The primary schools have closed their doors so summer (in spite of this week's weather!) has officially started.
What does that mean for your business?
How will you cope with the perennial summer slump in bookings?
For therapists who have school-going children it can mean that you work reduced hours and are prepared for this.
If that’s not you, however, you could find that the phone stops ringing as your clients with school-going children have less time available, and of course many of them will go on holiday. Nice for them; not so good for your cash flow.
I thought I’d share some ideas for keeping your appointment book full over the summer.
1. Run a promotion
Now is the perfect time to run a special promotion – you can come up with your own name for it but position it as a ‘Pre-Holiday Energy Boost’; a way for Mum to get energised before she faces into the last-minute shopping/packing for holidays, or to de-stress after the hectic days preparing for the family holiday. The treatment will allow her to really relax from Day 1 of her holiday.
Whether you position it as energising or destressing, that little bit of ‘me time’ might be just what your client needs; but she doesn’t know she needs it ….. until you suggest it to her!
You can run the promotion right through the summer months as families are not all heading off in the first few weeks of July.
2. Encourage advance bookings
If you’re shutting up shop to get away yourself, make sure to tell your regular clients in advance. Encourage them to book in before you go, or on your return, so they do not miss out or their regular treatments. They will appreciate that it may be difficult to find times to suit both your travel schedules.
3. Quid Pro Quo
If there is a therapist in your area offering a similar service to you why not suggest that you cover each other’s holidays? When he or she is away you could be the ‘emergency’ cover and vice versa. If you work closely with a circle of practitioners, you can do this for each other.
4. Capitalise on tourism even in non-touristy areas
If you live in a touristy area you are probably already tapping into that market. Irish communities are doing such a great job at attracting people to non-traditional tourism areas that you could be surprised at the number of visitors coming to your locality.
Perhaps there is a niche event or attraction that brings in people either for a specific event or all summer. I know that Kildare town, for example, attracts a surprisingly large number of pilgrims from Ireland and overseas because of St Brigid. These people go under the radar but if you make yourself known to the organisers, you are opening yourself up a market that could sustain you while your regulars are away or busy with families during the summer.
If there is a local tourism marketing organisation or network, join it and get to know what’s going on.
Make yourself known to accommodation providers in your area. Hosting an open evening or day is a great way to let them see what you do and how you work, though ideally you would have done this before the tourist season really got under way – back in March or April – keep this in mind for next year!
So I hope those few ideas give you some inspiration for keeping the cash flowing over the summer. And if you have any strategies that work for you, post them in the comments below. I’d love to hear them and we then can all benefit from sharing what works for you.
Speaking of holidays, you may want to double check your stocks of Pure Pro products to make sure you have enough to keep you going through the summer. You don’t want to come back from your own holidays and find that you are out of, or low, in your go-to product!
I’ve had my holiday – a fantastic yoga retreat in Portugal – so I’m here all summer to keep you stocked up. Mary – always here to help.