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WINTER IS HERE: Get Ready for the Busiest Season of the Year

The weather outside is frightful, and the mood inside is frantic. Here’s how to stay sane as your shop is slammed.

For most beauty businesses, winter is the busiest season of the year. Starting with “I have to look good for the family at Thanksgiving” rolling into “work holiday party, so time to dress to impress,” and capped off with “It’s New Years Eve, I’m going full sparkle mode!”, people are going to be flocking to you for help looking their best. But with maxed-out bookings, you need to be on your A-Game to make sure your staff are happy, everything is working well, your customers are satisfied — and you’re turning a tidy profit.

Here are some tips for going from “busy as a Christmas elf in December” to “cool as a snowman” during this bonkers time of year.

Make your lists and check ‘em twice

The biggest thing you can do to make your Winter months run smoothly is to make sure you’re absolutely on top of your scheduling and bookkeeping. During the quieter months, it can be tempting to scribble things on notes, rely on your memory, and just sort it out later. But with your business firing on all cylinders, and your appointments stacked to the rafters, now’s the time to be absolutely on top of everything. 

Make sure all your bookings are up to date, and that you have contact information for the clients. (Great salon software can help with that!) Have your staff schedules locked in as far in advance as possible. Confirm that every item and service that you sell is set up in your POS system. All of this you know, but now’s the time to double-check and confirm all the little details are sorted, because come February you don’t want to be staring at three months of invoicing where you sold dozens of an item just labeled “Product 73” in your system.

No clients left behind!

This is the busiest time of the year, but for a lot of people it’s also the most important for family reasons — and that’s true for your staff as well. Work with them to make sure that your salon has the staff it needs, but also that people are able to maintain their connections to their loved ones. It’ll be all hands on deck most days, even potentially your quieter midweek shifts, so consider having more folks on the floor than you usually would. 

Your clients are probably still mostly working from home, which means they have more timing flexibility than in the before-times. You may also see an uptick in walk-ins as folks out shopping check to see if you can squeeze them in. Now is also when to call in any pinch hitters you may have, and if possible, hire an assistant just to help with general scutwork around the place — ringing up sales, running the broom around, and throwing the towels in the wash, so that your beauty workers can focus on the clients.

Book your staff holiday party

Work hard, play hard. Lock in your holiday party as far in advance as you can, because your team is going to need it. Since most beauty businesses don’t open super early in the morning and many of your staff will have weekend obligations, consider going for a midweek party. Having your team being a bit “next day bedraggled” on a Wednesday is preferable to them being completely fried on a busy Saturday. Plus, if you’re looking for an off-site party, it’ll be way easier to book.

Get what you need, and get it now

Do you have everything you need to keep your team running through this ultra-busy period? Are you sure? Because between everyone being super busy, the entire supply chain running like a snail, and suppliers being slammed with orders, don’t be surprised if your favorite products are going to be thin on the ground. Make sure your quota of day-to-day products is stocked up for the next quarter — or two if you can swing it. Beyond standard styling products, remember consumables like neck strips and Barbicide, and that you have towels and robes to spare.

Help your clients do their holiday shopping

With so many people coming through your doors, now’s an excellent time to gear up your holiday promos. At the very least, have gift cards displayed front and center at your POS — with the supply chain such a mess, folks are scrabbling for experiential gifts, and a gift card to a local salon or spa fits the bill. But also think about putting together bundled services for folks who might be trying to get a lot done at once, or even throwing some discounts on products. Folks are in a buying mood.

Set up your safety protocols and make them stick

Everyone has different levels of comfort with COVID-19 precautions, and those feelings are dynamic as the world continues to change around us. Establish the safety precautions that are right for you and your business, and make sure all your staff are on board. Are you doing extra cleaning? Mask wearing? Plexi shields between stations? Requiring proof of vaccination?

No matter what you decide, work with your employees to make sure they’re able to enforce it, and know how to deal with any customers that give them push back. Don’t be afraid to boot an unruly client — this is your shop, and if they’re making you and your team feel unsafe, that’s plenty of reason to (politely) show them the door.

Give thanks

2021 has been a rough year for everyone, so take time to show your appreciation for those around you. Be empathetic to your customers, everyone is tired and frazzled and trying to rescue a few moments of feeling pampered in your hands. Be kind and accommodating to your staff, they’re as overworked as you are — and if you have the funds, think about holiday bonuses. Give back to your community, maybe consider partnering with a charity for food drives, fundraising raffles, and more. Fingers crossed we can go into a more kind and forgiving 2022.

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.

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