July, August, September, October, and November (J.A.S.O.N.) is usually the time when some tanning salon owners just seem to give up. They probably figure that since things will slow down, they don’t have to spend as much time and attention on their businesses. Nothing could be further from the truth! J.A.S.O.N. is the time to put together your tanning business plan for the upcoming peak season. To help tanning salon owners with that, here are 10 things that you should do now to help prepare for an amazing peak season:
- Review all actual numbers of peak season 2017 versus peak season numbers form 2016. Pay close attention to the following details regarding your tanning salon’s performance:
- Total overall revenues.
- All EFT revenues.
- Total number of EFT memberships sold and which employees sold the most… and the least.
- Average individual EFT draws. (This is how much per your average EFT member collection did you take in on a monthly basis.) This determines if your EFT members investing more in your salon than they did last year.
- Total tans, salon visits, and transactions. These are signs of the traffic you had this year versus last year’s traffic. It’s importance? You can succeed without feet in the door and “butts in beds.”
- Unique aka individual clients. You need to grow your unique client base because that gives you the opportunities to upsell each one to higher levels of tanning and longer terms of membership commitments. This translates into more revenue.
- What your tanning lotion/product sales look like compared to sales from last year’s peak season? Great tanning only happens when it’s accompanied with great tanning lotions that offer great profit margins.
- Start thinking about promoting buy-one-get-one free (BOGO) offers to keep traffic in your salon during the “dog days of the tanning summer,” aka J.A.S.O.N. Sell BOGOs of 30-day passes and five or 10 session packages to generate immediate traffic and cash. At these low prices, be clear that your BOGO sessions and months have a defined expiration date. You don’t want tanners building an inventory of sessions that robs you of part of peak season.
- Review your staff to figure out who to bring back and who you let go. It’s time to get cold. Not everyone is built for selling tanning lotions, memberships, etc. Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to business, you are NOT your brother or sister’s keeper. You must run a business, and the best sellers should get the best and most selling hours. Worried about keeping the best? Offer a “retention bonus” – say another $250 for each of your best – that they get paid December 1 if they stay around and perform well. Many retail businesses do that nowadays because of the huge competition for great employees.
- Segment your customer data to find out who are your very important tanners (VITs). Give them free upgrades during July and August to keep their interest and increase their return trips to your tanning salon.
- How about a 50 percent credit on any tanning lotion return during July and August? You give up some margin, but keep your clients spending money.
- Now is the time to shop your competition to verify pricing and service levels. Who knows? You just might meet one of their great employees who you will steal away!
- Prep for back to school, particularly in heavy college markets. Start out their campus return with free tan week. (Offer incentive pay to your employees who convert the freebies into buying packages or even better, EFT memberships. Peak season for college tanners starts the week they move back into school.
- Seek out cross-marketing partners to expand your customer reach and build your frequency of exposure. Look for beauty, massage, hair salons, and fitness centers because these cross-marketing partners have huge email lists. Piggybacking on each other’s emails will help build both businesses.
- J.A.S.O.N. is the perfect time to host a customer survey. This will help you find out what your tanners liked and didn’t like about your salon this peak season, and give you plenty of time to make changes for the next season.
- Speaking of surveys, the off-peak months are the ideal time to survey your tanning salon employees. An anonymous employee survey is a great way for salon owners to discover how your feel about working for you. Their answers will help you determine why some tanning salon employees enjoy higher in productivity than others among other important data. (Note: Both customer and tanner surveys are available right here in the Vault).
Get Busy, Tanning Salon Owners!
Things might seem slow at your tanning business now, but they will be busy soon. Do you want to head into the peak season completely unprepared? Of course you don’t. Today’s peak season isn’t like it used to be 20 years ago; you still have to work hard if you want to succeed. Use this downtime and these 10 tips to create your tanning business plan for the upcoming season. December will be here sooner than you think, and you want to be earning maximum revenue at your tanning salon.