Do you run a successful salon? Are you sure?

Psychology tells us that our intuitions sometimes aren’t all that great. Humans can be easily biased in one direction or another.

When answering the question posed above, you might fall victim to confirmation bias (the tendency to notice evidence that support our beliefs and to discard other evidence), recency bias (the tendency to exaggerate the importance of recent evidence), or any other shortcomings our minds have when evaluating such questions.

But what can’t be refuted is fact.

In this article, I’ll go over the 6 hallmarks every fantastic salon has going for them:

Regulars, a lot of them.

Customers that come again and again are the beating heart of every successful salon. They drive profit, and they might even tell their friends about your salon driving up the profits even further.

In our line of work, it’s expensive to get new customers every day. It relies on steady marketing which takes a lot of time, and costs money. And if the customers only show up once and then bounce to another salon, the work you’ve put in is hardly worth it.

At the same time, it costs you nothing to get our regulars to come back. They already know you, and love you, and they’re not tempted at all to look elsewhere.

The importance of the regular can be highlighted through the concepts of the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

The CAC is how much it costs you to get a new customer through the door. The CLV is how much a customer spends with you over their lifetime as your customer.

If the CLV of a customer is equal to the CAC, they’re not really bringing you any profit. That’s likely to be the case with new customers that bounce quickly. If your CLV is way higher than your CAC, which is the case with regulars, then you’re doing great.

Because of CAC, a customer isn't necessarily profitable at first visit. The more loyal the customer is, the more profitable they are.

They spend with you again and again, increasing their CLV with each visit without you having to spend a dime to get them.

How to know?
Have you ever been tempted to put in your instagram bio “not accepting new customers”? If not, you’re probably not here yet.

Want more regulars in your salon?

Read our guide: How to create more loyal customers

Happy, performing and caring salon employees

You can’t do everything on your own. For your salon to be great, you need help from your staff.

Great staff create more regulars and sell a lot of products, both essential to your success. Poor staff do neither.

For people to do their best work, they need to be happy and fulfilled. The largest factor that help your staff experience both emotions, besides their passion for their work, are the people surrounding them. You as their leader, and their colleagues as their friends.

Together, the people that work at your salon create your salon culture.

Creating a great salon culture is hard. Some people won’t fit into the culture you want to create. That’s normal. You won’t nail all hires on your first try without a lot of luck involved. Usually, you’ll need to sift through quite a few individuals before you find what you’re looking for.

But once you do, it’s so much easier to keep the good vibes going. Even if one of your staff members quits to pursue other passions, it’s easy to get a new individual to buy in to a culture that’s already set in stone.

Momentum is a wonderful thing.

How to know?
Trying to realise if you’re already there is kind of like trying to figure out if you’re having sex. It’s hard to describe or measure, but when it’s ongoing you’ll know.

Want happier staff in your salon?

Read our guide: How to be a great salon leader

Steady profits

This one isn’t hard to figure out. Great salons turn a profit every month.

Maybe some months come out even, like during the summertime, and that’s okay. But a good rule of thumb is that at least 9 out of 12 months need to be turning a profit.

This is where correct pricing and effective product sales come in (besides a steady stream of regulars, of course).

To begin with, while you’re still establishing yourself in your market, it’s ok to keep your prices on the lower side - but even during those months you should be able to envision a path to profitability. But when you’re established, you probably need to raise prices and start charging what you’re worth.

A good rule of thumb for pricing is that you should not be losing money even if your schedule is only about 40% occupied.

How to know?
Ask your accountant to send you a monthly profit & loss report every month with good cost and revenue breakdowns. Noona POS is actually great for that.

Not sure how to price your services?

Coming soon: A complete guide to pricing in your salon

Could your team do a better job at product sales?

Read our guide: How to sell more products in your salon

Your life is smooth

Success is as much about profits as it is about enjoying your work. If you’re constantly doing work you hate or are constantly overworked, even if you’re making all the money in the world, you won’t ever be able to consider yourself successful.

So, what aspects of your job do you not like?

Is the phone a nuisance? Figure out how to to slow the phone down. A great way to do that is to get your customers use the Noona app to book with you, for example.

You don’t want to have any unnecessary communications with your accountant? Maybe Noona POS and some good processes established with your accountant, could make sure that you don’t have to talk to each other at all.

You should be able to take a vacation without having to worry. Your life, on the edges, should be smooth.

That’s where activation of your staff comes in. Your staff shouldn’t only be there to do services. It’s quite likely that they’d like to learn more about how to run a salon, so they’re probably open to accepting more responsibility. At least it’s worth it to ask.

Don’t like doing social media? Perhaps you have a social media guru in your midst which would embrace the responsibility of posting regularly.

Perhaps someone amongst your staff wants to know more about how to set up a digital presence for a business. Should they be in charge of your website, Google profile and your Noona profile?

This is where the Areas of Responsibility (AOR) framework comes in handy. It gives you, and each and every one of your staff, a clear idea what they’re responsible for and what is expected of them.

How to know?
If you’re almost doing no work that you’d rather not, your life is smooth

Want an easier salon owner life?

Make your salon owner life easier with the AOR framework

Your work is meaningful

At the end of the day, your work has to be rewarding.

You don’t need to wake up every day happy about the having to go to work. That’s a fairytale that’s been oversold in movies. That’s not how life works. Happiness is fleeting, and sometimes you wake up a bit groggy.

But your job has to provide you with a clear sense of purpose. The feeling that you matter, and that you’re making a difference.

Meaning is the power that keeps you going when you find yourself a bit unhappy. It’s the power that can quickly changes your frown upside down.

Do you love the look on your customers face when they’re happily thanking you for the service you provided them with? Do you love to see your staff laughing amongst each other during their work? Are you satisfied with the life that you’re able to provide your family with through your salon?

That’s meaning. That’s your purpose.

Even though it might rain some days, that purpose never leaves you.

Want to drive more meaning into your work?

Earn more from your salon by changing the world

It’s hard, but you can do it

Building a successful salon is hard. It takes a lot of time and careful work.

But the hardest part is starting. If you’ve done that, you have the spirit to tackle all other challenges as well.

You’ll make a lot of mistakes along the way. It’s inevitable. But if you just keep on going, and focus on small consistent improvements, sooner or later you’ll find your salon filled with regulars coming to meet your happy, performing staff. You’ll be making a constant profit, and your life will be smooth and purposeful.

And if you ever feel like you need any help, Noona’s always here to lend a helping hand.