Why isn't my business working?

I started a business around 3 months ago. We have gone from about 5 customers in 1 month to about triple however it’s not enough to pay the bills.

I know it’s early days but i am worried, the growth is very slow and what if we don’t ever make a profit.

It simply doesn’t make sense to me because well, i run a beauty salon and hairdressers. We are by far the cheapest around. Some places in our area even charging double what we charge. Our prices mean we need 2, 1 hour customers a day to break even. But we are not even getting that, it doesn’t make sense because all these other expensive places are booming, fully booked even. I understand they’re not new but i would have thought we’d have taken enough customers by now with our prices and nice salon.

We have been using advertising methods such as Groupon, Wowcher, Leafleting (not much), billboards in the town center, internet, Facebook. We are situated in the town center although in a market hall that isn’t exactly thriving but we rely on pre planned visits not simply walk ins.

One of our therapists are constantly being tipped and praised for being able to get their knots out like no one else. With promised rebooks but we never seem to hear back from that many people.

I am going to run out of money at this rate, anyone have some suggestions on how any more advertising or how to build up our client base?

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4 Responses to “Why isn't my business working?”

  1. Kernow Man says:

    Shut down your business now before you lose more money! It is not early days, 3 months is a long time and if you are only getting 15 customers a month you are not even getting enough to cover your expenses.

    Sometimes in life you have to face facts and stop hoping for a change. There is no way your business will survive on such small numbers and if you get out now, you won’t end up in debt for the next decade.

    Times are hard now, people simply don’t have enough money for hair dressing etc so you have already seen you are onto a loser here, be realistic and get out fast before you lose everything. Forget about advertising, it is expensive and carries no guarantees of increased customers.

  2. Louise S says:

    Leaflets, vouchers, online advertising, hire models and show your work then upload the photos online and on leaflets if you haven’t done that already.. Put a map on as well in case people don’t know where it is.. Do deals such as 2 for 1, or 20% off next visit, refer a friend deal etc.. I get my eyebrows threaded at a place for £3.50 and everytime I get them done they stamp it so the sixth time it’s free. Could do things like that with hair cuts but maybe have like the 5th one half price or something
    Are the staff friendly/look friendly? Does the environment look nice? They could be other factors.. I think it’s just getting your name out there and you kind of have to prove to people how good it is, some people might think it might not be that good as its so cheap but you have to prove it.

    Hope this helps!

  3. M W says:

    The best marketing plan for a small business is word-of-mouth. It was always hard for me when I had a small business as I am not a natural gabber (talker). So I used one of my employees. She used to get on my nerves. That changed. She got a bunch of business for us all.

    Also try something a competition. Note that there is that Salon show (it is a series) where they come in and redo the whole business. See all of the episodes. That is directly in your industry.

    Try more community related public relations such as the local news, Lyons Club, Elk Lodge; also business clubs to your industry and always tap your vendors for information.

    Be a go-getter.

  4. Roger says:

    One of your biggest problems might be that you don’t charge market prices. If you devalue your business then so will customers. Don’t charge the high or low end. Be somewhere in the middle. People may feel that the work wasn’t that great because of what they paid. It’s about perceived value. The next thing is what do you do different than the competition? It is called Unique Selling Proposition. Maybe you’re trying to be to much. Focusing on one area like Perms, Coloring, and Cutting is what you might want to do. Then is the work you do what customers think is good work? Not what you think. Call them a week later and ask them to be honest. Then look at your staff. If they can’t bring in and keep people coming back then what good are they. Find some experienced tallent to come in. Someone that has a client list. If you have to give them more money than usual. All if you have to if they meet a certain base. Its about getting people in the door in the beginning. Word of mouth can help make you successful. Also look at your decor. Is your place up to the standards of the competition? You’d be amazed what some paint could do. Good Luck. Don’t Give Up. Opportunities don’t come easy in life.

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