One of my hobbies (or “work” as some of y’all will call it) is hacking businesses. No, not hacking their website in a bad way. But hacking their business culture, sales and tweaking it so it brings in more revenue.

It’s my love, passion.

So a friend of mine owns a hair salon business, and this friend admitted that sales haven’t been great.

He needed to get more people into the doors so he could well, close more sales.

You see, the hair salon businesses don’t make too much money via haircuts. Most of the money are made from upsells and backends like selling some ridiculously expensive shampoos, lotions, conditioners, hair dye services and many others.

Now, because this friend of mine is unable to afford my consulting services – what he did was that he decided to buy me lunch so he could pick my brain.(smart!)

He explained to me about his hair salon business and the more I look at it, the more I realized that his problem is that he is not getting a return customer.

So I decided to get a haircut there to see what’s wrong.

I walked in, and I didn’t need to wait. Awesome.

The hairstylist escorted me to my seat, got me a great haircut and I paid $15. Not too bad.

Nothing seems to go wrong. In fact, the hairstylist was very friendly.

But how come this hair salon isn’t doing well? It’s located right smack in front of a busy street — and it seems like the issue is that the customers are returning a second time.

So I suggested to my friend to do just one tweak: Give a free hair wash away for every haircut.

My friend hesitated of course because with a hair wash, he could bring in an extra $10 – 15 per customer. But he gave it a try for a month.

Sooner or later, he started to see the same customers returning.

To cut the long story short: The key to good marketing and sales is to do one step better than your competitors. My friend’s competitor wasn’t giving any hair wash away — so my friend’s service was just as good as his competitors. By giving away a free hair wash (which costs almost nothing but some hair shampoo, time and water), he saw his sales increased by 58%.

Think back to it… I should probably have taken some sort of royalty. 😉