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How to find your niche in the New Zealand beauty industry

How to find your niche in the New Zealand beauty industry

Whether you’re just finding your feet in the beauty industry or looking to further lift your established business, few people are better placed to help guide you on your journey than Liz McKeon. A bestselling author, speaker, salon coach, and founder of the International Salon Business School, Liz has helped thousands of salon owners navigate the unique challenges of the beauty industry.

This week, we tapped Liz to get her insight on finding a niche and unique selling point within the competitive beauty space

Choosing a niche is a major step in launching a successful business.  But, it’s definitely not a step you want to rush through, says Liz.  It helps you attract clients who closely align with your market position, which boosts conversions and customer loyalty.

Tips for identifying your niche

  1. Consider your passions and strengths. There are plenty of challenges that small businesses face, such as creating brand awareness, sales prospecting, poor access to funds and competing with larger more established competitors.  However, if you enjoy what you do, it is easier to nurture and grow, despite all these challenges. Passion for your business will drive you to devote your time and attention to providing your clients with the very best experience.  Passion for what you do will make you work harder to meet the demands of your growing client base rather than cut corners.
  2. Next, start noting down your interests.  Ask yourself ‘what do I enjoy doing the most’?  ‘What topics do I enjoy learning more about’?  Next, consider your strengths:  What skills come naturally to you?  What areas are you most knowledgeable about?  The areas where your interests and strengths overlap is the sweet spot – a great potential business niche!
  3. Access your competition.  A major step to take to find you niche in business is assessing the competition, particularly the salons offering similar solutions to those in your niches of interest.  Ideally you want to find a niche that has high demand and low competition.  Evaluate the solutions your competitors are offering, such as pricing, quality of marketing and standards of customer service.
  4. Approach it from a customers’ perspective.  Think about the specific client your business will target.  It is one of the most effective ways to find a niche to focus your business on and to stay ahead of the competition.  The size of the customer segment should be large enough to warrant the investment you’re about to make a good financial plan for your salon to remain profitable.

Once you have identified your niche, test it out and launch.  Start your website and scale your business with social media and continue to apply effective market strategies to keep growing.

Next question to ask yourself:  ‘What’s my USP’?

Learn to boost your sales by positioning your salon as the best in the market!

What makes you personally, or your salon, more unique, more valuable and more visible in the market?

You’ve heard the old saying ‘Differentiate or Die’?  In our highly competitive industry, you have to be unique and fill a special niche to be successful in the marketplace.  Yet, one of the most harmful mistakes salons make is not being unique and positioning themselves as the best choice in the market.

Having a Unique Selling Proposition or ‘USP’ will dramatically improve the positioning and marketability of your salon and products by accomplishing three things:

Unique:  It clearly sets you apart from your competition, positioning you as the more logical choice.

Selling:  It persuades a client to buy from your salon.

Proposition:  It is a proposal or offer suggested for acceptance.

Your USP is the force that drives your business and success.  It can also be used as a ‘branding’ tool that is included with every tactical marketing effort you use, such as business cards, brochures or your website.  This allows you to build a lasting reputation while making sales.

The ultimate goal of your USP and marketing is to have people say to you “yes, I’ve heard of you, you’re the salon who….” and then respond by requesting more information of making a sale.

Develop your USP

Your USP is the very essence of what you are offering.  It needs to be so compelling that is can be used as a headline that sells your product or service.  Therefore, since you want to optimise all your marketing materials for maximum results, create it before any other advertising or marketing material.

Step 1:  Use your biggest benefits. 

Clearly describe the biggest benefit of using your salon and explain why that is important to your clients.  Think in terms of what your salon does for your client and the end result they desire from your service.

Step 2:  Be unique

Basically, your USP separates you from the competition, and illustrates your salon is the most logical choice.  Write your USP so it creates desire and urgency. 

Step 3:  Solve an industry ‘performance gap’.

Identify which needs are going unfulfilled in your local market.  The needs that exists between the current situation and the desired objectives is termed a ‘performance gap’.  Many salons base their USP on industry performance gaps are very successful.

Step 4:  Be specific and offer proof

Clients are sceptical of advertising claims.  Alleviate their scepticism by being specific and offering proof where possible.

Step 5:

The most powerful USP’s are so perfectly written, you cannot change or move even a single word.  Each word earns you money by selling your product or service.  After you get your USP written, your advertising and marketing will practically write itself!

Step 6:  Integrate your USP into all marketing materials

Variations of your USP will be included in all your marketing materials, such as:

  • Website
  • App
  • Social media pages
  • Business cards, brochures, flyers and signage
  • Phone and sales scripts

Step 7:  Deliver on your USP promise

Be bold when developing your USP but be careful to ensure that you can deliver.  Your USP should have promises and guarantees that capture your client’s attention and encourages them to book with you.  Having a strong USP can make your business a big success, or a big failure, if you don’t deliver on it, thereby risking your reputation.

Build your USP to optimise your marketing for maximum results.  If your salon has a good, clear and honest USP there is an excellent chance that you will be able to compete on factors other than price.  And, that means that your business will be more profitable.

Liz McKeon offers training courses for beauty business owners, managers, and staff. If you’re unsure of your needs, get in touch via team@lizmckeon.com for a complimentary consultation.