Incorporating New Policies During the Holidays:
How to Get the Most Out of the Seasonal Slam
The holidays are nearly here, which means we’re dangerously close to joyous holiday events and parties, delicious seasonal foods, cozy sweaters, time with family, and steaming cups of cocoa --- but with the holidays comes a whole new set of challenges for the beauty industry.
If you’re in the beauty biz, you’re likely going to need to implement some new salon holiday policies to keep your business happy and your sanity in check (if that’s even possible around this time of year). If you’re not sure about what new policies you should be implementing, what you need to consider, or how this seasonal change is going to throw you for a loop, don’t worry! We’re experts – like you --- and from one expert to another, we’d love to pass along some of our holiday knowledge.
Check out a few of the salon policies that we think are helpful to implement around the holiday season. Take them with a grain of salt, build your own policies off of them, or simply use them as inspiration!
Implement a Booking Deposit
If you don’t already do this, then we absolutely suggest implementing a booking deposit around the holiday season. Why?
The holidays are – understandably – hectic. You’ve probably got a packed schedule, a ton of stuff to balance at home, clients you wish you could fit in that you cannot, and you simply do not have time for someone to book an appointment and cancel with you at the last minute. While we don’t mean that someone would do this to you maliciously, the reality is, the holidays are busy. Sometimes people forget appointments, they miss them on accident, or they simply just can’t show – you shouldn’t have to suffer, or wish you’d made an appointment with someone else, for this error, especially during this insanely busy time of the year.
While you can be understanding and kind, the reality is, you shouldn’t be wasting your precious time waiting on a client and you likely cannot afford for them to book with you and then vanish. Charging a booking deposit saves your skin a bit if you do end up with a last-minute cancellation or no-show, which, is pretty common around this time of year.
Open Your Books Early, Close Them When They’re Filled
The most valuable key for your sanity? Organize, organize, organize!
If you have the ability to open your books early for appointments, announce it to your client base, and begin booking up your holiday appointments well in advance --- with booking deposits! – then you’re already one step closer to total holiday sanity. And when your books do fill up? Good! Keep them closed. You did your part and now you’ve got your holidays all scheduled. If you can help it, try not to let someone squeeze in when you know you don’t have space, this will only make it more stressful for you.
If You Have Employees, Lay Out and Stick to a Vacation Policy Early On
If you’re the boss and have a few employees working under you, you probably already have a vacation policy in place. Like we said above, organization is key, so ensure that you’re sticking to your vacation days, monitoring your employees’ vacation days, and are keeping a strict policy in check.
If you can afford to let some of your employees take extra vacation days around this time, that’s great, but if you’re a small operation that has to stick the schedule, ensure you’re doing your job as boss or manager and ensuring that the schedule is solid.
Set Boundaries for Yourself
This one is strictly for your happiness, so listen closely. Work-life balance is hard enough on the regular days, but it’s exceptionally hard during the holidays. You want to balance the extra business with all the fun events – or stressful events – you have coming up, but it might seem totally impossible. The best advice we have? Implement a boundary policy for yourself.
Set aside the time you want to enjoy your holiday traditions and events and don’t let anything – even a last-minute client request – get in the way of that. Schedule time to work extra if you need, but make sure you’re abiding by personal boundaries so that you can get the most out of this holiday season, too!
Ensure Your Customers Know About Your Seasonal Policies Ahead of Time
If you are changing up some of your salon policies specifically for the holiday seasons, it’s absolutely vital that you make sure your customers know about this. Being as transparent as possible is hugely important – if a client thinks that you’re making changes without letting them know, that can be bad for business. Advertise the changes you’re making, be upfront with your clients, and ensure that your customers are always in-the-loop before their services are scheduled.
Try to Offer Seasonal Specials, But Be Smart About Them
This one is a toughie, but a totally necessary one to talk about. Holiday specials are a total blast, and typically people eat them up – this can be great for business, but it can also cause confusion.
Make sure that if you’re offering holiday specials, you’re advertising early so that your audience knows about them. We suggest still implementing a booking fee, not accepting walk-ins, and abiding by the fill-your-books policy. Ensure that your customers understand the concrete rules and specifics of the specials beforehand, as well!