The holiday season is well underway, and according to the National Retail Federation, this year’s spending is likely to break records; the NRF’s data show that 2019 holiday sales are expected to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent compared to 2018, with totals skyrocketing to more than $730 billion. And while the holiday season presents beneficial revenue opportunities for spas, such as offering holiday specials or deals on gift cards and services, it can also cause utter chaos from an operational standpoint. More deals can mean an influx of sales, foot traffic, inventory and staffing needs, and—without the right tools to help owners manage it all—stress.
Small business owners are only human, and technology solutions can (and should) be put into place to help maximize the opportunities for them to have a successful holiday season. In order to increase efficiency, enhance client relationships, and maintain secure operations, spas should invest in business management software that will help them operate to the best of their ability this season.
Here are the three reasons why investing in the right business software can help spas go from surviving to thriving this holiday season—and beyond:
1. Increase Efficiency
Spa owners are typically required to wear many hats, such as operator, marketer, team leader, esthetician, and more. It is common that spa owners find themselves constantly juggling daily and long-term operations for their business. This is especially true during the holidays and year-end, when spa owners are busy managing the front and back of the business—greeting customers, making sure they hit their revenue goals, and managing tight holiday staffing.
With a spa management software, owners can cut down time on mundane tasks and make workloads more manageable to help increase productivity in the holiday months and beyond. The most effective tools will include features such as:
- Online Booking: Instead of having to talk on the phone and look at their schedule, customers can see all of the spa’s open slots (with adjusted holiday hours) and find the one that works best for them—automatically notifying the spa when a client books online.
- Marketing Campaign Management: Email campaigns can be extremely useful during the holiday season, allowing spas to notify their client list of promotions, discounts, or new services. The right software can help create professional looking emails that are customized to different types of customers and can generate new leads that fuel business after the holiday season is over.
- Employee Scheduling: Setting schedules and filling shifts can feel like a jigsaw puzzle—especially with more appointments and adjusted holiday hours. Employee scheduling software can help spas set recurring schedules that can simply be tweaked to accommodate special requests. Plus, during the holidays, spa owners can easily keep track of paid time off.
By increasing efficiency, spas are able to keep business growing while continuing to deliver exceptional service to their clients despite likely being busier than normal in December.
2. Foster Client Relationships
Spa software helps nourish customer engagement by offering 24/7 online booking and appointment reminders—both of which can ease stress tied to managing schedules and eliminating appointment no-shows during the holiday season. Most solutions offer a scheduling tool that automatically works with customers to schedule appointments, send appointment reminders, suggest rebooking, share business news, and follow up after an appointment. Not only does this take away the burden of maintaining constant lines of communication, but it also goes a long way in keeping customers engaged even after the holiday surge. Software can also help spas consolidate customer records and purchase history into a single database, making it easier for employees to create a more personalized customer experience, enticing customers to come back again after the holidays—or even purchase a gift card for a friend or relative.
3. Enables Stronger Data Security
According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, cybersecurity attacks on small businesses increase during the holiday season, making it imperative that spas protect their networks in preparation for transaction increases and an influx of customer data. Business software can keep track of all the data associated with a spa and back it up automatically. It also gives owners the ability to decide who sees what by controlling permissions to every feature in the software. Each employee can also be assigned a unique password to ensure their information is kept safe, and access to every screen and function can be controlled by an administrator. As potential hackers are on the prowl this holiday season, spa software will help eliminate the concern surrounding the business’s security—taking one more stressor off of the owner’s plate. Beyond offering efficient, tailored and secure benefits for the business, spa software can also help increase overall staff morale by freeing up time for employees to do what they do best: servicing their clients.
Spa owners who have software solutions that increase efficiency, foster customer relationships, and protect their data are likely already thriving this holiday season. And while it may be too late for those who haven't invested in software to do so for holiday 2019, that shouldn't stop them from trying to start the new year off on the right foot. Spa owners who are still relying on paper and pen should consider investing in a software solution that will enable more effective, less-stressful operations and foster growth in the years ahead.