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Old 02-25-2005, 02:50 PM   #29 (permalink)
JeffinKC
 
Join Date: Apr 21 2001
Posts: 418
Rep Power: 24 JeffinKC is on a distinguished road
I used to be in the video business and it was hard as an independent to compete with Blockbuster but not impossible.

There is a difference in friendly service and personal service and personal service is what chains and franchises are lacking. Large independent salons still do well with this but the bigger you get the harder it is.

Diversification, grass roots marketing, and customer retention is what you have to focus on.

Diversification....It may be adding HP and Sunless or serices and products like massage and swimwear. You need to see what the large chains/franchises in your area are doing and offer what they don't. Develop a niche to serve that the others don't or can't.

Advertising......
This is tough because you are competing with companies that have advertising budgets many times the size of yours. You have to try more cost effective ways to get your name out like, going door to door with flyers, visiting local businesses, working with other companies to cross promote.

Customer retention....
This is why I think EFT is important because it is hard for them to try the new chain in town if they are locked in with you. Other cusatomer loyalty programs like, punch cards, referals, and frequent tanner discounts help to keep them coming back as well.

As more chains and franchises move into metropolitan areas the suburbs and more rural areas may become more lucrative for the independent salon.
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