6 Ways to Make the Most of Holiday Business

The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are INSANE! It’s the most traffic your salon will see all year. But between learning how to cook a turkey, making sure all your holiday shopping is done, AND beautifying each and every client before Christmas, it’s easy to see how your salon could be missing out.


Lucky for you, I have devised 6 ways to maximize your holiday sales.


  1. Gift certificates

If your clients love you, their friends and family will too! Promote gift certificates for those who may fall on the “difficult to buy for” list.


Make sure to put a lot of effort into the design and make them appealing. If a regular is gifting this to someone that has never been to your salon, make the gift certificate reflect your salon’s atmosphere and quality of services. Adding an expiration date for the end of March will encourage gift receivers to redeem during your salon’s slow season.


  1. Gift sets

Seeing a bundled-up basket filled with services and products with a flashy name like “Pamper Gift Set”, “Gorgeous Hair”, or “New Year, New Do” will pop out at clients and holiday shoppers. Make sure to label all the items with a waterproof logo and salon info.


  1. Gifts for your clients

Have a client that would just love a new line of hair care products, but has been a little “iffy” about trying the product? Gift your regulars sample sized products that you think they will love. From shampoos, to nail polishes, to massage oils. Your client will love the thoughtful gift and just might start buying it once the sample runs out…


  1. Deck the halls

Be festive. Go all out with a Christmas tree and lights, or go subtle with red and green decorations. Decorating your business draws shoppers in and puts them in the holiday shopping mood. This will increase walk in traffic and build more interest in your holiday promotions. Make sure your website and social media reflect the holiday cheer as well.


  1. Target men

A lot of men do struggle with buying presents for their wives, sisters, daughters and other females in their life. Make sure to market your gifts with “Perfect for Her” and “She’s going to love it!” If your salon offers any couples items, these are great gifts to offer too.


  1. Reception elf

Elf attire not required, but having someone available throughout the holidays to answer questions from passerby’s will boost sales without the staff getting overwhelmed. Just make sure your elf asks every passerby that stumbles in if they have completed their holiday shopping. If not, have them find out who they are buying for and then preach their knowledge about your gift certificates, gift set offerings and other services.


Whether you are trying to boost holiday sales or just want to better promote your salon, utilizing these tips should ensure a busy December.


Continuing Excitement in Education

Ever been, worked with, or employed a stylist who absolutely hated going for CEUs? Who, if it weren’t for the state’s requirements, would prefer to never set foot in another classroom for the rest of their careers? Yeah, me too! So how do we get ourselves and our stylists excited about education??


  1. Get educated on the product lines you already use.


Last week I attended a hair show outside Chicago put on by my distributor, Hair’s The Bling, which included a presentation from the creative design team of the haircolor & product line I carry, All-Nutirent. Since I already speak their language and know their line, the education was especially valuable.


Get schooled on the lines you already use. Your team will be able to implement the new techniques & ideas they learn immediately when they return to the salon. That’s exciting!


  1. Nurture creativity.


The show kicked off with celebrity stylist, William Whatley , running down the aisle to the stage where a model sat with hair sectioned off into eight little ponytails. He jumped on stage and began frantically cutting off ponytails with his trademarked razor shear. Not something I’ll be using in the salon necessarily, but it’s drama like this that gets the wheels turning.


Find a class or show that is high energy and takes your stylists beyond the basics. It’s worth any extra cost. Your stylists and clients will feel refreshed!


  1. Increase confidence.


Ergo, my brush and blowdryer manufacturer, did a presentation called “The Art of the Blowdry” with Shannon King. Shannon and his assistant demonstrated different uses and techniques for their AMAZING brushes. I realized I’d been using them to only about 50% of their potential. After the show, I wielded my tools like a ninja warrior! And I started selling brushes.


Stylists who feel like experts on their technique or product line channel that confidence to clients. You’ll see it reflected in client retention, product sales, and ultimately, your bottom line.


  1. Build professional relationships.


There’s a great deal of camaraderie in our industry, and education gives us an awesome opportunity to connect with educators, celebrities, other owners and stylists. I’ve done enough education through Hair’s The Bling that they now greet me by name. The All-Nutrient team & I have become good friends. We even text each other to share our latest haircolor experiments & transformations. I’ve probably learned more from them outside the classroom than inside!


Turn education into socialization. Present it as an excuse to hang out with & be inspired by other creative people outside your salon. When your stylists start seeing familiar faces, they’ll look forward to their next class or show.

Talk to the Handbook!

Talk to the Handbook! Safeguarding Your Salon.

Unfortunately, not all aspects of running your own salon fall under “living the dream.” As the salon owner, it is your duty to address concerns and prevent problems before they arise. Creating an employee handbook is a great way to have solutions on hand and tackle problems the moment they arise. Employee handbooks also provide some insurance to protect you against legal troubles and potential lawsuits.

There are many benefits to having an employee handbook, but most importantly it provides a clear set of rules and expectations for employees. If you read our last blog, the beginning of your employee handbook is a great place to make known your mission statement and vision. This way stylists can work to echo your mission.

From here, you can dig your nails into the main topics for your handbook: code of conduct, policies and procedures, conflict resolution, grounds for termination and process.

Your code of conduct covers all of your ethical and moral obligations. Most salon’s code of conduct include an anti-discrimination policy, language codes, and hygiene requirements. Your policies and procedures provide distinct sets of rules for your employees. These rules cover various topics like dress code, cell phones, wages and more. Most companies now include a social media policy because it is important how your employees promote your salon in their off hours. Whether it is between coworkers or employees, conflict resolution creates guidelines for handling disputes. These guides work to ensure a happy workplace and repeat customers.

Your most important section in your handbook may be the grounds for termination and termination process section. Here you can include information on how many strikes an employee gets before termination, or what actions will 100% not be tolerated and warrant on-the-spot termination.

It is just as important for you, the salon owner, to ensure you do not violating the termination process. Really, violating any part of your handbook can set you up for legal troubles with customers or employees, as well as not covering enough topics. It is recommended to update your employee handbook each year.

There are free online guides and providers who write employee handbooks. But if you are feeling totally overwhelmed it is best to work with a professional who has been there and done that.

You worry most about the issues that affect clients, but when it comes to issues within your salon, it’s best to be proactive not reactive. I can help ensure you’ve covered all your bases so when problems arise, all you need to do is talk to the handbook!

Mission Statements for Salon Success

You have your business license; you have your salon; now it is time for you to nail down your mission. Mission statements not only tell the world what kind of salon you are and what kind of clients you want to attract, but also give your stylists direction and purpose. Why do you exist? What value do you provide? Crafting your mission statement is an integral first step when building a successful small business because it allows you to “be seen, be heard”, provides a focus, defines your culture, and lays the groundwork for the future of your business.

“What is a mission statement?”

Mission statements are the pledge your salon stands by that tells clients who you are, what your salon does, and how it will make your client’s life better. They also establish a guide for the way in which your staff treats and relates to each other, your clientele, and the environment.

Writing a mission statement gives your business a clear direction. Direction is key to driving profits, business growth, and keeps your goals and operations on track. Your customers and employees benefit from knowing what your business stands for.

Think about a salon you respect. Why do consumers go there or buy that product?

Aveda’s mission aspires to “care for the world we live in” and demonstrate “environmental leadership,” with natural ingredients in hair care products. Mario Tricoci’s mission stresses personalized service by knowledgeable and innovative stylists in a unique culture. So, whether it is a Mario Tricoci salon, product, or school, customers believe they are getting a cutting edge experience.

These brands achieved their recognition with clear principles and well-defined missions, allowing their customers and employees to know exactly what they stand for.

Now, if you want to give direction to your salon, boost sales and revenue, and build clientele, your mission statement should reflect the experience your customers are going to receive, the care your staff is going to give, and the level of professionalism with which they will operate.

Need help crafting a good mission statement? No fear, Buffy is here with some helpful tips…

To write a good mission statement, choose concise words that are to the point. Lose words and phrases like “integrity,” “customer satisfaction guarantee.” Be direct. Tell your ideal client what you are going to do for them. Define the role of your staff and give them a purpose they can buy into.

Not sure what that is? Ask yourself “why do I do this?” The Huffington Post posted an article on 7 Tips from Highly Successful Entrepreneurs. One of the entrepreneur’s advice was to “work toward being significant.” Maybe you enjoy helping others recognize their beauty, or help people embrace their individuality? Remember why you do this and put it in your mission statement.

With a thoughtful and well-crafted mission statement, you can follow Forbes suggestion, and create a business you believe in.

No Business Plan, No Money, No Excuse.

No matter what stage your business is in, as long as you are a living, breathing person with a vision, believe it or not, you DO have enough resources to create a successful business plan! A clear strategy for your business is the difference between a salon that turns heads, and a salon that’s lucky to cut dead ends.

A well-crafted business plan will help you…

  • Plan for the salon ahead – take your dream salon from concept to reality, step by step
  • Get to the root of the problem – address likely problems before they occur and plan solutions
  • Own your look – establish your brand and get clients ready to pay top dollar for your services

Foremost, creating a business plan forces you to put your business goals on paper. It’s difficult to succeed without a detailed plan, and it’s impossible to gauge your success if you do not know what you are working for. What do you need to open a salon? Do you know what common business mistakes to avoid? A business plan helps answer these questions. Start laying the groundwork so you know how much money you need to save, what equipment to buy, and licenses to apply for. This article by Forbes offers other helpful questions to ask while making a business plan.

Business plans are not just for new and aspiring salon owners. Every business owner needs one, and it should be revised often.

This article by Investopedia discusses how analyzing the current state of your business can improve your profit and loss. Revisiting your business plan gives you a clear view of where you and your salon are at right now, and where and how you and your business have grown and can grow. If your salon is successful, a business plan will help you reach new heights, maybe open a second location. Are you struggling to reach your goals? Take this time to address faults to improve operations.

Salons tend to focus on the importance of their client’s image, but some need to look in the mirror. What image do you want for your salon? Establishing and marketing your brand is crucial! Incorporate a good marketing plan­, and know who you plan to market to. Your marketing needs to build your brand authority – the confidence in the skill and reputation of your business in the minds of your consumers. This needs to be reflected in EVERYTHING from the name of your business to the way you promote your salon.

If your vision is clear, clients will come.

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