When your salon is just starting out, it’s easy to jump on the the bandwagon of other salons when it comes to setting hours and availability of stylists and services. You have to start somewhere, right?
But the truth is that every salon has it’s own personality, style, and group of clients they’re serving. While every other salon in town might be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., as your salon grows and shifts you might find that those hours aren’t the best fit for business.
Every so often it’s good to analyze your data to find out what’s working and what’s not. Pull bookings for a year or more to examine what hours are the most popular. Also look at retail sales and types of services. What days and hours are clients most likely to buy? Is this just reflective of one stylist or across the board? What days are certain types of services most popular?
It may seem daunting to analyze the trends, but the experience is crucial in showing you the important changes you can make. Here are three ways this data can help you improve:
Tweaking the Schedule
Making changes to your hours is crucial in making sure the salon is open when it’s best to serve your clients and therefore best for business. If you’re open from 9 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and find there are only a handful of appointments in the first hour but you’re booked solid at 7:00, then maybe you should look at shifting the hours to 10:00 or 11:00 until 8:00 or 9:00. Maybe some days prove you should be open later than others, or maybe you find that changing the day you’re closed might boost bookings. Pull in any constructive feedback you’ve heard from stylists and customers when reshaping your hours, and consider the demographic you’re catering. If you’re an urban spot, you’re probably going to have a higher demand for the later hours, while a suburban location might see more afternoon appointments.
In some cases, cutting back on hours may be beneficial in order to cut down on overhead costs during periods that aren’t productive. This means helping to create a more balanced schedule where the salon is fuller (always a plus for large salon spaces where looking full and busy boosts the aesthetic) and stylists are able to utilize their time more fully.
When creating new hours, find a logical place to introduce the new schedule, like a seasonal change, after a holiday break or following a renovation.
Helping New Stylists
Every salon is made up of stylist rock stars, but some are more well known than others. Examine client trends of your all-stars and your new talent to determine ways you might be able to boost the younger stylists’ bookings. Consider spacing out when some veterans work alongside new stylists, giving the new stylists a time each week when they can stand out and are taking more walk-ins. But remember not to separate them fully. New and younger stylists benefit from working alongside more experienced team members so they can develop mentor relationships.
Utilizing the Holes
Even with an hours change, there will always be some holes throughout the week that are slower than others. Identifying those times can work to your advantage by giving you an opportunity to creatively fill that period. One way is through the introduction of specials that are available only during that time.
For example, maybe Thursdays from 2:00 to 5:00 are slow in bookings and walk-ins. Develop a promotion that gets people through the doors, like a discount on combined cut and color services. Remember to utilize your retail for this, as well! Maybe pick a product of the week that comes with a discount, like 10% off Paul Mitchell Soft Sculpting Spray Gel or 15% off any hairspray, that’s only valid during that time frame. Promote it via social media or your email newsletter, which also gives people an incentive to follow and read to learn about the new deal each week.
Those holes also make the perfect time to consider staff meetings and educational trainings, an important part of helping your stylists grow as professionals.
Data is the heart of any business, and it can certainly help you determine positive change within your salon. Tell us: How do you use your data? Have you successfully changed your hours or made other positive changes?