Let's flashback to 10 years ago when the tanning industry was booming. There was no need to think about cross promoting our salons since we didn't have to do anything. People were just pouring through the doors and we were making money. Everyone wanted to be tan; it was the cool thing to do. I think nowadays, tanning is like that dirty little secret that no one wants to admit to doing, even though there are definitely times when people are inclined to take advantage of getting a special glow.
All too often, we get tunnel vision and we only stick with what we know. Now that customers aren't flooding in quite the same way, salons need to branch out and look at other ways to get more business. I encourage you all to start looking at other businesses within your community.
If you have a new housing development or apartment complex in your area, these are great opportunities to partner with local realtors or residential figureheads. Put together a special package for new residents and create a flyer that would go out to these new homes.
Mommy play groups, wedding expos, bridal parties - there are so many groups of people who want to look and feel better. If you think outside the box and get out in the community you can encourage your community to visit. Hand out your flyers, business cards, and free tan passes at local bars, gyms and town events. Find out what silent auctions are coming up and participate by offering a month of tanning and great skincare products.
Hopefully your salon is taking advantage of the many free marketing tools available through social media: Every business should have a presence online, whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr. And since so many salons cite word of mouth as a prominent marketing tool, don't forget about referrals! Reward your clients for referring a friend.
Manufacturers and distributors are also here to help. Have your vendor sponsor a free tan weekend and get stocked up on free lotion packets to share with your clients. If you do decide to go this route, make sure you tell every customer who walks through the door about it - you want to make sure everyone is counting down the days and anticipating your awesome event. It also gives people time to invite their friends.
People still want to look good and feel great, so get out there and find new ways of showing people that you can do just that. Happy tanning!
The Tanning Depot