Posted October 28, 2019
We have all seen the stickers on doors, the Instagram posts, and the buttons on websites – Local Awards season is finally done and dusted. For salon owners, it can be easy to assume that being part of or winning your Local Business Award is an important measure of the success of your salon – but are these business awards really worth it?
It’s important to note that there are different kinds of awards that salon owners can win. Salon of the Year for a particular supplier is popular for both hair and beauty salons and to win in these areas it often comes down to training or product sales. This doesn’t necessarily offer a lot of value for your clients, although you might get a good kick-back from the supplier for being a top performer. Most of the online review sites, such as WOMO or even Google, will send you out a sticker each year saying that you are a 5-star service winner. This offers some value for new clients, as they know you have plenty of favorable reviews and offer a great service. Both of these awards often require little or no effort on the part of salon owners and so are a nice boost of positivity for your salon and give you something to talk about on social media which is never a bad thing.
Then there’s your local business chamber awards or The Local Business Awards, which are definitely more focused on your business, but they don’t necessarily measure key metrics from your salon, like customer satisfaction or profit, instead becoming a bit of a popularity contest with businesses asking their audiences to vote for them in the awards. While a nomination in these awards can absolutely offer you as a salon owner the validation that you’re doing the right thing in your business, often these awards are self-nominated rather than on merit. Unfortunately, they are also a great excuse for the organisers to sell you a table of tickets, which can really add up if you want to bring your team, your partner and your mum to them. These awards don’t necessarily measure that you have a stable full of happy customers or that your business has a better profit margin than the salon down the road.
Business awards, however, can offer a great excuse to speak to your customers about something other than your services and can garner good feelings in your existing customer base. HABA has seen many instances where an award like this gives customers an easy opportunity to share the win with their friends and family, resulting in referrals and new business. While some salons have said that they received plenty of new business after winning an award, it’s hard to judge whether or not this is directly from the win, or whether it’s simply that you have better engagement with your existing customers, and that garners better engagement and interest from their network of friends and family, particularly online. The question that needs to be asked is whether or not you would continue to offer a great service to your clients, even if no-one was watching. Maybe if you simply asked your existing customers for a referral, or offered a referral incentive for them, you would see similar results.
By all means, treat any nomination or awards ceremony as a great night out and an excuse to have a delicious dinner with your partner or team and dress in something glamorous; but don’t make the mistake of thinking that winning a business award is going to make a huge difference to your bottom line. Hard work and great customer service will always offer a better return on investment.
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