As with most businesses, slowdowns happen. In the salon, you may notice more openings in your schedule for a variety of reasons. It may be due to clients’ post-holiday budget cuts, summer travel schedules or maybe just because it’s Tuesday. Slow times can certainly take a toll on your morale. And if you’re an independent stylist, they also impact your budget big time―if you don’t work, you don’t earn. So what should you do when clients just aren’t there? Here are five ideas to help keep you productive and happy when business slows down.
Plan for the Next Time
Slow times can often be anticipated by examining patterns in your business. If you look at your sales over the past few years, you might see that January or July or Wednesday mornings tend to be slow periods. If that’s the case, put together a plan for the next slow time. For example, you might create a “Post-Holiday Recovery Treatment” for next January. Offer a free moisturizing treatment with every haircut and start promoting and pre-booking the service during the busy holiday season.
How many times have you thought to yourself, “I wish I could speed up my balayage” or “I’d love to learn more about how to treat thinning hair?” Down times are the best times to explore those areas you’ve been meaning to get to and to improve your professional skills. Find an online session, research classes in your area or grab a friend or a mannequin head and check off those professional bucket list items. Use your free time to advance your skills and your knowledge. The payoff will come!
Bring Some Attention To Your Work
If you work in a salon with other stylists, Redken Global Artistic Ambassador Sam Villa offers this piece of advice. “Get out of the back room,” he says.
“Grab a mannequin, set it up in the middle of the salon and start curling or braiding the hair.
Soon people will notice and start asking about your work."
"Before you know it, you’ll be booked up with people requesting your incredible braiding or styling services.”
Do A Flash Sale on Social Media
Last-minute cancellation? No-show? A rare opening on a busy day? Instead of letting these spots go unfilled, try holding a flash sale on your Facebook or Instagram platform. Let clients know you have a rare, last-minute opening, and the first one to book in receives a discount, a gift or complimentary add-on service. You’ll be booked in no time.
Deep Clean Your Station or Salon
Grabbing a broom and Windex may not be the most glamorous way to fill your time, but it’s a good opportunity to get in there and really refresh the place. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when everything is sparkling and clean, and once you’re busy again, your clients will enjoy your fresh, shiny digs.
Photography: Getty Images