12 Steps for the Best Foot Forward

12 steps for

a lasting impression

A brand is the sum of expectations. Marketers do not create impressions; they control and manage their expressions with the intent of creating impressions in their audience’s minds and hearts.

Your salon IS your brand. So, what expectations do you want consumers to have about your  your salon and how you do business? This article illustrates options to assist you in managing your expressions.

“When you own the stage and write the play it’s not hard to say who the star will be.”

 - Dave Nichols

The 12 Steps



Storefronts and street signage are your opportunity to make that all-important first impression.

What impression does your storefront create? Are your hours of operation visible and clear?

Interior Signage

Less is more. Having too many messages is like having no message at all.

  1. Convey information relative to services/treatments
  2. Showcase salon awards, achievements


Salon Design

The quality of your salon space conveys a great deal about your business and your culture, as well as having a direct impact on your sales and profitability.

At a minimum, your interior space must be functional and aesthetically aligned with your brand and the intentions of you and your business.



The salon reception is both the landing and launching pad for each guest’s experience.

As a landing, the experience must be welcoming and professional. As a launching pad, the reception and the person greeting is the first opportunity to introduce new products/services and drive incremental revenue.

Receptionists must be aware of the services the guest has booked,   and when appropriate, make suggestions for the guest to discuss anything new with their stylist/colorist.


Business Cards

The most cost-efficient form of advertising is word of mouth. It is also the most effective. Business cards for everyone provide your staff with an inexpensive tool for engaging prospective customers and promoting the business.

Business cards must also be organized and visible at the reception.


Referral Cards

Leverage the promotional power of word of mouth and reward your customers for referrals.

There is the printed card and there are options online. In today's world everyone has a personal network. Tap into your clients' social media. Offer incentives that benefit your client and the people they refer.



People notice if your salon is clean and tidy, and immediately form an opinion about your professionalism and your competency.

First impressions extend all the way through from the entry of your salon, all the way through to the whole space overall and  every single  station.



Salons are legally required to post their services and prices. Ensuring they are accurate and up to date for services and products provides clients with confidence across all areas of interaction.

Digital screens offer ultimate flexibility to integrate promotional loops and generate supplemental revenue. Integrating a charging station for devices is a welcome amenity.

Policy statements such as ‘24 hour cancellation’ must be integrated with the service offerings.



Salons are legally required to post their Business License.

All stylist and colorist licenses should be posted as well. A question answered before it is asked is another step in providing clients with yet another level of overall confidence.


Product Bar

The product display must be a prominent part of the reception experience and well stocked.

Your selection of products reinforces your salon’s image, and when managed strategically, can become a significant revenue generator. Keep the display fresh with a product feature each month. Keep samples at Reception to support sales.


POS (Point of Sale)

Invest in a comprehensive and robust point of sale software program that handles:

  1.    Bookings (with confirmations via text or email)
  2.    Prompts for follow up calls (customer satisfaction)
  3.    Rewards
  4.    Inventory management
  5.    Scheduling
  6.    Payroll
  7.    Email captures
  8.    Key date reminders (Birthdays, Anniversaries)



The quality of light is critical to accurately assess color.

Color temperatures between 3100K and 4500K are referred to as “cool white” or “bright white.” Light bulbs (lamps) within this range will emit a more neutral white light and may even have a slightly blue tint, mimicking natural daylight.



Collect those email addresses. Virtually all of your clients have an email address. You have no problem asking for and retaining client phone numbers. The same discipline needs to be there for email addresses.

In this day and age it is imperative to stay in touch with your clients, to send personal notes for birthdays and anniversaries, all with a view to demonstrating the level of commitment and consideration your salon is committed to.