The beauty industry is very competitive. As a small business owner, competing with the prices that the bigger stores offer can be a challenge, but you can bring in customers in other ways than prices alone. Finding your niche, such as all organic and vegan products, gets you known in the industry as being a specialist in a certain area, and can drive a particular crowd away from the larger, more generalized stores and straight into yours. Building your reputation in this area as well as being known for an extremely knowledgeable and professional staff can be exactly what you need to find that competitive edge. Here are a few tips for beauty supply store owners that are either opening their first store or looking to relocate.
Choose the right space. You may have big dreams for a spacious floor plan, but you need to select an affordable space in a convenient location. Choose a store that is close by to your target audience. If you think college students will be your big customer base, staying close to campus is a good strategic move. If stay-at-home moms are your target, being in a heavily trafficked suburban shopping center would be ideal.
Make your store easy to shop. Orderly beauty supply store shelves that make finding products easy and convenient are a must. Your store should be clean and attractive at all times. Stock your beauty supply displays with the latest products to show your customers that you are relevant and current with the newest trends. The beauty industry needs the old standbys, but it is important to also keep up with next trend.
Get products wholesale. Meet with representatives from large beauty product companies and the smaller ones to see if they will provide samples and products at wholesale price. Discuss an ordering schedule to ensure they will be able to meet demands.
Market and promote your business. Send out local mailers to introduce the neighborhood to your store. Many people shop locally for their beauty products, so knowing that your store is in the area should bring in some local business. Try to advertise with other local businesses and build relationships with shop owners nearby. Offer discounts to other beauty professionals in return for customer referrals. Sponsor local events such as fashion shows and contribute free beauty products.
Get seen. Attend trade shows and other relevant events to learn more about trends and for a great opportunity to network and see what other professionals in the industry are doing. Try out the products that vendors are offering to see what you might want to add to your shop. You and the staff should try out as many of the products that you are selling as possible so that you can give a genuine review of it when asked.
Build up a customer database. Send out regular emails or flyers with promotions, discounts and new product offerings. This will keep your shop relevant and top of mind and give them a reason to choose your store over other ones.
Your smaller beauty supply store can compete with the bigger retailers, you just need to prove you are a trusted and knowledgeable resource. Keep your shop top of mind by sending promotional materials and emails with regularity, maintain an easy to shop and well stocked store and stay up-to-date on the latest trends.