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There’s a commercial for a large office supply store that airs in the fall featuring the Christmas song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” which plays while a parent gleefully rides a shopping cart through the store purchasing back-to-school items for the kids, while they follow behind with glum, sad looks on their faces. I always laugh out loud at this ad, and it always reminds me that we are approaching the most wonderful time of the year in indoor tanning … busy season!
Even though we’re still several months away from the “official” start of tanning season, it’s never too soon to start planning for the upcoming year to make sure that your business outperforms last year. Here are several things to keep in mind that can be done now to ensure a successful tanning season.
First, analyze the staff members that represent your business. Remember: to your clients, they are the face of the organization. Are the correct people in the correct positions? Do they work well together? Are they proficient in their roles? Are there gaps to fill? To this last point, if the staff needs to be expanded, now is the perfect time to begin the hiring process; there is enough time to interview, check references (yes, I strongly recommend this be done), hire and educate (I dislike the word “train” – we train animals and educate people) new staff before the busy season hits.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is something I learned from a salon owner – and I love this concept: hire people based on your needs, not wants. If you need strong salespeople, hire them. If the need is organization, hire that person. Build the salon’s staff to maximize productivity and minimize stress and issues. Plus, when staff members are allowed to perform to their strengths, they are happier and more productive.
Next, take a good, long, CRITICAL look at the salon from a cosmetic point of view. Do the walls need paint? If so, do it. Do floors need to be replaced or refinished? If you and your staff notice it, it’s a sure thing that clients are noticing it, also. Are those posters hanging in your hallway and tanning rooms featuring products that were discontinued years ago? Update them! A great way to make sure the salon is ready for season is to invite a non-tanner, someone who never comes into the salon, to walk through it room-by-room before or after hours and offer their critical eye and opinion as to what’s good or bad. Too often, we are way too close to our own businesses to see the issues that someone else spots immediately. I call this the “ugly baby” syndrome. Think about it …!
Lastly, look at the retail items that you offer. If the product mix is too great for the staff to understand and be comfortable recommending, imagine how overwhelming it is for a salon guest to choose! There really are only a few categories of products out there – intensifiers, bronzers, tingles, tan-extenders, facial and specialty products – and selecting some at different price ranges in each category, and rotating out the slow movers as the season progresses, is a tactic many very successful salons have used for years.
Take a moment, step back, and analyze the salon from top to bottom – now, while there is still some down time. The changes made now, however small, may just prove to have huge impacts on the rest of the coming year. It truly is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”
For over 20 years, Scott Eggers, New Sunshine Regional Sales Manager, has worked directly with salon staff on the front lines of their job, helping them become more confident, professional and successful. He has also worked with salon owners to maximize their profitability, from marketing advice to display ideas to hiring and training the best staff possible.
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