Aside from helping your clients look their best, the purpose of your salon or spa is to provide a relaxing, comfortable, and social atmosphere for your clients. You want your business to be a place your customers look forward to coming and staying. Fostering a sense of community and fun is an excellent way to gain repeat customers and go above and beyond hair and nail care. Here are three ideas to get your customers engaged with your business and each other.

1. Host an annual or semi-annual open house.

The frequency and timeline is up to you and depends on what makes sense for your salon, but this is a great way to draw people in. Invite your current clients during appointments and by mail, and encourage them to bring friends. Display flyers around town in advance of the event. The week and day before, get your facility spic and span, make sure your styling stations are organized, and fully stock your retail display shelves.

On the day of the event, try to have as many of your stylists and other staff on-hand as possible. Offer some light refreshments for your guests such as wine, cheese, and fruit, and be prepared to describe your services. Allow people to wander your salon freely, with employees stationed throughout for security, or show groups around in a more structured way. This will let potential clients get a feel for your facility and make them more comfortable about returning for an appointment, as they'll already be familiar with your setup.

2. Implement hair happy hours.

These fun events can be invitation-only for your best clients and their circle of friends, or you can branch out and open them to the public. If you have enough interest, charge a fee, or the happy hours can be free. Take beauty and hair questions beforehand, or wing it day of, and go over tips and tricks with your clients. Treat these events as exclusive workshops with a social aspect. You can have one or two of your stylists on hand to demonstrate techniques for the best second-day hair or how to create a smoky eye look. Consider allowing clients to bring their own supplies for a how-to tutorial, and be sure to have products available for sale to supplement their own collection.

3.Combine forces with your clientele.

You know your loyal customers well - their gripes, their triumphs, what they do for a living. Why not take advantage of this knowledge? Consider partnering with some clients for a joint promotion. Yoga instructors or artists can host an evening class in your space, or a local photographer client could offer before-and-after glamour shots in tandem with your makeup artists.

You might even consider taking your show on the road and doing demonstrations at your clients' yoga studio or art gallery. By going this route, you'll gain exposure to a large number of people who may never have heard of your salon or spa.

Above all, be creative with your promotions. Use social media to your advantage, and don't be shy about spreading the word. Get the public involved and talking about your business as the most fun and innovative salon in town.