As with many businesses, salons face busy and slow periods throughout the year. While slow periods can be frustrating, you can utilize this time to improve your business, prepare for the next busy season, and become more successful. Check out these ideas to keep your days from dragging and make the most of your valuable time!
Recharge and focus on wellness. Use the downtime in your schedule to rejuvenate. You just spent the last couple months preparing and pampering others. Now, take some time for yourself. Swap services with other stylists in the salon or schedule a massage with a local massage therapist. Look into partnering with area spas to determine if you can provide a mutual discount to each other’s employees for services.
Clean, declutter, and organize. Once you’ve been through the mad rush of the holiday season, it’s likely that your back bar, color area, or front desk may be in a bit of a disarray. Do a deep clean and organize the areas so they are ready to go when the schedule picks up again. Fill up shampoo and conditioner, move half-used tubes of color to the front, organize tool carts, prepare color foils, and make sure everything is stocked and ready to go for the most efficient workflow.
Look into new products and lines. While you’re organizing products, evaluate to make sure you are happy with them. If there are any product lines you aren’t totally satisfied with, this slow period might be a good time to experiment with and learn some other brands. You can also use this time to investigate new products your current line offers that you haven’t had the time to explore.
Train. Use downtime for more experienced stylists to train fresh stylists on additional skills and techniques. It is also a good time to train stylists on add-on services such a conditioning treatments and facial waxing.
Market. How do you handle marketing for your salon? Do you market solely through word of mouth, referral programs, social media ads, or local newspapers? Look at what you’re doing and analyze any data you have available. Consider creating a referral program if you don’t already have one in place. A relatively low-cost way to market is Facebook ads. You can use targeting to make the most of your ads.
Promotion for the slowest days. Is there a day that seems to be the slowest in your salon? Consider creating a promotion for that day of the week, such as “Wellness Wednesday” when clients can get a “Petite Pampering” add-on service complimentary with specific services.
Education. Have you completed any industry education lately? Consider taking a class or two on a new technique or social media marketing. As you know, education is critical for your growth and success as a stylist, but it’s often hard to find time. Take time in these slower months to grow your knowledge!
First-time client offers. Draw in new clients you haven’t been able to squeeze in between regular clients during the busy season. You can do this by offering a special first-time discount, complimentary enhanced service, or a retail deal. Wow them with a great experience and add a new loyal client to your books!
Social media picture post promotion. Host a social media promotion by creating a hashtag and asking clients to post pictures and positive feedback, tagging both a friend and your social media pages. At the end of the promotion period, draw a winner to receive a gift basket of products or free service. This can drum up interest and draw in new clients.
Open house. Host an open house on an evening that you’d normally be closed. This is a great opportunity for the general public to meet the stylists, check out the salon environment, and mingle. Serve snacks and drinks and offer product samples and free consultations. You can even invite another local business to partner with you. Invite current clients and ask them to bring a friend who’s never been in the salon before.
Offer DIY classes. While many of your clients just got their cuts and colors completed during the busy holiday rush, you can still draw them in for something new. Try hosting DIY classes on make-up or styling lessons. You can even offer a discount on products used during the demonstration. Make sure you create an event page on Facebook and promote it on all your social media channels.
Review processes and operations. Lulls in the schedule are a great opportunity to review the everyday process and operations of your salon. Review the salon handbook and make sure no updates are needed (or create one if it doesn’t exist). While you should already be holding regular staff meetings, it can be difficult during the busy season hustle. Now would be a great time to sit down with everyone and discuss what’s working and what may need to be improved. Boost morale with a get-together, such as a team happy hour or bonding event.
Use some of these ideas to help make the typical late winter and summer downtime more productive. This can prevent the dreaded rut and keep you motivated to jump right back into it when the schedule picks up!