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Industry • Best Practice

How to Beat the January Doldrums and Keep Your Salon Busy During the Slow Times

Leveraging unique promotions and reaching out to the community can help keep your business packed, even during the slowest time of the year

Few things in the beauty business cause quite as much whiplash as the transition between the busy holidays and the January doldrums. It’s like someone flipped a switch, and suddenly, you’re in a ghost town until Valentine’s Day. 

Rather than accept this downtime as inevitable, it’s time to be proactive and leverage your management tools and marketing savvy to bring clients in during one of the slowest periods of the year. Meanwhile, you can also ensure your staff is up to snuff on the latest trends to prep them for the coming months. Read on for a few ideas to keep your momentum going well into the New Year.

Get creative with your promotional calendar

While Valentine’s Day is the next major holiday after New Year’s Day, those aren’t the only excuses for celebration. No, there are dozens of holidays from around the world, obscure celebrations, and unofficial commemorations that can give any beauty business a reason to let their hair down and have a little fun while drawing in new clients with unique promotions.

The calendar is chock full of random holidays from which to draw inspiration. Take “National Spouses Day” on January 26 — an excellent opportunity to get couples in the door with package deals on mani/pedis and other services to pamper themselves before the Valentine’s Day rush. Or you can invent your own day of celebration based on local trends or events. Did your local sports team just clinch a spot in the finals? Time for 10% off acrylics in team colors! 

With some savvy marketing and a killer promotion, you can turn the days in between federal holidays into opportunities that drive new and repeat business. 

For more celebratory suggestions (including holidays from around the world), check out Holidays Calendar or Days of the Year

Highlight your community 

Speaking of celebrations, there’s “Get to Know Your Customers Day” on January 19. While you don’t necessarily need to make a promotional holiday out of it, use the spirit behind it to keep in contact with your most dedicated clients as well as members of your community. 

Encourage feedback through evaluation forms, make clients feel extra special, and provide special incentives for anyone who signs up for email notifications. Couple this with a social media campaign to encourage engagement with members of your community: Take pictures of their latest ‘dos, nails, or treatments, couple it with a catchy hashtag, and tell their story across your social media channels.

Your most dedicated customers are the people who help sustain your business during the slow times, and it’s time to roll out the red carpet for them.

Encourage clients who avoided the holiday rush to drop in

Whether your clients tried to book an appointment and weren’t able to get one in time or were simply avoiding the holiday rush altogether, there’s a good chance they’re ready to drop in to look their best for the new year. All you need to do is give them a little reminder.

Use your management system to pinpoint which clients are due for an appointment or may have tried to schedule one during the November/December rush, and reach out to them via targeted email. Couple these email blasts with a more extensive marketing campaign focusing on New Year’s resolutions or getting ready for Valentine’s Day.

By leaning into your management system and targeting a specific subset of your client base, you can increase the impact of your marketing efforts, giving you the best shot at boosting your revenue during these slow months — just in time for spring fever to kick in again.

Fine tune your social media strategy with our Social Media Marketing Guide for Salon Owners. Get your free copy

CTA - Salon Social Media Guide

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