Source: Courtesy of Biolage
Remember the holidays last year? Your salon was packed with clients from morning until night, in the waiting area, milling around the service area chatting with their friends, knee to knee at the shampoo bowls. Needless to say, holiday 2020 will be a bit different.
“The world is undergoing a huge change,” says Biolage Artistic Director, salon owner and salon business consultant Danielle Keasling. “So this season, we have to be open to the changes and figure out creative ways to stay ahead of the curve.”
Right now the holidays should be at the top of your mind because even though 2020 is different, it’s still a prime time in the year to ramp up your bottom line. Here are six tips for making the most of what is unfolding as a very unique holiday season in the salon.
START YOUR HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES EARLY
“It’s never too early to start promoting Christmas,” says Keasling. “Holidays seem to come earlier every year, and this year it’s especially important to plan ahead because everything takes longer—longer to do, longer to receive something. So launch your holiday plans and promotions as soon as you possibly can.”
SEND THE SALON EXPERIENCE HOME
Right now, clients aren’t lingering in the salon. Because you’re limited as to the number of people you can have in your space, you can’t double book, and you’re probably still trying to catch up from the period of time when your salon was closed. So in-salon add-ons like luxurious mask treatments may not always be practical. This is a good time, therefore, to package those pampering treatments for home use and for gift-giving.
“We can’t really multi-task like we used to,” says Keasling. “For example, we may not have the luxury of doing a mask treatment with every color service. So why not package up something like a Biolage Deep Treatment Pack mask service in a creative way and offer it to clients as a pampering, self-care experience? You could include items like bath gel, a detangling brush, eye pillows, even a split of champagne and a rubber ducky in a beautiful bag. Include instructions for applying the hair mask while indulging in a fragrant bubble bath to create a relaxing getaway at home.”
Source: Courtesy of Biolage
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE
Once the global pandemic started and shutdowns began, those who were able to digitally upskill—beefing up their e-commerce, content and social media skills—were the businesses with the best chances of survival. So anything you can do online for the holidays will be a plus, whether it’s setting up online ordering, providing online client education or communicating with clients via a robust social media plan.
For example, clients may not be attending parties this year, but they’re probably doing plenty of Zoom meetings and their kids are attending Zoom classes.
“So why not prepare a how-to video showing clients some quick tips for doing camera-worthy hairstyles?” suggests Keasling. “Or you could do a demo on how to do a cute French braid on a child’s hair.”
You might then offer a kit containing all the products you use for the demo, like hairspray or styling lotion. Embed a link to order the kit in your video or use an app like Linktr.ee on your social media platform to direct customers to an order page.
Sustainability remains a priority for many clients today, so coming into the holidays with earth-friendly policies and practices is a must. Show your commitment to all things green by doing things like decorating your salon with recycled paper garland or snowflakes, reusing wrapping paper and ribbons, sending eco-friendly cards to clients, plugging your lights into a timer and unplugging them when you close the salon and repurposing plastic jars as succulent or planter pots. Consider also becoming a Green Circle Salon and recycling hair, color tubes, foils and other salon waste. (Learn more at www.biolage.com/greencirclesalons.) And be sure to promote your eco-friendly products, holiday kits and treatments for salon services and home use.
Source: Courtesy of Biolage
RETHINK YOUR GIFT CERTIFCATES
Gift certificate sales generally explode at holiday time. Clients are thrilled to be able to give their loved ones the gift of beauty, and for salons and stylists they’re an advance on services yet to be rendered. This year, however, notes Keasling, people may be wary of purchasing gift certificates because the next few months remain uncertain. Will salons be required to shut down again, making it too difficult to redeem services? That’s why she suggests creating gift certificates for products, product kits and professional salon tools rather than services. Design your gift certificates to display the logos of the products you carry so recipients can see what’s available. Include prompts with the gift certificate like a step-by-step of a quick, mask-friendly ponytail that features some of the finishing products and tools available in your salon. You might even wrap up a few minis with each gift certificate to give the recipients a taste of what’s available for purchase in your salon.
It’s all about minimal contact right now, so be sure your salon and shopping experiences are as safe as possible. That might mean reorganizing your waiting and retail area to allow more space between guests and shoppers, offering curbside product pick-up or establishing mail or e-commerce options for gift sets and gift certificates.
“Many of us have had to rethink our identity and our culture,” believes Keasling. “We’re spending more money, we’re working harder and we’re forced to offer our clients less in terms of the salon experience. Many of the old business models aren’t holding up anymore, but I’m confident we will bounce back. In the meantime, be creative, set yourself apart and give your client what they need right now so they don’t go looking elsewhere.”