Often when we think of beauty and fitness we think of products or items that can be purchased for use in the salon or at home but ultimately salons, spas and yoga studios are service based businesses. You need to market those businesses in a more efficient and strategic way to win.
A service-based business differs markedly from a product-based business. Without a commodity and inventory, you must sell ideas, intangibles and promises. 'Our treatment will take years off of your looks', 'practicing this routine 2 times a week will add to your health and reduce your waistline', 'our anti-wrinkle injections will smooth out your wrinkles in 10 days' etc. This takes a different strategic approach and practices that many service-based business owners never quite understand. The following are five marketing practices you should implement for your service-based business.
1. Find Your Unique Position
You must know what differentiates your service-based business from the competition. What is your USP, why should people buy from you? If you don’t see it, you must work at finding and naming it. A small service-based business cannot afford to be similar to or better than. It must be different, clearly so, and measurably distinct. And, the difference cannot be something as vague as quality and customer service.
It could be price, delivery assurances, turnaround time or other benefits unique to the way you do things more than what you do. In addition, whatever you decide on, you must reduce it to a few clear words, your central message for marketing and sales.
2. Optimize Your Visibility
You can’t let your business wait for discovery. You also can’t wait for customers to find you in the on Google (although they should be able to do that easily). A new business must make itself known and felt in multiple ways.
Your business now has many more marketing channels than in the pre-Internet era. There are social media avenues, paid advertisements, emails, videos and more. You have hundreds of ways to reach markets, and you must choose the most advantageous and productive. Depending on the nature of your service-based business, you can network with peers, support community interests and share local-based solutions.
3. Market Your Value Not Price
As a small business owner, you cannot afford price wars. Chances are you have no financial buffer, and wars only lead to complications you may not escape. You can afford to let customers chase price. The service you offer is not a commodity, so you want to stress its value to the consumer. You might bundle services or offer payment options. If your customers value time, accuracy, readiness, follow up, customer service, innovation and so on, that’s what you must sell. Price will follow customer need in an open market.
4. Formalise and Revise Strategy
Strategy differs from planning. Planning brings organization to any venture, and you must plan from the beginning. Strategy, on the other hand, is the how-to. It’s the manual to get you where you want to be with the business. Strategy integrates tactics with forward momentum. It includes schedules, calendars, metrics, KPIs and other achievable. But, it aligns these tactics with a targeted purpose. With that said, your strategy shouldn’t be etched in stone. Part of your strategic approach should be to revisit and revise your strategy on a regular basis in response to, and in anticipation of, changes in market demands.
5. Gift Your Clients
Product-based businesses put a quality product in front of the customer and seek reviews on performance. But, service-based businesses do not offer a tangible product. Instead, they offer a service that depends on relationships to make it work.
Service-based business owners build their brand by involving the prospects and clients in the process. As a service provider, you are consultant, expediter, expert and more. But, it’s up to the client to complete and sustain the process. So, you must encourage their participation, facilitate their role and partner more than sell.
These five marketing practices are starting points. Each needs its tactics and strategy. Each also needs nurturing and sustaining support. But, you must start by understanding the difference between product-based and service-based businesses.
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My name is Lisajane and I am the Founder & CEO of Beauty PR Club and Gorgeous Work
With over 28 years of experience working within the luxury beauty publishing, hospitality, spa, wellness and beauty sectors ( I have a great Botox doctor if you need him!). I have a post grad degree with Honours don't you know, in professional journalism, marketing and PR. I have always gravitated towards business development and strategy followed by the implementation of a great content planning and marketing strategy which tends to be naturally followed by great PR if you get your story telling on point and have the right contacts in the media that we do.
I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the most inspiring brands in world beauty within; hotels, f&b, skincare, medical devices, aesthetics, hair loss, smpu & wellbeing. You might be happy with this level of expertise but I can add further value with the experience and invaluable insights & experience gained in global recruitment (Monster.com), travel & luxury dining & spa (Travelzoo), commercial finance (GE Capital) and most recently publishing and editing (yes I have dealt with many PR firms for decades) including CNN Traveler, TNT, Totally Aesthetic Magazines.
Now we hope that it all become clearer why you should work with us for your PR and marketing focusing on the beauty, lifestyle, wellness and anti-ageing sectors, my businesses can offer a 360-degree understanding, support and strategic approach to growth, development and success for brands to invest in and trust.