28th June 2022
NOTE: The article below is my own thoughts and is not meant to offend in any way!
The header of this post could relate to every business sector in the UK…. An industry in crisis will resonate with owners of all types of businesses at this moment in time. From recruitment issues to supply chains, to customer demands and the ongoing issues with cancellations and no-shows, everyone everywhere is suffering from a perfect storm that has landed well and truly on our shores.
WE CAN BLAME Brexit, we can blame covid, we can blame social media (and why not), but casting blame isn’t going to change anything, all it will do is make you feel bitter, resentful and set you off looking for a get out clause.
And yet, there is a glimmer of hope, you have to really look for it and you have to get your team on board with it, but it’s there and it could be a life saver for the future of your business.
THE WORLD OF HAIRDRESSING IS CHANGING: not all the changes are positives for the older generations, those off us who were trained to an incredibly high standard before we were allowed to step onto the floor. But the up coming stylists know what the future looks like and we all have to embrace it or get left behind. The days of intense fully rounded training appear to be a thing of the past, millennials want to do everything before they know how to do it properly. This can be seen in the flood of very average cuts, colours and styles that appear daily on social media. There is a definite shift in the finish and the quality of some hair styles these days and some clients appear to be okay with that.
HOLD ON: I’m not saying our industry has lost its professionalism, of course there are hairdressers, in their thousands who pride themselves on the quality of their work, the skill and precision of their cutting, colouring and styling, hairdressers who understand the fundamental principles of our craft, that, thank goodness, does includes up and coming stylists who have embraced the culture and the history hairdressing is entrenched in. But, there are also hairdressers who are happy to be doing a balayage and a flicked blow-dry because that’s more or less all they know.
SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO FOR CLIENTS: Look at your salon offering, does it meet the needs of the client who wants a luxurious experience, a fabulous cut and colour, in-salon treatment and a product regime recommended for home use. Does the menu meet the needs of the client who wants a quicker, less expensive service, basic balayage service, entry level home care recommendations? In today’s environment you have to cover all options.
SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO FOR STAFF: Embrace the work/life balance that young people are striving for, if that means part time and (or) self employed, accept it as part of the future of your business. Build up the significance of the roles more senior people play in your business to keep them happy and motivated, remember money isn’t always the determining factor in keeping people on board with you. Talk to your team, learn what excites and inspires them and then use that as leverage for their being (and remaining) part of your team.
SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO FOR YOU: Explore the product option that are out there and are available for you to pick from. Most product companies will help you with free stock, discounts, special promotions etc, so use them to your advantage. Don’t be blinkered when it comes to the brand you use in salon and carry as retail lines, the broader the selection, the more retail you will sell.
STAFF RECRUITMENT: It’s the biggest challenge everyone faces at the moment, so think outside the box, don’t focus solely on school leavers, look at returners, people who might have been working in the industry and left but who might just want to come back and join you. If you know someone who left you to go freelance, talk to them and see if working as a self employed member of your staff is something that might be appealing to them. Of course you will want to get young blood into the business as well so think about what millennials want from their working life and offer it to them!
TAKING DEPOSITS: There is a lot of talk about this and the negative impact it can have on clients. I say just do it, it’s security for your business and once the client has paid a deposit they are more likely to commit to coming to the salon for their appointment. In instances where a cancellation is made, try not to refund wherever possible, instead simply get the client to rebook and carry the funds forward.
TALK TO LIKE MINDED INDIVIDUALS: Don’t keep all your worries about the state of the industry to yourself, talk to people, join networking groups that can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s amazing what a chat with someone who is going through the same things as you can do for your state of mind.
CRISIS WHAT CRISIS: Yes, it is a critical moment in time and we are all facing challenges on a daily basis, and yet, we still go to work every day and achieve fantastic things. Like any storm, we will look back at it and think yeah, it was just a storm in a teacup, and it will pass, but it’s going to leave behind a different environment, one that ideally we have to deal with now whilst we still can. So yes, we are an industry in crisis, but no more so than any other, we are all in the same boat (enough of the cliched sayings already) , however our boat is a fabulous, multi cultural, totally inclusive mega yacht that has just hit a bit of rough waters.
#YouGotThis #CrisisWhatCrisis #HairdressersRock #PushForward