Many of us can admit to have feeling threatened by our competitors at one time or another.
If you haven’t, it’s coming!
A new salon or spa may open just around the corner, and standing before you in bricks and mortar appears a threat to your livelihood; your competitor.
You may be faced with fears – how good are they, what treatments do they offer, and the venerable concern – what are their prices?
In a panic you cross your fingers, hoping that none of your clients will desert you.
Yet in your mind you may already be making these new neighbors an enemy – a threat to your livelihood, and dreams.
You Are Not Re-Inventing The Wheel
The truth is there have been millions of salons before yours, and there will be billions after, so it’s always a good time to start championing each other, not competing.
Let’s look at how all of this relates to your spa.
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.
You’d have the monopoly, you could increase your prices at will. Your clients might start to resent you, but who cares? There will always others.
You are the only option.
Your staff will lack motivation, and you will be the owner of a tired, boring salon.
Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it?
To keep us alert and creative, and have a reason to persevere, we all need competition.
It may not feel like it to begin with, but part of motivation IS our 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.
Plus, if you have no competition in your area this can sometimes be a worrying sign, especially if you have just recently opened. It can mean there is not a huge market in your area. You could be in the wrong spot, or too far from footfall.
Use Competition For The Greater Good
These 3 actions will make you a competitive winner.
1. Be a diplomat. 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!
Sharing your fears and frustrations can be liberating, especially if you run your place solo.
Feelings of isolation can be solved by chatting to another in the same situation, so extend the hand of friendship whenever you get the opportunity.
2. Analyze. Check prices, quality of treatments, services, check everything! Then compare it with your spa.
Where you can improve is on the points where they are performing better, so keep this quiet and work on it.
At the same time, look for areas in which you know you are superior, then shout these from the rooftops!
Never go down the route of being the cheapest. This works in some industries, but not beauty.
Nobody wants their specialty to be they are the cheap!
Trying to undercut other’s prices will lead to serious consequences because your outgoings are remaining the same. And it’s a dirty trick anyway.
3. Differentiate. What can you do to compete? Here are some ideas to stand out: Better hours, more social media, easy booking options, add-on treatments, more professional uniforms, not-tested-on-animal products, locally made items, green policies, fresh flowers, gift bags, OAP nights, teenage days, transgender afternoons ….the list is endless.
Anything that is different or rare will make you stand out.
Innovation Is The Key To Success
If you know you are the first salon in your area without any competition, your role is to be an innovator, or a game-changer.
This truly is the best situation to be in but it can still be difficult.
You will have to breakthrough barriers of resistance and hesitancy, because nobody will have heard of such offerings, or been offered them on their doorstep before.
This is extra work for you to do, but it is a wonderful position to be in.
If you are charismatic, and have a healthy abundance of self-belief and energy, you will definitely smash it!
Some people will call you lucky, but in reality, you have probably identified and exploited a magnificent window of opportunity – so much respect to you!
The correct attitude and approach to competitors makes everyone’s lives easier, and you can always choose to revere each other’s existence, in a generous and professional way.
I hope this post has been enlightening.
How do you handle, approach, and deal with the competition in your area?
What are your experiences?
Please share, and comment below.