I was talking to an esthetician who was having a hard time – things seem to be slow everywhere and money is just not coming in.
The few months after the holidays are often quite challenging for many spa owners and estheticians. There’s a lull in sales and clients seem to be scarce.
It’s often hard to muster up the courage and keep the enthusiasm as a small business owner when revenue isn’t coming in. It’s easy to get into a rut and even fall into a depression.
Here’s the first thing you need to know – this cyclical fluctuation is part of being in business. Just because things are slow right now doesn’t mean your business is broken.
However, you can be proactive to get out of this rut.
You can take action instead of just sitting around and waiting for the phone to ring or for a client to book online. This nervous energy can be nerve-wracking and push you into a downward spiral.
One of my favorite strategies to attract clients and get a much-needed cash injection during a slow time is to run a flash sale, which is a great way to pick up momentum.
Flash sale can open up opportunities for your business in several ways:
- Gain new clients – you can promote your flash sale to a new audience and get in front of new prospects.
- Convert potential clients – when you notify those who are your list but haven’t yet become your clients, you’re encouraging them to start spending money with you. This can help you start building trusting relationships.
- Get clients back in the door– it’s a great opportunity to entice past clients to return to your business. Did you know that businesses with 40% repeat customers generated nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with only a 10% repeat customers?
- Clear out inventory – any product that is just sitting on the shelf might be a liability for your business.
If you want to plan a “pick me up” for your spa or esthetician business, here are 3 keys to making sure that your flash sale is successful:
1. Mark Down Significantly
People rarely budge if the markdown is not big enough to make them feel excited.
Your flash sale needs to grab the attention of clients who haven’t visited your spa for a while, and pique their curiosity so they want to find out what it’s all about. When they re-engage with your products and services, you become top of mind again.
Significant savings on products will also help you move inventory that has been sitting on the shelves for a while.
Anything that doesn’t get sold in more than three months is a good candidate for a significant markdown. It’s better to move those products at a reduced price (I recommend 50%) in order to generate the cash flow so you can reinvest that monty back into your top sellers.
Not to mention, the income boost can give you the much-needed money momentum to perk up your morale and relief any financial stress at the moment.
2. Inform All Your Clients and Prospects
A good promotional strategy can make a big difference to the success of your flash sale.
If you have a mailing list, email all your clients and prospects to let them know about the event.
You can plan a series of emails – first to build anticipation (e.g. mark your calendar, sneak peak of what’s on sale), then to announce the first day of the event, and finally a reminder or two on the last day of your flash sale.
You can also encourage your clients to bring a friend – people like to be seen as “in the know” and show their friends that they know where to get a good deal. This will help you expand your client base by getting new prospects in the door.
You can use social media to promote your event. Use the appropriate hashtags and create a Facebook event to which you can invite your clients ahead of time.
Don’t forget the good old fashion way of picking up the phone and calling clients to invite them personally to your flash sale. Getting existing clients to keep coming back helps you cultivate loyal and raving fans.Old school customer service beats new age lip service any day. Click To Tweet
3. Make It Time Sensitive
The term “flash sale” implies that it only goes on for a short duration.
One to two days are typical duration for flash sales, and I wouldn’t recommend running it for more than three days.
The limited duration adds a sense of urgency to your event and encourages people to take action to either purchase your products or pre-book an appointment.
Even when you set a deadline, most people would still wait until the last minute to make a purchase.
There’re a few things you can experiment with to get the buzz going right off the bat:
- Create a limited number of bundles that feature additional savings, and position them as “when they’re gone, they’re gone.”
(Tip: pair bestsellers with less popular items to move inventory.)
- Give away a limited number of freebies – e.g. you can muster up some samples to give away as a gift with purchase.
- Throw in a bonus for those who come in on the first day of the sale – e.g. a free service or special pricing for future appointments. You can also ask any joint venture partners to see if they want to promote their businesses by offering a bonus to your clients.
Running a flash sale always gets me excited. It’s a great way to reconnect with existing clients and get in front of new prospects.
Not to mention having the cash injection for my business helps me keep up the momentum during slower times. It’s kind of like doing jumping jacks for your business 😉
Enjoy this article? Learn more about our business and marketing membership program designed exclusively for estheticians here.