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Four Ways to Do Market Research for Your Beauty Business

Market research can seem a daunting task, and often conjures up images of cold callers or annoying pop-up surveys on websites. However, it’s a key part of running a successful business and should be carried out on an ongoing basis. And it doesn’t have to be a hassle for you – or for your market. Here are four easy and affordable ways to do market research for your beauty business.

Create target client profiles

Before you can decide HOW to market your beauty business, you need to understand WHO you’re marketing to.

Look at your current clients and, perhaps even more importantly, the type of client you’d most like to have, and think about age brackets, geographic location, spending habits, etc. – all the factors that contribute to the amount and type of business they represent to you. This gives you insight into the type of people you’re serving, what’s important to them, what their pain points are, and what they’re looking for from your business.

Analyse your insights

Look back through your appointments diary and identify trends and patterns. For instance, some treatments may be popular on a seasonal basis, clients may be more likely to book expensive treatments after month-end pay day, and some days of the week may be consistently quieter. All of these patterns reveal valuable information about your client base and help you understand how to position your service offering.

On a higher-tech scale, it’s also worth looking at your social media and website insights. You can find out a lot from looking at these statistics - from location to gender to age group – and will often also be able to see whether this online audience actually visits your ‘contact us’ page, or ends up sending a DM on social media, or if they browse but don’t take any action (which is often a good indicator of the effectiveness of your web presence).

Watch the competition

This is a classic market research technique, but before you start secret shopping, or other covert means of finding information, think simple: peruse competitors’ websites to find out what services they offer, and what average pricing looks like, read online forums run by other beauty business owners, and keep an eye out for industry trends on social media.

You can even carry out a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis on your own business and a shortlist of your competitors’ businesses. This can help you identify advantages and disadvantages you have in relation to others, as well as clearly define how your business is unique.

Survey your current clients

Probably the most obvious way to find out about your market’s wants, needs and preferences: ask them! This could be as informal as speaking to clients directly for feedback, or you can use social media polls or create a survey to send out by email. You can incentivize the completion of the survey by offering a sample-sized product, or being entered into a draw for a free treatment.

Whichever method you use to gather information, make sure you ask open questions that help you understand what problems you can solve for your client base. For instance, asking what you could change about the business to serve them better could lead someone to mention that a mobile service would be helpful for their elderly mother, or that they might come in more frequently if you offered later opening hours one night a week.

So there you have it: four painless ways to conduct market research – and no cold calling required. We hope we’ve inspired you to put one or more of these into practice in your beauty business!