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A Great Second Half

Patrick McIvor | July 29, 2016 | 9:25 AM

It’s funny to think that as many of us sit here in the midst of a heat wave or “heat dome” as they are now calling it, it's less than 160 days until New Year's Eve. And, for the next five months, it will be prime time for most salon professionals. 

When you think about the US, the first half of the year starts with cold weather and a lot of holidays that don’t directly affect our businesses with a sense of urgency to get to the salon. People generally don't get their hair done for Presidential holidays, sometimes Valentine’s Day, not usually for St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, Earth Day, etc. only if they celebrate Easter, and possibly Mother's Day, stand out as holidays that many guests might book.

But the second half of the year is different. 

The second half of the year kicks off with the 4th of July, a holiday I don't think has guests running to salons, but back-to-school time around Labor Day surely does!  From young guests who are going back to k-12, to our guests who are going off or returning to college, getting their hair back in shape or that one last visit before mid-semester break sure does give a bump to guests in our chairs.

Then it's just mathematical magic because most guests want to look great around the December holidays of Christmas (December 25, 2016), Hanukkah (starts December 24, 2016), Kwanzaa (December 26, 2016) and or New Year’s (December 31, 2016) and six weeks before that, is the week before Thanksgiving.  With Thanksgiving being the most celebrated US Holiday, and most people spending time with friends and family, this year everything seems to be lining up for some very busy weeks. 

Then add to that the fact that three out of the four most popular months to get married are in the second half of the year, August, September and October, with only June in the first half of the year, lots more opportunity starts to add to a very profitable five months. 

How do we use this to make more money? We maximize time! So how do you maximize time?  If you can't make more of it or buy more time, you can instead use it wisely to make sure every second counts. 

  1. Start prebooking guests through December. The next time you see them will be August or early September. Then, they need to get themselves lined up for Thanksgiving and the December holidays so the flexibility is now and their late September/early October appointment. 
  2. Next, look at the salon schedule, which Mondays can you add if you are not open on Mondays? The Monday before Thanksgiving and December 19th make sense, maybe even December 12th.
  3. What about hours? Are you very busy in the morning or at night? Can you expand the hours? And can you run split shifts? Can you offer expanded hours at a premium price?
  4. Add hours or days for weddings. Adding early mornings and Sundays can make you and your salon a perfect fit for their perfect day.
  5. Mobile wedding services are another way you can make their day. In many states it is legal to offer services outside the salon as long as the money goes into the salons register. This way both you and the bride are covered and you can offer a premium service for them.
  6. Maximize efficiency and plan for success. When you know it is going to be a busy day or week, make sure everyone is on the same page. From getting guests through the shampoo bowls to efficient finishes, make sure the guest doesn't feel rushed but also make sure the team is working like a well-oiled machine.

So what can you do to make sure you have a great second half? Take a look now because before you know it, it will be the New Year. If you set yourself up for success now you won't be struggling to figure out how to fit people in because with this type of early planning the guests understand I can fit you in now but it will be much tougher later. And if worse comes to worse, we always have to remember being too busy means we have a great business, a problem that not everyone is so lucky to have.

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