Countdown to Christmas, Part 1

By Bryan Durocher, Durocher Enterprises


We just finished the barbecues of Labor Day and it is hard to think about the winter holidays. However it is that time of the year already. We have to prepare and place orders now to secure the best merchandise for our prime retail selling time. The holiday season will be upon us before we know it and savvy spa owners know that planning for the rush is imperative. Develop your holiday strategy and increase your service and retail sales, capture new clients and create a buzz surrounding the spa that will benefit your business well into the New Year. Those of us in the salon and spa industry know that when it comes to holiday season, we are either planning for it, in the midst of it, or recovering from it. It is never too early to start planning — if you wait too long Rudolph just might dash on by you.


Break Out the Marketing Budget and Review It


Many spa owners set their marketing budget in place at the beginning of the year with the best of intentions to follow it strictly; however, by the time holiday season rolls around, what resources should be available, just aren’t. No worries. Addressing this issue now will provide time to make adjustments and modifications to the plan, instead of scrambling in November. Ask yourself what resources are available and look for creative ways to maximize every opportunity.


Recruit, Recruit, Recruit … Then Hire With Plenty of Time to Properly Train New Staff


Ever thought of sending sales representatives to busy office spaces with your gift cards in early November to sell to busy business executives? Or how about dropping by the doctor’s office so he can purchase for his staff? Seasonal help is a necessary investment every spa should make. An overloaded and overworked front desk team is the last challenge any owner wants to be faced with come mid-December. Beginning the hiring process now is the prudent and wise choice. New staff members need to become proficient not only with the management software but with the services, retail products, and culture of the spa before the holiday rush hits. Also, many individuals seeking seasonal employment will begin their search in October. Think of students — high school and college age. Do not make the common mistake of shortening the interview process. Interview candidates by following your normal hiring policies and take the time to properly screen and identify great future staff members.


Promotions and Specials: It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas


What promotions is the spa going to offer thru the holidays? What service can you revamp or add-on to, creating a “new” holiday treatment? Are you changing the aromatherapy offered to inspire a holiday feeling? Ask your provider to identify a few scents they would like to use. Perhaps a Peppermint Pedicure? Wintergreen, peppermint, sage, and cinnamon all have strong healing properties that can be highlighted on a holiday menu of add-on services that will assist your practitioners with up-selling.


Have you assigned a staff member to tastefully decorate the spa? Does the spa have enough gift certificates, boxes, bags, and ribbon? Private labeling these items with your logo, if you haven’t already done so, is a great way to attract attention and new clients, and save people time by creating a ready-to-go, wrapped, and beautiful present to give when gift certificates are purchased. Keep in mind, now is the time to order enough stock to get thru the entire season.


These are just a few of the questions you can easily be answering now and delegating to your team. The holidays are a joyous and festive time of the year and by planning ahead, you will be able to kiss your profits under the mistletoe.


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