Showpony Hair Extensions partnered with Hair Expo 2018 Salon Business of the Year winner Sharlene Lee from Circles of Subiaco to uncover the real profits of hair extensions in a modern salon business, writes Cameron Pine.

Shining up VIC, NSW and SA with two more states to come early in 2019, Showpony has brought together some of the nation’s top salons to uncover just how much more business they could be doing by busting the hair extension myths and adding the premium up-selling service to their salon menu.

By the end of the one hour and a half seminar fuelled by Sharlene’s infectious energy guests came to realise just how much money they were missing out on – with Sharlene’s weekly figures in hair extensions speaking for themselves.

Completely enlightened by Sharlene’s honesty mixed with highly approachable disposition (for those that may have not met her before) the audience was eager to ask questions aligned to Sharlene’s impressive revenue figures and just how she structures her business for such impressive growth. In less than a decade Sharlene has grown her business to achieve weekly figures that many salons across the country achieve in a month. How she does it comes down to a solid mix of strategy and social but ultimately comes down to her service menu and up-selling – with hair extensions being at the fore.

“By not offering this popular and highly profitable service could lead to a loss of clientele as they seek out a salon who offers what you cannot,” Sharlene said. “We’re not just talking service sales increases as well, hair extensions create loyalty like never before, repeat visits and increased retail sales.”

Not only this, but Sharlene’s second salon in partnership with long-term staff member, Jess Marie Del Borello, Circles on Fitzgerald has shown a profit after just 12 months of trading.

Many salon owners and hairdressers see hair extensions as something that’s not for their business – typically noticing bad, cheap or botchy hair extension applications in the community and associating them with an aesthetic that doesn’t suit their salon, but they couldn’t be more wrong. It’s just a matter of partnering with the right brand and skill set.

A lot of Sharlene’s success comes down to her ability to set strong strategic goals for the business across all areas while maintaining an incredible loyalty to the brands she partners with.

“I prefer to work as an apprentice helping the staff than as a senior running my own column. The fewer clients I do, the more money my business makes. If I do more clients I miss out on opportunities driving my staff’s column,” Sharlene said.

A key precursor to such hair extensions success with Circles is a number of digital executions across makeovers and giveaways. “Online competitions are a great way to engage your audience with your top clients and ambassadors and show them just how easy it is to have perfect, voluminous hair. I couldn’t imagine my business without Showpony,” Sharlene said.

Getting the clients at the consultation is key, and as Sharlene says there are number of buzz words and concerns from the client that every stylists needs to be aware of in order to really maximise the up-selling into hair extensions.

A packed out room at the Ozdare academy in Melbourne and a full house at Sydney’s Edwards and Co – filled with leading names such as Natalie Anne, Dennis Langford and TONI&GUY salons as well as Prema to name just a few – Sharlene’s tips had everyone taking notes, not just on how to up-sell with hair extensions and incentivise the staff but how to grow their businesses overall. Uncovering just how much a salon can make in a week from offering hair extensions as a service, most guests were left impressed that on average salons with hair extensions as a service enjoyed a 60.3 per cent increase in the number of transactions per month. In addition, 47 per cent more clients per month, a 57.3 per cent increase in client visits and 116.1 per cent more items sold are all key figures – not just exclusive to the impressive figures from Sharlene of Circles.

Posing an interesting discussion of how many clients really return every six weeks revealed that while many businesses assume, there are a large proportion of client’s that’s stretch appointments out a lot longer.

With incredible success from social media and influencers, time with Sharlene wouldn’t be complete without some social media tips and proven strategies outlining how she creates noise around her salon with some of Perth’s leading influencers. Social media competitions, promotions targeted at new clients, boosted posts and google advertisements are all part of the mix that gain Circles up to 70 new clients in just one week.

Offering an extension for all hair types and desires with real human hair, Showpony offers both tape and clip in extensions (ponytails and halos), tape, stick tip, micro bead weft, sew in weft, skin weft from less permanent to permanent as well as haircare and accessories as well as a popular Hair In Full Bloom box set for the ultimate customised hair extensions experience.

By the end of the seminar, even team members that may have been against or wary about hair extensions were converted and ready to make more money with the power of hair extensions.

“I love sharing my business ideas to help grow other salons,” Sharlene said. “It gives me a lot of satisfaction when I can share ideas that other salons can use to make more money. We all want to grow and succeed so we need to share our strategies.”

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