A Letter From CEO Ronan Perceval To The Salon Industry

salon industry

For nearly 14 years, we have been working with the salon industry and its business owners to help get their clients back in more often, and spending more. I spent the first 9 of those years out on the road visiting salon owners every day – first in Ireland and then the UK. It was an amazing experience, and those thousands of discussions that I had in salons influenced so much of how I think today.

Early Days

In the early days, most chats would lead to an idea on how to improve our software. Then as time went on and our understanding of the nuances of how a salon works got deeper, new ideas on how to grow the salon business would formulate. Although I no longer spend as much time on the road, the genesis of so much of our best work comes directly from you, from the salon industry, whether from conversations with a member of the Phorest Salon Software team in your business or through the uservoice requests.

However, there is something I really need to speak to you about. And that is that I feel that most of you undervalue yourselves. You underestimate how much your good and loyal clients value you. And you underestimate what a decent business you have, and that it is such a shining result of all the blood and sweat you have poured into it over the years. For example, hundreds of salon owners I know haven’t increased their prices in any meaningful way in the last 10 years. That is crazy.

The cost of pretty much everything from electricity to rent to the tools you use has gone up and up, and yet you charge the same. And when I ask why, the reason is that you are afraid you will lose your clients. And yet, every time I have seen a salon increase their prices (just to match inflation – I don’t mean a crazy price hike), they have had a good result. The salon owner is almost always surprised that they don’t lose any clients. In fact, some clients even ask the salon owner why they took so long!

#30Days2Grow Salon Industry Challenge

So, for this reason, we are launching an industry-wide campaign called 30Days2Grow in July. Every day during the month, each salon that is signed up will receive a simple tip or task (via SMS or email). Implementing that task every day will grow their business. The key is that each tip will be super simple – and designed so that you can get your whole team involved.

Growing your business and increasing the average spend of each of your customers does not need to be so painful.

It can, and will be a lot of fun. So let’s take action together amidst a deep-discount culture and challenge ourselves to embrace how much we are truly worth.

– Ronan Perceval, Founder & CEO at Phorest Salon Software

Sign up here (it’s completely free)!

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  • Trina Fitzsimmons

    The salon industry is not isolated from market pressures. Just like every other industry. My husband and I ran a salon for 18 years in Galway city until 2011. we did increase our costs at appropriate stages but the decision was not based on just simply raising prices for the sake of raising prices. It was dependent on the local amrket pressures. Customers are the lifeblood of business. It is crucial that they are managed well. My husband was an excellent people person and I (in my opinion) feel like I was an excellent hairdresser – we used these skills to manage a great base of clients. Yes we increased the prices on these customers but its not as simple as what you are leading us to believe. We would always increases prices generally but have loyalty discounts for the regular customers.

    Its the fixed and often hidden costs that people need to manage ESB, telephone, rent, etc. These are the costs that do not take a rest. My husband Michael would fight hard and long for the best deal on each of these costs every year to secure the best deal. Another cost which we never took on was for software. I will give you an example why – Can I ask what price are you charging for your most basic package? What is the cost of setting up? Do you know how many customers a year I need to serve to pay for it?
    You need to teach people that the key to good business is to hold on to customers they have. If you lose someone go after them. To the customers that are loyal you need to by selling more to them. They are going to buy shampoo, condition, creams somewhere – (more than likely in Tesco) so why can’t they buy from someone they trust?? We were excellent at selling product. 9 times out of 10 a customer would leave with a product under there arm. The margins were huge, labour costs minimum and you built trust with the customer. Don’t be afraid to stock expensive product but also ensure that you have lower priced ranges. decide on what to sell once you know the customer. I hope you take my comments constructively.

    • Ronan Perceval

      Hi Trina, thankyou so much for your comments. They are spot on. The price increase that I talked about was just one example of the 30 steps to grow we will share with you every day next month. It sounds like you did increase your prices over the last few years so fair play to you. But many salon owners haven’t and should have.

      I totally agree you need to work on your costs, which will be one of the steps, and certainly look to add value which will be covered in a few of the steps.

      And most of all you need to hang onto your clients which are your lifeblood.

      We’d love you to share your experiences and tips from running a salon successfully over so many years. Would you be open to expanding your comments into a full blog post that we could publish on this blog?