Tony Odisho, like many other salon owners, has been waiting out COVID-19 business closures and is looking forward to reopening his two name-sake Chicago salons and getting back to work. While it won’t be business as usual, Odisho shares some advice for other how to ensure a successful re-opening:
- Communicate with your clients as much as possible during the closure and get them excited about coming back to your salon. We know they are in need of cuts, color and other services, so start prepping them for their return via e-blasts, social media or even direct mail and text. Stay in touch!
- Promote any specials you’re running while closed or upon re-opening. We know we will have a large influx of clients right away but running some specials and promoting gift cards to use towards them is a great way to keep business flowing now and keeps you top of mind.
- Share any changes to the business that might affect clients as soon as you can, because frankly it is not going to be business as usual. This can include communicating any new social distancing protocols, like using every other chair in the salon but staying open more hours to scatter clients. Communicate your disinfecting policy moving forth. Clients need to know you are taking precautions to safeguard them. Are you providing masks and gloves to your guests? Is your team required to wear masks and use gloves? Are you wiping down chairs and stations after each client? Are you taking temperatures of clients when they come in? Any of these are protocols can be shared prior to re-opening.
- Stay active now on booking clients to ensure a solid booked schedule upon return. Even if you’re re-opening date is not concrete, fill up those first few weeks with tentative appointments, just be clear with your clients that’s what it is - tentative. If your re-opening date gets pushed back, immediately reschedule those same clients. In our experience, clients appreciate the optimism and willingness to schedule an appointment they can look forward to, even if it has to be done twice.
- Use this downtime to think about things that don’t always run so smoothly within the business and address them before re-opening for long term success. Whether you constantly struggle to achieve the pre-booking numbers you’d like to see, or need to implement a new client referral system, now is the time. Rather than just playing catch up, use this time to prepare for a fresh start.
- Look at new salon technologies or e-commerce options to help streamline business, provide efficiencies or allow more retailing to your clients moving forth. You have the time to do the research now.
Odisho also shared some tips on how to regain revenues lost during the balance of 2020 through new services or activities stylists/salons consider doing:
- Run a package or series promotion. For example, promote 5 blowouts as a package deal at a discounted price to help increase revenue upon re-opening and guarantee the client will be back at least 4 more times.
- This is the time to push add-on services more than ever. If you’re client’s hair has lacked love for too long due to social distancing, explain to them the benefits of adding on a deep conditioning treatment to make up for lost time and care.
- Summer is coming. Look at offering smoothing treatment promotions to help fight frizz and keep client’s hair looking great. These are great revenue enhancers.
- Your guests will need pampering after being isolated for weeks on end. Consider some feel-good options like add-on 5 or 10-minute scalp massage, scalp exfoliation treatment or any other service to add to the menu.
- Consider expanding your hours of operation. If you typically close early on certain days or have limited stylist working at certain times, think about changing this temporarily upon re-opening. Demand is going to be high with clients overdue on their hair appointments. Don’t miss out on the business by not having the availability.