Whether we like it or not, the holidays are here! While we all would like to think of the holidays as a happy and cheerful time, as salon and spa business owners we all know that it can also mean a time of high stress. Vendors are coming at us at all different directions asking us to buy more inventory to sell as gift items. Clients are clamoring to get in for the next appointment. Weather disruptions often play havoc on our hours of operation and the list goes on and on. Additionally, we also have all of our personal agendas that come during holiday time, like buying presents for family and friends, entertaining and the likes.
As we move into the holiday season, here are some professional and personal pointers to keep you level-headed and calm in the salon or spa this year.
- Don’t forget about your internal customer — your TEAM: How are you showing appreciation for your team during the holidays? After all, they’re the ones making things happen on a daily basis. You can get really creative and it doesn’t have to cost a whole lot of money. How about hiring massage therapist to come in and provide chair massages for your team? Or how about hosting a happy hour (I would recommend limiting it to an hour) after a busy day with fun cocktails and appetizers? Sometimes ordering pizza on a busy day will go a long way to show appreciation for your team. You’ll find instant gratification and joy when you give back.
- Systems: Learn to lean on your systems during stressful times. After all, that’s what they’re for. I find that a lot of salon and spa owner’s try to add more “stuff” for their teams to do during the holidays and that just creates more stress. If you’ve worked hard during the year to implement systems (ie. pre-booking, retail, and customer service), then all you have to do is focus on them during the holidays. It’s stressful enough making it through the holidays. Now’s not the time to recreate new systems. Now IS the time to lean on your systems, stay focused on them, and have conversations around systems in your huddles and staff meetings with your team.
- Productivity: Take a proactive approach to managing your appointment book. Hopefully the phones are ringing off the wall, and if they are, your booking strategy is only as good as your guest care team. Reiterate to your guest care team the importance of booking today, before tomorrow, this week before next week and so on. Don’t be afraid to call a client who’s already on the books and ask him/her to come in 15 minutes earlier so that you can accommodate another guest who is trying to get in. If you ever have days where your appointment book is plagued by last minute cancellations, call a few clients who are booked later in the week and invite them to come in earlier.
- Celebrate small wins: Positive energy creates more positive energy. Many salon and spa owners tend to focus on what needs to happen, or where opportunities are being missed. While this is important, your team is really motivated when they hear their leader talking about the good things they are doing now. And no matter how bad things may possibly be, there’s always something good happening in your company. If you have a team member that had better-than-normal pre-booking on a given day, show appreciation by thanking them for their strong performance. To add greater impact, acknowledge that performance in front of their peers. Did the team have set a company record for selling a bunch of holiday gift sets? Acknowledge it in a huddle by saying “Spectacular job guys!” or by allowing the team to wear jeans. Your team needs to know that you’re paying attention to the good stuff too.
- Take time for yourself: When was the last time you took an entire day off just to recharge? Your company will not go under if you take one day off — I promise. Clear your calendar. Turn off your phone, your iPad, and your computer — and escape. I recommend taking all of these devices to work and leaving them there while you are off. That way you can’t be tempted to pick them up on your day off. You know what relaxes you most. If it’s a quiet corner somewhere in the house where you can curl up and read a book, then that’s what you should do. If you’re the type that enjoys a massage or facial, then book that appointment today. (Just don’t book it at your salon/spa if you offer those services!)
The holidays don’t have to be stressful. Hopefully you’ll implement some of these easy-to-do tips this year and enjoy a less stressful holiday season. Holiday cheers to you!