Have You Christmas-Proofed Your Business?

We know that heading into this time of year, you may feel as though you simply don’t have the opportunity to sit down and dedicate precious time and energy towards marketing strategies for your business. But the next few months are not like any other time of year, which means your regular tactics just won’t work in the same way. Strategic planning can really help max out your business, move products from shelves, fill in those quiet periods, and hopefully take some of the stress out of this chaotic time.

A while we may not be able to change some of the more frustrating Christmas conundrums like clients not booking in on time and the phone ringing off the hook, here are our top 30 tips and tricks for a smooth-running operation over the silly season ahead.

1. From now on, begin reminding clients that if they need to re-book, they will probably need to do so much further in advance than they normally would, with Christmas now just 6 weeks away and holidays to consider.

2. Create a concrete, up-to-date waiting list and ensure ALL staff know how to use it properly – no memos or sticky notes! Your bookings will soon begin to fill up (if they haven’t already) so you’ll need to have an efficient system in place ready to fill any last-minute cancellations.

3. Decide on a limited number of Christmas specials and stick with them. Too many may overwhelm both your clientele and your staff.

4. Do the same for product specials – no need to overload clients with product sales.

5. Stock up on gift vouchers and display them prominently.

6. Run a one-day gift voucher sale.

7. Update your website with Christmas hours.

8. Begin posting your specials, Christmas products and holiday hours/closing times regularly on social media over the coming weeks.

9. Dedicate a couple of social posts to letting clients know that bookings are filling up fast and to get in early if they don’t want to miss out.

10. Run a dedicated Christmas newsletter to your entire database listing special offers and hours of operation.

11. Allocate a set budget and plan to put towards Christmas, including marketing, social media advertising, decorations, gifts etc. as it’s pretty likely you will be spending a lot more than any other time of year. It can add up quickly!

12. Add some signage, display gifts and/or decorations to your window displays, to let passers by know you have plenty of options for a last-minute purchase.

13. Your retail section should be flying out the door, so ensure you have your inventory up to date and running smoothly in your point of sale system.

14. Update your voicemail greeting to direct clients to your online booking portal (if you have one) and to your website to view your Christmas hours.

15. If your website has an e-commerce site, update it with Christmas offers, specials and gift vouchers.

16. If you haven’t already, utilise the Shop function on your Instagram feed to link to your e-commerce site.

17. Ensure there is someone dedicated to monitoring social media, and able to respond quickly to the elevated number or enquiries or comments regarding gifts and services that you’re bound to receive.

18. Create a January special or two to get clients in during that new-year quiet period.

19. Treat your VIP clients to a Christmas gift – they will adore you for it.

20. Use a social media scheduling service like Hootsuite to schedule posts in advance to auto-publish on the public holidays.

21. Run a staff Christmas incentive program to motivate them to exceed sales targets.

22. Use Christmas fragrances throughout your spa to get clients in the festive mood – and perhaps inspire a candle-sized gift of their own!

23. Have a small display of affordable ‘stocking fillers’ at your reception to temp last-minute gift purchases.

24. Consider increasing the reminder timeframes for your appointment confirmation texts and/or emails. Your clients are likely to be more forget during this time and may need some extra warning.

25. Think about which of your products or services are likely to be the most popular before pushing them out – for services it will generally be waxing, lashes, Shellac manicures and pedicures etc – the types of services that will last throughout the holidays. For products it will often be travel sets and gift packs, to give as presents and take away on vacation.

26. If you have the facilities to host parties or group bookings, put together a Christmas party offering.

27. Create a Christmas-themed selfie station within your spa, salon or clinic with all the bells, baubles and whistles – don’t forget to encourage your business tags!

28. Contribute a voucher or two to any local non for profit fundraisers that may be hosting Christmas events – you may gain a loyal new client or two.

29. With so many clients in and out of your doors, take the opportunity to boost your online reviews. Present every visitor with an opportunity to review your business, whether it’s a link to your Facebook or Google page sent via email, a sign displayed in-store or a manual review notepad for them to complete in person.

30. Send a Christmas/thank you for the year card to your loyal clientele. You could include a special offer, and perhaps a refer a friend deal.

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