Winters in Maine are notoriously long and brutal. When spring has already sprung in other parts of the country, Mainers are still stuck scraping frost from our windshields and shivering in oversized parkas. The shorter days and colder nights can sometimes translate to a lull in business and a lag in productivity. Be warned, momentum gained during the holidays can quickly dissipate along with team morale.
The ability to keep customers excited and your staff engaged is crucial to surviving the winter months. Without plans in place to capture the momentum created during the holiday season, motivation can easily give way to boredom. If you were a victim of the winter blues this year, begin brainstorming now on how to best harness momentum from past successes in order to propel your business through the slower months.
Here is a suggested timeline to get you started:
Have a Party: Postpone your Christmas party and instead wait to hold it until after the usual festivities have concluded. Not only is a party in January a fun way to unwind from the stress of the holidays, but establishing a new tradition for your staff can also give them something to look forward to next year. At Akari, we take this time to celebrate and laugh at our individual idiosyncrasies as well as showcase the outside work talents of the team.
Reflect on Success: In the first month of the new year, hold a team-building meeting in order to give your staff a chance to review all the accomplishments and strides made during the previous year. This can also be an opportunity to encourage discussion about what needs to be maintained or changed for the future.
Create a Newsletter: If you don’t already put out a regular newsletter or e-letter (be that monthly, biannually, or yearly), now is the perfect time to start. Begin by looking ahead to the spring season for inspiration and get creative! This project can evolve to include storyboards, photo-shoots, and original articles that promote services and products you carry. Putting together the newsletter will challenge your staff to tap into their artistic side as well as keep customers informed about the latest developments. Check out How to Craft a Salon Newsletter here.
Schedule Advanced Training: January is a good time to introduce employees to new skills and sharpen up on preexisting strengths.
Give Your Space a Face Lift: Fight the urge to slack on maintenance duties by being extra diligent that heavy traffic areas in your salon stay up to snuff. Keep abreast of repairs and fix or replace old equipment that may have been neglected in the midst of the holiday hubbub.
Promote Valentine’s Day: Spa services go hand-in-hand with a romantic night on the town. Make a point to partner with a local hotel and restaurant to put a package together—frantic loved ones are sure to appreciate the ease of an all-in-one deal. Plus, the promotion holds the opportunity to forge bonds with other local leaders in competing service industries.
Offer New Services: Take advantage of this surge in activity following Valentine’s Day to test pilot a new service or program. Unlike during the summer months, in February you will be able to devote more attention to any problems that occur and work out the kinks before business picks back up.
Share the Space: Invite local non-profits to hold their meeting at you location.
Host a Talk Series: It can be industry related, or support a cause you and your team are passionate about.
Prep for Weddings: Snow might still be on the ground at the start of March, but you can bet summer brides are already thinking about the upcoming wedding season—and so should you. Hold practice classes to review the specifics of event hair and make-up,making sure your team knows how to create an elegant updo and apply products for a photo-ready face.
Introduce a New 'Do: Launch your new collections of hairstyles.
By planning ahead and staggering events throughout the winter months, you will be able to capitalize on the energy left over from the holiday season in order to keep your team focused, motivated, and positively challenged. Before you or your staff have a chance to feel the effects of winter doldrums setting in, the snow will have disappeared, daffodils will be in bloom, and foot traffic will increase as clients rush back in to get a new look for spring.