A tightening or ‘nervous’ economy can be strange for a small business owner. With higher interest rates, increased cost of living and what the media is calling ‘The Covid Downturn’ hitting the economy, it’s easy to see why many of us are uncomfortable.
But there are things you can do to thrive in this new economic reality.
People Want to Feel Good
It’s obvious when you think about it: when things are tough, that’s when you want to feel better about yourself.
Do you remember a day when everything was going great? Perhaps you had the day off, and the boss called you just to say you’re a fantastic person, and then you went to the beach and met some friends and had a great day and you went to sleep that night feeling warm and fuzzy. On days like that, you’re at peak happiness – life doesn’t need to improve.
Now think of a day when it was raining, and your heel broke, and you missed the bus, and the boss berated you about timeliness. You got home that night and ate a tub of ice cream, and watched terrible television.
Which day are you more likely to want a lovely, luxurious beauty treatment?
In our current economy, people are feeling stressed, concerned about the future and worried about stability. Remember – our industry sells beauty outcomes but also a little holiday from the ‘real world.’ Sell happiness, and you’ll always have clients.
Focus on Your Community
Yes, we know. We’re always talking about the importance of growing your local community, but now it’s more important than ever.
Do you have many clients that just get a practical treatment? This could be laser hair removal, fat freezing, or pigmentation removal – treatments that get a tangible result but aren’t necessarily relaxing or soothing. Reach out to these people with an offer for a luxury treatment. Thank them for being loyal clients and tell them you want to introduce them to your signature facial or spa experience or something that has an emotional outcome rather than just a physical one. When they get a practical treatment, they leave with higher self-esteem and confidence. A luxury treatment may lead to a sense of calm and peace of mind.
Don’t Fear the Little (inexpensive) Things
- They’re not expensive (in fact, they’re cheap and can be profitable from the first treatment)
- They’re effective. Clients see results immediately
- They can be added to existing facial treatments
Now think about your treatments. What do you have that your clients can use as an introduction to your business? A lunchtime facial? A 30-minute massage-based calming session? Think of cheaper, easier ways that clients can visit you for the first time, bring them into your community and increase their lifetime value.
Which leads us to…
Know Your Client’s Lifetime Value
Lifetime value is how much revenue someone brings into your clinic while they’re a client. This may sound like an impersonal, formulaic way of looking at people you care about, but the opposite is true.
For example, Mary comes into your clinic twice a month for a treatment and spends on average $85 per treatment. If you look at Mary as a ‘per-treatment’ client, she’s worth $85 to your business. If you determine how much Mary spends at your clinic annually, she’s worth $2,040. Let’s assume you can, using upselling, increase her average spend per visit to $105. Now she’s worth $2,520. If Mary stays with you for five years, she’s worth $12,600 – just with one regular treatment and excluding skincare products and other add-ons.
Now, think about the effort and cost of getting a new client. The time it takes to get to know them and hope they’ll stay. You’ve probably got quite a few Marys as clients already – what will you do to keep them?
A tightening economy doesn’t mean changing everything, just improving what you already do. Think about your offering, your client base and your best clients and find ways to get even better.