Some salons have seen female clients extend the time between routine services by two weeks or more, and an increasing number of women are doing their own hair color and purchasing care and treatment products formerly purchased in the salon or spa from retail stores. Clients need lower cost hair cutting services and families have to make every dollar count. In the spa and luxury services segment of the industry the disparity between the old normal and the new normal is even greater. Some spa clients have stopped coming altogether; others who used to visit weekly are now just coming once a month or once a quarter. How much can you allow business to slow before you have to take on a second job or leave the industry altogether? What are you doing to create a new normal of your own that transcends economic factors? What are you doing to take back control of your business, growth of your client base, retail sales and income? Salon and spas are natural settings for themed event and promotions. You have the ability to tailor packages, products and incentives for nearly every holiday and major life event – from new jobs to new babies to graduations to weddings to anniversaries to ‘girlfriend’ outings or dates. You see clients at a frequency to easily provide them with ever-changing merchandising displays and seasonal and personal gift suggestions.When it comes to defining growth and success in the salon and spa, we have oversimplified the answers. Traditional thinking suggests that there are only two ways to be more profitable: Get new clients into the salon (or spa) or increase sales of products and services to existing clients once they are there. That is limited thinking. There are many ways to build business beyond the simplicity of these two concepts, but you have to learn to think without the old limitations. Yes, you can and should go after new clients and yes, you have to sell products and services to existing clients.But there are more ways to get clients into the chair than to wait, hoping they will call for an appointment, and there are more opportunities to sell products, services and add-on services than only those times when the client is in the chair. In the same way that the internet’s social media web sites have blurred the lines between business and personal, you can evolve your business into a social, tribal site for your clients that blurs the lines between their service appointments and their social, professional and family lives. Filling the books, engendering client loyalty, creating buzz worthy, well-attended customer events, crafting memorable client experiences and selling through retail promotions and products takes work on your part. Getting outside of your own walls, engaging in more frequent print and e-mail communication, utilizing more channels for marketing in the salon, in the community, through the press and online, making new contacts, networking, creating meaningful business co-marketing opportunities - these are the kind of activities that 12 Months of Marketing for Salon and Spa is meant to stimulate.Create a bigger, more influential role for your business in the lives of your clients!