Hair salons and many other beauty and wellness businesses have fairly predictable spikes and dips in bookings over the course of the year. The down times can be a bit rough financially, but with some preparation and a proactive approach to getting more appointments, you shouldn’t have much difficulty increasing business at slow times in a salon, studio, or spa.
Generally speaking, October and most of November are relatively slow, and then there are major rushes through the holiday season. Then, the winter months of January and February are often the slowest of the entire year. Business tends to be steady through the spring and much of the summer, calming down in later August and September before that real pre-holiday-season dip hits again.
It’s always best to build up your cash reserves during busy times to have some extra insurance during the slumps. But there are plenty of ways of increasing business at slow times in a salon or other beauty or wellness biz if you just make a proactive effort to bring more people in at targeted times.
How to Boost Bookings During Business Slumps
- First, make sure you collect and store data so you can more accurately predict when your slowest times will be during the year.
- When booking clients who see you at regular intervals, try strategically adjusting future appointments a little, moving them a week or so closer or further out to better balance your schedule.
- Give away free gift cards to your best clients or send out emails with discount offers during your slowest times of year.
- Advertise a compelling special offer—like a free extra service—when you need to bring more people in.
- Go after a niche audience during the slow times; for example, actively market to male clients or create a special offer for teachers, first responders, or other workers who can show an ID.
- Offer incentives like a free gift card or free supplemental service to clients who bring in a friend for a cut, color, or other appointment when you need to fill your appointment book up.
- Create promotions around seasonal occasions during sluggish times; for example, offer specials for back-to-school time to boost sales in August or even something silly like Groundhog Day in February.
- Promote discounted gift cards as part of your holiday season marketing, as people are likely to redeem them in January or February.
- Send out an email reminding your clients to come in and redeem their gift cards during slow periods—lots of people forget they have them or may just need a nudge to finally use them.
- Try out some Facebook advertising, which can be done quite cheaply.