6 Tips To Start Your Salon Holiday Prep Off Right

The holiday season is upon us, and we could all use a little extra cheer. Setting up solid systems now means you won’t be scrambling when your guests start to feel that last minute rush. Thankfully, SalonBiz can help with your salon holiday prep. We’ve brought in Terri Vajda of the award-winning Ihloff Salons in Oklahoma to help us share six tips for salon Christmas prep!

1. Set up easy gift card options, now

Gift cards are an easy, last-minute gift, perfect for both giver and receiver. Start your salon holiday prep by making it easy for your guests to grab a stocking stuffer or luxurious total makeover from your salon. How?

Make gift cards available online

Online gift card options mean your guests don’t have to leave home to give a thoughtful gift, and you won’t have to worry about restocking during the busier holiday season.

SalonBiz online gift cards are easy to set up and allow for customization. Simply upload a custom design to match your brand for electronic gift cards that guests can email or print. You can also set them up for mail or pickup if they’d prefer a physical card.

Give guests a gift, too

Bonus gift card promos set up in SalonBiz Central mean that everyone gets something nice. It’s easy and automatic. Once you set your bonus level (i.e., $10 for every $100 in gift cards), our software does all the work, including sending an email with the bonus gift card.

It’s easy for guests, a no-brainer for you, and a little something extra for everyone.

Order gift cards early

Your salon is gorgeous year-round, but the holiday season is a chance to really make it sparkle, all the way down to your gift cards.

Special packaging and seasonal gift cards can take up to eight weeks from ordering to delivery. If it’s your first time ordering gift cards, plan ahead and order early so you can check out the design, add the right packaging, and make sure suppliers have enough stock.

Timing your order is crucial, and figuring out how many cards you need is key, too.

For example, Ilhoff Salons does a booming gift card business over the holidays and knows to plan way ahead. Terri Vajda uses her salon’s gift card sales report from SalonBiz for the prior year and then adds 10%.

Ordering early means you have plenty of time to make your gift cards really special. This salon holiday prep saves time for stylists and guests at the front desk.

“While it’s still slower, our call center will cut a huge amount of ribbon, pull stuffing out of the boxes, put in the filling, and put them back in the cases pre-ribboned. Then, in December, the front desk can pull something out that’s ready instead of doing it behind the desk with a line.”

2. Put online booking on your nice list

It’s hard to remember everything in the rush of the holidays. If you have a guest who suddenly realizes they need a service, SalonBiz makes it easy for them to book online.

At home, guests can book on your website with the online booking. Out with friends? The Pocket Salon app is ready on their phone. Both options are updated live across all platforms, so the information is always current and always consistent for your books.

With SalonBiz, you can also send automatic appointment reminders.

3. Ring in the retail

From online sales to in-person retail, now’s the time for salon Christmas prep.

Make sure your website is ready

Much of retail and gift-giving has moved online. Many guests prefer the convenience of booking services or purchasing gifts online. 

If you haven’t set your website up with online booking and gift card sales, there is still time—and it’s easy. The holidays are also the perfect time to run specials, whether they’re specially bundled spa packages or an offer with a reward.

Terri capitalizes on this by offering online holiday promo: 

“We run a voucher special the whole holiday season and advertise through social media. If you buy a certain amount in gift cards, you get rewarded with a voucher good toward qualifying services.”

Stock up

Don’t get caught off-guard with inadequate inventory for gifts that fly off the shelves. Run a hot/cold report for November and December of last year, and then run one for the last six months.

Adjust your ordering for the coming season to match last year’s holiday sales as well as currently trending products.

4. Gather your team of elves

When business is booming, take some steps to make it feel like a fun, exciting time, not an exhausting burden.

  • Keep music fresh with satellite or streaming radio services (for variety and to avoid holiday music burnout)
  • Host an after-hours decorating party the week before Thanksgiving
  • Feed staff and guests all season long (snacks and beverages set a festive tone and keep things light)

Want to really celebrate with your stylists? Move the staff party to January.

“Last year we switched our holiday party to January,” says Terri, “so everyone was able to participate and we’d be past the pageants, family gatherings, church events, and such that happen in December.  We sent invitations out to everyone so they could plan for it.”

Adequate staffing is also key over the holidays. This keeps stylists fresh and relaxed and also helps them serve guests with good cheer.

5. Salon holiday prep starts with marketing

Guests begin to book holiday services in early November — it’s never too early to begin thinking about salon holiday prep in terms of marketing.

Marketing isn’t just fliers and emails. Consider:

  • Scheduling fundraisers and holiday drives
  • Developing gift card promotions
  • Adding automated responses across all platforms
  • Activating (or enhancing) a rewards program

Think of all of your holiday marketing efforts as a chance to connect with guests during this hectic time of year.

6. Make their salon appointments dashing

Sometimes the holiday season feels like one long to-do list and line of guests. Take that stress away with SalonBiz’s easy check-in (and checkout) options.

Self check-in anywhere

Set guests up for seamless check-ins with Pocket Salon, or an iPad check-in kiosk at the front of your salon. Stylists will get a notification when guests are ready to go.

Easy checkout anytime

With the SalonBiz iPad app and the Pocket Salon app, guests can checkout anytime, anywhere.

  • Using Pocket Salon, guests who just want to swing by and pick up retail products can do that from app, including payment
  • Using the iPad app, your front desk can bring the tablet to the chair while color is processing or while they’re finishing the blow dry and allow them to add products they want and checkout—including the tip—while still sitting in the chair.

Ihloff Salons goes even further with SalonBiz, setting up a table for gift card sales and using the SalonBiz iPad App to quickly check people out. Terri notes that, “This way guests who are just looking to purchase gift cards don’t even have to stop at the front desk.”

Make your holiday season bright

Don’t let the stress of the holidays turn you into a Grinch. With SalonBiz and some solid salon holiday prep, your holiday can be merry and bright!


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