Previously we’ve posted articles about ideas for how massage therapists can improve their business, how artists can turn their passion into a business and even some ideas for yoga lovers. Now it’ time for the hair stylists out there! Unfortunately, when the economy tightens, luxury service like salons and spas are often first to feel the pain, so we wanted to provide some ideas that’ll help you weather the storm. Whether you belong to a chain salon like Cost Cutters or have your own boutique, there’s always a chance for boosting up sales and pulling in more repeat clients.

You know that phrase a picture is worth a thousand words? It could not be more true when it comes to hair colors and hair styles. People like to see the visual products hair stylists can create. Look books have been around forever, but those are becoming a thing of the past. With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, these are the new mediums in which to showcase your finished styles. Pictures are key! In fact, Instagram is basically free advertising for hair. Whether It’s a trendy new cut, color, or designing the perfect look for a bride on her wedding day, the internet is your friend. It’s an easy outlet for self-promotion and people can say “Oh! I want that look!’”

Another idea that helps is rewarding loyalty. For the customers that always come back, try a rewards card. Maybe after six haircuts, then they the seventh one half off. Or if they refer your salon to so many people they get a discount on hair care products. People like the feeling of being valued and giving them an extra incentive to use your services definitely helps in bringing them back.

Similarly, you can offer special packages for groups. For instance, if there’s a bachelorette party going on and they all want to look fresh, have a deal for them to get their hair and nails done. If your salon offers make-up services, maybe have a package that includes makeovers, manicures and pedicures for bridal parties. Then maybe have a smaller package for girls wanting to have a girls-night-out. Another option is having a kids package too. Tuesday nights could be half off all children under thirteen or parents with two or more kids getting haircuts get a ten percent discount. There are all sorts of packages to create that’ll get your salon noticed!

Participating in fundraisers helps too. Not only does it get your name out there, but people associate you with the community and will notice your brand. For example, you could join a cancer awareness drive where people volunteer to have their heads shave and donate the hair. Or, along the same lines, you could have a drive for Locks of Love or Wigs for Kids.

Finally, continuing education is a must! Having up-to-date facilities with employees who know the current trends and can execute those trends will always keep clients coming back. Sleek looking salons with trendy stylists rocking their own trendy dos really helps draw in the clientele you would like and keep people wanting more. Being able to offer a wide variety of services is just as handy. Cutting children’s hair, adults and the elderly who want everything from a basic trim, to a colorful ombre, to a classic looking perm never fades!

Variety, innovation, and creativity will get you just as far as valuing your clients! Don’t be afraid to try new ideas!