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6 ways to build a thriving beauty business

The beauty and spa industry is a highly competitive environment and if you want your business to thrive, you’ll have to bring in your A game every single day!


It’s surprising to see how little people actually know about the beauty, skin spa & wellness industries & even our own businesses & the people we employ.

To combat this problem, try setting up educational seminars and events that feature a certain kind of treatment or results for your current guests & to help you find many new customers too! Since COVID online education is now more accessible than ever & you must capture your guests before another clinic catches their attention.

Give your customers the opportunity to learn about the process from qualified & knowledgeable professionals. Once your customers know more about the treatments & products you offer, they will be more open to purchasing and booking more treatments with you at your clinic or spa.

It’s a great idea to start a YouTube channel, podcast & social pages galore for your business and share your knowledge with the world and your local areas and customers in particular. Once you know your target market, look for the platforms that best suit your business model. You will be amazed at how many new customers will see your videos & education.

Host regular events in your business – online & in-house. Invite your product & treatment suppliers to come in and help you to host events & offer lucky door prizes whilst educating all at the same time.

Really focus on what's in it for the client it shouldn’t be all sell sell sell.


Servicing a niche market does not necessarily mean specializing in one type of treatment (although that is a perfectly viable way of doing business & becoming very popular) Focus on what you are great at & specialising is a fantastic way to grow your business, potential to franchise and a fantastic way to advertise and get lots of local and national PR. You don’t have to be skilled in all areas of the industry & knowing your niche definitely makes team training a lot easier if there is less to train in.


Never stop promoting and cross promoting. Always have something going on in your business for no matter what time of year such as seasons like Winter hydration skin treatments, Spring tidy for laser/ waxing services, Mothers Day cross promoting with florists to promotions such as Halloween & ‘shed the dead skin peels’…. The amount of events possible in a year is endless and the more creative your mind is the better! Be sure to ask your teams & families for ideas on what appeals to them too and get everyone involved.

Deck the business out in your themes such as Fiji for Summer holidays, Christmas & Easter are always lots of fun & you will grab lots of fun social media images at the same time.

Communicate your promotions to your customers via social media, emails, texts and other available channels such as newspapers, local radio, free local papers, posters , uniforms etc and get your beauty salon logo out there for all to see. Beauty and spas are seasonal businesses, and it’s important to keep customers coming in during the off-peak periods.

"Good employees are worth their weight in gold—especially if they’re popular with your clients." 


Beauty customers are some of the most loyal customers you will ever encounter—but they are also the most fickle. They might be visiting your business for years on end with a smile on their face, but one bad experience can drive them into the arms of your competitor or worse onto social media to leave a nasty review.

Reward customer loyalty through gift with purchases, VIP facebook groups with VIP only deals, gifts, and special discounts, events.

But most of all, reward them with attention. Get to know them as people.

Become their friends as well as their skin therapist—even if you’d never hang out with them in real life. They are there for the experience, as well as the services. Reward their loyalty by making every stay a pleasant one & know their name! Sit with your team and research your VIPs so they know the faces when they walk in.


Nothing can sink a spa or beauty salon business faster than a soiled reputation. The danger can come from anywhere—a rude employee, a bad wax, poor hygiene… Or it may not even be your fault. Once the damage is done, you’ll have to pull off some exceptional crisis management in order to keep your customers from leaving or listening to the negative feedback.

Train your employees in proper customer care and service. Hire experienced skin therapists & aestheticians to perform all services.

Don’t skimp on products and tools.

Observe proper hygiene in all aspects of your operations. And above all, pay attention to what’s being said outside of your business. It’s hard to protect your reputation when you don’t know what that reputation is. Respond on all social media to good and bad reviews & thank guests for feedback. Encourage staff to get as many 5star reviews as possible.


Good employees are worth their weight in gold—especially if they’re popular with your clients.

On the flip side, the departure of a star employee can be ruinous for a salon. A large number of clients may decide to follow the employee to wherever it is they are moving, and take their money with them. This happens on a very regular basis – so protect your business with legal contracts as well for all employees.

Treat all of your employees well, but treat your star employees better.

Acknowledge them and reward them for their work, but don’t count on them always being there. Be sure you groom one or two “understudies” with their own sets of clients, who have the skill and charisma to catch your star employee’s clients should the star decide to move.

Thank your team often, have KPI’s in place for daily / weekly/monthly targets & be sure to ask your team what motivates them so you have the correct incentives in place that actually motivate your team.

Once you have looked after all of these aspects in your business – YOU ARE READY TO THRIVE… BUT - DON’T FORGET YOU – you cannot pour from an empty cup so be sure to look after yourself as much as you can & if you ever need help or someone to talk to team ABIC & your fellow ABIC members are always here to help you.

Karla McDiarmid

Karla is a business owner and trainer with 20+ years in the skin and beauty industry. Karla is the Spa Director of Macquarie Medi Spa and employs 19 skin and beauty therapists across two locations incorporating all aspects of skin and beauty including cosmetic tattooing, injectables and laser. Karla is a multi-award-winning spa owner with accolades such as receiving five ABIA awards including Spa Director, Global Spa Manager of the Year & Best Team of the Year along with several prestigious World Luxury Spa Awards. Her businesses have also twice been named the Australian Beauty Salon of the Year. In 2019 Karla McDiarmid was named the Orange Business Leader of the Year (35+ years) at the prestigious Orange Business Awards.

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