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Running a Salon in Your HomeTown: A Guide

Running a small business in your home town has its advantages and disadvantages. On one side, being community orientated will allow you to be part of something greater and follow your dreams while also enriching where you’re from. On the other side, it can be hard to thrive while also differentiating yourself as a business owner.

Here is a guide on how to run a successful business in a small town.

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Engage with the Community

Small towns are very community orientated, so you need to focus on the community’s needs and your engagement within the community. An advantage is that people will support local businesses. However, a disadvantage is that you can be judged on things unrelated to your business that will impact local support. For example, donating to local fundraisers and supporting local schools, sports, or events will be observed and expected.

The advantage of donating to local events is that it creates incredible local marketing, and people who recognize your contributions will be more likely to support your business. The disadvantage is that there can be a lot of pressure on you as a business owner to donate to many events, teams, and local causes. You may not be able to donate as much as you are asked, which will put you in a possibly sticky situation of choosing who you support and who you do not support.

It is important to engage with the local community to thrive in local businesses. In addition to donating to local causes, join the local Chamber of Commerce and get involved in local business events. Again, this will create great marketing for your business, but it can also be very demanding on your time.

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Get the big-city look in a small town.

One way you can grow is by making the local customers feel spoiled. People who live in small towns appreciate that they sacrificed luxuries in a big city for a quieter life. This also means that they tend to support businesses that provide a big city or luxurious feel. Women, in particular, enjoy feeling pampered. They will pay more for a salon that gives them a luxurious or glamourous feel in a local setting.

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Get the right furniture.

With that in mind, choose furniture, equipment, and salon decor to make your customers feel like they are going to a high-end salon. Comfortable and beautiful hair salon chairs will make them feel like royalty while they get their hair done. You want to find chairs that are stylish, comfortable, and functional for your salon. You will have to determine how many salon chairs you need for each service area and how many service areas you will have set up in your salon before you buy the space.

Get stylish front doors.

Beautiful wood doors with a custom made sign will look far nicer than standard glass doors with a sticker sign attached to the glass. Wood doors can be purchased in different sizes, grains, and colors to fit your style and décor. Wood doors also provide better security than glass doors. You want your salon to have a clear design and not feel like a franchise salon. Your customers will feel more comfortable and it will increase the perceived value of your salon.

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Cater to your customers in small ways that won’t cost you a lot but will make a big impact. For example, offering refreshments with real dishes in your waiting room will significantly impact the feel and tone of your salon. Fruit-infused water served in a chilled glass will significantly increase the perceived value of your services. While it is a little more work, it’s actually less expensive than offering bottled water to customers, and it will make them feel like they are being waited on.

Derek Sullivan

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