Customers are where you get your money from. But not everyone in this world is your customer. At the same time there are people out there who should visit your salon and can become your customers but they do not visit your salon for some reason. And hence it is very important that you know who your real customers are. Let us start with – “Who is your customer?”
Confused? You know all your customers by face, most of them by their first name and you know a few of them personally too. But that’s not what we are looking at. We want to find out what type or categories of people come to your salon. The easiest way to categorize people is on the basis of their financial capability. This category is going to help us more here, since we are talking business!!
By financial category we can differentiate people into 5 broad categories:
- Lower middle class
- Middle class
- Higher middle class
These are the people who generally live on a meager wages or generally what we term as poor people. The number of people turning up to you from this section would be very less. So we will not concentrate on this section.
Lower middle class:
These are the people who are struggling financially, or working in slightly less paying jobs.
These categories of people are working in good companies with good jobs. And stay in good apartments. With good food and good education. Although they do not live a lavish lifestyle.
Higher middle class:
These are the people who live in the costly locations in the town or what we call the happening areas where the apartment rents are very high. Use branded clothes of good brands, own good cars and have their own businesses or work at a higher position in reputed organizations.
These are the rich and famous of the society. Well they might not be too famous but they need to be definitely rich. They live in houses we have only dreamed of. And have a lavish lifestyle.
Now that you know all the categories, you can ignore th
e masses and the elite category straight away as the probability of them being your customers is very less. Elite would go to celebrity hairstylists. And With all due respect, the masses do not have money to pay you.
So you are left with three categories to focus on:
- Lower middle class
- Middle class
- Higher middle class
Now you have to decide which category you will serve. Remember that you can serve all the three categories. But still in the mind you should have one category as your base customer and you will never lose this category of customer.
Strategies are different for different categories of customers. When we say strategy, we are primarily talking about pricing strategy, quality to be delivered, amount of time spent on each customer and ambience of your salon.
Market skimming is the term used by MBA grads for service only the elite clients or the niche clients. You select only the elite clients and provide them high quality services and charge them very high. There is also a psychological factor involved. Elite customers would not prefer to go to salon that any tom dick and harry of the town visits. They would want a special treatment and something extra than what other salons offer. This also includes how politely your staff behaves with your clients and treats them like a royalty. Example: In the table shown above, for the Market skimming strategy, you are serving only 15 customers per day. But you are charging them 100/- bucks. Which makes your revenue 1500/- per day.
You will be serving very less number of customers but you will be charging each customer pretty high.
If you are serving the higher middle class, all the three factors need to be high. The quality of your service and products used in your salon needs to be very high. You will have to spend considerable amount of time pampering your customer. Ambience of your salon should be great, so much so that it should not be a mere service being provided; it should be a complete “experience” for the customer. Your costs for providing all these services would be higher and hence your prices would be higher.
Economies of scale:
When you are playing the number game, MBA`s like to call it ‘Economies of scale’. Where you are charging each customer a smaller amount, but you are serving a very high number of customers.
Example: In the above table you can see you are serving 100 customers per day but you are charging only 15 bucks to each customer. Making your revenue 1500/- per day. Notice that this is the same revenue that you are earning even in market skimming. But ideally it may not be possible to serve 100 customers per day. Hence you can achieve a trade of by serving slightly lesser customers but charging them slightly higher than 15 bucks and achieve the same revenue you wish to earn. Here we have given you can example of serving only 30 customers and charging them 50/- bucks per haircut. Which makes your revenue 1500/-.
For middle class and lower middle class the ambience would remain the same. All you need is a well equipped, clean and hygienic salon with basic interior.
The difference will be in the quality of service, amount of time spent and pricing. You will spend less time on each customer as you have to serve a large number of customers everyday. And since you are charging them a slightly lesser amount, it is not worth spending too much time on one customer. But care should be taken that the quality of your service is still good. Your haircuts need to be perfect. You might compromise on the quality of the products used, by using slightly less expensive products.
When you earn from the society, it is your duty to give it back to the society. And well, here the social cause has its own fringe benefits. Once people come to know that you are involved with social cause and charity, they prefer your salon over the other salons which have equal value to them.
Hope this article was helpful to you !! Happy snipping !!