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Marketing Mix There are four parts to the marketing mix: product, place, promotion, and price. These are the key factors to the success of any business, they should all compile to your business mission statement or your overall goal. Each has to work for itself and work with the other; you have to make sure you know what you want your salon to be associated with and how you want customers to see you as a professional. What is your Unique Selling Point (USP) – the thing that makes you different to other retailers? Product

In this case, the core product would be the hairdressing service that you are providing. You need to consider the image that you are trying to portray and where you want to be in terms of the market – who is your salon aimed at? Maybe young fashion conscious women aged 16+ if you want to be able to demonstrate flair of creativity, or rich middle aged men and women if you want to have a firm foundation of income and clients. You may want to consider brushing up your own hairdressing skills, as techniques and styles may have changed considerably while you have been out of the workplace.

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The Hairdressing & Beauty Industry Authority recommends that you take NVQ Level 4 in Hairdressing, which would allow you to revive your hairdressing skills while also giving you the management knowledge and expertise to set up your own salon. In the hair and beauty business, the most important selling aspect is your service, this brings us on the second section which would your actual product, which could include a number of services but above all needs to be able to have something that will benefit the client rather than going somewhere else.

Your primary product or service would obviously be the hairdressing business however you could extend this to include hair care and endorsing products such as Terence Paul who advertise the high quality equipment that they use such as their GHD straighteners which are also the best selling hair straighteners, used by celebrities, professionals and consumers worldwide. They also boast the use of high quality products such as Alterna, which is a popular salon hair care line; it is inspired by, and produced for salon professionals.

This is all well for a high profile hairdresser such as John Yates, however until you become more established you would probably have to wait some time – when the products you use will have that much influence on whether you attract a lot customers. You may want expand your business into a beauty treatment similar to the unassailable John Yates, who is a famous professional hair dresser, economically extended some of his premises into a beauty/therapy area thus promoting themselves as John Yates Hair & Beauty.

Other services that you can offer could be hair removal, derma-lifts, nail care, tanning, and eyebrow/eyelash alteration. Hair and beauty is an appealing concept to potential clients, as it would bring people to choose you because busy people generally prefer to get their services at one place rather than going to the trouble of going to and fro. It would also mean that you could promote yourself by having more than one type of service and you would have more of a variety which would increase your market share, the public would be more likely to come looking for a certain product and take a look at other offers at same time.

Promotion Customers tend to express their satisfaction in the form as a recommendation to others, so this may be something that you might want to consider to improve your client rate and a loyal customer base for example a smile and a chat or a cup of coffee can help to sweeten a persons memory of their last hair appointment, just think of it as free publicity. Luckily you already have a resource of loyal customers, it would be a huge advantage if you brought them in somehow as it may be hard for you to bring in enough customers at the beginning.

You could do this by starting a taxi service and dropping them off at the salon and then back to their homes, or you could encourage them to come themselves maybe with leaflets and discount opening sessions. Promotion is the advertising of your services and is essential to the hair and beauty business where there is so much publicity to small things and masses of competition on the high street and offers on the World Wide Web.

Nowadays the internet is the biggest opportunity for business to advertise their products; however your service is something that is more localised. Large salon companies usually do have websites for customers to refer to; however it may be a waste of time at the beginning. I advise you to advertise yourself through other websites however, for example the www. ineedpampering. com company who provide gift vouchers for experience days at different top hairdressers, saunas and spas, and luxury resorts.

You can advertise your salon by having a countdown and putting a sign in the shop window and making posters/leaflets of having so-many days until opening, and then publicise by holding a grand opening, in which you can have first customer discounts, all to encourage people to try your salon. Something you might want to consider is having a website in which you can tell the public about yourself. You need to consider your ‘Corporate Identity’ which is basically your company’s image and brand values which say everything about you.

Your image is one of your most valuable assets. For that you may need a promotional logo, leaflets, and signs that all have a common factor or design base that draw your target market in. You could have promotional offers such as ‘A FREE EYEBROW PLUCK/TINT WITH EVERY CUT & BLOW’, to get people to try different aspects of your salon. You could try festive promotional offers or you could have weekly pensioners and student days where they can get a discount,

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