One of the many goals of people who own a salon or spa is to expand by opening another location. Whether this is your dream or you are currently running multiple locations, here is a plan to help you effectively market more than one location and increase your bottom line.
Have you ever had a challenge managing your team? Have you ever been challenged by leading different people and having to communicate with each of them differently based on their temperament or personality? Without systems, budgets and policies, have you found yourself feeling like you were managing their emotions and feelings rather than managing the issue?
If you answered yes to the above questions, then you can see creating a marketing plan for two businesses in two different locations is very similar to managing different people. Just like people in the same family, every location has its own unique personality. Understanding the unique differences between your locations is essential to your success. It is important to implement policies and guidelines for your marketing program, otherwise, you will find yourself having a whale of a time being successful.
Let’s begin by looking at these 4 areas:
1. Your Budget
Your marketing budget should be 2-4% of your total sales each month. Example: If your businesses bring in $40,000 a month collectively and you have two locations, your marketing budget is between $800 - $1,600 a month.
The next thing to do is to break this equation down between both locations: If one location makes $30,000 and the other location is at $10,000, your budgets would be $600 - $1,200 for the first location and $200 - $400 for the second location per month. Following a budget is the first (and arguably the most important) step when creating a marketing program. If you do not follow your budget, you can put yourself in a dangerous position when you overspend. This will strain your business financially, especially if you have more than one location.
2. Average Monthly Sales VolumeThe reason we recommend that you budget between 2-4 % for marketing each month, is so you have a little wiggle room to work with in regards to managing your expenses. Some months, as you know, are going to be busier than other months. You will see this by tracking your average monthly sales volume.
To track monthly sales, go back and look at the last twelve months of sales volume and look for trends like busier retail months and busier client traffic months. These trends will give you a better idea of planning and projecting what you will need to do from a marketing perspective and how much to spend from a budgeting standpoint.
3. DemographicsAssessing the demographics of the town and area you are in will give you a window into the buying habits, average income, ethnic breakdown and age differences of the people who live in your area. These are your potential clients that will come into your business. You can get this information on your local Chamber of Commerce website.
Assessing this information is vital for any business. If you have two or more locations, it is even more important. You might have two businesses in two totally different areas, for example, one location is in a white collar downtown environment and another location in a suburban environment. Knowing the demographics of these areas will impact on how you market for your different locations.
4. StaffingThe size of each location is important in marketing effectively. It is important to track your monthly average client visits and your current level of productivity at each location. You do this by looking at how many stations and treatment rooms you have and how many hours each week they are booked with paying clients versus how many available hours are they sitting empty.
Once you have analyzed your businesses and created your budgetary plans for each location, the next step is to create a level of accountability with your team so your marketing programs are implemented in each location.
If you are running multiple locations and working behind the chair. Here’s one small tip that can make a big difference.
1. Create a Director of Marketing Position
Make a list of the people in your business you think would be a good fit for the position, someone who is creative, hungry, has a lot of energy, someone who comes to you with ideas all of the time. Interview prospective candidates and choose the person you think will best fit the position. Remember this person should be fired up and want to take on this position. Here are some potential responsibilities of a Marketing Director.
This person will be accountable for managing the marketing budget each month.
They will create a marketing plan for each location and the business as a whole.
They will be responsible for creating a 12-month marketing calendar, assessing the needs of each location, implementing the marketing strategies with each location manager and following through to track the financial results of each location and reporting to you the progress and results.
This person can also work behind the chair, they need two days a week to work in this position and they can be compensated an hourly wage for their work. I recommend double the minimum wage in your state.
2. Accountability Meetings
Create weekly meetings scheduled on the same day of the week so that you, your director and your location managers can meet and assess the progress of the promotions and tweak them accordingly to what you find. When you create this position you will be promoting someone from within, acknowledging and cultivating their talents, delegating important responsibilities and creating a chain of command to be followed. This structure is vital to the success of the marketing arm of your business.
The last important area in creating your plan for both locations is to remember the following
3. Identify Each Location's Needs
Each location will be different and have different needs. One location might need to grow retail one month while the other might need to increase client count. Be clear about the needs of each location and use your marketing budget wisely and spend it in the right places!
4. Think Locally, Act Globally.
At the same time you are addressing individual needs, it is also important you work with your marketing director to create an ongoing marketing campaign that will be used by all locations at the same time. A great example of this is to look at Starbucks or McDonald’s. They are always using marketing campaigns that are implemented by each store no matter where the stores are located. Creating your retail campaigns will fall into this category as well as gift certificate/card campaigns.
The more prepared you are in marketing your business for multiple locations, the more successful you will be. The long-range impact of putting the above steps in place will mean thousands of dollars in your financial future.
Take the steps above and set yourself up to win!
In today's post, we outlined everything you should consider before opening your second location, and specifically how planning and organization skills can help. Master these skills with these two online classes:
Goal Setting Basics Online ClassWhether you want to open salon #2 or completely change your career path, goal-setting is a crucial skill for all beauty professionals. This easy-to-follow online class will show you how to set realistic goals and achieve them.
Organization and Planning Online Class
Work on your time management and organization skills with this online class that is geared specifically towards planning for your salon or spa work space.
Michelle Campbell is the Content Marketing Specialist for MiladyPro.
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