By Jenny Backman, Carolina Tan Factory
Unfortunately, the winter months can linger on for what seems like forever, and all of us in the tanning world are praying for the return of our beloved tanning season where all is well with abundant tanners and where overall salon excitement explodes!
In the meantime, here’s what you should be doing now:
- KEEP A BUSY SEASON MINDSET. Just because it is slower, you don’t have to act like it. Create an energy in your salon at all times, and employees will feed off of it! Don’t get into the “lazies,” or your employees will. Step into your salon each day with a “busy season mindset!” The customers that are coming in now need to see the same excitement on your face as they do in March. We do have more time to spend with customers, so take advantage! Encourage your staff to engage in some type of conversation. I do not let my staff just put people in beds. We are better than that! I like to be very specific with my staff, so I actually have a list near the counter suggesting things to say to customers. It is not always about selling! It’s really just stirring up some conversation, whether you ask about their weekend plans, suggest a higher powered bed to upgrade to, ask if they are still using a certain product, or do they know about our referral program? The point here is to let your customers know we care about them and their experience.
- YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR BEST STAFF RIGHT NOW. There is no excuse not to. It is usually a smaller group this time of year, and you should feel 100% confident about each and every one of them. This is the time to make sure your entire team is doing everything correctly and according to your standards and outlines. Have your staff re-watch training videos, engage in role play and continuing education of some kind. Also, be sure they are doing all of their cleaning/salon duties and being a team player! Essentially, we want to train them up to be the best they can be! After all, the staff you have right now will be leading the new recruits that come in after the new year as we prep for the next season! I tell my staff if they want new people that are great to work with, it is up to them! If they are modeling perfect behavior in all areas, then the new staff will mimic that. Ask yourself…Is your staff ready to exemplify the model of a great employee for your 2018 hires to learn from?
- YOUR SALON SHOULD BE IMMACULATE. Again, I love being specific. Daily Cleaning checklists are a must, outlining specific duties that should be done by certain shifts. However, this time of year, I like to take it a step further. This is the time that we clean baseboards, clean out closets, make repairs if needed, etc. Get specific and duty out things for your staff to help with. We all want to feel confident and have our salons look their best for our upcoming season.
- GET ORGANIZED AND RESTRUCTURED. As an owner, I like to assess what worked or didn’t work from the last season. If we aren’t growing, we’re dying, right?! There is always something to improve. Dive deep! Look diligently into your reporting and numbers. Look closely at what specials you promoted; did they exceed your expectations or bomb? Do you need to add important training or instructional documents to your company manuals? Do you need to start a new membership option or restructure an existing one to generate more revenue? You get the picture. The point is look at what you’re doing, make improvements and keep growing!
- STAY ACTIVE IN MARKETING. Whatever your marketing strategies are, keep them active even when it doesn’t seem like you’re getting a return on it. People are always watching! Remember, we are a seasonal business! Just because someone doesn’t utilize an online offer or magazine coupon now doesn’t mean that they won’t remember your salon when they are prepping for their cruise this next spring! Stay current and active with your customers! Customers want to go to a place that they feel has year-round energy and things going on! Be that place!
We are in the incredible position of having the time to improve, grow, restructure, and ultimately prepare for our next season. Let’s get ready together. Our best season is in our future!