The fall and winter months can be roller coasters for salons with intensely packed weeks around the holidays, sandwiched by dead zones before and after. But with a little bit of planning, you can fill chairs during the winter doldrums, often by taking advantage of holiday traffic. Here are some ideas to turn it up during downtimes.
BLACK FRIDAY SPECIALS
“Black Friday used to be dead in our salon,” says Robert Santana, owner of Elements Salon in Brooklyn. “All of our clients were out shopping, and we didn’t know if we should even stay open!” Santana, a Matrix Artistic Director, and his team decided to keep the doors open and turn Black Friday around by offering deep discounts on color and cutting services—20 percent off a glaze, 50 percent off cuts and colors. The discount is service-only—no blow dries included. “It’s all about volume,” explains Santana. “We do a ton of people and encourage our guests to bring a friend for the same discount so that we also attract new clients.”
Many salons strike up cross promotions with neighboring businesses. For a Valentine’s Day promotion, for example, consider partnering with a local jewelry store for a “Winter Bling” promotion. With every jewelry purchase, customers receive a coupon for $10 off a shine-enhancing hair glossing service in your salon. And for every salon service you perform, clients are entered into a raffle to win a diamond necklace!
Millennials love Instagram, and they’re driving multiple businesses via that platform. So Salon-Capri in the Boston area created” Selfie Saturdays” to appeal to those clients. After a hair service, a client heads to the salon’s selfie station, snaps a photo, posts it to their Instagram page and tags the salon. Each month, the salon culls through the tags and selects a winner for a free service. “It helps with engagement,” says owner Nicholas Penna, “and it’s a real differentiator for our business.”
DEAD-OF-WINTER GIFT CARD STRATEGY
As holiday shopping gears up in late October, Santana kicks off an annual gift card promotion. Elements offers 20 percent off every $100 gift card. The condition of the discount, however, is that the cards must be redeemed between the second week of January and Valentine’s Day. “We generate revenue from gift card sales, our clients get help with their gift shopping, they get a $100 gift certificate for $80 and we create business during the typically slow period between the holidays and Valentine’s Day,” says Santana. “It’s a win-win all around.”
Remember, winter doesn’t have to be a slow time in the salon. If you get creative and do a bit of planning, January and February could actually turn into some of your busiest months.
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