The 7 Mandatory Steps
Congratulations on starting your new business. Bravissimo! The grind matters more at this point than any other point so we have to put our best foot forward and become obsessed with the small details of our business when first starting and we cannot afford to skip steps just because it’s challenging to figure out. This is the most crucial thing majority of business owners overlook because they’re heavily consumed by the basics of setting up their business. From my personal experience it’s much harder to change your impressions, image, & vibes later down the road than at the start, you might as well throw it out and start over again. So let’s get it right from the start and save on the headaches.
Once we’re setup properly we can get back to what we know best (hair) but for right now we must ensure we are setting ourselves up for the best possible success. Why put in so much work to master our craft but not take the time to master the second most important aspect our (business image). Image is everything in the world of beauty and if you’re first impressions whether digital or physical are not coming off as stunning in one way or another to your clients then you have only failed yourself. Lucky for you you have this starting point to guide you.
Step 1: Naming Your Brand
You might be inclined to name your new business insert common name (Hair By______ ) but try to think big picture and long term. What if I have my own employees? What if I open my own salon? All of that time you invested previously and now you have to change it or reinvest into your new brand. I know ego is hard to overcome but honestly your clients already love you as their hair stylists so create a brand they can get behind love, trust, and help grow which is much bigger than yourself a brand they can support and be loyal too. Human pshycology loves being loyal to brands. Yes you can expand or create your brand later but ideally building your brand at the start when you have time to is best. It takes years to build a brand so start now, start correct.
Step 2: Brand Aesthetics
Whats the look, vibe and feel of my brand? How do I communicate my brand to my clients? These are all important questions to consider but remaining consistent with your brand i.e; colors, brand messaging and placement are really important to the first impression. Remember you only get one impression so you better make sure you make the best impression possible and stick with it. Consider a graphic designer to create your brand logo. Many can be found online where you have multiple designers submitting their work to you and you choose the best. Many will allow revisions if you’re not satisfied. Get this right and pay for it if you have too but don’t skimp on this. Take into heavy consideration colors and what they mean to humans when we see them.
Step 3: Get Legal
- Get a Business License with dba name
- Get Establishment Licenses
- Get a Sellers Permit (if selling products)
- Get Insured (A person died from a simple shampoo so protect yourself from unseen risks)
Step 4: Get Found (digitally)
- Setup your Social Media accounts (fb, ig, tictoc, pins, yt)
- Setup Google My Business (so you can get found locally)
- Setup Website (to tie it all together)
- Setup Yelp Reviews (to build trust with your clients)
Setup your Social Media accounts asap. With social media being the number one way new clients will see your brand its important to have it setup and looking proper. Follow your top five industry superstars so you can compare your posts to theirs. Yeah they might have a whole social media team with professional photographers but you can mimic and even achieve similar results with little effort. Consider posting videos as videos convert highest. If you don’t have the time to edit and post videos consider ig reels/stories for ease and speed. High quality pictures converts second best. Make sure you put the time into staging which consists of good lighting, focus, and angles. Then post edit with a photo editing app like photoshop or lightroom before posting to social media. A high quality photo vs a low quality photo is a real game changer. Nobody likes android photos lol. Not getting the quality you had hoped for? Hire a professional photographer to get you going. They will give you all of this and usually more. In addition consider a booking app that integrates well with ig, fb, your website, and your cell phone. Automating this process is critical in keeping your clientele happy and you organized.
Setup Google My Business so you can be found in your city right way. This is free & easy to do that highly contributes to your success. Add your business info, logo, high quality pictures/videos and you should see an increase in interest.
Setup your Website so your customers can check you out. A website is a great way to show yourself more than what social media can showcase. Sometimes customers want to find out how much you charge or what services you provide. A website helps with all of this. Plus the bigger your digital footprint is the easier new clients can find you. It’s literally free advertising. Add a blog and make sure all of your SEO’s are good and watch you website rank high. I have seen the ugliest websites rank number one on google because of a good blog and great SEO’s. Don’t want to do any of this? Hire a SEO expert locally. If you hire an SEO expert connect your Analytics account to your website to track the growth. Trust me its worth the small cost to be found and to get ranked number one on google. When you’re ranked thats free money for you. Free advertising, free promo that you’ll never have to pay for again. Seo’s usually take a couple weeks to see results but once it’s setup it runs on autopilot as your personal salesman. Can you say cha ching! You’ll have so much business you’ll wish you followed Step 1 and had a brand already setup. (so setup your brand early)!
Setup your Reviews. Whether it’s on yelp, google, or anywhere else building your clients trust up is the most important step in the customers journey. If you followed the above steps so far you’ve built their trust up. In addition, to building trust with your clients even more important is building your trust up with google, Facebook, and instagram. Reviews are apart of their ranking algorithms and can propel you very high in search rankings. Highly consider trading a couple services for a couple reviews. Yes, I’m dead serious! The return on positive reviews is 10x the cost of services you provided. You need positive reviews. It establishes authority to google and trust with clients double whammy. New clients are more likely to book you if you have reviews. Reviews can be challenging to gather so consider texting your satisfied clients after you perform services on them with a follow up text message. Nothing feels better than a follow up message to the customer. It’s easy to do and many times can be automated. Consider saving a template in your phones notes for future copy & paste use. This is probably the most slept on thing that the industry doesn’t do well in but can give you the highest return so stand out and make that favorable impression!
Why do all of this? This is what the customer goes through before purchasing. Customers on average interact with your brand a total of 7 different times before purchasing from you. So let’s think like a customer! When you’re thinking of purchasing something what steps do you go through before purchasing? Do you read reviews? Silently judge the brands image lol?
The Customers Journey:
Social Media>Google>Website>Yelp>Purchase Commitment = Trust