As the world gears up to slowly reopen for business, where does this leave the salon industry as a whole?
Unfortunately, nobody knows. The majority of us have never experienced reopening a business after a pandemic. The majority of our beauty events will be, or have already been, canceled or postponed. This means little to no in-person education for stylists/colorists, so we must seek alternative education outlets, such as online. This will not only be a trend, but a new reality. I am already offering my personal haircolor and business courses online via Skype or Zoom. It has been an adjustment; however, I have found unique ways to effectively demonstrate techniques and create online discussions and Q&A sessions. Oftentimes, the online classes lead to new contacts or connections. These newfound connections during quarantine could lead to future relationships that will help to assist in the growth of your business.
What should salon owners and beauty professionals be aware of? How do we move forward?
As a salon owner, the safety and health of our staff and clients is always our number-one priority. In addition to following all state board safety protocols and mandating the same from our staff, it is important to stay in close touch with our staff and clients as individuals. Reach out with positive energy and be understanding and aware of their concerns, fears and needs. Staff and clients will be happy to get back to the salon, however, they are most likely experiencing a range of emotions from excitement to fear and even anger. The pandemic has affected people in different ways. Some people have lost their jobs while others have had to adjust to educating their kids from home. Although they won’t mean it, clients may even express these emotions to you. It’s important to remember that these emotions are not personal. It is our job as professionals to respond to any/all of these emotions with patience, love and compassion. How we treat our staff and clients at this uncertain time will be remembered indefinitely, so we must choose our words and actions wisely.
Consider offering special offers such as an extra scalp massage with a color/cut service, or a free product with your first “post shutdown” service. This may help entice clients to schedule an appointment. Once clients see how you have done your part in terms of following state protocols to keep them safe and healthy, they will associate you and your business with a positive post shutdown experience.