Hi Patrick - I am with everyone else - yes, you can succeed even with high competition. The trick of course is making sure that your audience knows
your point of difference. I can tell reading this thread you are passionate about what you do and wish to provide only the best service to your customers, but as you mentioned how do you get them in the door to realise that's true about you and your salon?
* Customer loyalty program of some form? I know a number of salons have them - research your competitors and make your 'customer loyalty' scheme better and more appealing.
* Customer satisfaction guarantee? You obviously believe in the quality and standard of your services so maybe a "if you are not happy with our service your next hair appointment is half price" (or something) - guarantees seem to offer assurance in the first instance, but by making the guarantee something about their next appointment you get them back through the door rather than off to one of your competitors.
* Some sort of 'opening' offer, for example - first week only all
hair cuts only $X (something that's such good value it would be silly to pass it up), or first 50 customers get a free product of some form. Market it by flyers/social media/word of mouth etc and always with the focus of your quality and standard; that the ridiculously low cost is really to provide your clients the opportunity to test you out because you know once they have they will come back.
I think in your line of business the benefit you do have is once you have a client they are not likely to go elsewhere so getting them through the door with the right offer/loyalty program/guarantee etc could see them remaining clients for a very long time.
Just my 2c
All the best with it.