The days of the ‘one-stop’ shop (aka all-things-to-all-people salons) are over.
The vast majority of hair & beauty salons are ‘me-too’ operations that provide pretty much the same kind of services and products as a hundred competitors within a ten-minute drive. Hair salons do hair and beauty salons do facials, waxing, and spray tanning. All of these same-same businesses will pretty much take anybody with a pulse.
The way forward to prosperity in today’s market place is in the niche.
There is absolutely zero marketplace advantage in being ‘average’. Be ‘the’ one salon in your town/suburb that becomes known as the go-to place for X, or Y, or Z. Research, discover, invent if necessary, products and services that are unique to your business, which cannot be found anywhere else.
Find a way to attract and exploit niche demographic and psychographic markets and learn how to specialize in them. One of the biggest drivers of this change is staring you in the face; almost nothing you currently sell cannot be found faster and delivered cheaper through a simple online search.
We ask the question to our business clients all the time, “Who is your target market?” Invariably, we are given a not-so-niche spectrum of “we serve clients ages three to 90.”
So, what is a niche and how do I find one?
A niche market is concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well-defined segment of the population. Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants and requirements and developing and delivering goods and services to satisfy them. As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of a small fish in a big pond!
In the beauty industry we have a number of niches we can capitalize on:
- Men only salons
- Mom spas
- Curly hair specialists
- Hair health salons
- Organic/Eco friendly salons and spas
- Med spas
- Blow Dry Bars
- Fine and Thinning Hair Specialists
- Extensions and Wigs
- Retail specialists
- Color Specialists
There are as many niches as your imagination allows!
Not sure what your niche market is? Ask your clients! Put together a client survey that collects information on their demographics and at the same time also asks them:
- What they love about your business
- What keeps them coming back
- What other products and/or services would they like to see in your business.
Think about the sandwich store down the street that makes “hand-crafted” sandwiches. Well, all sandwiches are made by hand, but focusing on that aspect makes them sound special. They have created a niche for themselves. The salon that “brags” about giving the best shampoo in the city has also created a niche.
You can also carve out a niche for yourself within your existing business. For example, you may be a full-service salon with several exceptional colorists working in your salon. Focus on that category and create a niche to draw clientele. Let your advertising and tag lines reflect your focus and the expertise of your staff.
This year, find your NICHE!