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Reopening your business

The wait is nearly over! Hopefully come 12th April hairdressers and nail salons across the country will be allowed to reopen. Read journalist Charisse Kenion’s guide to reopening to make sure you’re more than ready.

  

Plan, plan, plan!
You’ve got a to-do list as long as your arm and you’re likely having to juggle ALOT! One thing I always rely on when tasks and meetings seem to get out of hand, is to write it all down. It’s great to use your phone or your tablet or all those lovely Excel spreadsheets, but, it’s been proven that when we actually write things down with pen and paper, there is a much better chance of that information going into our brains and us being able to process it correctly. Once it’s down on paper you can create a schedule for the weeks ahead. Try using a large whiteboard or chalkboard and have a weekly plan that you can easily amend when necessary. By breaking the time down into weeks the tasks ahead are a lot more manageable, easy to prioritise and can be assigned to different days or different people if you have a team.

Make space
If you’re a salon owner, before you start taking bookings, look at your team. Will you be changing your opening hours? If that’s the case it might make sense to have the team on a staggered rota, so that clients don’t arrive all at once. When it comes to the staff members, consider rostering the same members together on the same shifts; this way you can limit how many different team members are interacting with each other. Also, think about padding out time in between appointments. This means there is ample time for cleaning in-between clients, and you and the team will also be able to pace yourselves as things slowly get back to normal. Don’t be tempted to cram everyone in!

Stay in touch
If we’ve learned anything over the past year it’s that social media has become even more useful, in fact it’s often a lifeline when it comes to staying in touch with clients. While you’re definitely going to be busy stocking up and making bookings, think about how you can stay in touch with your clients.

1: Do you have an up to date database? Do you have in-depth information on everything from your client’s full name to their usual colour and style go-to? Having the correct and up to date information can make the booking process a lot smoother and also means your client will appreciate how well you know them, despite this pandemic hiatus.
2: Are you Facebook friends? Or at the very least, are they following you on Instagram? Social media is the perfect way to show your clients the new styles you’ve been creating, share information on new services you’re offering and let them know if your opening hours have changed.
3: Use a calendar app. From Google’s Calendar to apps like Timely, there’s a calendar app to suit any level of phone or laptop proficiency. Timely is brilliant because it’s specific to the salon and spa industry – you can manage appointments, clients, sales – even staff and stock! Download Timely and receive a 14-day free trial here
4: Be transparent. If you need a client to wait in the car or if you need to put their appointment back by a few minutes, in order to ensure social distancing, then let them know, sooner rather than later of course. Forewarned is forearmed and they will appreciate the heads-up. Remember, they could likely be nervous about returning to a salon environment, so always keep the lines of communication open and honest.

Stay up to date
Setting up alerts and notifications on your phone can be useful but it’s actually much easier to bookmark important websites. Sites such as the National Hair and Beauty Federation’s nhbf.co.uk; scratchmagazine.co.uk, Hairdressers Journal – hji.co.uk – as well as gov.uk/coronavirus are updated weekly and/or daily, and will compile the latest and most relevant news to the hair and beauty industry. To manage any feelings of overwhelm or anxiety, try and have fixed times for checking in on the news updates. That way you can dip in and dip out, without wasting valuable time scrolling or worrying.

Take your time
Yes, it’s time to re-open and start again, but don’t push yourself any further than you can go. It’s such an exciting time and that can also feel overwhelming. Plan as much as you can and then take it day by day.

Do you know what the 2021 Budget means for you and your business? Click here to read all about it

For more tips and advice on how to reopen your salon, check out our blog on capitalhairandbeauty.co.uk/inspiration/How-to-re-open-your-salon-safely?