Yes, I know.
Everyone hates thinking about Christmas being just around the corner, but when you’re in the beauty business and it’s your busiest time of year, then heading in without a plan isn’t the wisest move.
With a bit of time up your sleeve, you can prepare yourself properly, and that should ensure you’ll experience a much more prosperous holiday season.
To help make this happen for your business, I’ve prepared a checklist of things that will help you to enjoy a less stressful and more profitable Christmas trading period.
#1 Trading Hours
This might seem like a simple one, but before you do anything else, you need to decide if your salon or spa is going to open on non-public holidays or only close for the minimum amount of time. To help you make this decision, look back over your December trading figures for the past few years to see where your busy times fell.
Once you have this information, you can decide whether it’s worth your while to open up between Christmas and New Year, or if you should hang out the closed shingle and take some much-needed time off.
Different businesses will have different opening requirements depending on the services they offer and their location (shopping centres generally don’t permit shops to close up for extended periods), so give it some careful consideration and make your decision based on whether you would be better to remain open or close up for a short break.
#2 Staff Roster
Now that you know when you will and won’t be open, you can do your staff roster. Lack of staff during one of your busiest trading periods is definitely going to cost your salon sales, so planning to have the right amount of staff available will help you to maximise your revenue.
Once again, check back on sales from previous years and see where your busy days were. Often there is a two-week slump in the first half of December when clients tend to try to hold off until closer to the public holidays.
This can be a costly problem if you are paying full wages for unnecessary staff, so consider whether this might be a good time for team members to take some time off to plan for their own Christmas celebrations.
It’s also much better to let your team know well in advance when you’ll require them to work. Team members asking for time off during the busiest time of the year is a major headache, so offer them some time off during the quiet periods, but make sure that they know it’s going to be ‘all hands on deck’ when your salon will be at it’s busiest.
#3 Staff Recruitment
Once you’ve decided on your trading hours and done your staff roster, you’re going to know whether or not you require additional team members to help you maximise sales. If you find that you do, now is the time to begin looking for them.
If you leave it until the last-minute, you will find it next to impossible to find help.
Finding someone to help you at your reception is money well invested during the busy period. A receptionist is invaluable to:
- take client bookings whether they be walk-ins or phone calls
- re-book clients to keep January busy
- confirm appointments (if your salon isn’t yet automated) so you’re not left with empty spots
- receive payments from clients allowing the therapist or stylist to move straight onto their next client service
- look after gift voucher sales which can be time-consuming for team members and put them behind with clients
- sell retail to clients
- update displays and retail gift packs
- keep the salon clean, neat and tidy
- assist therapists to prepare treatment rooms
- keep on top of laundry and linen
- keep everyone sane and happy
#4 Sales Training
Sales training is something that most salon or spa owners completely overlook prior to Christmas, but this is the time of year when you need your team members to be selling, selling and selling even more energetically. The goal should be to sell retail packs and gift vouchers to every client who walks through your doors.
To achieve this, targets for service, retail, and gift voucher sales need to be set and communicated to your team to ensure they understand what is expected.
On the surface, December may feel like it’s one of the most profitable times of year already and doesn’t need extra sales, but if you believe that then you’re totally mistaken.
Even though the Christmas period can feel hectic and busy to the point of craziness, total sales for the month are often only average and this is because the first 2 weeks of December can be painfully slow.
What this means is that additional sales are needed, especially as there are often low revenue months ahead.
#5 Retail Stock
You can’t sell what you don’t have.
Now is the time to look at your existing stock and begin to special out your slow selling items. If you can sell these items for what they cost you to purchase and get your money back, you will then have additional funds to use for purchasing your Christmas stock and gift packs.
Check with your suppliers early to find out what they’re going to have available. Many suppliers put out some great retail packs at this time of year and they sell well because they generally offer excellent value. Make sure you order early, as often there is only limited stock available.
Clients are always on the look out for small gifts to give to friends, family and the favourite teacher, so to maximise sales and make the purchase of your retail packs a no-brainer for your clients, try gift wrapping them and adding a small gift card.
Your clients will love this no-fuss approach to gift buying and giving.
#6 Gift Vouchers
This is definitely your premium selling period for gift vouchers, so be prepared.
- Ensure you have a plentiful supply on hand by ordering early.
- Present your vouchers in a way that makes it super-easy for your clients to give them straight to the recipient. Place them into a tissue-lined box and add some festive-style ribbon or bow.
- Use a nice pen to write up your vouchers. Nothing looks tackier than a beautiful gift voucher filled in with a blue ball-point pen with a few dirty smudges thrown in for good measure.
- Display your gift vouchers on the front desk, in the front window of your salon and in all the treatment rooms. If you have an in-salon loo then put one on the back door of that also (after all you have a captive audience in there).
- Start talking to clients about your gift vouchers and promoting them in your November and December newsletters too.
- Offer your vouchers as services, packages or for a dollar value – be flexible.
- Prepare some special Christmas Pamper Packages for your clients to choose from as this makes the buying decision even easier.
The revenue from the sale of gift vouchers is often what will pay your bills during the following months, so plan ahead and make purchasing vouchers from your salon or spa a positive experience for your clients.
#7 November Newsletter
This might be one of the most important newsletters of the year. This is when you get to tell your clients all about what you have to offer during the Christmas period to make their lives easier (and before they buy stuff somewhere else).
You will want to include information about:
- Your Christmas trading times.
- A recommendation to make their December bookings as soon as possible so they don’t miss out (this can cost you a regular client if they do).
- Your beautiful gift vouchers, so they know early that vouchers are available to purchase.
- Your fantastic value Christmas retail packs that will be available so they don’t rush out and spend all their gift money elsewhere first.
- Your early December promotion to ensure that this very quiet time is busy and profitable instead.
- Your new front-desk person (with a photo) so they’re not seeing an unknown face when they arrive for their appointments.
So there you have it. Planning for success is how you’ll maximise your revenue and profits this coming holiday season. It’s never too soon to get organised and you’ll find that once you have taken charge and planned things out, you will feel less stressed and more in control.
Want a little more information on how to make this your best Christmas ever? Then check out the articles below:
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