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Summer is approaching, and with the sunny days comes a significantly slower pace than most tanning salons have experienced during the last several months. Over the years, we’ve found that salon pros have different ways of approaching their business operations during the off-season; some never really have one!
IST asked some salon pros to share their thoughts about shifting the focus of their business during the next few months. If you’re new to the industry, you’ll certainly grab some great ideas here – and even a tan biz veteran may be able to glean a tip or two, as well. Read on!
Justin: While some salons break even or make a few dollars, most lose money for 4+ months out of each year. We would all love consistent revenue, but for us in Michigan, seasonality is just the nature of the business. By accepting this fact, we enjoy our summer and brainstorm new ideas. Because of wedding season, we do focus a bit more on spray-tans during this time of year. Otherwise, my tip is to enjoy yourself, take a nice trip, but make sure you stick to your budget to control your losses until the following busy season.
Summer is the time when everyone wants to be in shorts, a slinky sundress or a bathing suit, and who really wants to have white legs? We offer a ton of different summer specials on sunless sessions, our most popular being the BOGO – buy one session, get one 50 percent off (the half-price session expires in 30 days). The reason we have an expiration date is because we want to get them back in the door ASAP! Not only will this create the opportunity for upselling future memberships and/or packages, but it also allows us to sell more retail sunless and maintenance products. Once you get your clients hooked on sunless, they’ll keep coming back for more and be your greatest source of referrals for future business, as well.
1. In shaping your season, offer tanning specials before peak time to get people coming in earlier and keep them coming in at the end of peak season. This helps you drive some of the “busy” before and after the time when it would typically be.
2. Don’t fight nature! Don’t try to push UV tanning like crazy in November – it’s just not as popular that time of year. Use this time to market your other services: red-light therapy, teeth-whitening, sunless (focus on holiday events!) and spa services.
At the beginning of summer, we gladly donate cases of ingredient-safe sunscreen at local pools and aquatic centers, along with information on sun safety and nutrition. One of the only true ways to change the public’s perception of tanning is to reach and educate them, one-by-one. We educate our clientele with email marketing, social media posts and in the salon by providing info on how nutrition and food choices affect the skin when tanning. Our focus also turns to updating the salon’s décor, providing continued education for our staff and cleaning up our salon database. Sit back and take a look at the past season. What could you do differently to improve your guests’ experience? What can you add to the salon that will fill a community need? Busy season is coming to a close in the salon, and our type of “busy” changes with the seasons.
IST thanks these salon pros for generously offering their expertise. Cheers to summer survival!
Justin Carpenter, Co-Owner
Rhonda Massey Shaffer Culligan, Owner
Body Heat Tanning
Coral Springs, FL
Cami Hondel, Owner
South Portland, ME
James Israel, CEO
Beach Bum Tanning & Airbrush Salon
Kevin Moore, Owner
Eileen Morris, Owner
Michelle Norvell, Co-Owner
Drew Spurgers, Owner
Teresa Terry, Owner
Electric Sun Tanning
Since 1997, IST Magazine (formerly known as Island Sun Times) has been committed to the success of salon professionals, while promoting the growth of the tanning industry as a whole.
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