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Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to begin preparing for the busy season. Are you feeling a little uneasy in terms of what to expect this year? Having been faced with a pandemic amid the 2020 busy season followed by what might have been a lucrative season for you in 2021, all while continuing to navigate through unprecedented times, it is completely understandable if you are.
In prior years, you probably had a regular routine to prepare for busy season; you might have decided which promotions you would offer and when, created sales goals for your team, established marketing initiatives that you would run, and began hiring seasonal staff. As we push on through what seem to be ever-changing times, having the proper tools in your toolbox will not only enable you to operate efficiently, but will also help ease some of your anxiety.
One of your most valuable resources is your staff. Regardless of whether they are veteran or seasonal, a well-trained team is key to your success during the busy season. A quick-to-learn and easy-to-use software program that can automate tasks will undoubtedly be one of your biggest assets.
Creating a schedule of promotions that you would like to run throughout the busy season is important. Now is a perfect time to determine if you are able to preconfigure within your software the specials you want to run during specific date ranges through the upcoming months. When completing this back-office type configuration, for those product-related promotions such as a BOGO half off, make sure you are able to set up inventory re-order points and quantities to avoid running out of stock when the time comes.
You will likely have first-time customers 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 initial salon experience and follow-up marketing will result in converting a large percentage of these guests into repeat customers.
Does your salon management system give you the ability to display descriptions of products and equipment so that your team has the details needed to upsell lotions or upgrades? Does it allow you to outline policies for your EFT memberships, and automatically calculate first-draw dates and prorated dues? Providing automation of tasks and arming your staff with information throughout every transaction they process will ensure efficiency at the time of year when it’s needed most.
Educating customers about tanning smartly is imperative – does your system allow you to create a survey for automatically determining a guest’s skin type based on their responses to specific questions? Are you able to configure high-intensity warning messages for equipment that has just been re-lamped? Can you set up regulations in terms of the minimum age to tan and the minimum time between tanning sessions? How about creating recommended exposure schedules for each equipment type? Anything you can do to automate your employees’ tasks will be a win-win for everyone!
It’s also a good idea to take a peek at your reports from last year’s busy season. Were there particular equipment types that were used extensively and created wait lists? If so, you may want to consider adding another tanning system to your mix. Be sure to reference current lamp usage within your software for all of your tanning units as well, so you know ahead of time if any will be in need of re-lamping and can place an order in advance.
Having the right tools in place to operate your business will not only ensure that you will have the best season possible, but will also ease your mind and give you the confidence needed to focus your efforts on growing your business to the next level.
Melissa Damiani is the Sales Manager of SunLync Software, Inc. a member of the JK-North America group of companies. With the company since 2002, Melissa has served the organization in several capacities, and has extensive knowledge of all aspects required to deliver robust salon management software solutions that are designed to enable measurable growth within its users’ ever-evolving business models.
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