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Why Being a Good Hairdresser is Not Enough

Tamara Forrest-Smith

I thought because I was a great hairdresser that would be enough to create a busy salon. It wasn’t and that created huge problems for me. By the end of 1989 we were struggling big time until someone suggested I have a flyer made. So I did. I had a flyer made and then spent a week posting them through every home in the village of 3,500 people where the salon was.

Not only did it work it was the start of an obsession with marketing and writing that eventually would become my career.

By 1991 my small 250 sq. salon had become so busy I had to move into a new place. This new salon was 2000 sq. ft. It was massive in comparison to my previous 2 stylist salon. Now I had 12 staff that had to be kept busy. Apart from the staff I now had huge loans to pay back so the salon was starting in the red!

After around 6-months the small time salon marketing with flyers wasn’t really working in a town with over 35 salons – some of these salons had been there for over 30-years and were really well established – so I had to ramp up somehow my salon management and salon marketing.

By 1992 I did something most hadn’t done in hairdressing and that was to buy a computer. I could see the power of them but honestly, I didn’t have a clue how to use it so I put it away after one attempt into the bottom of my cupboard at home and that computer never saw the light of day again until 5-years later when I found it by chance.

Anyway, I decided to copy big businesses and just do what they were doing. There was no web at the time so it was all offline. We used phone, reception, flyers (1000 everyday), piggy-back marketing, alliance marketing, venture marketing, radio marketing, panel marketing on public transport, huge billboards and more.

Within anther 18-months not only were we the busiest salon for miles we were the best – no question!

Being in business is not as easy as some might suggest but it is rewarding when things eventually pick up and start running smooth. It is much easier to learn how others have done it successfully and copy the success formula from within, we well as outside the salon industry.

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