Happy April fools day! I have 2 brothers (one younger one older) so as a kid I grew up with a big fear of this day every year. I'd wake up to fake dog poop in my school shoes (thankfully it was fake), salt on my tooth brush, a whoppee cushion under my breakfast chair...phew glad I managed to survive that lot! I wanted to share with you a major mistake that's being made by a hairdressing salon I just started using, so you can learn from it and avoid this giant pothole in your business.
They're a relatively upscale Ann Arbor hair salon, serving mostly professional women and a handful of men from the area (think $70 and up for a haircut and color starting from $130). Inside is tastefully decorated, modern - has a high end/trendy/warehouse feel to it. All good so far.
And they're doing some things right - they've implemented a successful referral campaign, they've created an actual "sales process" so that when you come on your first visit you get presented with discount coupons for your second and third visits to get clients coming back. They greet people by name regardless of whether they've met you before or not. You get an actual "hair consultation" which is of course a sales pitch for the latest and greatest products that will transform your golden locks from drab to fab. All good stuff and a good start to creating a platform to really grow your business from.
But here's their $100K+ mistake.
Their location absolutely sucks. They're situated in the outskirts of Ann Arbor in an area I can only call industrial. But worse than that, they're part of a strip mall that has, as their neighbors, many visibly struggling small businesses, and several vacant store fronts. All with a very dilapidated feel to it.
When I pulled up to my first consultation, I could hardly believe where this salon was located. From the outside there was absolutely no street appeal created by the owners to make their salon at least look somewhat inviting despite it's horrid surroundings. I wondered what kind of place this was and had it not been that a good friend and client had referred me, I would have turned my car around and canceled my appointment on the way out.
No doubt this owner thought he was "saving" money by paying a lot less in rent.
He probably figured that as the interior of the salon was so nice, and they were good at what they did, they could be located nearly anywhere. Little does he realize the true cost of this giant mistake. If he moved to downtown Ann Arbor - yes he would pay a lot more in rent but this would be more than offset from the higher prices he could then command (clever positioning), attract and retain better talent, attract far more prospective clients just from visibility...the list goes on and on.
Also, on researching this salon, I found glowing reviews. Except that 3 mentioned the sinking feeling and intrepidation they felt on driving up and seeing it from the outside. For every one client who mentions it, at least 100 think it...
You may or may not have a physical location that you operate your business from. Regardless, learn from this mistake and review objectively the interaction your prospects have with your business before, during and after they do business with you. It'll make a HUGE difference to your bottom line. If you need help, call my office and ask about my End-To-End Sales Choreography service - from prospect to close and happily-ever-after after sales.
Have a great weekend! Julie