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Show Highlights

There are so many holidays, conventional commercial reasons to run sales or discounts.

In this episode, Ashkahn & Graham talk about which holidays seem to do the best in terms of attracting floaters, and also discuss some Float On general philosophy about not offering too many discounts.

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Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Graham: Okay! Welcome to the Daily Solutions podcast. Today’s question is: “Are there any holidays that are especially good for running a deal or a discount?”

Ashkahn: Hmmm-mmmm. Okay. Yeah. Totally. Even without deals and discounts, holidays are pretty good times for float tank centers. It’s just a naturally good gift to give people.

Graham: Yeah, the gift of nothing is … it both sounds cool, and in fact is a relatively unique gift for almost anyone who isn’t your personal extended family or friends. I think my friends at this point are very tired of getting floats from me for the holidays.

Ashkahn: But yeah, even without running a lot of deals, we’ll notice obvious upswings during most of the holidays that you would imagine, things like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and of course, the whole Christmas holiday season. We see, kind of … you can look back at our sales and just notice, “Oh, like, there you go, there was Valentine’s Day right there.”

Graham: Yeah, so let’s go in order of maybe what the largest ones are. So definitely the December holiday season-

Ashkahn: Yeah-

Graham: I would put as the single biggest time to sell just a ridiculous amount of floats.

Ashkahn: By far, too, like everything else kind of pales in comparison.

Graham: I guess it’s just because it’s a full month worth, almost, of holidays and gift-giving, and leading up to it. Like the month of December ends up pretty much doubling our revenue from any other month.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: If you look back at our revenue graphs, it’s almost … and almost exactly, too, like it’s just twice as much, and that other half of revenue is coming in from gift-card sales, from people actively giving these as presents.

Ashkahn: Mm-hmm. And at least for our center, that’s the only one that we actually run like a discount for, specifically. The rest of the holidays we kind of just let happen to us, but for the whole December thing, we’re actually actively running a deal for people.

Graham: That’s a bit part of our just personal Float On philosophy as well, is that we try to run as few discounts as we possibly can. So it’s almost for the other holidays, we do this kind of “everyday low price floats” kind of thing, right, just reminding people how cool floats are and that they can purchase them for not that much money. But we don’t actually give them an active discount for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day or anything like that.

Ashkahn: And part of that is we like to give discounts that feel like they’re justified somehow, like “you’re getting a discount because,” and the better that “because” is, I think the better job that you do with your kind of discounts that you’re giving. So for us, this extends all the way to things like our art program, where the discount is an entire free float, or two free floats, and you’re getting those because you’re making a piece of artwork for us, and those are kind of these big, awesome, justifiable reasons.

And further down the scale, I would put holidays, right? It’s just like a very natural kind of easy excuse to give a discount. You’re like, “Oh, you’re getting a discount because it’s Valentine’s Day,” and that’s a thing businesses do, so it’s kind of a built-in reasoning behind it, but for the same reason, it’s not like the strongest reasoning because everyone is doing it. So it’s kind of like on the weaker end of that spectrum.

Graham: Yeah, in the business world, there’s this kind of known phenomenon of there’s at least one big holiday every single month of the year except for one, pretty much. You’ll have to look up which one it is, I can’t remember. But it’s true, you know. If you just kind of go through, it’s between New Year’s, and Fourth of July, and Labor Day, and Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day, and all of them, it just adds up to every month you can be running one of these kind of big discounts.

And, this is getting into personal Float On opinion land, but it is our opinion that the more discounts that you run along those lines, the more the people are going to look to the next major holiday and really expect a discount on floats coming in, and perhaps even hold off on buying full-price floats so that they can get the discount whenever the next big holiday that you’re going to be discounting them comes.

Ashkahn: Right. And I mean, I guess along those lines of this being just our opinion, we haven’t really done a ton of discounts on holidays, other than December. I think one year we did a Valentine’s Day thing, but that was some years ago at this point. So we’ve been much more on the side of not offering discounts for those things and haven’t experimented too much with the world of holiday discounts.

Graham: So that said, the next ones in order, I guess, after Christmas, if you are going to run discounts on holidays, I would put Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day next in line. We’ve heard that from a ton of float centers as well.

Ashkahn: Both of those are really, really good days for gift-card sales.

Graham: Yeah, and it makes sense. I mean, Mother’s Day is one of the single biggest holidays of the entire year, which is, I mean, everyone has a mother, pretty much. So you’re going to be celebrating it, often in some form or another. And maybe it’s just because fathers are a little less demanding, or, I’m not sure what it is, but like you actually giving gifts, and being there, and being present, and doing something nice for your mom is attached to Mother’s Day in a way that Father’s Day doesn’t seem to reel in that same amount of attention. Maybe because moms actually bear you into the world and aren’t just there to hold your hand and lend moral support.

Ashkahn: Yeah, and Valentine’s Day, by that same token, I think is just … The idea of giving someone an experience or going in for a float with them. I think floating ends up being a really good date idea. We see a ton of people coming in as groups of two, especially on Friday, Saturday nights, things like that. It fits well with what you’d want to get someone for Valentine’s Day.

Graham: Yeah, and our Valentine’s Days, despite not running discounts, are just totally packed as well. Every single Valentine’s Day, all of our spots are booked out.

Ashkahn: Yeah. Arbor Day? For some reason, I don’t see a lot of gift cards sold on Arbor Day.

Graham: I thought you were going to say you did, and I’m like, “Wow, I’d never noticed that in our data before.”

Ashkahn: It’s huge, man, Arbor Day is … I know it’s coming, I see it happen every year.

Graham: We did something nice for all of our members on World Water Day, although it’s not something that you necessarily would associate with a huge boom of people coming in, but it does feel appropriate for our business.

Ashkahn: Yeah, so that was us giving gifts to our members, so a little different than a kind of discount on gift cards or something.

Graham: Again, the regular December holidays, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day. What else have you seen as a good holiday to sell floats on?

Ashkahn: Ummm … I mean, part of it is just that when people have a day off, they really want to come float. So it’s less about gift cards, but those days are always very packed, like Memorial Day, stuff like that, where it’s more just about people having a day off. Our schedules are full for those days, for sure, so it’s just a nice little boost in appointments.

Graham: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. We do Mondays off, and we have for a long time, and I’ve actually considered switching to doing Tuesdays off just because of the fact that so many holidays fall on a Monday, when people have an extra day off, and the ability to reel them in has always sounded kinda appealing.

Ashkahn: And we have sometimes stayed open on Monday and closed Tuesday during some big holiday to kind of take advantage of that.

Graham: So I guess that’s kind of a roundabout answer to you, but yeah, definitely the, again, December holidays, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day: I’d say those are the big ones, and that’s what I hear from almost all the float tank centers. And other holidays, just plan on being able to staff your center appropriately if you’re only open a set amount of hours, maybe plan on being open a little earlier on those holidays, or open a little later. Not that you actually need to run a discount in order to get people in.

And that’s about it. That’s all we got on holidays so far. So if you want more discount questions, go to someone who actually offer discounts, and maybe you’ll get a little broader answer.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: All right. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

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