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    18 Replies Latest reply on May 28, 2012 12:12 PM by wolf29

    New Small Business Owner Needs Help!

    Shelby Marie Wayfarer

      I just opened my own salon suite a couple months ago and now I'm needing inexpensive marketing ideas. The marketing that I've done so far are my own post card mail-outs, I've joined every social website to get my name out there, I made cute favor bags that included coupons and cookies in the shapes of scissors, a hair brush and a blow dryer and brought them to local businesses and I'm going to go to the local community college and put flyers up there. I've also made referral cards for my current clients to give out.

      I feel like I'm out of marketing ideas and could really use some help please!!!


      Thank you in advance,


        • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
          LUCKIEST Guide

          Shelby, .Do you know about SCORE. SCORE is FREE both in person and on line.

          SCORE and I can help you with both business and a marketing ideas.

          My two favorite ideas are:

          Pick a charity to sponsor and then find someone from your local newspaper

          to write an article about you and the charity. With the holidays coming up,

          that should be easy.

          Support a local team (football, baseball in the spring, soccer) and all the

          Boys and girls will be wearing your business name on their shirts.


          Good luck and all the best in this coming holiday season.

          • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
            Chris Jaeger Wayfarer

            Hi Shelby,

            Do you have a website? What is the link?



            • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
              Shelby Marie Wayfarer

              I set up an appointment with SCORE next week. Thank you! And thank you Chris for liking my FB page!

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                • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                  joshuawilson Scout



                  Congrats on your new business. So it is better to advertise your product or services locally. However, this campaign makes use of the Internet as the promotion medium and there are great chances of people within a city or locality searching for a product or service and finding it, because search engines are now where people go to look for local businesses, not the Yellow Pages.



                • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                  alicenikolic Scout

                  Having a good local search marketing campaign will allow a business to rise to the top of search engine results with correct and relevant keywords. With the combination of keyword research, social media networking, positive and widespread reviews businesses can get ahead of their competitors.



                  All the best for your business.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                    Bridge Navigator

                    Join your local chamber of commerce.  You will meet many supportive local business owners.

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                      EVA7777 Adventurer

                      There are many ways to get your business known in your community. Another suggestion would be to create some discount coupons and distribute them to local businesses. They can either give them to employees or provide them as complimentary gifts to customers. This is a great way to advertise and generate new business. You will be surprised at how many coupons you get back!

                      • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                        SMMInc Adventurer

                        Seeing as its about prom season, run a facebook contest for a free Prom make over...maybe partner with someone who does make up.


                        I have had a lot of success with facebook contests driving traffit to a business. 



                          • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                            Moderator Cath Guide

                            I agree with you, David.  Proms are always a big thing for teens and their parents.  Running a Prom Special - hair, nails, make-up, etc. would catch a lot of attention and hopefully bring some business in (both returning and new).


                            And summer is coming.  People will be thinking of hair cuts for their family.  Consider a Summer Special or Vacation Special.


                            You can always give some sort of discount to your customers who send in new customers.


                            These should give you more/increased visibility in your community - good luck!



                          • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                            koln123 Tracker

                            Shelby,    I suggest considering picking and offering a 1 time free service on a limited basis, once per person.


                            As an example, devote maybe a couple of hours per week to offering some free service which gets clients in the door.    The purpose is to establish a long term consistant customer base.      The main benefit and goal is you get that person into your shop.    If they like your work, they will keep coming back.


                            Since your business is extremely personalized,  if a customer likes you, you may have that customer for a long time.    So often, the reason it is hard to get new customers in is not because people don't like you enough or don't want to try you.   It is just because they are in a routine and daily habit to use certain existing business they are in a routine of using, and seeking out new businesses to try is low on their priority list.     The details of this idea need to be carefully considered of course, but if done right, this can really jump  start your customer base.     


                            Think of it this way.   If a local women's club offered you to come in and show them a sample of your services, would you do it?   Probably so because the payoff is you are hoping to build a customer base.   Hey that potentially another idea.  


                            If they are getting some service in your Salon for free, wow that is a draw.   Maybe try it on a limited basis and see what happens.


                            Good Luck.



                            • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                              Moderator Cath Guide

                              Another suggestion will at least promote goodwill if not a great local news story.  Contact a nursing home or senior citizen center in your area and offer your services one day a month at a very reasonable rate.  The mature adults would probably enjoy and appreciate the attention and your services, of course.  Let the nursing home/center know the hours you would be willing to offer them and then see how it goes.  If you are allowed, take photos and give to the adults.  You would leave each month with a happy heart, knowing you have made some people very happy.  And you never know, word just might spread about your benevolent spirit and bring in some new customers!


                              Shelby Marie, why don't you post and let us know how things are going for you and your business?  We are always happy to hear success stories and are willing to jump in and offer suggestions if they are still needed and wanted.



                              • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                                Colorfulcrafts1 Newbie

                                Hi Shelby,


                                I was reading your post regarding Marketing, may I ask what type of Salon Suite do you have or offer?

                                • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                                  blompie24 Wayfarer



                                  I would suggest taking your salon out onto the street one day.  Why dont you host a neighborhood competition where people come with pictures of celebrities and you mimic the hairstyle.  If you cant give them the hairstyle it's free of charge.  If you can, they pay.  Take down details of people entering the competition so you can compile a mailing list.  Just a thought.  Good luck

                                  • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                                    Sumone Adventurer

                                    Hi Shelby,


                                    A friend of mine has owned a successful hair salon for 20 years. I can hardly get an appointment.


                                    Some things that she has done in the past....

                                    Senior Discount day-Take a flyer to the local nursing homes

                                    College Student Discount-Take your flyer to all of the college campuses in your area (maybe give snacks to starving college

                                    Bring a friend discount day- First one full price/2nd one half off

                                    24 hour Blitz-My firnd and one of the girls in the salon booked appointments for weird times for 24 hours straight. The local radio station heard about it from a client calling in and the DJ called her shop to ask them if they were It was weird but a very successful night for her.


                                    In looking at your website your prices are very reasonable.

                                    Maybe offer a 1/2 off color day on say a Monday or a Tuesday.

                                    Frequent patron cards- Visit 5 times and your 6th time is half off


                                    The key is something is better than nothing.

                                    You want to get people in so that they will love your service and keep coming back.


                                    Lastly, try offering your services to an OutReach service, maybe InterAct or Girls Club for girls/women that may not be able to afford your services. Word of mouth is the best advertisement. Good Luck to you!

                                    • Re: New Small Business Owner Needs Help!
                                      wolf29 Adventurer

                                      Congrats on your business. Social media is the thing these days as I'm sure you're aware of. I got some really good suggestions from Even though they seem to be more for loans and grants for startups, I was able to use their resources for my online dog business in order to make it grow.


                                      Good luck!