10 Sure-Fire Strategies for a Super-Successful Festive Season

10 Sure-Fire Strategies for a Super-Successful Festive Season

With the busiest time of year just around the corner, it’s not too early to plan for maximum revenue generation; not only for the few crazy weeks before Christmas, but also for the quiet times in early December, and the first few months of the following year. Although it can appear to be very busy post-Christmas, much of that busy-ness comes from clients redeeming Gift Vouchers, and while it’s great to be busy delivering services, substantial gift voucher redemption during any given period is tough on your bank balance.

To offset these slow revenue periods, start now to organise both your pre and post-Christmas marketing. Preparing ahead of time allows you to create the perfect offers to entice your clients during those slow periods.

1. Plan Your Marketing in Advance

Many spa and clinic owners shudder when anything mentioning a ‘plan’ is discussed. But creating a marketing plan is simpler than you might think. The most important thing is to get started. Once you put pencil to paper you’ll be surprised at how well your ideas flow from there. I recommend you address three central areas within your plan.

  • Client Attraction: Look for ways to bring in new clients. A steady flow of new clients is essential and will help to offset those you lose, as well as increase your existing client base.
  • Client Retention: Your existing clients are your most important asset and loyalty needs to be constantly recognised and rewarded in some way.
  • Increasing Profits: Promotions and strategies to boost your profits. With a bit of creativity, you can sometimes incorporate all three of these criteria into the one promotion and tick off all the boxes at the same time. Whatever plan or promotion you create, it must eventually generate profit, either immediately or in the short term; because you can’t pay expenses with hugs and kisses.

2. Brace for a Retail Blitz

Christmas is the perfect time to boost your retail sales and one way to do this is through the sale of retail packs.

  • Check with your suppliers to find out what special retail packs they have available. These packs generally offer fantastic value for your clients which should make them very easy to retail.
  • Keep your top sellers in stock and don’t run out. You can’t sell what you don’t have.
  • Make buying easy for your clients by having one of each special promotional pack unwrapped and on display, and then giftwrap the rest, add a gift tag, and present them as ready to give gifts. Make sure they are clearly priced so your clients can appreciate what great value they provide. During this time of year, anything you can do to remove a little bit of stress from your clients will be very welcome, and having ready-to-go pre-wrapped gifts meets this need well.

3. Pump Up Your Team’s Motivation

It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re feeling drained and frazzled, so it’s up to you to find ways to keep your team members happy and energised. You need to keep up team morale and energy levels so you can sail through the crazy times.

Here’s what I recommend:

  • Have fortnightly team meetings scheduled well in advance of your busy time. Your meetings may not provide enough time to refresh everyone about all your retail products, so focus on updating and refreshing information on your top 20% of sellers. Simply allocate several products to each team member to research and present an update on during your team meetings. There’ll be more learning and enthusiasm shown if team members are actively involved in your meetings rather just than sitting and listening.
  • Review your treatment protocols, especially for the services you know will be in demand. It’s essential to maintain your standards, even during the hectic periods, to avoid losing clients.
  • Don’t overbook by squeezing in additional appointments. You may gain a short term boost in revenue but it will result in employee burn-out and poor performance.
  • From October on, encourage clients to book their appointments for the rest of the year. This ensures regular clients don’t miss out when walk-ins and casual clients start looking for appointments. Existing regular clients must come first.
  • In that final couple of weeks when it gets crazy busy, keep a supply of fresh and dried fruit, nuts, juices, water, and other healthy, vitamin-packed goodies on hand for your team members to graze on. They will love you for it and it will also help to reduce fatigue and stress.

4. Prepare Your Team Roster

Did you know that wages are often the highest expense in any salon or clinic? If so, it makes sense to create a roster that takes into consideration the needs of your business.

Your roster should ensure you have sufficient team members on hand during the busy times but not too many during the quiet times. To accomplish this, review your sales during the same trading period from the previous year. If you were back to back with appointments with not a gap in your appointment schedule, you might need to add additional team members to the roster for those times. However, if you had lots of empty spots then you should cut back a little.

It also helps to have your roster prepared well in advance during the lead up to Christmas, so all your team members know when they can do their own festive preparations prior to the ‘all-hands-on-deck’ frenzy in the spa. This reduces unwanted team ‘no-shows’ when you are busiest.

Also, consider recruiting some casual junior staff to help keep things running smoothly. They can be useful to help maintain the salon appearance, organise client refreshments, handle laundry, take phone calls (if there’s no receptionist) and do quick runs to the shop for emergency supplies. This allows your therapists to focus on delivering quality treatments.

5. Create Performance Goals

If you want to maximise sales during your busy time, be sure to set goals for your team, and for individual team members if this is what you do in your salon or clinic.

Your goals should include:

  • Service sales,
  • Retail sales, and of course
  • Gift voucher sales.

Check back on the previous year’s figures for a starting point and then add a realistic percentage increase to these figures, taking into consideration how many team members you’ll have working.

To be realistic and effective, goals must be:

  • Written down
    When a goal is written down, it becomes much more likely to be actioned and achieved. Have a system in place to write down the goals you want to reach and refer to them daily.
  • Shared with your team
    It’s pointless having a goal that affects your whole team if you’re the only person who knows about it. you share it with your team, you can ask for suggestions and feedback that might help you improve your goals. By getting team members involved and providing input, you’ll have a more motivated and enthusiastic team in play.
  • Monitored regularly
    Goals need to be monitored otherwise it’s easy to lose direction. If you have two weeks to sell 100 gift vouchers and have only sold 12 by the end of the first week, then you’ve left it too late to make the necessary changes to reach your goal. However, if you know that you need to sell 10 gift vouchers a day, and have shared this with your team, then you can monitor it daily and tweak your plan if necessary.
  • Rewarded
    Above average performance deserves to be rewarded, but not just at the very end. Whether you pay performance incentives or not, reward your team members daily for extraordinary performance. Find a reason to say ‘well done’ or ‘thanks for your hard work’ every day. What is recognised and rewarded gets repeated.
  • Produce More Profitable Promotions
    If your salon or clinic is generally fully booked during the lead up to Christmas, there’s absolutely no reason to run promotions with service giveaways during this time. If you’re going to be busy delivering full-price services, you don’t need to provide free or discounted services.
    However, many salons and clinics experience a quiet period in the beginning of December as clients hold off having their last-minute services. This is when a promotion will help to keep the money coming in. This is important because even though you may be frantically busy during the final two weeks, your overall takings are often not much more than a regular month due to the quiet two weeks that precede it.
    Discounting. It’s easy, and therefore tempting, to discount your prices when creating a promotion, but you can do much better than this. There’s no doubt that discounted prices are enormously popular with your clients but they negatively affect your business in the long-term.
    Rather than discounting, use value adding instead.

How to value-add. Begin by dividing your services into the following two categories:

1. Primary. Primary services are your most profitable and those you should never discount as they are your core services.

2. Secondary. These services are those that are quick to deliver, low-cost in time and product, offer real value to the client and complement your primary services when bundled together.

Once you have your Primary and Secondary lists, you can create your promotional packages. Here’s how to do it.

  • Take one or two of your Primary services to use as the basis of your promotional offer.
  • Next choose two or three secondary services that will complement the Primary services you’ve chosen.
  • Once you’ve selected all your services, it’s time to work out the price. Start by combining the full price of your included Primary services (your package should never be cheaper than the combined price of your Primary services). This should be your minimum price. You may want to add a small charge for your Secondary services, but in many instances, these will be included for free.
  • Next, consider whether the price will be acceptable to your clients. If yes, you’re ready to go forward and if not, you need to go back and re-choose your primary services.
    If you want to have a high price-point for your package, include two or more Primary services and value-add to it with your Secondary services. Promotions with a lower price point will generally only have one Primary service included.
  • Maintain Your Marketing Schedule
    Just because your salon or clinic is incredibly busy, don’t assume you can forget about your marketing as this is short-term thinking. There will be quiet times in your appointment book post-Christmas, and you need to attract clients into your business to keep your cash flow moving.
    Where possible, use in-built schedulers to organise regular social media posts to keep clients up to date about what’s on offer. Also, consider using a Salon App to reach out to your clients. Because clients need to opt-in to your App, you get a very high open rate of around 90%. This makes it an excellent investment for your business.
    Encourage your clients to book ahead so they don’t miss getting an appointment. Mention this in your October, November, and December newsletters and when the clients are in your salon or clinic. The last thing you need is to lose a good client to another business because they couldn’t get an appointment with yours.
  • Schedule Ahead of Time for Social Media
    If possible, plan all your social media posts prior to the busy period. With scheduling software, this can be taken care of easily, but even if you only run a page on Facebook, you can easily schedule future posts for free. Remember to include images, ask for likes and shares, ask questions to garner comments and even include the occasional video to maximise your organic reach.
    It may be worthwhile to boost (paid feature) some of your important posts to ensure more of your page followers see them. Unfortunately, organic reach on social media is now very low, with Facebook posts only reaching about 2% of people following your page.
  • Snail Mail – Your Secret Marketing Weapon
    In nearly all businesses, 80% of revenue comes from just 20% of their clients. This 20% are VIP clients and they deserve a little something extra. This is when the power of snail mail comes into its own. A real Christmas card, containing a well-worded message, plus a salon or clinic voucher redeemable during your quiet post-Christmas period, is perfect for this. It offers a much more powerful way to say ‘Thank you’ to your clients for their support over the past year.
    Yes, postage is ridiculously expensive these days, but this type of marketing is quite economical when reserved for those special clients your business couldn’t survive without. So, go all out, and spend a dollar on your best clients. It will be a great investment in your business.
  • Impulse Purchases
    These inexpensive but eye-catching items, placed on your front counter, can really provide a welcome boost to your revenue. Who doesn’t need to pick up a quick and easy item for the kindy teacher or the Secret Santa at work?
  • Check with your suppliers to see what’s available, attractive, and economical so you can tempt clients to purchase that last-minute item. Make sure your display is clearly priced as staying within a budget is important to most people around Christmas.

And there you have 10 easy-to-implement strategies that you can use to boost your pre and post-Christmas sales and ensure a brilliant start to your New Year. And remember, to get results, you must take action. Just reading this article won’t help!


Pam Stellema is an accredited business coach, author, copywriter and principal coach at SalonSavy. Her book, 3 ½ Secrets to Salon Success, is a must-have for salon and spa owners who want to create more profit from their passion. You can contact Pam via her website www.SalonSavy.com.au or email her at Pam@SalonSavy.com.au

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