It took you many years of working hard behind the chair to build your customers base. You saved as much money as you could by keeping focused with one thing in mind, opening your own salon. The planning went on for two years, meeting with real-estate companies trying to find the best location, with the demographics that best suited you and your clients, salon designers, furniture companies, web designers and finally the last piece of the puzzle; meeting your local bank to nail down the necessary financing to make it all happen.
Finally the day had come, after a successful grand opening party you were now open for business. All of your planning paid off. You were now exactly in the position you wanted to be; on the road to being a successful salon owner.
The fanfare in your town was overwhelming. Your existing customers where so excited and a steady flow of new customers seem to be coming in daily. Wow, just what you dreamed off, then with a blink of an eye a big chain opened right around the corner from your salon. You never expected this to happen. What should you do? Hand over the keys to your salon and throw up the white flag and surrender? You have never been a quitter so that option is out but, how do you compete with someone who is bigger, stronger and has deeper pockets then you? Let us take a look at how you and your salon can compete with the big chains in today’s business world.
Independent retail business owners often worry when a large chain store threatens their business. The threat of having to compete with large retailers keeps many would-be entrepreneurs from ever opening a salon. Unfortunately, those fears are well-founded. Studies show people purchase a higher percentage of their merchandise from the mass merchandisers and consequently a lower percentage from local merchants. Also depending on the area your salon may be located in will dictate the percentage of people who may prefer service price over quality.
It may be daunting but despite the emergence of these multi-million dollar businesses, many small retailers continue to thrive (and profit) in a highly competitive marketplace. The key to survival is to offer the products and services that your competition does not. Strategies must be implemented to overcome the lower prices and wider selection that large retailers provide. Here are some tips to better position your salon and retail business for competing with the big box stores.
Occasionally, we can be our own worst enemy. Talk of a big competitor coming to your community is not a reason to immediately consider relocating or closing your business. First, recognize that you may need to make a positive change in the way you do business. Then, assess whether or not you have the desire to make those changes. If you have invested the time, energy and money to open your business then changes are a normal part of doing what is necessary for survival. If you are not open to change then your salon will die a slow death. Not to mention taking you and your personal finances with it