Posted on June 13, 2018
Sola Salon Studios
Image Photo Credit: Amanda Fagan (left/right), Kimi Bennett (middle)
If your schedule is falling by the wayside when June hits, don’t take it personally. With the exception of tourism, every single industry takes a hit during the summer months.
It’s NOT you!
While there’s no one right way to cure the summertime blues, opportunities abound with a quick read of Sola’s strategic solutions for maximizing your time.
1. Seasonal Beauty Bolsters
Take a cue from Faces of Sola hair guru Amanda Fagan, “I see a lot of fun changes with the requests that I get for color and haircuts at the beginning of the season. Summer is when many clients like to go short or really brighten their blonde! Also, with it being the time for music festivals, I tend to pull out more creative colors than any other time of the year.”
Take a peek at your favorite beauty websites and magazines and borrow their phrasing for fun descriptions. Summer beauty lends itself to braid bars, fast updos, an uptick in keratin treatments, highlighting, frequent pedicures, extended waxing, scalp facials, melt-proof makeup and more.
2. Create Added-Value Packages
A special seasonal offer may boost biz, and it could even land you new guests who’ll stick with you beyond Labor Day, like this genius best-practice from Sola’s first-ever studio owner Kimi Bennett, “Think about running a blow-out program for summer that carries into fall. For example, I want to raise my frequency of visit with existing customers: for slow periods, each blowout also includes complimentary conditioning treatment for summer hair. Or book now and receive 15% off retail. These were successes for me.”
Amanda enhances her clients’ experiences starting at the shampoo bowl by offering extended scalp massages, plus the choice between scalp exfoliation or deeply clarifying shampoo plus a deep conditioner. “It adds color to a part of the haircut or color that is usually very routine, and most of my clients have shared that the shampoo is their favorite part — other than the result. When someone feels cared for above and beyond in a way that no one else offers, they will be a client for life and share it with the world.”
She special orders small samples from Davines (her preferred product line) that she doesn’t normally keep on the shelf, noting “this adds excitement for those products while opening the conversation of what products they need. They’ll commonly go home with something new!”
Look around your studio, and let your retail inspire you. Depending on your specialty, pair services with products that cost you very little.
3. Market Your Summer Promos
Follow Kimi’s lead and use a text or email marketing campaign to spread the word about your summer specials! With the use of technology, you can have a text campaign out in a matter of moments to remind your guests that you're still there, you're still workin' it, and you want to help them look and feel their best for summer! Don’t forget to share the love on social media, too.
4. Check Your Calendar
Check out your KPI's from the last 12 months to review last summer’s peaks and valleys week by week. What were your busiest days and times? Most popular offerings? After looking back, consider giving yourself time off when you know everyone else is out of town.
Amanda notes, “This is the perfect time to schedule time off to soak up the sun! Taking a summer break is great self-care for you personally, and overall great for your business. It sounds counterproductive because you are doing the opposite of making money; but as a business owner, I believe it is essential to take time away occasionally, so you don’t lose yourself in all that is required of you.
It is a time to be able to step back and relax, refill and renew your mind. If you’re like me, you’ll be thinking about your business anyway, so it’s a time where your creativity can come into action and you’ll be working on the back end of your business.”
5. Sharpen Your Scissors
Sola Pro means inspiration at your fingertips! Want to watch educational videos that range from artistic and marketing topics to motivation and more? Consider this primetime to broaden your knowledge with new techniques and tips that can grow your repertoire.
6. Stay Connected
When you invest time in your relationships, you’re investing in your salon in a powerful way. When regular clients aren’t coming in as often, it’s a good time to call or outreach, making this a habit throughout the year. Are you Facebook friends? Do they follow you on Insta? Whether it’s a follow-back, call or well-thought out comment on a post, a few words or emojis of approval show your interest in them outside your studio.
7. Grow Your Network
If you have a slow afternoon, hit the road and consider where your current and potential future clientele does during a typical day. Is it a weekly Weight Watchers meeting? A local Yoga studio? Introduce yourself to the front desk manager and tell her about your services. Ask her to come in and sample your services your guest. Be sure to bring a stack of cards for her to share with her clientele.
Summer offers numerous opportunities for informal networking too: parties, barbecues, family get-togethers. The atmosphere is generally relaxed, and you’ll have a chance to talk to people outside your usual circles. Some of the most productive contacts and referrals often come from the most unlikely sources.
8. Get Organized
Take advantage of your free time by conducting product inventory in advance of busier months ahead. Are you tuned in to all of Sola’s available resources for managing and growing your business? When busy season arrives, and it takes less time to complete admin tasks based on your efforts, you’ll be glad you spent your summer maximizing efficiency!
9. Deal With Potential Tax Issues
You might not think of July as an important time for taxes but according to the Small Business Administration, there are many things you can do now for achieving a good outcome without scrambling in April. Catch up on paperwork and forms and meet with your tax advisor - or find one while their business is also slow.
10. Volunteer or Donate Your Services
Expand your inner circles and get your name out there: design hair or makeup for a local theater group in exchange for program credit. Or create and donate a branded-product basket with a gift certificate, including your card to a well-attended silent auction for charity. Make a sticker of your logo and hit the local florist for professional wrapping. Attend the event and greet everyone who bids on your basket, explaining your expertise.
A Word on Discounting
It may be tempting, but be careful: once you’ve put that idea into a client’s head, it’s difficult to get your price back up, much less give yourself a raise. Take Amanda’s advice, “Discounting sends a message that we are willing to bend and compromise our worth. Keeping prices consistent and raising prices when necessary communicates our commitment to a high-quality experience.”
Remember that seasonal slowdowns are temporary, and life will eventually get back to normal. Stressing over your situation can make it difficult to focus and motivate yourself. For salon owners, summertime doesn’t necessarily spell gloom and doom: with a bit of proactivity and creativity, you might even benefit from it.