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We all know how lucrative the “busy season” can be for tanning salons; but with that can often come a certain level of stress. Reflecting on past busy seasons, use what you’ve learned along the way. This exercise, coupled with a little preparation, will surely help to ease some of the anxiety that you and your staff may feel at this time of year.
It might sound trivial, but creating a calendar ahead of time will prove to be a valuable resource. You can schedule everything from the promotions you will offer, to sales goals you would like the salon to achieve, to the different marketing initiatives that you will use. A calendar that is readily visible, not just by you, but by your staff as well, will help keep everyone on task.
Speaking of your staff – do you plan to hire temporary staff? Regardless of whether they are veteran employees or seasonal, a key to success at this time of year will be having a well-trained team. A quick-to-learn and easy-to-use software program that can automate tasks will undoubtedly be one of your biggest assets.
Now is a perfect time to determine if you can preconfigure within your software the specials that you want to run throughout the upcoming months. When completing this back office-type configuration ahead of time, don’t forget to reference that calendar you created! And for those product-related promo such as a buy-one-get-one half off, make sure you are able to setup re-order points and quantities for inventory items so that you don’t risk running out of stock.
You will likely have first-time guests who will walk into your salon during busy season, so make sure that you are able to electronically collect their demographic info, email address and cell phone number along with their preferred method of contact. Creating a positive experience in the salon during the first visit, and future marketing to these customers will result in turning a large percentage of them into repeat customers.
Providing automation of tasks, and arming your staff with info throughout every transaction that they process will ensure efficiency at the time of year when it’s most needed. Does your salon management system allow you to display product and equipment descriptions so that your staff has the details needed to upsell lotions or upgrades? Does it allow you to outline policies for each EFT membership level and automatically calculate first-draw dates and prorated dues? Educating guests about responsible tanning is imperative – are you able to set high-intensity warning messages for units that have new lamps? Can you set up regulations in terms of the minimum age to tan and the time that must elapse between sessions? How about creating recommended exposure schedules for each equipment type? Anything that can automate your employees’ tasks will be a win-win!
Aside from software, you’ll also want to make sure you have the proper hardware in place prior to the start of busy season. Now is a good time to consider what kind of peripherals can help to ensure that all sales are processed quickly and efficiently.
It’s also a good idea to take a peek at your reports from last year’s busy season. Were particular equipment types used extensively, creating wait lists? If so, you may want to add another unit to your equipment mix. Be sure to reference your current lamp usage within your software, so that you know ahead of time if any units will need to be re-lamped in order to gear up for busy season.
You knew it was coming … it happens every year around the same time, but for some reason, can catch you unprepared. This won’t happen to you this busy season; especially if you have the tools in place to allow you to knock it out of the park!
Reflecting on past busy seasons, use what you’ve learned along the way to help minimize the stress.
About the Author:
Melissa Damiani is the Sales Manager of SunLync Software, Inc., a Member of the JK-North America group of companies. Melissa has served in several different capacities within the organization over the last 13 years, and knows the importance of a salon management program dedicated to meeting the needs of the indoor tanning industry. Call Melissa at 866.SUNLYNC x3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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