Michael P. Lusk is co-owner of Sojourn Salon & Spa located in Aurora, Ill. Sojourn Salon & Spa’s goal is to beautify its guests. The entire team strives to create an exceptional experience for their guests so they leave feeling and looking better than when they arrived.

Lusk is a veteran business lawyer with a background in finance and accounting. He attends to all of the salon’s financial and legal matters. The other co-owner, Phil Battaglia, handles the artistic and technical side of the business. Lusk and Battaglia both develop the company’s strategic plan and work with the rest of their team to execute it.

Lusk shares insight in regards to the greatest challenges the salon has had and how the challenges are being handled.

What has been the biggest challenges your business has encountered in terms of marketing?

Just over a year ago, Sojourn Salon & Spa entered the highly competitive beauty salon business with a three-fold challenge:

  1. No brand name recognition
  2. A location without heavy foot traffic
  3. A startup-company budget

What have you implemented to overcome the challenges?

To meet this challenge, we put into place one thing by design and another by chance.

From day one, we set out to harness the power of social media and online reviews to boost location and brand name awareness. To that end, we developed a business Facebook page and posted content on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We had a company prepare a virtual salon tour that people could take from our Google+ page. We also invested in a service to provide our guests an easy way to post online reviews about their experience with us.

And on day one, we did something else. We wrote down Sojourn’s mission, vision and guiding principles. We did so not to overcome our challenge, but to solidify our culture and have a polestar for future decisions. Who knew help would flow from it? Here’s what happened. One of our guiding principles is giving back to the community. During our second month in business, we sought ways to give of our time and talent because that’s about all we could spare. Lo and behold, people and organizations found us, and we helped them. They began to talk about us through social media as well as good old-fashioned word of mouth. The whole experience made our team feel great and firmed our resolve to triumph over this challenge.

What are the results after the solutions were implemented?

Each month, the number of our new guests grows steadily as does the number of visitors to our Facebook page. We are also gaining brand name recognition. During our first year in business, Sojourn Salon & Spa was voted one of the top three salons in our area.

This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau for Small Business Pulse
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit Small Business Pulse Chicago.


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