Now I know that you know, that Christmas will happen this year whether you’re ready or not!
So you might as well be ready!
Firstly it’s important to put some time aside to gather your thoughts and to sketch out a Christmas Marketing Plan. Think about covering things like timing, budget, personnel, products and promotions.
It may all seem very daunting at this stage. However, I promise you that putting some planning work in now will not only save you time and hassle later, but will also boost your business profits this coming Christmas and New Year.
And if you’ve been following me you’ll probably know that I’m a huge advocate of knowing your target market – Who do you sell your products and services to? Is it women, men, young, old, family, city chic … kids even… remember you should narrow down your selected target market as much you can. The more precise your target market, the better your aim when it comes to positioning your business and promotions. But this is not necessarily about target market today, it’s about creating your best Christmas Ever!
Hey People – Set your targets for this year, know what you want to achieve – It was Steven Covey in his book 7 habits… that said “Begin with the end in mind” what he meant, was know what you want to achieve and then work back from there to today to determine the first and subsequent steps to getting there.
When I say targets, I’m not necessarily talking about just your KPI targets, but setting up special Christmas focussed targets like Sales of Gift Vouchers, number of Gift Packs etc – if you don’t have anything to aim at, the chances are you’ll miss everything!
Also think about how many new clients do you want for the period, what are you wanting to grow the revenue by, 5K, 10k, or 50k, and what numbers of extra retail units do you want to sell… 10, 35, 200? See what I mean…
Once you know what you want to achieve, you can set out about doing what you need to do to make it happen… remember Coveys mantra – “Begin with the end in mind”!
PLAN – that’s right, plan what you want to achieve this Christmas and how you’re going to achieve it. You need to start your salon planning process by firstly looking backwards at last year… Review what worked well last year, and what flopped. Learn from these highs and lows. Once you’ve established your targets, Plan – plan out what Christmas is going to look like in your salon.
What is it you are going to need to do to make your Christmas targets and what do you need to do now… then next and next … “What you plan to do gets done, what you think you should do gets shelved”! And you can quote me on that – so set time aside to plan… it’s that simple. If you find you struggle with planning then contact me and set up a time for a chat about what I can do to help – I’m always willing to have a virtual chat to see if I can offer a word of advice here or a secret squirrel tip there that could be of help.
What are your suppliers doing for you for Christmas, what gift packs have they created? Have you budgeted for an increase spend to boost your retail sales for stocking fillers? And if not, now’s the time to start looking at that and asking them the question… What have they put together for salons to sell and more particularly – if you’re a big stockist of their product – what can they do just for you to enable a point of difference from your competitors… ask the question, it’s surprising what your rep can come up with if they’re asked.
Additionally, don’t rely solely on your suppliers though, have you got any products that you can package together – for stocking fillers, or main gifts for a loved daughter, like Straighteners, blow wavers etc… Packaged with heat protect products and already gift wrapped for that convenience buy, remember people are going to be looking for gift ideas when they’re in your salon, make it easy for them to buy.
Think like a supermarket – you know, all around the checkout and they have all the impulse buys sitting right there, how many times have you grabbed something or a few things while you’ve been waiting that you didn’t intend buying – stack your desk with small inexpensive items that clients will buy while checking out…. What can you think of that will add dollars to your Christmas sales by just doing that?
ACTION CHANGES THINGS (A.C.T)
Organise the things you need to get organised, ACT is an anagram for Action Changes Things…
If you plan to have posters printed – and I suggest you do, get them designed as soon as you know what you’re putting on them and then printed ready to go… This is a great time of year to get Christmas shelf talkers designed and printed, they work wonders and add to the festive feeling and decorations in the salon. What about festive gift cards – are you getting some printed to sell… get it sorted now… Are you going to inform your team on what’s happening? You should you know… make that booking for a team meeting now – I mention more about that in a minute…
Just get busy getting the things done now – when you have the time, so that you’re not putting yourself under time pressure as the silly season gets closer… Think back over the last few years… have you ever said to yourself, I’m going to be more organised next year – only to be saying it again a year later and the year after that? Make this year the year you mean it!
So make a list of what do you need to get done to make it the best Christmas ever and then create an action plan for achieving it – a god start is a to do list, if you haven’t got one… then get one sorted and start ticking things off it as you achieve them. Remember what you plan to do gets done, what you think you should do gets shelved! And that applies to trying to remember everything to do in your head… best thing I ever did was to block 30 minutes out of my diary first thing every Monday morning to plan my week based on my rolling to do list… I look at what still needs doing and prioritise for the upcoming week, and since doing that I get so much more done that I used to when I didn’t have a to do list… so if you’re not doing it… well … just – do it!
I mentioned earlier about setting time for a meeting with the team, this needs to be a special training meeting, just to focus on the Christmas promotions that you’re doing.
That’s right – you need to train your team on everything your putting together for Christmas, make sure they understand the why, and the way each promotion works and let them know your expectation of them, not only in sales but also attitude and commitment… make it fun but make it serious enough that they understand there’s a special job to do this Christmas and that’s to make it the best Christmas ever for the salon and for their clients Christmas results too… let them know the salon targets you’re wanting to achieve and their individual ones as well, and also what reward you’re going to give them for performance, because you’re going to ask them to put in a huge effort – and that deserves a reward if targets are met or surpassed.
So the message is simple – set time for the meeting, plan the meeting and inspire the team to go above and beyond this Christmas for their clients and themselves – thereby giving you the best chance to have the best Christmas ever….
Be wise this year….. Did you know the best time to market your business is when you’re busiest?
So don’t just think about marketing up to Christmas – market during the mad rush for January/February appointments too… if your salon is traditionally quiet at that time of year, do something about it during November/December, and don’t just stick to the rebook and we’ll put you into the draw type promo’s… make it worth their while to book. A great opportunity is to do mother/daughter days in January (set aside one day a week especially for mother daughter appointments and offer a good deal for people to book, and take deposits – people are used to spending this time of year, don’t discourage that).
Look through your appointments for December and offer a follow up in January with a free something or other if they book today… for example – Foil highlights in December… book in 4 weeks’ time for a Moisture and Protein enriched Treatment and blowave and you’ll include a free refresher toner… only for confirmed bookings with a $30 non-refundable deposit.
If you’re a beauty clinic, how about a facial with a free eye trio in January?
Clients are in the spirit of spending around Christmas and you’ll find it much easier to book January up if you start in November, what ideas can you and your team come up with to book January out?
Check out your lapsed clients and offer a special package deal for January appointments … there’s heaps of things you can be doing to make January as good as December and launch into the year with busy salons from the word go…
Anyway … my last bit of advice today is to be wise and move through Christmas and January with ease by being prepared, knowing what results you want by showing wisdom by planning and preparing now…
OK, so remember to make this Christmas your Best Christmas Yet – Set Targets, Plan Plan Plan, Sort your Promotions and Posters, Act and Train the team.
Here’s a Christmas gift from me – Would you like a Christmas Ideas List that will start your creative Christmas Juices flowing. Click this link to download it and enjoy, it’s a useful guide if you’re stuck for ideas or a great starting point if you’re looking for inspiration.
Oh and one last thing… I wish you a fantastic trading period a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.