Use Christmas to get a great finish

As we are now in quarter four of the year, it is time to plan forward, make the most of Christmas trade and ensure you have a great finish to a tough year.  Keeping the energy high and the drive going can be a challenge as we head into this last all important quarter.  You are probably tired, as you have worked very hard all year long to meet your targets, excel at your goals and ensure that your bottom lines are strong and healthy.

This is the quarter that not only determines how strong you will start next year, but it is the quarter where most of your competitors are likely to take their foot off the gas.  Success in salon business is about finding the opportunity and then capitalising on it.  Make no mistake, the actions, the plans and sales expectations you plan for in the fourth quarter will be the single biggest determining factor in how much business you do in the first quarter and possibly all of next year.

Sales and business growth start long before they hit your bottom line.  If you want to finish strong, you need to start now. 

Business Growth Strategies to finish strong:

  1. Review and re-evaluate your business goals: now is a great time to check in on the goals you set for your salon earlier in the year, to see how things have gone so far.  Goals continually change, so use this time to re-evaluate the goals you may have set earlier to confirm if these still fit with your business.  If they do, make sure you hustle to make it happen.  If not, then scrap them and find better goals.

  2. Get real about your numbers. If you need help with this, check in with your accountant, as quarter four is a great time to review your progress, such as:  what’s the revenue so far this year, what are your projections until the end of the year, what are your running costs, is there any way to improve productivity and what you need to know about your end of year taxes.

  3. Make a plan. Commit to making quarter four your strongest sales period of the year.  Work with your team to analyse your clients’ spending patterns. Time is short, with end of year obligations and holiday time, Christmas trading will be here in no time.  Be clear about what you are going to accomplish, who is going to be involved and how you are going to do it.

Christmas is the peak services and retail period of the year and preparation must start now.  There’s lots of work to do if you want to get the best revenue results for your salon during the festive period.  The key issue is timing.  The date for Christmas does not change and by December 24th your Christmas business is done, so plan backwards, with the following checklist:

  • What are the peak number of clients, appointments, retail orders and gift vouchers you can handle each day?
  • Do you have adequate staff in place for all roles and fully trained?
  • Do you have back up staff trained and on call?
  • How much retail stock will you need on hand?
  • Are you ready to reach out to your clients and host pre-Christmas events, promotions and sales? If not, get planning, as you don’t want to look back and realise you have missed an opportunity.
  • Have you ordered lots of novelty items?
  • Do you have Christmas gift cards, gift wrapping materials and space?
  • What is your plan to maximise gift voucher sales?
  • What is your follow on plan to ensure vouchers are redeemed in January and February, ensuring a healthy positive start to the new year?
  • Don’t forget about on-line Christmas business, which starts as early as September, but peaks from mid-November.
  • To have a super successful online Christmas, you have to think now about a number of issues, such as: is your online store ready or do you need to clean up old content and replace with festive details?  Do you have the products to sell organised?  Have specific advice about returns and refunds to avoid problems in the new year.  Do you have a safe checkout and delivery process?
  • Do you need to plan your Christmas marketing campaign now?
  • Can you give your salon a Christmas theme, train all your staff to up-sell services, vouchers and retail gifts? Make sure Christmas is a fun time in your salon!

Take time to be prepared for the festive selling season and your sales figures will reflect your hard efforts – practice and preparation will make it all happen!

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