Your Salon WILL Thrive Again.
Our top SEVEN tips for optimizing income when your salon reopens.
After weeks or even months without clients, thriving when you get back into the salon is not just a wish – it is a requirement. We’ve compiled advice from our flagship SEVEN salon
ONE: Schedule Well.
Even if you do not yet have a firm opening date, it is not too early to start scheduling. At the SEVEN flagship salon, we will open at the crack of dawn and close late into the evening. That gives us 3 shifts daily to serve pent up demand and to get stylists back behind the chair while maintaining proper social distance. Specific numbers of clients and staff allowed in a space at any given time will vary, but assume that you may be limited to 10 overall at any given time.
For the safety of our clients and staff, we will also be implementing two team concept. From receptionists to stylists the two teams will not cross paths. In the unlikely event there is an exposure within the salon it will then be contained to a single group of people.
Who should you prioritize getting in first? And how can you prioritize them when you don’t know when you will be opening? Consider giving your top clients 2 appointments – one when you hope the salon will be opening and one for a few weeks later when you are pretty confident you will be open. The first may well pass before the salon can open doors, but if it doesn’t the second appointment will be easy to fill.
From our partner salons who have been able to reopen, we hear that adding 10-15 minutes between appointments and a full hour between stylist shifts is essential as everyone gets used to new sanitation and social distancing protocols.
TWO: Stay On Time.
Once you have scheduled in the appropriate time frames for appointments, stick to them! We are all craving some quality human contact right now and the desire to chat each other up will be high. Stylists also may feel a bit rusty after 6 or more weeks away as well, and protective gear could make easy processes feel awkward. Ask your stylists to try out their gloves and masks at home so they can familiarize themselves with moving around efficiently.
THREE: Get Creative on Color.
When a client schedules a haircut but comes in needing a color correction over black box dye, the answer probably needs to be “no.” To save your time (and sanity) plan to offer a multi-session option that will get your clients where they want to be one step at a time. This may be easier for them financially, it will get them back on your books sooner, and it prevents double booking. Supply chains may be interrupted for the first few months as well, so getting clever on color might also help supplies last longer. Note that we like to use a consent form in situations like this, so that clients confirm that they know it will take some time to get back to where they were – or to new places they want their hair to go.
When booking, ask your clients how their hair is and if they’ve “embraced the natural beauty.” Tactfully getting an idea of whether or not they’ve hit the box dye will give you the opportunity to red flag them for corrections.
FOUR: Prioritize Gift Certificates.
Selling gift certificates is an excellent way to generate extra income and ensure your chairs are full during slower summer months. Here are some ideas to make the gift certificates extra enticing.
- Consider doing a gift card sale of $80 for two $50 gift certificates (your client may take one for themselves and gift the other to a new client).
- Offer a bonus gift card for every purchase they make. For instance, purchase a $120 gift certificate and receive a complimentary haircut to “pay it forward” to a friend. (redeemable only by new clients)
- See more of our advice on gift certificates in this BehindTheChair.com article.
FIVE: Remind Your Clients they can SHOP LOCAL.
Your clients are keenly aware that the small businesses enriching our communities are suffering. People want to support local right now, and it is OK to let them know that retail is what pays your rent. We have complimentary “Shop Local” signs for your shelves, front desk and mirror clings as well. Simply ask your Account Executive to include them in your next order.
Additionally, there will be clients who won’t feel comfortable in the salon for months to come, and it is important to continue to serve them. Taking orders for curbside pickup of product, having video calls to talk them through some styling tips, and generally keeping in touch will be valuable. Clients who don’t want to come in still want to support you and your business. See more on curbside retailing techniques here.
SIX: Review Your Menu of Services.
Needs have changed over the last few weeks and it makes sense to take a close look at what you offer.
- Is this the time to add some “express” services like “face framing highlights” or “gloss and go” that are more affordable for clients and get people in and out the door quickly?
- Or perhaps it is time for an increase (or decrease?) in prices. These are unusual times and there is no one solution. That said, consider adding a fee for the tools (like masks) you will need to keep your community safe and/or increase prices on some key services.
- Allow your clients to make a choice on a blow dry. Because of the air blowing around, some will opt out of having it done. This can give them comfort and a stylist time to grab a sip of water or a moment to breathe.
SEVEN: Throw assumptions out the window.
This is a whole new world we are operating in, so try to remain flexible. If a scheduling plan or price increase doesn’t work out as intended, it is ok to change it. The more compassion we have towards ourselves and each other, and the more flexible we remain, the easier it will be to get through.