Professional Beauty Industry Roundtable – Professional Beauty Solution’s Matt Williams, Skinside Out’s Robyn McAlpine and Derm Aesthetics’ Reika Roberts

Attracting new clients was the first topic up for discussion at the inaugural Professional Beauty Industry Roundtable, which focused on business support.

Eight thought leaders took part in the roundtable ‒ DMK’s Daniel Dickson, HÜD Skin + Body’s Gry Tømte, Professional Beauty Solutions’ Matt Williams, Angel Touch Skin Boutique’s Rebecca Daniel, Dermalogica’s Suzette Cassie, The Paddington Beauty Room’s Anna Field, Derma Aesthetics’ Reika Roberts and Skinside Out’s Robyn McAlpine.

Each industry expert shared their personal insights when it came to successful strategies in winning new business for salons, but the general consensus was ‘more customers does not equal more business’.


Read their edited responses below or watch the video for the full discussion.

Daniel – Work with the clients you already have
“Many businesses don’t have people problems, as in not enough people there. But what’s important is salon staff elevating their ability to communicate and being able to transition their clients from one service to another. Look at where your clients are coming from, where they are spending their money, and how else you can transition them into departments that you want. Make sure they’re coming in frequently enough to the clinic to get their skin checked. I always say ‘We clean our kids, we clean our house, and we clean our car’. Skin needs to be a higher priority on people’s day-to-day, and it’s up to us to ensure they put that priority in place.”

Gry – Find your niche
“Our focus, when we started almost three years ago, was to very much bring in new business. We started out doing everything ‒ waxing, spray tanning and a little bit of skin, but not much. Now we are 90 percent skin, and that’s through finding our niche, and sticking strongly to that path.”

Rebecca – Gain customer loyalty
“It’s a lot harder to find new clients than it is to cross your client database into new services in your own salon. We really worked on that, by introducing them slowly into new services. That way, we’re not constantly marketing to a new clientele that have never been to us before. We’ve already got their loyalty, so let’s work from that.”

Matt – Know your numbers
“Salon owners think ‘I need more business, I need more sales’. What they really need is more profitability. There’s three ways to grow a business. There are more customers; there are those customers visiting more frequently, and then those customers spending more at each visit. You cannot improve what you don’t measure. So you need to know your numbers. Sometimes a salon owner will say, ‘I need more clients’, and they engage a marketing expert. But he who is good with a hammer thinks everything’s a nail. So they think, ‘I can solve everything with just attracting more people’.  But by attracting more people, if you’re not looking at profit per minute, and not looking at your profitability and retention, you can actually go broke faster. And people don’t get that. They think that more customers are the answer to everything, and it’s not. “

Anna – New clients are important to any business
“It’s important to have a direction for new clients because things change – people die, they move, they drop off. You need to look at how much of your marketing drive is going internal, and how much is external, and is that the right proportion for your business to get the profitability that you’re after?”

Robyn – Communication is vital
“My business has evolved over the last eight years, but the clients that I had then can still be the clients I have now. It’s just finding ways to let them know how my business has evolved, and how I can serve them a lot better. It’s finding how to share that message in a new way.”

Reika – Time to get tech-savvy
“What is important in bringing new business is keeping up with the digital age. That is mind-blowing for a lot of beauty therapists. And as suppliers, we should help people to manage their digital marketing. For instance, website optimisation is greatly under-utilised by clinic owners in our industry.  People will Google ‘facials’ in a  particular location, but salons often don’t know what they need to do to bring themselves up in that search. We need to put people in touch with the right people to change that.”

Suzette – Credibility is key
“Word-of-mouth to me has always been the most powerful way of getting new business in because it’s so credible.  But it’s also up to suppliers to spread the word about their new offering, whether it’s a new product, or a new treatment, or a new service that they’re introducing that is available only in salons.”