Holidays with love…Five tips for surviving the silly season

Mel Von Stanke is an acclaimed makeup artist and beauty therapist, and the owner of Salon Vanity Makeup Bar & Body Lounge in Mount Gambier, SA. Here she shares her five tips for getting your salon through the busiest weeks of the year and thriving during the Christmas rush.

1. The first and most important thing you must do is look after yourself. Managing your salon and being there for your staff and clients is the most important thing. Simple things like making sure you have healthy snacks available for those busy days ahead when it is easy for your schedule to run over time or you just can’t say no to squeezing one more client into your day and you forget to eat. Make sure there is enough for your staff; they too will be pushing themselves through these busy weeks to attend to all their clients’ needs before Xmas. This will be a small investment for a very positive return.

2. Set your key opening times, dates and extended hours well in advance and inform your clients. You should by now have encouraged them to pre-book their regular appointments through the holiday season so you can be totally ready for the rush into the last week before Xmas. Once these times are in place, sit down and sort your four-week staff roster for December to save time when you are really busy. In the week between Xmas and New Year, consider closing at least one extra day than the scheduled public holidays. If your clients are loyal, they will understand and be back in the New Year and your staff will appreciate an extra day with family and friends; refreshed and ready to get back into the New Year with an extra spring in their step.

3. Xmas time is the ideal time to reward your clients for their support throughout the year. It is a perfect time to increase your customer loyalty by giving them that extra love to leave a lasting impression. Prepare a wallet-sized gift card, thanking them for their loyalty and offering a discount off their first fully priced service for the New Year. Remember it is far easier to retain a client than go out looking for new ones.

4. Plan some great social media promotions - Xmas is a great time to run a competition or promote your vouchers. This will serve as a timely reminder for those wanting a last-minute gift. Make some Facebook offers to boost December retails sales, which are the icing on the cake. The more prepared you are, the more capacity you’ll have to push sales even further.

5. Make sure you have plenty of stock on hand, not only retail lines for the boost in sales but buy extra disposable stock from your suppliers while your trading is healthy. You’ll find that you have plenty in the back store for the New Year, especially when suppliers are closed and you might get caught short. Rather than purchase pre-packaged gift packs, which will require discounting in the New Year, make up your own packs to suit different budgets, attach a small gift card to each and voila: you not only have some lovely gifts to retail, but you will have added to the festive appearance of your salon without having to spend a great deal of extra money on any additional stock.

Extra tip

Write a check list! Being organised will keep you on top of all those little things that can drag you down when you are exhausted at the end of the day. For example:

1. Salon looking sparkling clean

2. Stock ordered and shelves looking full

3. Check you have plenty of Menus, Gift Vouchers and Appointment Cards

4. Extra special packaging prepared for your normal vouchers

5. Team Christmas greeting pictures taken and edited ready for your social media, emails sent to your client base

6. Client Christmas gift cards printed

7. Plan some fun staff incentives to keep them feeling appreciated

8. Rebook promo organised for 2018 to fill your Jan & Feb

9. Christmas decorations dusted off and up in early December

10. Staff presents bought & wrapped


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