’t try to brand yourself as such. Why be a “jack of all trades, master of none.” Be the Acne Expert or Relaxation Specialist.

Take a look at the phone book, what do you see? Lists and lists of everything under the sun service-wise. Lets’ say Relaxing Day Spa offers massages, facials, wraps, waxing, hair, nails, acne, anti-aging and microdermabrasion treatments. What does Tranquil Day Spa offer? The EXACT same list. We’re all identical! When we’re all the same in the clients eyes, what do they fall back to? Price. Who’s the cheapest. Whereas if you do body work and specialize in accident recovery, who do you think will get the call for those insurance massages? FOCUS. Find what your unique talent is and reap the benefits for doing so.

Be the Expert
Once you’ve got a USP (unique selling point/proposition), you should seek to establish yourself as the expert in that field. After all, if the news is doing a story on teen acne, where would they look for input? The day spa/salon/nail shop? Or with the Acne Expert?

You should start to build a list of local media contacts. E-mail the editors often with NEWSWORTHY information and articles you can provide and ask them to contact you for further information. Landing an article, or being published, will offer MUCH more business opportunity than a paid advertisement. Your credibility will also skyrocket and you’ll be able to charge premium fees since you’re THE person to go to.

We had a group of returning soliders call us from their plane to book a day at our spa. Luckily I had the sense to call the papers (with their permission) to let them know what was happening. They came out and did a story about their return and how they cared for themselves overseas in the desert that not only landed us some amazing quotes and photos but the front page! People still mention to us that they saw that story, years later.

Be a Friend
Lastly, and most importantly, is being a friend to your clients. And I don’t mean going out together or getting together for cards, but really CARING about your client. It’s your relationship with your client that will keep them from straying. And don’t let that relationship stagnate. Never take them for granted. Always treat your clients like a first date.

It’s truly amazing to watch my wife work. She’s long given up her caregiver role and focuses on management, at which one of her main tasks is individually greeting the guests. I’ve watched her more than once say hi, ask how they are, and then end up sitting down and catching up on what’s going on in their lives for 10 minutes! Even the call back the next day (during her caregiving days) built that relationship and was once even quoted “she’s even called at home to see how I was doing” to the newspaper.