Industry • Best Practice
How to Beat the January Blues & Sustain Holiday Growth Year Round
Nov.30,2021By Boulevard Staff
Avoid sales slumps after the holiday season with these key tips.
Ever heard of the January blues? It doesn’t just refer to the sudden change in your mood that you feel at the beginning of the new year. Even businesses get the blues, especially if they’re experiencing a new low point in sales.
The holidays are a busy time. Americans have been known to spend billions of dollars during the holiday season, and the aftermath can be hard on businesses. You see an uptick in sales during the fall that continues on through to the end of the year, only to experience a steep decline in business in January. What can you do to keep the sales momentum going between holidays? We’ve got some ideas.
Ask and ye shall receive...feedback
Before you do anything else, poll your clientele. Email or text them a poll or survey asking questions about what they like most about your business, what they’d like to see offered, and how your services could improve. Don’t feel like you have to play coy or beat around the bush — come right and ask what would get your clients back to your shop in the new year.
Keep your surveys short; the longer your poll is, the less likely people are to finish it. Stay on topic and don’t ask anything that isn’t relevant to your business. Questions about spending, household, or other demographic questions can be helpful for tailoring your marketing, but they tend to feel impersonal and make surveys longer.
Use the feedback to make changes to your business strategy. You could even reward people who take the survey with a small prize, like a discount for a specific service.
Launch a pre-booking promo
December always sees the most gift card purchases, and come January clients are ready to redeem. But to sustain the sales numbers you gained over the holidays, you have to find a way to keep the bookings flowing.
One way to achieve steady bookings over the holidays is to launch a pre-booking promotion. Offer any client who’s physically in the business towards the end of the year a discount if they pre-book their next appointment. A popular structure we’ve seen is the 10/10 program: pre-book one appointment for January and one for February and receive 10% off both visits. Clients are usually grateful they pre-booked as schedules may have gotten away from them in the new year — the discount is just icing on the cake! Get even more mileage out of this promo by pre-booking these same clients for March and April on their next visit.
Lean into loyalty
As with pre-booking, loyalty programs are a fantastic way to keep retention high. Show your loyal clientele some appreciation with points, discounts, free products, and other extras to keep coming back for more. Pro tip: Give reward program members a seasonal offer that has to be redeemed before March if you want to boost those Q1 numbers.
These types of deals will make your customers feel special and so that they keep coming back. 52% of American frequent customers join loyalty programs. Loyal customers equal more profits. According to Accenture, 57% of loyal customers spend more on their favorite brands.
Whatever offers you create, make sure they’re something your clientele actually wants. Remember that information you got from your survey? That should give you an idea of what types of rewards your customers desire.
Let customers slide into your DMs
Who doesn’t like the convenience of making appointments online? Offer your clients the option to self book by using intuitive software. At Boulevard, our software has helped businesses increase booking by 16%. (Just sayin’.)
Your clients are probably feeling harried and overwhelmed returning to business as usual after the fun of the holidays. The more friction in place between them and getting in one of your chairs, the more likely they are to put it off. There are other benefits to online booking, too. It saves you and your staff time, and even reduces the number of no-shows — something you always want to avoid, but even more so in a down month.
Make it all about you
The holiday season is so busy you likely won’t have to put any effort at all into attracting clients, but that won’t be true come the new year. Now’s the time to review your marketing plans are ready to knock people’s socks off once the holidays are over.
During the holiday season, encourage clients to sign up for your email list so they can receive sales emails and other news. Are you active on social media? Post more often. Promote your services and offer special deals. Engage with your audience by asking and answering questions.
Customer testimonials can help generate new business. If you receive good feedback from a customer, ask them if you can add their statement to your website. Don’t be shy about asking for reviews, either! Your clients have a vested interest in helping you succeed, so you can keep taking such fantastic care of them. Another option is to fold reviews into your loyalty program, so that anyone who leaves one gets a little extra credit.
Don’t fall victim to the January blues. With a little prep now, you’ll sidestep the slump and stride straight into spring.
Boulevard was built to help your business achieve profitability at scale without losing an inch of sanity. See for yourself! Get a free demo today.