Most of us can admit to being scared of competitors at one time. If you haven’t, it’s coming!
A new salon or spa may open around the corner and standing before us in bricks and mortar appears a constant threat to our livelihood. A competitor.
We are faced with fears- how good are they, what treatments do they offer and the venerable concern – what’s their prices?
We freeze with panic, crossing our fingers that none of our clients will desert. In our minds we make them the enemy, the threat to our livelihood and dreams.
We are not re-inventing the wheel.
There have been millions of salons before us, and there will be billions after, so it’s time to start championing, not competing. Let’s look at how this relates to your spa.
Firstly, the obvious – Competition retains and improves quality. Imagine if you had no competition, nobody to worry about stealing your clients; no need to give 100%. With no motivation to seek out innovation you would stick with the same treatments and products you’ve had forever – forever!
You’d have the monopoly, you could increase your prices at will. Your clients will hate you, but who cares, there will always others. You are the only option.
Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it? Not what you want- your staff with no motivation, tired old salon and bored, resenting clients.
To keep us alert, creative and have a reason to persevere we need competition. It may not feel like fun, but the truth is the fun IS the competition. It’s what keeps businesses on their toes and what keeps the world of commerce going round. Simply put, life and especially business would be rather boring without competition.
Another thing- knowing that if you have no competition is a worrying sign, especially if you’re recently opened. This potentially means there isn’t a market in your area. You could be in the wrong spot, too far from footfall, or there’s just not enough people interested.
Use your competition for the good.
These 3 actions will make you a competitive winner.
1. Be beauty diplomat. More often than not collaborating with competitors can work influentially well. Approach them by calling or email. Ask them if they would like to do cross-promotions, share advertising space, refer clients to each other, meet for coffee to network or simply de-stress together. Anything that helps you bond and make friends. Sharing your fears and frustrations with another local therapist can be very liberating, especially when you are a solo. Feelings of sheer isolation can be solved by chatting to another in the same situation as you, so extend the hand of friendship when you get the opportunity.
2. Use this opportunity to analyze. Check their prices, the quality of their treatments, their services etc. Check everything. Then compare it with your spa. Where you can improve is where you they are doing better, so keep this quiet and work on it. At the same time, look for areas in which you know you are better then shout these from the rooftops! Word of caution: Do not go down the road of going cheaper. This works in some industries, but not beauty. Nobody wants their specialty to be they are the cheapest! Undercutting prices can also will lead to serious consequences because your outgoing remain the same. It’s a dirty trick anyway, one I would never recommend.
3. Differentiate. What can you do different to compete? Here are some ideas to stand out: Better hours, more social media, easy booking options, add-on treatments, prettier uniforms, not-tested-on-animal products, locally made items, green policies, fresh flowers everywhere, gift bags, OAP nights, teenage days, transgender afternoons ….the list is endless. Anything that is different and/ or rare.
Your correct attitude and approach to your competitors is going to make lives easier, so revere each other’s existence in a generous and professional way.
One last note. If you know you are the first salon in your area without any competition, your role is innovator or game changer. This is the best situation to be in but know it will be hard, simply because you are the first. You will have to breakthrough barriers of resistance and hesitancy because nobody will have heard of such offerings or needed them on their doorstep before. Extra work for you to do, but a wonderful position to be in. If you are charismatic and have a healthy abundance energy you can definitely smash this.
Some people call this position luck, but in reality you have probably identified and exploited a magnificent window of opportunity, so much respect to you!
I hope this post has been enlightening.How do you handle, approach and deal with the competition in your area? What’s your experiences?
Please share and comment below.