As you’re reading this article, you’re probably thinking, ‘I don’t have time to think about the new year yet. I’m barely able to think about tomorrow, it’s just sooo busy’.
Unfortunately, that ‘busy-ness’ won’t last for long, but thinking about and planning for what’s going to happen months from now is what separates successful salon owners from those who struggle during the quiet times.
January and February can be very challenging months in the beauty business. They can feel incredibly busy, especially if you’ve sold truckloads of Gift Vouchers before Christmas. The only problem with this is, most people who redeem Vouchers don’t spend much extra, if anything, and this can mean a very poor trading period when it comes to money in the bank.
Unfortunately, whether you are making money or not, rent, wages and all the other normal business bills still have to be paid, and this is why it’s absolutely essential to think about, and plan for, making money in the early months of the new year.
Salon and Spa Marketing Ideas to Get You Through the Slump
So, what can you do to increase your cash flow for January and February in your salon or spa? Here are a few ideas to consider.
Have a Salon Membership Drive.
Membership sales can give your cash flow a much-needed boost as clients are required to pay a lump sum up front to enjoy the long-term benefits a membership program can bring.
To make the most of membership packages you’ll need to offer services that are popular with your clients (to generate interest) and are also based on value-adding rather than discounting, so as not to damage your services pricing integrity.
To generate interest from your clients, use the two good old marketing strategies of ‘scarcity’ and ‘urgency’ by making it available for January and February ONLY. You also want to cap the number of packages you sell. Once clients realise it’s a very limited offer, they’ll be more inclined to jump in and make the purchase.
Consider a few different Membership levels to hit different price points.
Promote your Prepaid Treatment Programs and Packages
Prepaid Treatment Programs and Packages are a little similar to memberships, but can be done a couple of different ways.
1. Prepaid Treatment Programs that are designed to produce a definite outcome (think anti-aging/clear skin, pigmentation reduction, etc). These programs are comprised of a varied selection of treatments that are designed to generate the best possible outcome for a particular skin condition.
The great benefit of these types of Treatment Programs is they introduce a variety of services and modalities to your clients.
Avoid the urge to discount your primary services, and instead, value-add to build out the value of the program.
As an example, if you are offering anti-aging or clear skin programs, you could include several LED treatments at no charge within the program. This increases the value of the program without adding any real strain on your product or wages cost.
2. Prepaid Treatment Packages consisting of several (generally between 6-10) of the same treatment is also a great way to get a quick cash injection and for the client to get great value.
Packages of IPL/Laser with a bonus treatment area included at no extra charge, or Packages of Facials with free upgrades or bonuses are typical of what you can offer.
Be sure to package up your most popular services and create a value-add deal that your clients will find impossible to resist.
Too much stock sitting on your shelves after Christmas simply soaks up your money, which in turn, prevents you from investing in fresh seasonal stock which will turn over more rapidly and make you more profit.
An excess retail product sale is an easy way to shed excess stock purchased for Christmas and get back your financial investment.
Unlike services, you can occasionally discount retail stock without it hurting your business. With this in mind, consider having either a straight percentage off the retail price on selected slow sellers (how big a % off will depend on the markup you’re enjoying) , or bundling a slow selling item with a top seller and selling for the price of the top seller only, or just a little more – almost like a gift with purchase.
Offer Clients a Salon Voucher as a Christmas Gift to be used in January or February
It’s nice to say ‘thank you‘ to your clients at Christmas and what better way than with a salon voucher.
When deciding what value to give, consider the amount the client has spent with you over the past year and base your gift amount on that. Obviously clients who spend large amounts in your salon or spa regularly, deserve to receive more than the client who has the odd brow shape or lash tint.
Also, the idea is for the client to spend additional money when they redeem their voucher, so make it clear what the voucher is redeemable against. As an example, if you give a $30 voucher to a client, you might want to stipulate that it can only be used on services valued at $90 or higher.
Most importantly the voucher must have a clear expiry date. I suggest around the end of February to maximise your promotion. When you give these vouchers to your clients, point this out so there are no issues around clients trying to redeem them after that date.
Make the voucher fully transferable to another person (this might introduce a new client to your salon) but don’t allow it to be used against retail purchases.
Once you’ve decided ‘what’ you want to offer to your clients, you need to decide how to get your marketing message to them. Consider the following ways:
- Add the information to your website
- Have signage and hand-out information available in-salon
- Send an email to your clients outlining your special offers
- Include the information in your December Newsletter
- Include the information in your January Newsletter (and get it out early in the month)
- Be sure to include the information about your special offers in a team-meeting and ask your team members to talk to all their clients about what’s on offer.
Running a successful business always involves looking forward and planning in advance. This is especially true for those cash-strapped months after Christmas. It’s not too late to plan for a healthy start to the new year if you start working on your promotions now.