The countdown is on for salons and barbers in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to reopen in April. With just weeks to (hopefully) go, it is the perfect opportunity to make sure your skill set is up to date and ready for the big day.
Joe Mills is a session stylist and owner of Joe and Co, London, and says while this lockdown has been longer and harder for everyone, now is the perfect time to sit and get yourself, your team, and your salon ready for when you can reopen in the spring.
During the first lockdown we all learnt new skills - from baking to painting - but this lockdown has been very different. It has been harder mentally, financially, and emotionally and the thought of learning anything new is not on our minds. Most of us have batten down the hatches and just tried to survive. However, before we know it, we will be reopening and when we do, we want to be ready for the busy times and the inevitable quiet times and make sure our business is as ready as can be.
Joe says these are the five key things every salon owner should be doing in preparation:
- Communication: Your team will be feeling as frustrated and as vulnerable as you so make sure you welcome them back and that they are prepared for the busy few weeks when you reopen and the foreseeable downtimes.
- Financials: Spend this time looking at your cashflow, your outgoings and your overheads. Be ruthless in what you cut back on – do you really need that latest styling chair? Review your suppliers and see what you can do to lower fixed costs.
- Forecast: We know from experience what will happen when we reopen. We will have a few weeks of madness, then it will go quiet as everyone has had their hair done! So how are you going to fill these downtimes? Start prepping for this now and it will not come as a surprise. Think outside the box, can you share your space with another business? What can you do to help drive foot fall?
- Marketing: Everything we have ever done is out the window as client behaviour changes and our messages are different to what they would have been. Look at the language, the images, and the emotions you use. Think about the message you are sending.
- Expand your Horizon: Think about what you have done in the past, revaluate it and see what you can do moving forwards. Ask your peers and the team to see if you are not seeing the wood through the trees. There is opportunity out there but sometimes we get blinkered so think outside of the box.