Hair salons have peak and slow seasons, just like most other small businesses. Typically, a decline occurs in the summer, when warmer weather keeps clientele outdoors, according to Salon Today. With children out of school, most families travel or spend more time at home and don’t have the time to stop by the hair salon. However, the slow season is no time to rest for the salon owner. Take advantage of those empty appointment slots by using your time to develop creative ways to promote your small business and prepare for the busy season.
Think Outside the Box
Creative strategies can prove to be extremely advantageous during the slow months. Consider ways in which you can encourage walk-ins and increase repeat sales.
- Utilize social media, such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to share photos of your work and advertise any specials.
- Have “pop up sales” and offer discount prices on hair treatments or merchandise (hair shampoos and creams) for a few days. Announce the sale on social media, on your salon’s website and on the outside of your salon. Individuals are incentivized by good deals, and may make time for a hair appointment to save money even if they weren’t planning for it.
- Word of mouth can be the best advertising; create a referral program where you reward your existing clients for bringing in new business. You can offer a free blow dry with a paid haircut or a discount on the next treatment for any customer who brings in a friend.
- Diversify your services by offering classes. You can teach people how to braid hair, how to give themselves the perfect blow-out, or how to curl hair with their straightener.
During the months that you are booked solid, you likely do not have the time to improve your daily operations. Utilize the free time that you have during the summer to organize your salon.
- Take stock of inventory to determine what new items you need to order to prepare for the busy season.
- Clean out your stock room to make everything easy to find.
- Evaluate the condition of your salon and consider making improvements to improve the space, such as adding more sinks for hair washes or a larger waiting area.
- Don’t just focus on the inside of your salon; find ways to improve operations online as well. Contact an online marketing professional to discuss marketing campaigns that can help you reach a wider audience. You may need to redesign your website or invest money into advertising to boost sales.
During the slow season, you may have had to let some of your staff go, but don’t forget to prepare for the busier months. Give yourself enough time to find experienced salon staff that specializes in the services you offer, such as haircuts, hair coloring, keratin treatments, etc. You may want to give each employee a trial period to verify skills before committing to hiring them when times get busy.
Need funding to make some of your new ideas a reality, or just help with your cash flow, before things get busy? Contact IOU Financial for information about small business loans and how to get pre-approved for a loan in 24-hours.