What to Do When Your Salon Slows Down After the Holidays
After you’ve swept up the holiday glitter and your winter sales have wound to a close, the beauty business can get downright slow. Salons and spas—a hotbed of activity in the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve—become positively quiet in January and early February, which can cause unnecessary stress for small business owners. After all, it’s the bustle of clients and the sound of cash registers you want to hear! A slower salon doesn’t necessarily have to mean a financial hit. Here are five ways to use the downtime to your advantage and get ready for business to pick back up again when Valentine’s Day rolls around.
1. Give Your Desktop an Update with Vagaro Salon Software
New Year—clean sweep! If you aren’t already using Vagaro to automate daily administrative tasks, it’s never been a better time to get started with a 1-month free trial. Everything from scheduling and payment processing to marketing and payroll is easier with Vagaro salon software. You can also use some of your holiday earnings to invest in your small business with an upgrade. Maybe it’s time to give your salon a bigger email marketing plan, allow customer file uploads with Vagaro Drive, or get started with text marketing. To do the work efficiently, you’ve got to start with the sharpest tools. Start the year off on the right foot and free up some extra time for yourself!
2. Use SMS Text Marketing for Re-Booking Reminders
Text marketing is an easy, cost-effective way to keep in touch with customers after the holidays are over. Because Vagaro text marketing reaches your clients on their favorite device—their phone! –the messages you send out have a greater chance of success. One of the simplest ways to get clients back in your shop are pre-booking and re-booking reminders. Before January rolls into town, use text marketing to keep your salon hopping for the holiday, and rocking into the new year! Pre-booking reminders sent to clients help make sure that every seat in the salon is full during peak season.
Re-booking reminders—sent out after holiday appointments—remind clients to keep up with their appointments after the rush of the holidays is over. For re-booking reminders, an effective strategy is to include a discount as a re-booking incentive for January. Text marketing messages have a 98% open rate and text discounts are 10 times more likely to be redeemed than traditional discounts. That means with just one text campaign, you can create ongoing, reliable income, even during a seasonal slowdown. Holiday-frazzled clients will appreciate the reminder—and the discount! — to help them stay on-schedule with post-holiday style upkeep.
3. Become a Vagaro Featured Business to Stay Top-of-Mind
When you’re facing a seasonal slowdown, the key is not to panic. You know the saying: “This too, shall pass.” No matter how many years you have behind the chair, the January slowdown can be nerve-wracking, especially when your books get quieter. It’s the perfect time to try something new! When it’s slower in the salon, there’s less risk involved with trying out a new marketing tactic. If you’ve been putting off becoming a featured business on the Vagaro Marketplace and App, this might be the ideal time to give it a try. As a featured business, your salon will be prioritized over local competition, which is perfect for new customers with a little holiday cash to spend. You can even sweeten the deal on your featured listing by putting together a Daily Deal for customers—think “Holiday Rehab” or “New Year—New You.” Putting together a seasonal Daily Deal is simple, inexpensive, and can help bring in new clients, even when it’s slow.
4. Use Forms to Check in With Customers
There’s no denying that the holidays put your business through the gauntlet. You may feel like you’ve serviced every client you’ve ever had! But chances are, there’s a few who couldn’t get in, or who slipped through the cracks. You might have also tried out something new for the holidays. Maybe you launched a text marketing program, had an online retail sale, run a special holiday Daily Deal, or hosted an event. Forms are a simple way to circle back and touch base with new and established clients. With just a few clicks, you can to get to know customers better and gather helpful information to plan for the upcoming year. For example, you could send a form to customers who received a gift card purchased in the salon to find out what they’re planning to spend it on.
5. Throw Yourself into Marketing
With the new year, you’re presented with a fresh opportunity to set your goals for the year and re-boot your salon’s marketing plan. Turn downtime into planning time and get some new customers in the door! For example, if your annual reports show that your social media marketing paid off, a well-timed gift card contest on social media can bring in some extra January business. For a contest like this, you can even use multiple marketing platforms to get increased visibility. First, draft a marketing email to send to your client base to create awareness of the contest and generate excitement. You can then share the email through Vagaro’s Facebook integration, to heighten its visibility. The more ways you give people to enter your contest, the more marketing opportunities you open, for January and beyond.
Overcome the Winter Sales Slump with Vagaro
After the winter holiday rush, the January slowdown can seem especially scary for small business owners. After all, going from “fully booked with a waitlist” to “just a few clients” is a sharp contrast. But slower doesn’t have to mean less profitable! When you use your Vagaro marketing tools to plan and create a methodical business strategy, a slower salon can be just as lucrative as a busy one.
Don’t let the post-holiday salon slowdown cause you unnecessary stress! With Vagaro’s tools, you can stay top-of-mind with customers, send convenient re-booking reminders, and keep your salon’s online sales steady, even if you’ve got fewer clients coming in the doors.
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