Hellen Ward’s popular blog has been turned into a video, please have a watch and let us know your thoughts in the comments:
A long-standing salon insurance customer of Salon Gold, Hellen Ward gives us her tips on making the most of Christmas in your salon.
Christmas isn’t my favourite time of year… bah humbug! Is it for anyone in the hair and beauty industry though? Just as we’re gearing up, everyone else’s working week is slowing down for the festive season. No wonder we’re exhausted by the end of the year! However, I am mindful to ensure that all the hard work pays off, and to do that, I follow my own Christmas checklist to make the most of the busiest period of turnover we all enjoy.
If retailing is the act of selling products, then good merchandising is all about making them look really appealing. Clients need a strong call to action – tempting displays, beautifully stocked retail areas and visuals detailing what Christmas offerings are available to buy in-salon and online. I’m from the ‘stack them high’ school of thought – nobody will pick up one lonely, dusty product on the shelf, but when they see whole rows of well-stocked items, they’ll feel far more confident to purchase.
Sale or return?
Every manufacturer inundates salon owners with sets and gift boxes. However, they don’t think about 2 factors – the space required to store them and display them, and also what happens if they don’t sell? Any gift set should always be of products you can sell individually at no loss if they’re still sitting there in January. If not, ask the supplier if they’ll be willing to take them back and credit you with a big seller instead before investing in buying anything you’re not sure of.
Keep it unique
I’ve long since realised that there’s little point in trying to out-retail some of the big websites selling pro products when it comes to Black Friday onwards… but what I can do that they can’t is to sell exclusive own-brand things. RW Gift Vouchers wouldn’t be available anywhere else so that’s what I focus on. Retailing is important, and I’m very quick to point out the benefits in buying through us (loyalty points, no delivery hassle, expert recommendation, etc) but in terms of what really tick’s the boxes, it’s offers and deals on spending money in our till. We do 20% off all RW GV’s on Black Friday and it’s become so popular our Gift Voucher sales show a year on year increase of over 15%. It’s a great way to buy customer loyalty as well as reward those regular clients.
Provide the infrastructure
So many independent salons out there don’t employ a receptionist (because they can’t afford one), but my advice is always to make sure they’re maximising their operator’s productivity, and it’s simply not effective to have stylists, therapists, nail techs, colourists and barbers running around answering the phone or booking appointments, when they should be concentrating on delivering and upselling the customer experience. It doesn’t work for the salon owner (who’s sacrificing turnover) or the operator themselves (who’s sacrificing potential commission!) A good receptionist will pay huge dividends (as well as their salaries over and over) if they are incentivised on optimising, and not just dealing with the welcome and close involved in the salon visit. Far better to get the team players who are delivering the service to concentrate on what they do best and let a great, well-trained receptionist look after the client expertly.
Making the most of our busiest time of the year is vital – so follow my steps to ensure your tills are ringing in tune with those sleigh bells!