The good news for salon profits is that Christmas is just around the corner, says NHF/NBF marketing director Tori Priestley, but that also means January is fast approaching, traditionally one of the quietest times of the year.
“However, you can take steps to boost your income even during the quiet new year period,” says Tori. “Firstly, make sure you carefully manage the advance payments for gift vouchers you receive in the run-up to Christmas. It’s great to get that initial cash boost but bear in mind that you’ll get no further payments for delivering the services and products in the coming weeks and months.”
Cash flow forecast
Advance payments are just one reason why a cash flow forecast is so important for salon profitability, says Tori. “A cash flow forecast will help you plan for peaks and troughs as you can clearly see how much you will have coming in and going out. Poor cash flow is a major cause of business failure, even for profitable businesses.” Discover more about the importance of cash flow: nhf.info/cashflow
Ban January blues
“Try special promotions after Christmas such as a ‘January sale’ or ‘two for one’ offers on products,” says Tori, “but make sure you advertise them well in advance using your social media and website.
“Think carefully about your special offers as you don’t want to undervalue your services or create a ‘discount culture’. For example, don’t offer reduced prices on all your products and services – be selective, and make sure the ‘sale’ appointments are only available on your quietest days in the week. If you have new or junior staff, you could offer discounted January appointments with them to help build their column.
“Give your regular and loyal clients a Christmas card with a 10% discount offer for a January appointment, and offer a discount to regular clients who bring a new client into the salon.
Arrange a special January event during your quiet time and invite your best clients in to introduce them to new products and services – offer free refreshments and a money-off voucher if they book an appointment within a couple of weeks. “Contact your product supplier as they may offer samples or free gifts for your clients,” says Tori.
NHF/NBF Members can download a detailed guide on how to provide an outstanding client experience: nhf.info/client-experience-guide
Your long-term loyal customers are key to the success of your business and there’s lots you can be doing throughout the year to ensure they are not tempted to go elsewhere.
“Loyalty schemes are a great way to keep your clients coming back,” says Tori. “Keep it simple, but make sure you tailor rewards. For example, low-spending clients may appreciate money-off appointments, while higher-spending clients might prefer an additional service for free.” Find out how to keep your clients: nhf.info/client-loyalty