How to make the most of downtime in the salon
With waxing being the bread and butter for most beauty salons, and the majority of our customer base covered up during the colder months, winter is traditionally a slow season in our industry. But it doesn’t have to be! With a proper plan and some forward thinking, it could be the perfect opportunity to reflect, recharge and refocus.
Reflect on the past year
During the busy season, reflection often gets pushed to the bottom of the list of priorities. Reflection requires time and concentration. That makes winter the perfect time to look back on the year past and evaluate what went well and what you would have done differently. How did your team perform this year? What reviews have you gotten and have you used that information to improve your salon? Reflection might lead to making tough decisions, but these are key to creating a better salon.
Recharge your energy
Now that you’ve reflected on the year past, it’s time to recharge your energy level in areas that need it most. Winter time is ideal for implementing changes. You can take your time thinking about what you want to improve, training your staff and evaluating your customer service.
For a better team performance
Possibly the most important way to make the most of downtime is by upskilling yourself and your staff. Your salon is only as good as the people that work there. To offer the best treatments to your customers, it’s vital that your staff’s knowledge and skill set is up to date and they are confident in what they do. Reputable suppliers will often offer in-house training to inform your staff about the latest techniques and insights in the beauty industry and educate them in the proper use of the products they supply. Use downtime to educate yourself on what makes a good leader. There are many free resources to be found on the internet, like TED talks on YouTube or free leadership courses via Coursera, or just use Google to find good articles on how to improve your leadership.
To ensure that your staff trust you and follow your lead, you have to let them know that they are more important than the financial numbers or even the customer. Be willing to hear both sides of the story when you receive a complaint and give them opportunities to grow their self-confidence. If you stand behind them, they will go the extra mile for you.
Use better products
You can also re-evaluate if the products you’re using are giving you the best results. For example, different types of wax have different qualities. You should choose your wax based on the area of the body you’re waxing, the type of hair your customer has and their skin type. Look for a wax that is not overly perfumed, doesn’t have too many colour additives and uses a high grade resin, so there is no unnecessary skin irritation. I recommend salons to always have a hypoallergenic wax ready as they contain synthetic resin which makes a more pliable and soft wax. Quality waxes cause no bruising, no skin lifting and minimal redness and inflammation. You can use these products with confidence and they guarantee repeat business.
For a better experience
Ambiance and atmosphere can now be created in the salon. Winter is the time for warmth and cosiness. Turn the heater up a little bit, light a scented candle and offer your customers a hot chocolate. Use electric blankets and make sure your hands are warmed before you start the treatment. Take your time to consult with your customers about their skin’s needs during the colder months. If you have time, you can go the extra mile and massage for a bit longer. All these seemingly small extras will add up to an amazing experience for your customers and will help maintain strong sales.
And finally; get ready for the busy season! Give your salon a facelift or a good winter clean-up. Make sure your staff take their annual leave, so that they’re well rested for summer. Start the recruiting process if necessary, as it takes time to find the right staff member. They have to tick all the boxes and they need time to settle in.
Refocus to get ahead
When you’re setting yourself up for a successful season, it’s very important that you and your staff know where you’re going and how you want to get there. What is your most important mission? Is it to create the best possible experience for your customer? Is it to be the most professional salon in your area? Whatever your mission may be, make sure your staff endorse it with a SMILE and work towards it in everything they do.
By this stage, the seed is planted. You have to give it time to grow, relax – it will work. Continue to manage and follow through. Don’t forget that your passion and dedication is key. Just make sure you don’t neglect yourself. Sometimes you have to close your eyes and breathe.
Lilliane Caron is the founder and director of Caronlab Australia. Known worldwide for her waxing techniques, she has dedicated herself to her motto: ‘for a better salon’, by delivering superior products, exceptional service, and industry-leading education. But she’s about more than just wax: in her untiring quest to make beauty therapists’ jobs easier, Caron continues to devote herself to salon innovation. Her success is attributed to a high standard of customer service, training and customer support. Therapists can deliver every treatment in confidence knowing that Caronlab Australia’s products care for the health, comfort and well-being of their clients as they indulge in their salon treatment.
Having downtime will give you time to reflect, recharge and refocus, but ideally, you want to limit the amount of downtime you have. Below tips might help you have a better winter season:
- Better staff: Skincare is essential, especially in winter. Your retail sales should reflect that. Make sure your staff have the right knowledge about the products you stock and that they are enthusiastic about it. That makes it easier for them to sell. Pairing a product with a treatment also works well, like a wax and an after-wax treatment to take home.
- Better treatment: Manicures and pedicures are vital during winter. Educate people about typical winter problems like cracked heels and brittle nails and how to avoid them and offer a paraffin treatment when people come in for a pedicure.
- Better product: Focus on typical winter treatments like massages with a nice, warming oil. Look for oil with Wintergreen in it.
- Better growth: Expenses continue to rise, you have to pay well to get good staff, and you need good staff for a better salon. If you’re dealing with a high number of cancellations, now is the time to introduce a cancellation fee for people that cancel within 48 hours of their appointment.
- Better marketing: Target your existing customers that haven’t been in for a while by sending them a text with a personalised offer. Let them bring a friend for free or offer a free scalp massage with a service.
- Better deals: Introduce loyalty packages – every 5th Brazilian for free, a free facial with your 3rd leg wax or a loyalty card on which they can save points to save for free products.
Experience the difference this will make for a Better Salon.
This article was published in the July/August 2018 edition of Professional Beauty Magazine