How Group Bookings Can Help Increase Your Bottom Line

How Group Bookings Can Help Increase Your Bottom Line

I’m Nate from Blue Atlas Marketing, and we’re talking to all of the day spas and salons today, and you probably already offer group bookings and special group packages. If you don’t, we’re talking to you today, but even if you do offer it, I really want you to consider how you execute and advertise these offers a little differently than just throwing it on the back of your salon menu.

Often you’ll see that the menu card has all of your services listed A lot of times salons it at just that. With the mindset that, “Well, yes, they’ll call us if they want it and then we’ll customize the package,” and that’s okay if you feel like you need to customize every single one of the packages, but at the end of the day, if you invest in setting up a package, creating a program for it, and then marketing that program, you’ll find you can boost your bottom line with some extra sales to fill some holes and keep your stylist and your staff busy.

Types of Group Services You Can offer

Let’s talk about some of the group services that you can offer before we get into why you’d even consider offering these and then what to do to really drill down into them.

1. Couple Massages

If you offer massage services, couples massage seems natural and normal, but I know me, personally, I like to do a couple’s massage with my wife. Now, at the salons and spas, if you guys are in a resort hotel or something like that, that’s kind of default, people are going to come to you for that. But if that’s not what you’re doing and you’re our everyday salon or day spa, couples massage may not be the first thing that people think of. Often they think of, “Well, the women go there, the men would go to their barber shop.” They might come in for a stylist, but they get a cut and they run.

Couples massage might even be on your menu card, but it’s not something that you really think about pushing. Consider it as something that you really want to push, especially around holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Couples massage might be something you want to put a little more emphasis on and we’ll get to about how to do that in just a minute.

2. Bachelorette and Bridal Showers

Once again, this is a given and everybody thinks that they’re supposed to go to the hair salon, but I think too many salons and day spas put the burden on the customer to go, “Okay, I want to do this.” They go to the website and think “Oh, they offer it.” However, there’s not really a package built for them. There’s not something they can just say, “Oh, that’s what I need,” and so they have to start thinking, “Okay, who’s going to come. What services are we going to get done?” You’re really putting the burden back on the customer.

Of course we expect bachelorette parties, bridal showers, wedding parties, et cetera, to come in and get services done because that’s just what they’re supposed to do, but don’t leave it to chance and don’t let them figure it out because if you’ve watched some of our videos talking about how people will look for new providers, there’s a 31% of people will choose a new provider if they can easily book a service online and the only way they are going to book it online is if the package is already built for them and they don’t have to call.

If you build a package specifically meant for this, the customer feels comfortable and they’ll already know what services, how long it’s going to take, how it’s going to work – the plan is already given to them.

3. Partnering with Restaurants and Other Businesses

Next is partnering with restaurants and I won’t say just partnering with restaurants, I want to say co-partnering with a lot of different businesses, but often the restaurant comes into play. If you buil, if you have a strong relationship, because going and building this relationship might be tough, but if you’ve got a strong relationship say, with a restaurant right next door, or maybe in the same shopping center, it’s worth sitting down and talking to them and say, “Hey, how can we build a better group package that we promote together?”

You’ll know the environment that that makes the most sense. When you sit down, if you both say, “I don’t know, I want to sell some food and I want to sell some services. Cool. How do we make that happen? If nothing goes anywhere, great,” but I think if you really sit down and say, “Let’s build a package, and this is what’s included. You’ll find it easier for the customer to say, “Sure, I want that.” Instead of the customer having to say, “I don’t know what I want, I got to figure it out and I’ll tell you what I want and then you’ll tell me how much it’s going to cost.” You put all the burden on the customer.

Work with some of those co-partners, especially restaurants and hospitality that can help you taking away burden from the customer when it comes to having to pick and choose what they want in a service package. If you’re close to a hotel or that doesn’t have salon spa offerings in-house, that’s definitely a great way for you to partner because you can build packages that are already built together. Here’s the room stay. Here’s the services that go with it. Here’s the package cost. This is what’s included, just buy, here’s your costs. You can build a menu of services and take the burden of planning away from the customer. There’s no question in what they’re doing because you’ve already built the package for it.

4. Corporate Events

Next is corporate events. Some spas and salons have caught on to this trend, as it can greatly help your bottom line with group bookings, especially on the massage side. You may have seen a lot of mobile masseuses coming into corporate events but even if that’s something you haven’t thought about, it’s not a bad idea to consider. Things are a bit different at the moment because of COVID, but as things start to change and some companies start getting back into the office and start doing corporate retreats, a lot of times they’re looking for things to provide appreciation for the employees, especially for people who’ve been working from home say for the past 18 months, and now they’re back in the office. Companies are going to want to show their employees appreciation and provide a stress relief outlet that may have built up over the last couple months.

Considering building a package that’s meant for corporates, because if you put the burden on a corporate planner with many other tasks to do, they might but it on the back burner or find a different business that has a package already put together. Be creative when considering a package for corporate outings, where you can offer some quick services like massage or mini facials, but at the same time, create the package to deliver to them, within a workable time slot for corporate retreats and outings.

Next Steps – Promotion

We’ve just talked about four different areas that you can really consider focusing on for your group service offering and a lot of you guys probably already have this on your service menu. You say, “I already offer that. I don’t know why I’m still even reading at this point.” This is the problem that you might be facing:

Nobody knows exactly what it means when you say, “I have group packages available or bridal parties available,” because you’re expecting the client to know your business as well as you do. However, most of the time they don’t. Therefore, it’s time to get creative and promote!

Create a package, add some displays inside your salon, in the spa. Go big time with it, put it on your social media, put it in your emails, really promote it, but promote it as the package that you have delivered so that their only decision is, “Do I want to do that? That sounds relaxing and fun. All right, here’s my credit card.” That’s it. That’s what you want the customer to do.

How to Promote to Bridal Parties

Obviously, bridal parties and wedding parties are specific to a particular event, but people get married all the time, and there is still certain time of the year that we consider “wedding season”. You don’t have to always promote your package for bridal and wedding parties, but when it’s wedding season, promote that you do bridal parties – detailing what you’ve built for the special occasion.

Promote the restaurant you’re partnering with, the drinks that will be included and simply promote that it’s something they won’t want to miss out on. It’s going to be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable times in the midst of the crazy wedding planning. They’re going to come here and relax because you’ve got it covered.

How to Promote to Bachelorette Parties

A lot of people associate bachelorette parties with going out to party on the town. However, don’t you want you to look good before hitting the town? I don’t see a large number salons and day spas really considering that as a market, but why not? Take advantage of it.

If you don’t market towards bachelorette parties you are greatly missing out, you’ve already got a built-in market. If you already have packages and market towards bridal parties, you already have the target customer for bachelorette parties coming into your business! If you have a bridal party booked say, “By the way, we also have a bachelorette package available for before or after your night on the town.” What’s better than a massage and day of relaxation before or after a bachelorette party?

However, just offering these as a line item, where the customer must customize it for themselves and their party, you’re putting the burden back on the customer – you really want to have the plan in place for your customer, so offer it as a package, and then the customer knows what to expect when they book it – what included services, how long, and how it works.

Coupling Food and Beverage Options with Salon & Spa Services

Let’s talk a little bit about the food and beverage services. I know a lot of salons and day spas usually have a partner already in place, but then again, I say that, and I think this is for some of those that say, “Yes, we’ve got places next to us, you can call them to bring in food.” Once again, you’re putting the burden back on the client.

If you really think about it, why is the client coming to see you for the services that you provide? Even though it’s color, cut, those kind of things for the salons, it’s still a relaxation time for your clientele. Men are the same way, men come sit down and get a haircut, more times than not and I’ve heard a lot of stylists say, “There’s some men that talk, but most men just sit and they’re just there.”

It’s a relaxation time. Men are usually just go, go, go, go, especially your corporate guys, they’re busy all the time meeting and meeting and talking and talking. The time in your chair – that’s the time for them just to sit and relax. They really want to just make it simple – “I just want to go in and not have to worry about anything.” But if you’re in a situation where you expect them to be there for a while, somebody is coming in for quite a few services and you look at it and go, “All right, I’ve booked up four hours of time.”

Make it easy for them to tack on something. If it’s not something you can provide, like say if you don’t provide maybe beverages and things like that in your salon or spa, consider building a package with a good partner who can also refer your business as well. If you’ve worked on some of these other packages, you’re already in connection with them. Building those little, small things and say, “Hey, we actually have a salon lunch, it’s a couple of choices that are light, so you’re not eating too much because you’re still getting to relax. We got a couple of light options, they bring it right over to you, it’s a great setup, here’s a couple of options.”

Consider that if you are wanting to up your game for group services, or even some of your individual services, consider your food and beverage options that you could provide, either yourself, or provide with a real close partner.

Quick, Easy and Memorable Services for Corporate Groups

As we start talking about the corporate outings and corporate retreats, and things of that nature, start considering building your package around services, one, that are profitable, but two are easy and quick to deliver.

In a corporate setting, you don’t want to do 50 minutes massages on everybody, and they’ve got 100 people there. You’ve got to bring in much more staff than you could ever think about. How do we easily do some 15-minute things that are still effective? They walk away going, “Oh, that was cool. Can I have your card, I want to come back and see you after I get done with this retreat. That was great.”

Think of some of the more popular services. A couple to touch on – facial treatments, maybe a quick demo of your signature massages, quick manicures, pedicures, hand or foot massages – things that you can quickly deliver that can give a sample of how good your services are, and how good your people are. But services that don’t take too long and you could roll through 100 people, with a good number of staff, obviously in an afternoon’s time.

You can roll through 100 people over an afternoon of a corporate retreat, or throughout a corporate outing. “Hey, we’re throwing a barbecue but we’re going to put some mobile masseuses right over here at this outdoor space.” Everybody’s going to take turns going to the mobile masseuse. You do want to turn them around quick, 10 to 15-minute massages, but you also want to give them a great example of your service.

You don’t want to just do it just so that you can be done with it quickly because if you look at the opportunity of a group setting, one of those people is probably your current customer – the HR person, the party planner, the bride getting married, the bridesmaid planning it, all these things, the woman that always comes to you who says, “Hey, I want to do a couple’s massage with my husband,” or vice versa, the husband always comes, let’s do a couple massage. One of the people out of these groups is probably your current customer, all the rest of them are prospects.

So, you want to consider fast and easy services, but you also want to consider services that when you do a small sampling of it, they’re going to walk away wanting more because they love what they got, and they want more. Consider that when you’re building out the services that you would offer in especially the larger group settings like corporate retreats and corporate outings and things of that nature.

Consider things that you can provide a really good demo, but consider it also as your marketing, even if you have to step it up a little bit and say, “This one particular event itself, it kept my staff busy, they made some tips, it’s maybe not necessarily the most profitable thing for us to do, because of the time to get there everything else.” But consider that a marketing expense almost to a certain extent.

Make sure that you go over the top and they know who you are, how to get in touch with you, how to book online – if you haven’t read some of our articles about how to increase your revenue on booking online, check those out – but make sure those prospects know how to get in touch with you and how they can become a customer, because you’ve delivered a great service to them.

Group Services as a Marketing Opportunity

Too many times, I have seen where people will send out their staff because there’s a corporate event or something like that and sometimes people will be like, “I don’t know if I really want to do this.” You can tell they weren’t in it.

You want to tell your staff, “Look, they want to want to come back to you, you’ve got to deliver the service just like you would in the salon or in the spa, even though you’re out and it may be a faster group service, you want to deliver the same way because they are potential customer and they’re going to want come back and see you.” They’re not going to be like, “Oh, let me just go there because I had a great massage.” No, instead, make them say “That masseuse is who I want to see, that person delivered a great service. That’s who I want to see for my next service.”

You want to deliver an exceptional, though mini, service in a group setting because there’s a marketing avenue or a marketing opportunity for the staff and then for your business as a whole – you have many prospects there, and you want to gain their business for the future.

Pricing for Group Packages

Lastly, the thing we’ll touch on for group bookings is pricing. One of the great things about a lot of these things that we’re talking about is, it’s a special event – the wedding party, the bachelorette party, all those kind of things – and so people will splurge a little bit more, they’ve got budget in place for these types of things. Now, if you say we offer group services, they’d call and they say, “Hey, I’ve got six bridesmaids that I want to bring in, and I guess we’re going to get our hair done.”

You’re going to tell them your one-person price, and if it’s fairly high, they’re going to go, “No, we’ll go somewhere else, because I’m bringing six people in.” If you don’t have a group package built-in, there’s some price comparison opportunities they have right there on the spot,and they already know what they think it should be, but if you build a complete package that has the service, the food built-in, some relaxation, and all this other stuff, they can’t really pick it apart to say, “Oh, I don’t like that price because my normal stylist does this.”

They go, “No, the package is built, that’s cool, that comes out to, oh, X per person, but we get all these other things, it’s not just one service.” They’re not picking it apart, they’re looking at everything is done for me, everything is planned, I know how much it’s going to be per person for the whole thing, great, let’s book it. It gives you an opportunity to mark it up a little bit because this is a group setting, they’re going to take up a lot of your space, they’re going to take up a lot of your staff’s time because you want to take good care of them.

You do need to make more money, you do need to charge a little bit more for all the effort and time and everything else that’s going to go into it, but if you just outright say, “It’s going to be X.” The client asks, “Well, why is it more? I usually get it done for this. Because I got a group, I’m bringing six people to you, why is it more and not cheaper?” That’s a question you don’t want to have to answer. A customer doesn’t get that their taking up more of the salon, more of your staff – they don’t understand it or care. They’re saying, “I’m bringing multiple people to you, why can’t I get a discount?”

If there’s a package built that they can’t pick apart, and they go, “This sounds like a lot of fun, I only get married one time, I don’t really care, I’ll pay for everybody if I have to, let’s go do this group outing with my favorite salon and favorite spa.” It gives you more money, it makes it worth doing the group service and the marketing and the all-in that we talked about earlier. The marketing you got to spend and do to get them in, you can recoup some of that with the pricing that you set because it is a group event that a lot of times is a one-time affair, and you’ve made it a complete package – no one has to worry about anything but getting there on time, and the rest is taken care of.

Now, even for the corporate outings, those, they might be breaking it down and say, “Hour massage is X, they’re doing 15 minutes, it should be a fourth of that.” You’re doing quite a few of them, you can work with the pricing, but just consider this -think about it as a group package that they can’t pick apart, you’ll make more money, you’ll offer an all-inclusive feature for a customer, you take the burden off of the customer, they don’t have to figure it out, and you make more money, and you come out as an all-star and some of those group settings, you get an opportunity to market to more people.

Thanks for your time today. I just want you to consider how you can boost your bottom line by offering some of these group services, but make sure you go all in if you’re going to do it. You can stop from here and say, “No, I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to keep adding as we offer this, we offer this and leave it alone.”

I promise you if you consider building the package to where the customer doesn’t have to think about it, you’ll see an uptick in these types of bookings, and you’re going to make more money and fill more time for your stylist.

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