Let the countdown begin! To ensure you can sleigh all day (we had to! 😉), we at LashBeePro put together a few tips on how to take on the holiday rush headfirst. From Christmas to Hanukkah to New Year's, the fall and early winter months are the most critical time to plan. As exciting as it is for most lash artists, preparing for the holidays in the beauty industry can be stress-inducing for some. Not only is there the client satisfaction aspect during this time, but you also face the undeniable rise of competition with other lash artists and studios. No one wants to lose a client to a fellow lash competitor who may develop a better prepared holiday plan.
We're here with some tips that can help alleviate that stress, help you take on the chaos, and put you on the right track for a successful holiday season.
Both you and your clients will be busy, so they'll be calling you trying to book that last-minute fill outside of your regular hours or shooting over a DM when they realize they don't have any lash extensions left. Sometimes it's alright to make a few exceptions for clients, but the boundaries you set are essential since you need your rest to deliver the best experience for them. It may be helpful as your book begins to fill up to strategically place blockouts on your schedule to ensure you get breaks between clients to stretch and refocus. If you have a studio, sharing the workload by delegating other tasks with your desk team will free up time for other necessary tasks, alleviate you from doing it all, and enforce a teamlike mentality. Solo artists, you’ll need to pay attention to your body and avoid spreading yourself too thin by taking on too many tasks at once and focusing on time management. Most importantly, try to maintain good separation of work and home life so your body and mind can get a break from the daily grind.
PRO TIP: Lashing fatigue is real; check in with yourself frequently that you are sitting in your chair ergonomically as well as holding your tweezers in the proper position, paying close attention to both your back and wrists. Check out our blog about hand stretches for lash artists to prevent injury for more tips to keep you in tip-top shape!
Time Off: We strongly advise pushing time off to the new year after the holiday rush has subsided. The holidays provide tremendous opportunities to bring in money, as it is the most crucial quarter for this industry - don't do yourself a disservice by reducing your availability. If necessary, make sure you block off any vacation and personal time before November begins. This way, there will be no disruptions, your clients won't be surprised, and you'll be able to maximize your time as best as you can.
PRO TIP: If you’re a salon owner, establish firm request-off guidelines for the holiday months in your employee manuals, such as no more than two teammates off a day or complete blackout dates so there is no confusion as to what your expectations are.
Depending on the size of your space and the occupancy limits, it's a smart move to hire lash artists to claim every available lash bed as well as multiple desk coordinators. By doing this, it ensures clients will be accommodated and helps to maximize sales. September and October will leave you ample time to assess if the new team members are a fit for your lash studio.
As essential as it is to focus on the tasks ahead, it is just as vital to maintaining your and your staff's motivation and feeling of appreciation. It says a lot when you make time to express gratitude and acknowledge your team for all of the hard work they've put in and their resilience in working during a pandemic.
PRO TIP: Don't forget to reinforce your COVID-19 specific safety protocol to continue keeping both your team and clients safe!
It may seem like common sense, but when you extend the hours of your lash business, whether solo or studio, the more clients will book, the more money you bring in. If it’s just you, always keep your health in mind when extending your hours to avoid burnout. For studios, you’ll want to ensure enough staff coverage. Using these strategies will keep clients happy and coming back, not to mention it will allow for potential walk-ins. If you are a lash studio, plan to have a team meeting about a month ahead of time to set expectations and standards for your team, as well as a clear holiday plan and schedule. Here you can explain promotions, answer any questions they may have, and ensure proper coverage is in place. Team preparedness is always key to a smooth operation.
PRO TIP: Make an announcement on all social channels and email and update your website and Google listing to reflect the new hours!
Lash artist's schedules book up fast this time around, creating a higher traffic flow of clients who try to fit everything in at the last minute. This time can get hectic; people's minds focus on so many things all at once, making it even easier to forget booking that next lash fill or lift. We need to make sure that our clients are fully aware of how vital it is to prebook to maintain a consistent schedule. Walk them through precisely how much time they should book for their next fill to keep their lashes. Send out email and text reminders to clients you haven't seen in a while or for those who are notorious for stretching their weeks between lash fills.
PRO TIP: Don't be afraid to enforce your late/cancellation/no-show policy. It's there to protect you or your staff against any last-minute surprises.
As a lash studio or solo lash artist, ensuring enough inventory to accommodate guests is crucial. There's no worse feeling than running out of the lashes you need or that lash serum your client wanted to get her sister. Take a look at your traffic numbers from last year and use that to measure how to stock your retail and supplies appropriately. Do your best to avoid the need for last-minute store runs or overnight shipping. Our mail system has always been overwhelmed during the holidays, but cuts in funding and employee shortages have been an even more significant challenge these days. To avoid shipping delays and client dissatisfaction, plan your promotions to order retail and inventory needs now.
PRO TIP: Still accepting cash? Most cash-paying clients will be using large bills, so check your reserves!
When clients come to get their lashes done, they look for a brief escape from daily life, so make your space magical. By setting up your holiday decor right after Thanksgiving, you can make a great impression with clients regardless of their backgrounds. Have up-to-date, stylish, and not overly tacky holiday decorations to delight your client. You still want to keep a relaxing atmosphere, but people appreciate the effort. Strategically put together groupings of aftercare or other beauty products you may carry in your retail area to pose as gifting guides.
PRO TIP: Make them feel like a VIP with the gesture of a small gift or complimentary add-on service to give your most loyal, supportive, and top spending clients. Showing them how much you appreciate them can create long-lasting relationships.
This season can mean severe winter storms depending on where you are in the world. It's essential to plan for how you and your employees will communicate if you have a studio. In addition, it's vital to form an official procedure if bad weather hits during working hours while clients are getting lashes to keep you, your employees, and clients safe and profit losses down. In the event of a power outage, you need to know what protocols you'll go by, like calling the utility company and ringing clients out via a personal WiFi hotspot, for example. It's always wise to develop a game plan and not need it than having no game plan and needing one. Solo artists should have a backup plan, too, and make sure you reach out to clients as early as possible to reschedule if need be to keep both you and your clients safe.
PRO TIP: Having a backup generator can save you from many headaches, but for those who do not have access to one, make sure to have flashlights and blankets to keep your team warm until they can safely make it home.
Update your service menu if needed and determine what your weekly promotions will be, if any. Creating promotions for each week starting in mid-November works out best and can be less overwhelming to organize if you do it early enough. Think strategically about discounting any products - it can be better to bundle items and use more intentional and inspiring language. For example, consumers tend to react better to a "buy one, get one free" promo versus "half off" or "50% off" promos (even though the last two are the same thing). Gift cards are another easy and popular way to earn more revenue during the holidays, as they are a great option to offer clients who have difficult people to gift. Consider adding a bonus for gift card purchases over a certain amount (e.g., receive $10 extra with every $100 gift card).
PRO TIP: Rather than discounting service prices in December, when clients are more willing to pay full price to achieve their holiday glam, incentivize them to visit you in January when things have died down a bit. Coupons that say, "Book a fill the week of December 6th and get 15% off any fill in January!" encourage business immediately as well as in the future. Lastly, don't underestimate the power of referrals.
If you lash somewhere that has other salons in the vicinity that offer non-conflicting services, such as massage, hair, facials, etc., you can potentially partner up with them to provide some great holiday gifts for your clients and theirs. Collaborating with another business would set you up for great professional relationships, a broader, possibly untapped client pool, and an alternative advertising outlet. Who wouldn't love opening a gift of lashes, makeup, and a blowout for New Year's Eve?
Social Media Management:
If you don't already manage your social media, the time is now. You can schedule your holiday marketing content through programs such as Later (for Instagram) or MailChimp (for email marketing). Take care of these before the holiday rush begins, as once it does, you will be too busy lashing to be creating new material. Capitalize on all the content you can generate by taking photos of every lash set or lift that comes your way this season. Encourage clients to tag you or your lash salon along with their selfies for maximum exposure.
PRO TIP: Gather testimonials and showcase them on social media. A few of your clients might even be willing to be featured enjoying services offered by your business on your social media pages.
Clients shop earlier and earlier for gifts these days; a large percentage of shoppers start their Black Friday shopping even before November. These early-bird clients also love convenience. Think of the number of clients typically coming in and out of your lash studio in an average month, then double that. Seize this opportunity by helping them cross off their list with your retail selection - they may even pick something up to treat themselves, too! Don't forget about your impulse and last-minute shoppers; they can be willing to spend a little extra for stocking stuffers.
PRO TIP: To boost sales even more, make sure to educate your front desk coordinators about your retail and aftercare products. In case it gets too busy and clients are waiting to be seen, having your desk team close the sale can be a huge help.
We hope these tips and tricks will keep you a step ahead and encourage you to utilize these helpful tools. We would love to hear how they've personally helped you this year or any other holiday tips you may have for us, too. From all of us here at LashBeePro, we wish you the best of luck and all the good cheer this holiday season!