How to Prepare for the Holiday Season
It probably comes as no surprise that the winter holidays are the greatest spending season of the year. The National Retail Federation (NRF) totaled the 2016 winter holiday spending at over $658 billion, nearly ten times greater than the second-ranked Back to School season and almost thirty times more than the third-place Mother’s Day! Over the past 10 years, the average spending has increased by 2.5%!*
From Black Friday to Christmas and into the New Year, there’s a constant rush. With multiple tasks to juggle, it can be hard to get everything done without working overtime. Fortunately, salon management software like Insight can save you time and energy:
- Enable online scheduling to free up the front desk
- Confirm appointments automatically via email or text message
- Track inventory in real-time and build purchase orders instantly
- Assign user access permissions to delegate duties
Review Vacation Requests
Christmas is a busy time of year. Ideally, everyone will be working their regular hours (or more) throughout the holiday season. However, some employees will request time off to spend it with family & friends or to travel. Since you have a business to run, you might not be able to approve all vacation requests.
You want to deal with this as soon as possible, before clients begin booking appointments when certain stylists may be away.
Schedule Your Marketing
From gathering photos to writing content for your website or emails, dedicate some time to put together your holiday marketing campaign.
Whether you are sending winter hair ideas or showcasing holiday deals, ensure that you emphasize your main call-to-action: booking an appointment. If stylist availability will be limited, be sure to let clients know to schedule their visit as soon as possible.
Stock Up on Gift Cards
Gift cards are consistently at the top of the list for gift buyers and recipients. Last year, over 60% of consumers purchased at least one gift card. In fact, the average buyer was looking to purchase 3.4 gift cards with an average value of nearly $46.* Push your salon’s gift cards to the top of wish lists with your marketing campaigns and by offering an incentive.
Bundle Retail Products
Whether it’s in-store or in your email newsletter, offer gift ideas to clients. If possible, help them to categorize the possibilities: “stocking stuffers,” “do-it-yourself styling tools,” etc.
To make it easier for clients, you should also build pre-selected holiday bundles for all audiences and budgets. In case the recipient isn’t a client yet, be sure to include a special offer (e.g. a coupon that can be utilized in January and February) to get them in your door.
Create Service Packages
To accommodate more salon guests leading up to Christmas, you may want to introduce express services or packages. These may be for simpler hairstyles or color touch-ups that are less time-consuming and more affordable for clients (they could have a higher profit margin too). Not only will it appeal to your busy, on-the-go clients but it will also help you fit more customers into your schedule.
Service packages don’t even have to be utilized fully on the same day. You can also offer deals for purchasing future services in advance, for example, 6 haircuts for the price of 5. Further, you can promote your membership programs.
Get in the Spirit
Change up the environment by decorating the salon and spa: window displays, front desk, product tables/shelves. If you have space, maybe even bring in a Christmas tree. In the spirit of giving, perhaps you can even hang scratch-and-win cards on the tree so clients can earn discounts, win a gift card, etc.
Have fun with the process and use it as a team-building activity. You can even let each stylist decorate their own station and have clients vote for their favorite.
Don’t focus solely on the visuals, consider the other senses as well. Choose winter-themed playlists, Beyond the traditional coffee or tea, offer eggnog and apple cider. Light a few scented candles, reminding staff and guests of the coziness of their own homes…the smell of freshly baked cookies or the pine fragrance of a Christmas tree.
To make a longer-lasting impression, perhaps you can send clients home with a free gift (think travel-sized products or samples)!
Engage the Community
Alternatively, you can engage your salon customers by having a charitable aspect. Maybe a portion of each product/service will go towards purchasing Christmas hampers for those in need. You can even set up a bin in the salon to collect any food, clothing, or toy donations.
By getting involved with the community, you can demonstrate your brand values and increase your goodwill.
Plan a Party
Perhaps most importantly, have fun and enjoy the season! Don’t let the busy times cause you or your staff to burn out. With everyone being busy with work or with their personal engagements, you can choose to put it off until it gets quieter in January. The key is to thank your salon team for their efforts, not only during this busy period but throughout the year.
*Statistics are from the National Retail Federation.