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How to Grow Your Salon Business: Acquisition, Conversion, Retention

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There are many factors that influence the success of your salon business. We’re sharing the three things you need to know to grow your business in this post.

Did you know there’s more to running a hair salon business than cutting and washing hair?

Yep, in order to have a successful salon business, you need to be a pro at acquisition, conversion, and retention.

In this article, you’ll learn:

By learning each of these effective strategies, you’ll increase your ROI. And you’ll grow your salon business. Read on to find out!

salon business

A Day in the Life of the Client

Clients don’t just walk through your doors randomly. There’s a reason they chose your salon services, and not your competitor’s. To find out, you need to walk in “your clients’ shoes.” AKA, understand the client journey.

Acquisition in a Nutshell

In general, this starts in the customer acquisition phase. Let’s say a potential client wants a bob cut and balayage. But they don’t want to go to just anyone. They want someone who specializes in balayage, and who has experienced in medium-length women’s hair cuts.

They google “salons balayage,” and one of your articles come up. The prospect reads the article. And then skims through your portfolio, liking the medium-length results on your past clients. The prospect reads the article. And then skims through your portfolio, liking the medium-length results on your past clients.


She then sees on your website that you offer a 15% discount for new clients, and is hooked. She then decides to call you. In which case you’ve successfully acquired a new paying customer.

How did this happen? Your informative and engaging article which highlighted your expertise on balayage gained her interest. Your beautiful portfolio highlighting your past work caught the prospect’s attention. And your 15% discount was the final tipping point to convert her from prospect to paying customer.


She then goes to your salon for her bob cut and balayage. Throughout the appointment, you’re friendly and positive. You offer her tea and give her styling tips and ways to keep her hair healthy. Not to mention, after the appointment her hair comes out just as she expected. On her way out, you hand her an additional coupon — 10% off on a woman’s cut.

It’s safe to say, chances are she’s coming back. But why? Because of your demeanor and the complimentary tea and hair tips, you delivered an exceptional client experience. Then, offering a second discount — something she probably didn’t expect — was the final mark that converted a first-time customer into a returning customer. In other words, retention successful.

Now let’s have a closer look into what you need to do to increase your ROI!

salon business

Acquisition, Conversion, and Retention in Detail

Acquisition: A Closer Look

Acquisition is making your clients aware of your hair services. If you specialize in balayage, advertise that on your website. If you’re a pro at curly hair, make that known.

In this phase, it’s all about getting your products and services in front of your prospective clients’ faces. The more people who know about your specialized services, the higher chance you have in converting prospects to paying clients. Here are a few ways to do this:

1. Use the Powers of Social Media

According to Statista, 81% of Americans have a social media profile. If you can reach 1% of this figure, that’s impressive. What we’re saying is a consistent online social media presence across multiple social media platforms can reach hundreds. If not thousands.

2. Network

Attend hair salon conventions. Go to trade shows. Start talking with other salon owners. This may sound counter productive but it’s not. And here’s why. Let’s say one of your clients wants a niche cut you don’t specialize in. Or maybe a client wants a balayage but has curly hair.

Let’s say one of your clients wants a niche cut you don’t specialize in. Or maybe a client wants a balayage but has curly hair. A type of hair you’re not familiar working with. Even maybe, (hopefully) you’re overbooked, and can’t manage to fit another client in. This is when you make a few calls, and contact another salon or hair stylist to fit your client in. Or you team up: You do the balayage while the other hair stylist cuts her curly hair.

Either way, you’re ensuring your customer has a positive experience. Which increases the chances of her coming back. And you also can expect more clients from those hair stylists and salons who’ll pay back the favor. (Of course, remember this is only beneficial if you each have two DIFFERENT niches.)

Keep in mind, networking can happen anywhere. Let’s say you’re in line at the grocery store making small talk with the cashier. You casually mention you have a salon business and specialize in balayage. Turns out the cashier has been wanting a balayage. You give her your salon business card. And there you go, you’ve reached another potential client.

salon business

Conversion In Depth

The conversion phase involves turning that prospect into a paying customer. You’re trying to make your products or services irresistible to your prospective clients. To do this, you need to understand buyer persona (This pertains to the acquisition phase too.)

Create an in-depth buyer persona so you know your customers’ pain points. Pain points are the common problems your ideal customer faces. Once you can identify those, provide reasonable solutions. For example, your ideal customer is a middle-aged woman who’s not ready to go gray but wants a color and cut that matches her age.

You’d not only advertise ways to address this pain point but provide samples and discounts that mention it too. With this example, you could have a discount for hair coloring products for middle-aged women. And another discount for a color and consultation at your salon.

Retention: One Critical Tip

Customer retention involves how to enhance customer loyalty. One way to do this is by developing a loyalty program or referral program, offering discounts on referrals. Referral discounts serve two purposes: it encourages the satisfied customers to come back. And secondly, you get more new customers.

Final Thoughts on How to Grow Your Salon Business

Understanding these three phases — acquisition, conversion, and retention — will take your salon business to the next level. By mastering these steps, you’ll increase your retention rates. Which means more money for you. And less time wasted converting new customers.

Did this article help? How have these three steps improved your understanding salon business? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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