5 Ways to Let People Know Your Salon is Sanitary

Just a handful of salons—and the bad publicity they create—can make clients wary of every salon. But you can counteract the negativity and build your business by making good sanitation the point of difference in your salon. Here are five ways to get the word out:

1. Tell people! Jaime Schrabeck, Nailpro competition director and owner of Precision Nails in Pacific Grove, California, uses this easy method: She tells clients exactly what sanitation methods she employs and why she uses them. “As both the client and I wash our hands, I explain that I’ve put out a clean towel, a new file and sterilized implements,” she says. “I also explain that I wear disposable gloves to minimize the transmission of germs and overexposure to chemicals.”

Schrabeck’s autoclave sterilization method is of great interest to clients. “I tell clients that I first clean my stainless-steel implements with antibacterial soap, secure them in pouches and then place them in the autoclave for processing,” she says. She encourages her clients to ask any questions they might have about salon sanitation.

2. Have a mission statement. A simple statement of your salon’s vision says it all, and this statement should be succinct enough to fit on the back of your business card, at the bottom of your salon menu, as the header of your website, and framed on your salon wall. Salon consultant Louis Mattassi of Salon Training, Oceanside, California, explains, “When I owned my salon, our vision statement emphasized cleanliness and professionalism, not just ‘a look.’”

Euro Day Spa & Salon in Orlando, Florida, uses the following statement: “We care about you by creating a quiet, clean and professional atmosphere for all of your nailcare needs. Our licensed, highly experienced and professional nail technicians are fully trained and certified in sanitation procedures and techniques.”

Wendy Feldman, owner of Spa Elysium in Philadelphia, conjures up images of pampering and purity with her salon’s statement: “We provide a retreat where beauty and wellness walk hand in hand with excellent customer service in a peaceful, clean environment as we keep abreast of education and trends in our industry.”

3. Highlight cleanliness in ads. Always mention high sanitation standards when you advertise. You needn’t trash the competition; a simple phrase such as “We follow the highest standards of cleanliness” will draw prospective clients. Mattassi states, “Every two or three months, our salon released a marketing piece with a slogan that was more subliminal, such as ‘We care about your health.’” Keep the campaign positive, he adds. “We never approached it from the angle of ‘We’re better,’ even though salons on our street were unsanitary.”

4. Market sanitation to clients. Salon consultant Nancy King has learned sanitation from the ground up by quizzing state boards and schools, doctors and fellow nail techs. She considers good sanitation habits the very foundation for building your business, and she even teaches a class called “Understanding Sanitation as a Marketing Tool” at various trade shows throughout the year. Her recommendations? “Hang any education certificates on the wall at your station, and post notices about health and safety by your table and in the restrooms,” she says. “Demonstrate cleaning and disinfecting at your table so that the concept of sanitation is literally marketed to clients.”

5. Show clients they get what they pay for.  Mattassi goes a step further in his salon consultations: “Clients should be told that a portion of their service price goes toward staff training and purchase of products that increase salon sanitation. This practice reinforces to the client that sanitation is something they can count on because it’s literally part of what they’re paying for.” Mattassi’s salon staff training includes strict adherence to protocol and a thorough sanitation regimen. “The client should be reassured by seeing what I call ‘a system of the daily household’; that is, the entire staff is consistent and organized in its service practices, such spraying down the table after each service and keeping the workstation dust-free.”

[Image: Oxfordian Kissuth]

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