Monday, October 22, 2012

Looking for a Deal?

There is so much debate in the professional beauty industry-- in many different professional industries, in fact-- about whether or not professionals should offer discounts, promotions, coupons, etc.

The argument against offering special offers and discounts is that it devalues the professionals services in the eyes of the consumer. Basically, they're saying that if I (the professional) should decide to offer a special deal  like say, maybe, a Full Set of Rockstar Nails for $40.00 (regularly starting at $65.00) that you (the consumer) will get it in your mind that since I can offer that discount, that that's all my skills are worth and that I should always offer that service at that price.

So when I end my promotion and that service goes back to regular price, my consumer base will be less willing to believe the service is worth regular price.

Basically, many marketing experts are telling us (the professionals) that you (the consumers) don't appreciate value and won't be able to appreciate the opportunity to get a deal. That, instead, you are spoiled, demanding, selfish, and have no concept of how economy works or appreciation for small business owners and skilled professionals.

I've been in business for 20 years now and I think it comes as absolutely no great shock to many people-- skilled professionals or not-- that this is absolutely true of some consumers.

I have long been of the opposite frame of mind: I believe in promotions! Especially when one is trying to establish themselves in the industry. Whether a new nail tech who just got licensed and now needs to build their skills and their clientele, or a salty old veteran tech who relocates to a new area and needs to start all over again. If you need to fill space in your book, part of something is better than all of nothing, so promote away!

I still have some faith left in people. I see consumers everyday who appreciate-- and recognize-- value. Who can, and will, afford goods and services that are worth their price. And respect the skill and workmanship that goes into creating those products.

It's fine to appreciate a bargain when one becomes available.

For the last several years I've been booked solid, or nearly so. Even when economic fluctuations or seasonal lulls render giant gaps in my schedule, it's only temporary. I might have a few slow weeks here and there, but the spaces eventually fill up.

This makes it tough for me to offer promotions. And it's one of the things I miss most about the early days of my career.

I enjoy thinking up fun ways to promote my business. But it doesn't do me any good to come up with a great promotion and then not be able to accommodate the business it generates.

There's also the delicate balance between coming up with a promotion that entices new clients without making my regular clients feel slighted. When things get slow around here, I need to get new people in the door, not take a hit on the revenue I'm already counting on to pay the bills.

It's a hard line to balance on.

Nevertheless, I've decided to experiment with some promotions. Right now, I'm playing around with some "secret" promotions by adding some new categories to the online booking site. So make sure you scroll through the menu before choosing your service! I'll change them occasionally, so keep checking back. You never know when you might find something you'd love to take advantage of!

The catch? You'll have to book them online.

I'm open to suggestions though-- so if you have great ideas for fun promotions, let me know.

Just don't bother with the obvious (and insulting) things like "Hey Maggie! Why don't you do full sets for $20?"

If you want a $20 set of nails, feel free to visit a salon that does nails that are worth $20. I'm hoping for a chance to try new techniques, gain new regular clients, and find fun and creative ways of promoting it. Not becoming a discount salon-- there are already plenty of those, if that's what you're looking for.

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