girl wearing purple backpack and blue and pink striped hair walking to school

Ah, the back-to-school season is upon us again. Sharpened pencils, new backpacks, and a wardrobe to wow friends—what more does a kid need?

A fresh haircut, of course. Moms will soon be scrambling for appointments to get kids ready for a new year with a new look. Are you marketing to them now? Are you ready to make the most of the time you have with kids and teens in your salon’s chairs? Read on for seven strategies to capitalize on this busy time of year, and launch your salon into the holiday season with a profitable August and September.

1. Plan NOW

If you haven’t already started, it’s time to put your marketing plans in place for the next few weeks. Outline your social media strategies, retail contests and back-to-school promotions. Set up email marketing campaigns in your software and get your staff on board with regular communication.

2. Watch Your Competition

Is another local salon catering to teens? Are you in the same neighborhood as a kids-only salon? Secret shop your competition to learn what they’re doing to attract kids and teens. All of their strategies may not be right for your business, but you can compete on price and implement other marketing tools to be competitive.

3. Know Your Audience

It’s not the kids who are paying for the haircuts. Your marketing message is going straight to mom and dad, so include them in your offers: “Bring your kid in for a haircut and get half off yours!” or “Mom-and-teen highlights special.” If mom or dad is already a regular client, there’s no reason kids should be going anywhere other than your salon.

4. Spotlight on Retail

Don’t let your young clients walk out of the salon without products to care for their new ’dos! Whether it’s a spray-on, leave-in conditioner (one with rosemary to deter lice is a hot ticket at the beginning of the school year) or a frizz-taming lotion, kids are no different than adults—they need products. Want to make your retail even more irresistible? Offer mom a discount if she buys something for herself.

5. Color

It’s not just teens who are trying color these days. Young girls (and boys) are going back to school sporting a brightly colored streak in their strands so they’ll stand out. Offer a back-to-school color service for kids who are ready to dabble in color, but mom’s not quite ready to commit to a total change.

6. Be Relevant (Market on Social Media!)

Kids know what they want and where to buy it. While a haircut isn’t something they can buy online, they can find out which salons appeal to them by perusing Instagram. Want teens in your salons? Post your best work on teen clients and hashtag appropriately. Clients also tend to make big changes to their looks in early fall. Whether it’s a few extra inches off a haircut or a new hue, these new styles provide great opportunities for before-and-after shots on social media.

7. Show Teachers and Moms Some Love

While you may already offer teachers a discount year-round, think about offering a little more in the month before school starts. Whether it’s an extra 10 percent off or a free travel-size product, this will build loyalty with your teacher clients. And for moms, it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year. Celebrate the first week of school with a glass of champagne and a free add-on treatment with color service. And don’t forget to tell her how much you loved seeing her kids in the salon.