Inertia: The resistance of a body to changes in its momentum.
Momentum is the key word. Because of inertia, a body (or salon) at rest remains at rest, and a body (or salon) in motion continues moving. Where is Sir Isaac Newton when you need him to expound upon his definition of inertia? What I see in our industry today are salon owners in two distinct paths of inertia: those who continue to stay in motion according to Sir Isaac, and those who remain sitting while their own personal Rome is burning.
In Retail Tanning Land, momentum is the key to doing business through the summer and surviving until the next peak season. Think of inertia’s definition – do you stay at rest or keep progressing? Too many salon operators wrap the third quarter of the calendar year in a “mental vacation.” If they banked some cash during the peak season, they seem to write off summer by thinking the old way: that this time of year is for cutting expenses and holding on until the late fall or New Year dawns. But I’ll submit what I’ve said before: ours is a top-line business with high margins on every tan (especially UV) and every new dollar taken in over last year’s same time period and transactions nets about 85 cents for fixed expenses or owner withdrawals.
So, from where does the additional revenue come? From every EFT cancellation request that your team converts to either a “tan for the rest of the year” package or a successful freeze status with per-tan purchase options. Anything you can do to keep a member in summer’s blazing sun and air conditioning-challenged environment is a huge asset and a good start for the new peak season just a few months away.
Also, now is the time (if you haven’t already) to review your staff core and determine who are your stars and who you should consider granting a permanent vacation from your employ. You’ve got the last seven months of data for 2013, which will clarify all the anomalies of sales numbers and show who is making a real effort. The time to retain your stars or recruit better players and find that “first round draft choice” is now – not in January.
Summer is also the time to do an evaluation of your competitors. I love “theirs vs. yours” traffic counts for the same days and times. Watching the number of bodies go through their doors at say, 4-7pm on a Monday night compared to what you see at your facility can give you an understanding, albeit amateur, of your market share. Then, compare their promotional efforts to yours. Does your Facebook presence measure up to theirs? What about your website, text messages, email and membership benefits?
Summer may not give us the steady flow of tanners or those wonderful lines of folks waiting to drop their indulgence money, but it may give us something even better, and that’s the time to study what we’re doing right and determine what needs to be tweaked. And that knowledge is one of the best momentum enhancers there is. So, stop reading that novel and examine your business … and your inertia.