February 12, 2016 4 min read

Being the manager of a successful salon is no small feat. Sometimes a little guidance is is needed when it feels like business is in a rut. With these simple but effective ideas, you can elevate your business to new levels, making it nearly-guaranteed to expand your customer base and increase your user-reviews to 5-star averages. Let’s get started.

Loyalty Programs

Done right, a loyalty program is a way for you to give back to long-time clients. It’s also a fun and clever way for you to introduce services that may be new to your salon. For example, when a client purchases a package of 4 facials for the year, they can receive one free 1/2-hour service of their choice. Not only does this promote them to purchase more services at once and ensure their return, it allows them to freely experiment with your other services! Another example of this is to offer a free service when they buy X-amount in gift cards for friends/families birthdays or Christmas gifts. Invite clients back without having to do any heavy lifting.

The incentive for them to return should be built into your business model.

Before the Service

Invite your clients to come an extra 15 minutes before their service to catch up on the latest magazines, hot tea, and to relax with a hot neck wrap. Let clients escape their world and feel like king and queens. It costs you next to nothing and will mean a lot to your clients.

The start of the experience starts in the waiting room.

Deep Conditioning Hair Treatments

Depending on the type of services your salon spa offers, scalp treatments may be administered in one of two ways. If you salon offers full hair cutting and styling services, you may consider an intensive conditioning add-on treatment using special oils and hydrating products, given that you have the capability to rinse out the treatment directly afterwards. Offer such add-ons when booking appointments or when your client arrives to the appointment. If your business has more emphasis on facial and body treatments, consider a product-free scalp massage, strictly using massage technique to destress and pamper your client for a few minutes towards the end of the service. Either way, a simple add-on for the scalp will be hard to turn down. If the service is lengthy and/or expensive, scalp massages are typically included and expected.

Scalp, Shoulder, or Hand Massages & Scented Oils

For many salon/spa services offered around the U.S., it’s almost standard practice for a quick massage to be included in the service. If it is not a part of your practice now to give a complementary scalp, shoulder or hand massages during a full facial service, it definitely should be! A quick dab of lavender scented oil below the ears will leave them feeling entranced and relaxed the rest of the day. That simple addition to the service makes it’s worth every penny and will have your client returning for the VIP-style treatment in no time.

Monthly Sales Challenges for Employees

For your beloved employees, reward them for their upselling skills and customer service. The prize may be monetary, product-based, or a combination of the two. Offer small rewards and incentives occasionally pro bono for all your employees to keep them feeling motivated and appreciated.

Make-up touch-ups or Applications

For clients coming in for 1 or 2 hour services, a brief, complementary “touch up” or even a full application is like a cherry on top of a really good cake. You clients will definitely remember it the next time they book their service also, so make sure they look great when they walk out the door! Speaking of make-up…


If your team has the talent to do various types of make-up or skin-care tutorials, offer it as a service! Make-up tutorials, for example, can be broken down into eye-focused, brow-focused, or as a 1 hr or 1 ½ hour comprehensive make-up application tutorial covering everything  from primer & false lashes to finishing spray. These services will come in handy for bridal season, prom season, and homecoming season. You may also consider a “skin care beginners” tutorial, which may be offered to new clients who are unsure of how to develop a starter routine at home.

“Express Services”

Offering a slightly discounted “express services” to your normal services is great way to increase the average sale per customer. Ideas like a “mini-mani” service, a brow touch-up or a 30-minute blow out can turn into a nice profit-cushion each month. For the clients, these services are low-commitment, time wise, and are hard to turn down for someone who is already took the time to visit your office. For example, while a hair or face masque is activating or setting, ask them if they would like a clear-coat manicure.


VIP , “pamper-me” events can provide an opportunity for a couple things that will benefit your salon/spa business. You can reward your best customers and incentivize them to spread the word to their friends all at once. You can include clients either with an invitation to the events or you can offer tickets to the event for sale until seats are filled. You can offer these year-round for bridal parties who want to pamper themselves before a night out or for other similar evening events. Lastly, they are an opportunity for current clients to invite their friends to visit the salon.


May all of these tips and more elevate your business to new levels this year! !

Catherine C., Lashing Out