How Salon Owners can Stay Productive and Motivated During the Coronavirus Crisis
These are unprecedented times and now that salons are closed it’s natural to feel a sense of anxiety and be wondering what the next few weeks and months have in store for you and your business. But it’s never been more important to maintain the positive, upbeat nature that hairdressers are renowned for. We will come out of the other side and people will be desperate to return to the salon.
If you’re struggling to find a positive in these crazy times, let me give you one: TIME. It’s the one commodity that you never have enough of and suddenly you have been gifted plenty. This is your opportunity to hit your ‘to-do list’ and take action on all of those ideas that have been floating around in the back of your head. In fact, you can really look at your salon business and start to think about the ways you can make it different (dare I say, better) on the other side.
Here are some productive ways you can make the most of this time:
Create a virtual selfie wall
We all know that the salons that do social media most effectively have a dedicated area where they take clients ‘after’ photos. This is your chance to create your own.
Team planning and pampering
What could you be doing better or differently? How could the salon improve? This is a chance to have a thorough and honest team meeting without any of the usual distraction and it can done via Skype or Wattsapp. Make it fun and remember to take before and afters and film some styling how-tos, so you have social media content available in the coming weeks.
Team photo session
I’ll bet your head shots are out of date. You might not be able to get a professional in right now, but there is no excuse not to use this opportunity to create some professional looking headshots – and while you’re at it this is a great time to take product images, flatlays and quirky salon shots that will look great on your Instagram feed.
Open up your free spaces to say thank you
While you’re still open and have spaces, there is an opportunity to foster some community spirit by offering complimentary cuts or blow-dries to the key workers who are putting their health on the line and continuing with life as usual. Be sure to shout about it on your social media and send out an email to your mailing list.
Check in with your more mature clientele
Pull off a report of your more mature clientele and give them a call or drop them an email to see if there is anything you can do to help them at this time. Yes, it’s not your job, but people don’t remember the hairstyle you gave them, they remember the way you make them feel. Be sure they feel valued and cared for.
What you can do easily from home
From your brand to the type of clients you attract, there has never been a better opportunity to really look at the image your salon is projecting and decide if it remains the you want to be seen. This unexpected pause in our everyday lives can be your opportunity to reinvigorate your salon in a direction that suits you now. To do this well, look at every aspect of your business, from the shop itself, through your website, your emails, your social media. Consistency is key.
Work on your awards entries
This is your chance to dig deep into the data that awards require to create your best ever entry. In these strange times there is an increase in community spirit and people have more time on their hands, so don’t be afraid to ask any friends or contacts who specialise in words to read through your entry and make recommendations.
This is a perfect opportunity to learn a career enhancing skill. Many suppliers to the hairdressing industry have online training that you can sign up for to improve your skills, as do portals such as myhairdressers.com and hairtribe.tv. Think outside the box, though, this would be the perfect time to finally master the art of how to take the perfect Instagram-friendly hair photo or get a handle on how to use Facebook ads.
Stay connected to your clients by adding value
There are going to be a lot of parents at home with their children. So how can you help them? Could you introduce weekly tutorials in how to upstyle their children’s hair? Make each week themed around a character and film the simple steps that it takes to recreate that look. If you’re feeling brave you can stream it as a Facebook or Instagram live, alternatively save it on your phone and share it on Youtube, your website, your social media and send it out on a newsletter. Don’t forget to encourage your clients to post their efforts on their social media and tag you. You could niche this down further by doing hairstyling for dads or training sessions for kids to do their own hair.
Stay social and plan ahead.
Just because your salon has gone offline, you still need to stay engaged with your clients and potential clients on social media. Why not work through the photos on your phones? I’ll bet there is some great work that you never got around to using. Now’s the time to really think about captions that will add value to your clients in the future:
What is the hairstyle?
Who does it suit?
How long does it take?
What is the maintenance?
What is the upkeep?
Is it expensive to achieve?
While you’re in planning mode, schedule in awareness days and special diary dates and plan potential promotions now too.
As a stylist yourself, maybe you’ve neglected your own locks, so now is a great chance to do that treatment, sort out your roots and maybe cut your own fringe (as you are the only qualified person to do this).
Once you look as good as your clients, then have a go at some How-To videos showing your clients how to style and care for their hair. Videos work so well and you don’t even have to talk, but make sure your actions are clear. Remember VE Day is coming up and with lots of celebrations planned, showing off those victory rolls might be a good start.
Be Money Savvy
Accounts might be our least favourite thing to spend time on, but getting ahead of your bills, accounting and VAT will save you time in the future and stop that nagging feeling to get it done. It may also highlight some areas where you could tighten those purse strings until things are back up and running. Look at your costs, pricing, and profit levels to see where you can enhance things and what will work for your clients in the future.
Clean up your mailing list
You probably think social media is the best way to engage your clients, but email is still the best way to ensure what you’re putting out there is actually going to be seen. The most effective emails are ones that are personalised to bee relevant to the audience you are sending them. This is just about the best chance you’re going to have to effectively set up those segments and create a plan to manage them going forward. Your segments:
-Time sensitive segments have not visited in the last 6 months, 12 months…
-Service based segments – have colour, have extensions;
-Demographic based segments – whether they have children, where they live, their age bracket; Interest based segments; what is their look, their hair colour etc.
Don’t try to send separate emails to each of these segments every time, but it means that if you have a new blonde range out you can send it to the people who are going to be interested and you’ll know which people to promote your ‘back to school’ type promotions to. This is also a good time to set an email schedule (at least once a month) and plan the content to go in it.
We are super social people and not having that outlet of seeing people, communicating and having fun could have a negative effect on our mental wellbeing. It is crucial to stay positive and do things to help from getting outside into the fresh air and sunshine (when it appears!), staying active, keeping in touch with our friends and family as well as having fun.
These are challenging times, but investing your energies in your business will help you remain focused, motivated and put you in the best possible position when ‘normality’ resumes.
Kate Woods was formerly the web editor here at HJi. She has been running KOR Digital to support hair and beauty businesses since 2013, and has recently launched Salondipity to take the fear out of marketing for salons. The five things successful salons do to attract more clients has been created to give you an action plan to follow to help you bounce back from these challenging times stronger than ever. Download it now. – https://salondipity.co.uk/