Don't get so overwhelmed by the holidays that your business falls off track as the year comes to a close. Broderick Consulting (www.broderickconsulting.com), management consultants for the salon and spa industry, advises using your seasonal marketing efforts to your long-term advantage.
1. Use the holidays to garner "bounce back" early next year.
Explains Broderick Consulting Chairman Adam Broderick, "You're likely to see many of your core customers during the holidays, so be proactive and generate goodwill at the same time by giving them a special incentive to come back in leaner months, which can be January or February in some markets. Offer a discount on a new service, a gift with purchase or a well-priced 'new you' package to build traffic."
2. Refresh customer data during the holidays.
Take advantage of the busy season to ensure that you have complete customer data—for example, e-mail addresses that allow for great customer contact at little cost. Accurate customer data ensures that you have the information you need for improved customer communications in the future.
3. Tackle low-frequency issues.
Client frequency is down as a salon trend - as a result of what we call the "time pauper" phenomenon. Turn this negative into a positive: Time-pressed clients are more open and interested in home care products and add-on services. This attitude is often expressed as, "I don't have much time, but since I'm here now, let me try it."
4. Keep your eye on the big picture.
The best use of your end-of-the-year time is to plan proactively for the year ahead. Assess the current picture and projected outcome for the year, and review your future goals, weaknesses and opportunities. The right consultant can be the most cost-effective decision you make. Says Broderick Consulting President Mark Donovan, "We specialize in first quarter planning to get our clients moving in the right direction immediately."