December is upon us, and for many this is one of the busiest months of the year. December is a month that can make or break a spa's bottom line, so it's important to make the best of it and finish strong.

Follow my four expert tips to finish the end of this year with big wins.

1. Make sure you have enough staff

The holiday season is a time when you may want to consider bringing in seasonal help. Large retail and department stores have been following this model for years and routinely hire temporary, 1099 workers for the holiday season.

Keep in mind, clients must be able to make and keep appointments during the holiday season. Everyone wants to look their best for this special time of year so don't turn them away because you are understaffed. Anticipate higher call-out rates from staff because of the flu and cold season, and be sure to have extra massage therapists and estheticians available for last-minute, on-demand shifts.

If you don't know where to find extra holiday help, reach out to your trusted skin care and equipment vendors first. Companies routinely have budgets in place that allow their sales representatives to go on-site to spas and salons to help with holiday promotions and support.

2. Get extra support on the front desk and phones

It's critical to realize that you will have a considerable amount of extra activity in the lobby of your spa during the holidays. Remember, the front desk staff of your spa is your customers' first point of contact with your business, so make it count.

Phones will be ringing, pedestrians will be popping in to inquire about services and gift cards, and your regular clients will be checking in and out. Consider redistributing some front desk staff members to a greeter position to acknowledge clients as soon as they arrive and send them in the right direction. This can take some of the stress off your front desk staff and allow them to keep up with the phones.

Also, be sure to educate everyone at the front desk about all of the current holiday promotions to mitigate miscommunications or loss of sales.

3. Automate as much as possible

Whether it's optimizing your spa's website for online scheduling of appointments, gift cards or retail sales, it's crucial to use technology to increase productivity. Clients will really appreciate if they can do business with your spa without actually having to make a trip to do so.

Clients and prospective clients love the convenience of a fully-functioning website that saves time and effort. For the holidays, especially, be sure that all of your service menu offerings, promotions and price lists are all up to date.

Also, be sure to list your hours during the holiday season as many clients will wonder what your spa's exact availability will be. Make sure that your phone lines and voicemail systems are functioning well. Oftentimes, having a recording with holiday promotions playing during hold times is a great way to increase awareness about seasonal offerings.

4. Incentivize and reward your staff

The best way to help your staff reach their sales and service goals this holiday season? Make the goals clear, and make the rewards meaningful. Set specific, measurable goals for this holiday season, including service dollar goals, gift card sales and retail sales goals.

Keep your employees informed of the daily increases on a fun chart in a common area so everyone can track the progress. Acknowledge employees who exceed goals and support those who do not — everyone has good and bad days. Positive reinforcement and kind words go really far to encourage staff members that may be tired and depleted during the holiday season.

After the successful season comes to a close, consider throwing a great party for your staff and give rewards that are meaningful to them. Many companies like to survey their staff and find out, for instance, if they would like some free retail products, a paid day off or a free facial or massage to unwind and feel appreciated.

The holiday season is a wonderful, fun and lucrative time for most spas. With these four tips, you can enjoy a festive and productive season. No matter how your year has gone, thus far, remember that you can always finish strong!