Can Your Salon Or Spa Survive 2009?

April 22, 2009 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Back in the 1940’s right through to the 1960’s, there was an awful lot of adult ‘fun’ happening. More babies were born than ever in our history.

Over the last 50 odd years that enormous population ‘bubble’ has been growing up and sliding towards us like a giant mouse in a snake.

In fact there are approximately 50,000 people hitting the ages of 45-65 every single month. Within ten years there will be more over 65’s than there are under 16’s. Boomers own and control 80% of the country’s wealth, a collective pot of £175 billion. They have 30% more disposable cash than the under 50’s.

Best of all they’ve grown up with a whole different set of attitudes, aspiration and desires than their parents. No longer do they expect to settle down in front of the fire, watch Coronation Street and ‘wait for the inevitable.’

It astonishes me how little effort business owners commit to doing the one single thing that can help them not just survive but grow in recession – deliberately look to tap into this exploding affluent boomer (those born between 1940 and 1960) demographic. ‘Banging your head against a brick wall’ of prospects, customers and clients heavily hit by recession is wasted effort. Instead, go looking for those effected least and last – the affluent.

The premise is simple, ‘Go where the money is.’

It takes a lot longer for an affluent/wealthy person with a high disposable income to be effected by rising household bills, lack of credit and job insecurity. They are the people who will be effected least and last.

Even better, selling to the affluent can attract much higher prices and margins. Many business owners shy away from high price concerned they won’t sell enough volume but – to many, high prices signify quality, exclusivity and thus create desire. It is not 100 times more difficult to sell a Gucci® handbag for £1000 than it is to sell a simple clutch bag for £10 in Primark®. It’s not even twice as hard. It fact, given the right audience it is often easier. Additionally, affluent buyers tend to complain less, be better repeat buyers and ‘birds of a feather flock together’ thus generating referral business is equally lucrative. Moreover, the affluent boomer market is set to be the most lucrative demographic in history and any business looking for serious growth over the next 5, 10, 20 years should take steps to serve that market now. However, attracting the affluent does require some changes. The three areas for change are:

  1. Change your WHO – define and deliberately look to attract the right affluent demographic for your salon/spa.
  2. Change your WHAT – don’t just sell simple salon services. Instead look to create memorable customer ‘experiences’.
  3. Change your HOW – careful consideration needs to be given to how marketing is used to attract the affluent.

Special attention should be given to affinity, language and presentation.

Any salon/spa in any location can easily make these changes and position themselves as a provider to the booming affluent market. 2009 will be a hard year and the business dictum has “Grow or Die” has never been truer.

Capitalise on this growth opportunity now, before your beauty salon beat you to it or the recession takes its toll.

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