Summer is well under way. Your business is slowing down and your book is looking a little empty. Even your employees are asking for time off.
Rather than lament this summer lull, you can put this extra time to good use by doing a business assessment that will help you plan and be prepared for busier seasons ahead.
Are you still using a paper book to schedule your appointments and a Rolodex to organize your customer contact information? Could it be that your current computer software is just not keeping up anymore? If these scenarios sound like your business, now may be the perfect time to upgrade to or invest in a new software platform that can make your business more efficient and scale as your business grows.
Ideally, software should help you manage several critical facets of your business, such as:
Having accurate information about your employees is the foundation for how accurately your business books appointments and meets the needs of your clients. It can be really embarrassing when customer arrives to find that the stylist or therapist they booked doesn’t provide the service they asked for or isn’t even working that day.
A business management software can help you organize, identify, and build profiles of your staff, keeping records of basic information such as name, gender, contact information, and the types of services they provide. It can also help you categorize employees by function, designate the number of appointments they can take, and personalize their profile so customers can book with a familiar face.
Since most stylists, technicians and therapists are paid on commission today – many at rates as high as 50 percent -- it’s crucial that your compensation system not only be fair and equitable, but also help you achieve your business goals. You should be able to tracks things like current client retention, clients pre-booked, average ticket price, or amount of retail products sold. To determine your overall payroll, your compensation system should not only track scheduling, but it should be able to track PTO, vacation, sick and personal days, and tax exemptions and withholdings.
It’s no secret that selling products is where the money is for spas and salons. But in order to have the right amount of products in the right place at the right time, you need to conduct monthly, accurate inventory counts. It pays to set aside the appropriate time, and if you do it now, you still have time to weave some of those products into summer specials.
Our Summer Makeover Guide has a comprehensive list of best practices for inventory management.
Accurate information about client preferences and buying habits is more than a valuable marketing resource. It’s inextricably linked to your staffing decisions, your ability to fill your book, and how much inventory you buy and stock.
A comprehensive customer profile can tell you a customer’s staff preferences, the best way to reach them, whether they are a member of your loyalty program, their favorite skin or hair treatment, and their birthday or anniversary.
Knowing all these touch points is an indispensable component of delivering superior customer service. Our Summer Makeover Guide describes them in more detail.
Is your website increasing your bookings by enabling your customers to book appointments? And is your web presence linked to your business’s Facebook Page? We hope so.
Some studies suggest that online scheduling increases customer loyalty and reduces missed appointments by more than 50%. That’s a tremendous amount of opportunity waiting to be mined.
And let’s not forget mobile technology. A slow period may be just the time to dip your toe in the mobile waters by adding it inside your spa or salon, or by creating a mobile app tailored to your business’s look and feel.
By using mobile technology inside your shop, you can simplify checkout by allowing your customers to swipe for their services and easily book their next appointment. You can update and edit client profiles by adding a photo that shows off their new ‘do or skin treatment. And you can manage your business remotely by making scheduling and staffing decisions in real time.
A mobile app lets your customers book appointments, check availability, select a service provider, click to call you, and instantly get directions. Why not take advantage of the one thing every person carries with them all the time – their cell phone?
Learn more about how to upgrade your business with our Summer Makeover Guide.
About the Author
Kate Rankin is a writer and communicator with extensive experience in Public Relations, Media Relations and Marketing. She's spent the lion's share of her career in networking, which served as the perfect segue for writing about Booker's innovative software platform.Follow on Google Plus More Content by Kate Rankin