For salon businesses across the world It has been a stressful few week, full of uncertainty with lots of unanswered questions.
Previously it was thought that lockdown would end, the world would return to normal, salons would open their doors and beauty-deprived clients would be falling over each other as they flocked in there masses to touch up their roots, redo their nails and get rid of any excess hair in a bid to feel good again.
However, as the weeks have passed by the outcome of salons booming is slowly depleting as social distancing is to become the new norm.
The need and want for client’s beauty routine to return ASAP is still there but the restriction on how this will be possible and should be managed is where the difficulty now lies.
Therefore, what is the way forward to ensure salon success again?
There are many key tasks that successful owners will be implementing at current which will ensure the long term success of their salon, some of which we covered within our article “5 key ways to help your salon survive a pandemic.” Which you can access free by clicking the link below.
The new normal in salons will be a photo-worthy opportunity that will be looked back on in 100 years or so for enjoyment and delight. Images of therapists and hairstylists kitted out like doctors marching into surgery. A historic moment, which you could document on your salon social media. Well, as long as your 2 metres apart.
Let us look at some task that you can undertake to make life easier for your return to the salon and maximise potential earning!
Each service that you provide is going to have varying levels of difficulty to perform whilst adhering to the use of face masks, shields and gloves. You may wish to analyse your treatment list to consider which treatments will be acceptable for you to perform whilst protecting your employee’s health and well-being, thus eliminating any treatments that are more likely to put your employee’s health at risk such as treatments that require you to be in close proximity to your clients face without the use of a mask, i.e. lip fillers, lip waxing, facials etc. Please put your health first. Going to work should not be any more stressful than necessary.
You can then list any treatments that you will not be providing and clearly communicate this to your clients to eradicate any confusion.
Now is also a great time to refresh your service menu. Are there any treatments that are not on there? Have you been pricing Balayage the same as a full head of highlights or Root drag as a toner? This is an optimal opportunity to get your prices up to date, create and extend your list of add-on services .
OK, so this point is really an extension of task 1. As previously mentioned, you may be running a reduced service list. Why not turn this into a positive. If you have ever considered becoming a single service specialist. Now is your time. Perhaps your strength lies in waxing or nails. Now could be the time to change your marketing strategy to home in on this skill set, marketing it as a speciality. Dig out your testimonials and reviews to back this up and create a marketing plan in line with your new vison.
For sure some treatments are not going to be available and this will decrease your earning. But how can you maximise your earning whilst applying social distancing? By adapting the way you utilise your time and encouraging your clients who will be in your salon for a long period of time to spend more.
One suggestion may be to invest in some new climazones to speed up colour processing if you can no longer run a smooth column full of clients or invest in new products such as Loreal instant highlights. Both could save some time.
Perhaps you might ask you client to come into the salon with there hair pre-washed, perhaps you might decide to eliminate blow drying your client hair after a cut in the short term to deal with high demand for colour, whilst preventing the spread of germs via the wind from the hairdryer. This might make some clients feel more comfortable at the same time as freeing up some time to fit in more colour clients.
Another suggestion would be to utilise online platforms such as zoom to do online, digital consultations. This could even be implemented before your salon officially opens, allowing you to prepare stock for your return or could be used to fill space whilst colour is developing if you cannot service another client in this period.
Carrying on from the previous point, up-selling and cross-selling your services by creating salon promotions and packages will encourage your clients to spend more.
Does your salon provide hair & beauty services? If so, why not create a colour and manicure package allowing your client to have their nails done whilst their colour is developing?
Or a colour and waxing package where you clients have their waxing done while their colour is developing.
If the shellac and waxing were being done in a separate beauty room this would also free up space for a wet cut or cut and blow dry to be done.
Another package idea might be a family package where you encourage a full family to come to the salon to get their hair done at the same time. In this case social distancing would not be a problem.
Perhaps you could get creative and put together a colour and spray tan package. The client could have a spray tan from the shoulders down whilst their colour is developing……yes, I hear your thoughts this may be a step too far!! 😊 However, my point is, do not be afraid to get creative, these are unprecedented times after all.
To meet the demand of client backlog and social distancing together, it might be appropriate to consider extending your opening hours to facilitate shift work. Your shift work might be later opening hours or maybe a 3 days on 4 days off rotational rota. This might not be to everyone’s taste but hopefully it will be short lived.
Selling products might be your “A-game” or perhaps you loath it. But I urge you to think about impulse buys. At a time where people will not be out shopping quite so much, consider tickling their taste buds with an impulse buy at your till point. This could be as simple as root touch up spray sitting on your reception desk or some self-care packages including a face mask, hair mask, a nail file and a small bottle of acetone, in the event of a full lockdown re-occurring. Your clients have experienced enough pain that they will not want to be caught out again. Use this to your potential!!!
Never has there been a more optimal moment to evaluate the past and plan for the future, ensuring the success of your salon for years to come. I know its hard right now as nothing is set in stone but there will be an end to this at some point. Yes, what the future holds is difficult to predict. Job cuts are likely to increase, the spending power of the general public will decrease and disposable cash for luxuries will lessen. This may have a lasting effect on the hair and beauty industry. However, on the other hand the hair and beauty industry has been known to be fiercely recession proof with clients using the little money they do have to pamper themselves.
Nonetheless, the only thing that is certain is that the power is in your hands to create your journey. So, start creating.
Tell us your thoughts in the comments, what ideas have you came up with? What concerns do you have?
Don’t forget to download your free copy of our article: “5 key ways to help your salon survive a pandemic”