Business is tough.
Yep. After a year of ups and downs, it’s with a sigh of relief; your booking calendar in the lead up to Christmas is now finally starting to fill up. Phew!
But, now’s not the time for complacency.
Before you get too comfy resting on your Christmas Laurels, I’ve got a few thoughts for you. Ideas that will not only help you breeze through the next few weeks but also make you a little extra money to ward off business jitters in January and start the new year brilliantly!
Five ideas. Stay with me.
1. Business is only as tough as you make it.
My first idea this Christmas is about YOU. It’s time to change your mindset. If you really want to boost your sales and increase profit, then it does start by doing things a little differently. Change your mindset. Before you dive into the ideas I’m sharing and before you say; Oh no Julie, that can’t be done or, I don’t have time for that or, I’m a beauty salon, not a retailer. STOP. Change the way you think. Suspend your disbelief for just a moment and read on.
There’s no disputing it. Business is tough; but then again, isn’t it always?
Of course, it is, but with a fresh perspective on your business and just a few little tweaks here and there you could bring some big gains to your business this Christmas.
2. Hire a Christmas casual to work your front desk.
If there’s only ONE thing, you do this Christmas to boost sales, improve your January bank balance and sail through the season stress-free. It’s this. Employ a front desk Christmas casual. There are so many reasons to do this, but let’s cover just a few.
- Christmas is not the time of year to lock your front door while you’re in the treatment room. Be open to opportunity and NEW business.
- With someone at the front desk, they’re always at the ready to handle the surprise walk-in, a telephone query or a new booking. Tippy toeing out of the beauty room is not the best way to handle this. If you get caught up? Everyone’s at a loss. The customer at reception feels bad for interrupting. You feel bad because you can’t be everywhere no matter how hard you try. And finally, how does your paying client in the treatment room feel?
- Your regular customers are getting a warm welcome from someone at the desk who can offer assistance with their booking and welcome them with a refreshment and at this time of year, why not offer a cheeky champers?
- Your receptionist can engage in conversation and perhaps sell them a gift voucher or two and show off your Christmas Skincare Packs and Special Offers. All this just while they’re waiting.
- Keeping everything running smoothly is a stress reliever. How nice to know, someone’s taking care of the details at the desk. You’ll be happier, and so will your customers. Priceless.
Perhaps you think this will not boost sales but will only cost you money in wages?
Let’s just say it doesn’t boost your Christmas sales. Consider this. Everyone’s a little bit stressed at this time of year. Your salon should be a sanctuary of calm and good cheer. Having someone working at the desk can ensure this. And, with the extra time you’ve gained you’ve dressed up your salon beautifully and all your gift-giving ideas look amazing! You’re delighting your customers and giving them the chance to save some time and do a bit of Christmas shopping while they’re with you. If having that extra help doesn’t boost sales immediately, then take the long view and comfort yourself in the knowledge; happy customers are your best advertisement and will bring in referrals through family and friends.
It’s a win-win.
Your boosting Christmas sales and your customer’s having an experience worth sharing. And you know they do!
Side note: Make sure your Christmas casual is well briefed on your service offerings as well as all your Christmas gift packs. No point having someone out the front if you haven’t trained them properly. Don’t have time for this? Ask your brand suppliers to spend a bit of time going through your retail products and gift packs with them. In fact, why not ask your brand representative to help out where time permits. They’ll be happy to do so if it means you sell more of their product!
Let’s look at the numbers.
Think of it this way: If having someone on the front desk brings in an additional $400 a day in retail sales, then you’re already ahead. $400 a day? On average, when it comes to professional skin care, that’s 2 – 3 products. And, if your casual team member increases your gift voucher purchases and rebooks more of your clients, then it’s a no brainer… as they say.
3. Go all out with your Christmas cheer.
I love everything about Christmas. Blow on my Christmas cheer, and it’s not going to be pretty. Too many fairy lights? Never!! What’s this got to do with better sales? Well, you need to get everyone in the mood, including you!
Early on in my beauty career, I worked behind a beauty counter in David Jones in Australia. High end retailing. They’ve always known how to ‘do’ Christmas. Back in the day in the lead up to Christmas, most of the quiet hours were spent making up Christmas packs of various price points. Starting with a gift pack for under $50 and up it went in increments from there. By preparing pre-made gift boxes, we’d done all the thinking for the customer — an especially useful service when a confused gent came in at 5 minutes to closing on Christmas Eve. Again, priceless.
I know, you’re no a department store. But on a small scale, you can take what the big retailers do and adapt to your own business. If you stick up a bit of Christmas tinsel and a few fairy lights and hope for the best, then you’re not doing anything out of the ordinary. Don’t bore your customers. Make your salon their one-stop-shop. You could even stock other gifts outside of your usual range just for Christmas. Beautiful Candles come to mind. Who doesn’t love a beautifully scented candle? Get Christmassy!! Let your imagination get to work and have some fun with it.
4. Gift vouchers with a difference.
I know, you love selling those vouchers but then comes January and, they feel like a burden, they fill up your booking sheet but not your bank balance (well they did, but that was back in December). So how can you do this differently?
Why not make it a standard practice to include a complimentary 20-minute skin diagnosis and consultation with every voucher. This way you can go through their routine and discuss what they’re doing at home. If they’re new to your salon, then this is a great way to ensure they’re getting a little bit more then expected and you have the opportunity to sell a skincare system for use at home and create a plan for future treatments. By doing this you’ve brought in at least $100 – 200 extra back into the business above the initial gift voucher purchase. And, if they do buy a skincare system, they’re far more likely to come back to you for more advice. Right? Remember: Change your mindest on the returning gift voucher and turn them into loyal customers.
5. Be Surprising.
Assuming you’ve taken my advice on the front desk receptionist, then you now have the time to do things a little differently. Often, there’s never enough time, or you’ve just never thought of it. Christmas is the perfect time to show your best and most loyal clients a bit of LOVE. You could send an ‘actual’ Christmas Card in the post. I know, who does that any more? Well, you could. And, seeing you’re mailing it, why not send them a service of some kind as a Christmas gift? You could offer them an additional service with their next facial or upgrade their next Mani and Pedi to a deluxe spa treatment or provide a complimentary makeup? These are just a few ideas. Start brainstorming, change your thinking and let your new creative mindset do the rest.
It’s important to remember; your loyal clients deserve this, they keep your business going year after year, and many of your new client referrals will come from them. So do something surprising for them. Be generous.
Don’t have time for this? Well, if that front desk receptionist is a freshly minted beauty graduate, then she’ll have the skills to perform some of those additional services or at least assist you, so you get through the day with ease. Think about it.
6. Reach out with an email marketing campaign.
Let’s go beyond your Instagram and Facebook Pages for a moment and think about an Email Marketing Campaign. If you want more business you will have to reach out. Now’s the time to think this through and get going with it. If you’ve created a system of collecting email addresses via your website (and you should), then you’ve got a database you can quickly connect with. Did someone mention the 12 days of Christmas?
By now, most of your suppliers will have shown you their special offers and Christmas packs. Crafting a newsletter to let your clients know what’s available shouldn’t be too difficult. You could also include an event so they can come in after hours for a glass of champagne and check out all your Christmas packs, buy a gift voucher or make a booking for themselves. Don’t get stressed with the idea of an event. Keep it simple, but full of cheer. But, you’ll want to get onto this soon before the Christmas season is in full swing. Don’t have time to write that Christmas email campaign? Get in touch, I can help you with one of the writing services I offer.
That’s it from me. good luck with it, have some fun or, if you’re still at a loss I’m just an email away.