Seasonality has the potential to impact any business – positively or negatively. For hairdressing business owners in particular, understanding seasonal trends can be the difference between massive growth and losing customers. Here’s how you can track seasonality in hairdressing and use those insights to your advantage.
Managing a seasonal labour force
Hairdressing services make up 85% of the total revenue of salons, so getting the right staff into your business is crucial to ongoing success. But hairdressing is also a service industry mostly driven by part-time labour. This means it can be difficult to manage fluctuating rosters and employees only working for a few months at a time.
Streamlining the most time-intensive tasks of your business can free you up to focus on finding and retaining a quality workforce. An online rostering management solution, for example, can reduce the hours you might spend every week drawing up roster plans, reconfiguring timetables to suit part-time staff and adding new employees every month or two.
Similarly, tracking seasonal changes and staff with workforce-management tools, particularly those that integrate with your current online resources, can offer insights to stay on top of trends and patterns.
Monitor your customer base – and build custom services around them
Everyone has a different ‘system’ for getting their hair cut. Some may visit their hairdresser once a fortnight for a colour touch-up, while others can go months at a time without a trim. For the most part, men and women also have vastly different priorities in terms how – and how frequently – they visit a hairdressing salon. Understanding the wildly different needs of your customer base can play a huge role in boosting cash flow.
Whenever a customer finishes their appointment, make note of their stylist, their cut, whether their style or colour requires more frequent visit for maintenance, and then urge them to make an appointment at an appropriate time for their next visit. By reiterating why they should rebook, and confirming they will enjoy the same style and convenience of appointment as last time, you can overcome seasonality issues before they appear.
Remember: the appointment book is a business owner’s best retention program.
Embrace the changing seasons with promos
Instead of worrying about an expected trough in business, build a strategy around using it to your advantage. For example, create a promotion around Mother’s Day that offers a standard cut with free add-ons such as a head massage or deluxe hair treatment. For the men, you could include a free beard-trimming service on Father’s Day or their birthday.
Off-peak seasons are also the best time to run promotions. Include additional incentives in the regular price of a hairdressing service, offer customer-referral discounts on your social media platforms, or even consider upping your marketing spend. Perhaps most important is to raise and lower your inventory levels in line with anticipated busy and quiet periods – that way you’ll never be over or understocked.
However you decide to tackle seasonal changes, take the time to review industry trends and prepare for expected highs and lows throughout the year. An updated marketing strategy for your hairdressing business can do exactly that.
Managing a hairdressing business is unlike any other industry. It relies heavily on part-time labour, it has seasonal challenges that can change from year to year, and it’s a highly competitive market that relies on delivering a consistent customer experience. However, taking advantage of online solutions and developing a comprehensive business strategy can see you not only understand seasonality, but use it to your advantage.