Choosing Christmas gifts for family and friends is all about showing your love, but choosing holiday gifts for hairdressing clients is more complicated. You need to accomplish a lot of things with one gift.
You want to thank your favorite, most frequent and/or highest-spending clients for their business over the past year, and encourage customer loyalty into next year. Client appreciation gifts have to appeal to a wide variety of people who have different tastes and preferences (outside of their shared love of their favorite hairdresser). Ideally your holiday gift will also be cute enough that clients want to post pics on social media—and tag you, of course.
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At the same time, it's not like beauty salon owners and hairdressers are rolling in cash. Running a small business requires you to stick to a tight gift budget. Buying things in bulk may help you afford hair stylist gifts that clients love, giving them even more reason to entrust you with their split ends well into the new year.
Hair, beauty and spa gifts
Considering that your frequent and high-paying clients are probably people who care a lot about their grooming, the hair and beauty world is a great place to look for gift ideas. Fill small gift bags with product samples and a few other inexpensive grooming gifts, like tubes of lip balm, travel-size bottles of deep conditioner, skincare products, nail polish and hair ties.
You could also make little spa boxes to give out as Christmas gifts for clients. That's a gift that 25-year-old women would love to receive, and something that could be equally useful for clients over 70—and really, clients of any age or gender. Buy reusable gift boxes and tuck a scented candle, moisturizing face mask and bath bomb in each one along with a note wishing the client a relaxing holiday season.
Balancing "the personal touch" with "too personal!"
Hair stylists may know a lot about certain clients but don't always know about clients' dietary restrictions, religious/political beliefs and other personal details. So, you probably don't want to choose things like alcohol, food or items with religious themes when you're buying gifts in bulk to give to all your clients.
That said, buying gifts with a personal touch is a great way to make an impression on your very favorite or most important clients. Maybe you know someone well enough to know that she would love a particular bottle of wine or a sticker with a spiritual quote on it. Those personal gifts show your clients just how well you're listening while they're in your chair.
Gift cards for services
Giving out gift cards for your services, or the services of another local business, is an easy and crowd-pleasing way to approach gift giving.
- Give out gift cards for a certain dollar amount off of services at your hair salon. Or hand out gift vouchers for specific services, like a free deep conditioning treatment with any haircut.
- Is there another local small business you can partner with? Make an arrangement so that you each give your clients gift cards to the other's business. For example, your clients get a $20 gift to spend at a nail salon, and the salon's clients get a $20 gift card to spend on your services. Both businesses (hopefully) get some new clients.
- Alternatively, just give out gift cards to the local grocery store, gas station chain or another business that nearly everyone uses. As long as you include a personal note about your appreciation of their business, giving very generic gift cards can still be a thoughtful client gift. Your clients will think of you whenever they swipe that card.
Once you settle on a gift idea, run your expected gift budget past your tax adviser. Spending too much on gifts could expose your small business to some unexpected tax liabilities.
If you have a logo for your salon or styling business, have it printed on promotional items to give as holiday gifts to all your clients. Things like compact mirrors, cosmetic bags, hair brushes, insulated coffee mugs and cozy blankets are all perfect gifts coming from a beauty salon.
Just ask yourself, "Would I use this?" when considering client gift ideas. Don't spend money and effort to give out pens or key chains that people will probably toss right away.
Locally made crafts and products
Look around local gift shops or holiday markets for unique gifts that support artists and other small businesses in your community. You might find unexpected handmade items, like carved ornaments, beaded jewelry, small art prints or other items that will appeal to many people. Give warm and cozy gifts, like a pair of fuzzy socks and a box of peppermint tea.
Hairstylists and salon owners have an opportunity to make a lasting impression on their favorite clients by choosing the right thank you gifts this holiday season. Giving out great gifts is a simple way to keep clients coming back next year!