Are you preparing for the busy holiday season? This time of year can be hectic for everyone, but especially for hair salons and stylists. Not only do people want to make sure that their hair looks great for festive holiday events and family get-togethers, but this time of year inspires change for many. Whether people want to try a new hairstyle for the new year or switch up the look they’ve had for the past year, stylists will certainly see an uptick in client appointments this season. However, busy schedules aren’t the only things that can create chaos. There are also lots of appointment cancellations, no-shows and reschedulings that occur during this time.
On top of managing client appointments and stylist schedules, you’ll also need to closely monitor inventory, retail sales and holiday promotions.
The holiday season is also a strategic time to make plans for the slower periods of the year when you may not have as many clients booking appointments or purchasing products. After the New Year, there is always a slow period for many businesses, especially salons. Consumers may not be spending much extra money on themselves during this time so stylists may experience a lull in business. However, we have packed this article with helpful tips that will show you just how to offer salon promotions and discounts in a way that keeps your clients coming back during these slow times. Even if you or your salon don’t regularly offer discounts, our practical tips will show you how you can capitalize on these promotions and sales to keep business going well!
But don’t worry — as a salon, there are many things you can do to prepare for this busy season. And now is the perfect time to get started. Rest assured, you have come to the right place to begin your holiday planning. In this article, we will walk you through all the considerations you will need to take as a stylist during this busy season — such as stocking up at a salon supply store — and some ways you can differentiate your services during the holidays
Let’s start with how you can prepare yourself for a busy season with tips to keep top of mind as you begin booking clients.
Salon Holiday Prep Checklist
With this helpful checklist, let’s get your salon or station all prepped and ready for the busy season ahead! This checklist is designed to be used by a stylist, but it can also be implemented across the salon to ensure that everyone’s schedule and business are agile and flexible.
Keep Your Books and Schedules in Order
A critical component to your success as a hairstylist this season is making sure your schedule and books are up to date and in order. Whether you keep track of appointments in a notebook or use automated software to handle all bookings and schedules, make sure to double-check your schedules at the beginning of every day. Keeping your schedule up to date and double-checking it could help you avoid any miscommunication or double bookings, which can be common during the holiday season.
Stock Up on Inventory
Not only will you need to stock up on inventory before, during and after the busy holiday season, but you may also want to order extra inventory to ensure that you never run out. There is a lot to keep in mind during this busy time, and it would help to make sure inventory is overstocked so that you don’t have to wonder about product levels too much.
Set Your Hours in Advance
Although you may be entering a busy period, it’s important to have balance and set your schedule ahead of time. Of course, you can accommodate last-minute appointments here and there, but to avoid interrupting your holiday plans, it helps to have a set holiday schedule. This will also allow you to achieve a better work-life balance when appointments start to stack up. If you want to take time off or want to regulate your hours, you’re well within your right to do so. And setting holiday hours and a schedule can help you with this.
Offer Holiday Promotions
While you may have clients lined up to visit you before the holiday season, the time after New Year’s Eve can be kind of slow for stylists. However, you can keep your books full through this lull by offering promotions during the busy season that keep people coming in during the slow season. We will dive into the different holiday promotions for stylists more in-depth below, but one great example of this kind of promotion is: Book a service during the holidays and get 20 percent off a service from January to February. This incentivizes clients to come back when you may not be as busy. Keep reading for more advice on how and when to offer promotions for the best possible outcome!
What does your salon or station look like during the holidays? Do you love to decorate? If so, your clients may enjoy a little festivity. While decorations may be the last thing on your mind during a busy season, creating a festive space for your clients and coworkers can bring holiday cheer to everyone.
Keep a Cleaning Routine
Regardless of whether you work in a big salon or operate out of your own salon suite, keeping a cleaning routine can help you streamline your services and reduce stress during busy times. Keeping your station clean and organized will help you with efficiency, but it’s also important to keep in mind how often you’re cleaning your tools or towels and other products you may use on clients. Having a cleaning routine will allow you to always have fresh products on hand and it will also give you peace of mind to walk into your salon station every morning with it ready for your next client.
Communicate and Confirm with Clients
Another important part of scheduling during the holidays is making sure you confirm your clients’ appointments. Reaching out to confirm your appointments will help you keep a more accurate schedule and it will alert you to any potential cancellations or no-shows in advance, which can help you be more flexible during this busy season.
Holiday Promotions for Stylists to Offer
One of the biggest parts of the holiday season is sales! Not only are your clients looking for deals and promotions on gifts and new professional hair care products for themselves, but they also love to find deals for beauty and hair services. If you want to ensure that your salon is competitive with other businesses, you will want to offer holiday promotions. Let’s talk about some of the promotions that lend themselves well to salons. And we’re not just talking about promotions on services. We also think that product and retail sales are a great way to take advantage of holiday sales.
Buy One, Get One
Everyone knows about buy one, get one (BOGO) sales, but how do they apply to salons and hairstylists? Well, good news: there are several BOGO opportunities that you could offer. As we mentioned, you could offer a BOGO model for services if you want to keep clients coming in during the slower periods. You can also offer BOGO retail or product sales to help move inventory and get your clients hooked on your salon’s product offering.
If you want to offer clients a discount just because it’s the holidays, we think 15 percent to 20 percent off are competitive promotions. This could be the deciding factor between you and another salon for new clients. Before you offer any kind of promotion — especially ones that offer your services at a major discount — you will want to ensure it makes sense for your business and company. If 15 percent or 20 percent is too steep of a discount, choose a rate that works for you. You can also compare your rates with other salons in the area to make sure you are competitively priced to win over new business.
New Year, New Me Promotion
Nothing makes clients want a new hairstyle or cut more than the start of a new year. To capitalize on this, offer a new year, new me promotion where you give clients a percentage off their new style. This is a great way to bring in new clients as well as keep your current clientele coming back during slow periods. Build on the new year, new me hype and time period by marketing this discount across your social media channels. This is a great way to catch the attention of potential clients who may be following your work on social media and convert them into making an appointment with you. This is also a very exciting offer and promotion for your clients as they will come to the appointment with tons of optimism for a new hairstyle to kick off the new year.
Free Enhancements or Added Services
If you would rather not offer a percentage off of your services, you can always throw in a free deep conditioning treatment or glaze with any haircut or coloring service. This is a great way to make your clients feel appreciated and special during the holidays. Whether you promote this free enhancement or you just throw it in and tell your clients after, it’s still a great way to make your clients feel like you go above and beyond for them, which means a lot anytime, but especially during the holidays!
Remember how we told you that your clients are looking for a deal this season? Well, not only can you move more products by offering a discount or sale, but you can also fulfill their need and desire to find the best deal possible on hair care. Offer a discount on your retail products to spread holiday cheer and move excess products. You can throw in a free product with a service or offer a buy one, get one discount to boost retail product sales.
Loyalty Deals and Discounts
Do you currently have a loyalty reward or promotion system in place for your most loyal clients? These systems are great to have all year round, but you can increase the discount or offer something even more special to your clientele during the holidays to show them your appreciation. Not only is this a great holiday promotion to offer, but it keeps your most loyal clients happy and coming back!
Holiday Party Events
If your salon likes to get festive, throwing a holiday party and inviting your most loyal guests and clients to get a discounted or free service is a great way to spread holiday cheer. This is also a great time to offer promotions or discounted services to get people to RSVP to the holiday party and get more new clients through your doors. During the party, if you don’t feel like offering discounted services, you can host raffles or giveaways that include free or discounted services for future use. This could also be an ideal strategy to implement to get customers to come into your salon during the slower months. Not only will this be a fun event for you and your fellow stylists, but it’s also a great way to connect with your clients and attract a new clientele.
Are you feeling ready to reel in the business and handle all your bookings like a pro? We hope this article not only showed you real-world tips for handling the busy salon season but also practical approaches to offering promotions and discounts during this time. Remember: While your holiday season may be busy, now is the time to offer promotions and discounts that keep your customers coming back through the new year when business may not be as frequent.