The personal services sector has always been one of the most competitive niches for entrepreneurs who choose to operate alone. Sole practitioners are common in the field because large numbers of those who sell their talent to the public prefer to run small, lean enterprises. That way, they don’t need to worry about employees, payroll, benefits for workers, and dozens of federal and state laws that affect larger enterprises.
Hair stylists, massage therapists, and similar providers can, however, find it difficult to build up a base of loyal customers. Fortunately, salon and bodywork shop owners can overcome that perennial challenge by relying on a detailed marketing plan, getting a personal loan to cover startup or operational expenses, hosting neighborhood promotional events, investing in their long-term financial security, keeping their skills sharp, and working with other professionals to synergistically build their businesses. Here are the pertinent details.
Devise a Marketing Strategy
A realistic but detailed marketing and promotion plan is an indispensable component of your long-term success as an entrepreneur in the bodywork field. That’s because the acquisition of regular clients is imperative for financial solvency. Make a list of which techniques you intend to use. Consider online advertising, automating digital marketing, joining coupon clubs to make offers via the internet to large numbers of people, holding local Discount Days events on select weekends or during the week, handing out promotional flyers in the neighborhood, and buying local radio or TV spots.
Get a Personal Loan
Taking out a personal loan is the single most potent way for bodywork pros to get their businesses off to a solid start. But what about owners who also have family obligations to pay for, like weddings, home repairs, or an upcoming vacation? The beauty of personal loans is that borrowers can use the proceeds for any purpose they desire. So, if you own a manicure salon and are trying to finance a daughter’s wedding, you can take out a loan and pay for both at the same time.
As for entrepreneurs who only borrow for business purposes, that’s okay too. Not only can you get the funds in just a few days, but it’s easy to decide if borrowing makes sense for you before committing to the agreement. The wisest way to begin the process is to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of borrowing. Of course, there’s a degree of risk associated with every type of financial transaction, so take time to explore all the facets of personal loans before moving ahead with the decision to apply.
Improve Skills Through Continuing Education Courses
Every state has its own set of rules about continuing education for bodywork professionals, some being more stringent than others. But in addition to the required hours, seek courses that help add to your area of expertise. For federal tax purposes, such courses are usually deductible from your gross income. Be sure to check with your accountant to make sure. Add credentials and special coursework to your website so customers are aware of your accomplishments. In the personal services niche, little things can make a major difference in the eyes of prospective customers. Keep a detailed list of every class you take and seminar you attend.
Start a Power Breakfast Club
For bodywork professionals who are struggling to build up a loyal clientele, the process can seem to be grindingly slow. One way to speed it up is to establish a small power breakfast group of professionals who assist each other. Many massage therapists gather each Friday morning for such confabs with a group of five other sole practitioners, each of whom does something different.
The typical arrangement includes the founding member, a massage therapist in this case, along with a hair stylist, a manicurist, an esthetician, and perhaps a Reiki therapist or similar provider. The goal of the get togethers is to exchange ideas and contacts. The synergy can be powerful because many consumers who regularly visit a manicurist are open to that person’s suggestion about whom to see for a good massage or excellent hair services.