The New Normal
Although the government has delayed the re-opening of close contact facial treatments, much of the hair and beauty industry has been back at work for over a month now. It has been different, to say the least.
At Capital we consider ourselves a partner in helping your business thrive, so we thought we would speak to some of you to find out the biggest changes, challenges and best advice you had for making the most of the new normal.
Becca Mitchell, a freelance hair stylist in North Yorkshire, told us about her biggest challenges and the changes she has implemented to overcome them:
“The hardest thing initially was the time pressure. In order to properly sterilise my equipment, I was having to return home after each appointment, and this was reducing the amount of time I had to see clients. At first, I thought this meant either working longer hours or accepting a reduced income, but then I experimented with pricing changes and introducing a levy for PPE and the extra time required. To my surprise, all of my clients thought this was fair and were happy to pay it.”
We also spoke to Natalie Paleschi, celebrity beauty speciality and owner of Paleschi salons, about her advice for keeping up morale:
“Positive, open and honest communication is what it’s all about. It doesn’t matter how I’m feeling behind my visor and mask, I keep my positivity levels turned all the way up as it rubs off on staff and clients. I want all of my clients to leave on a high, like they did before. With all the doom and gloom in 2020, the new normal means working that little bit harder to make sure they still leave feeling positive and wanting to tell their friends how enjoyable the experience was.”
Next up was Christy Tilley, a hair stylist in the North-East who rents a salon chair as well as offering mobile appointments. We spoke to her about her experience working in both settings:
“I think it’s important to be open-minded in the current climate. Things have changed and will keep changing and so to just expect it to go back to the way it was is silly. I’ve started offering mobile treatments on top of my salon days to help boost my income, because we are seeing less people per day in the salon due to the covid-19 safeguarding measures and because a lot of clients just feel more comfortable having their cut or colour in their own home instead. Just before lockdown I was exploring the idea of opening my own salon, but since then I’ve dropped that idea and focussed on building my freelance business.”
Nail salons and freelancers have also been permitted to reopen for business so we spoke to Lucy Ellis, who owns and operates Polished and Bronzed mobile nails and tanning in London, to get her thoughts:
“I think of all the entrepreneurs in this industry, nail techs like me are probably in one of the better positions. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves, the visors are awful – but a small price to pay to keep everyone safe. Other than that, I’ve not had a lot of disruption since going back to work to be honest. If there are people struggling to operate either because their treatments still aren’t allowed or because they’re having to reduce the number of clients they can see for safeguarding reasons, you should explore nails as a new string to your bow.”
Through all of the people we interviewed, included in this article or not, there were some really clear trends in what people had to say. So, we thought it would be handy to pull together a list of the best advice we came across:
1. Diversify. As Ross Gellar would say: PIVOT. The new normal is exactly that, it’s new. So, don’t sit on your hands waiting for things to go back to exactly how they were before. Think of new ways to bring in clients or new services you could add to your skillset to help diversify your income. A couple months back we gave you our 8 low cost ways to attract new clients, that might be a good starting point.
2. Be Positive. Clients come to you to leave looking and feeling amazing. That won’t happen if you’re all doom and gloom about your visor. So, slap on a smile (even if it is behind a mask) and give them the friendly, mood-boosting experience they’ve always been accustomed to. We recently explored this in our article revealing the Keys to Communicating Positively with Clients and Staff.
3. Review Your Pricing & Timings. The world is a new place for all of us, not just you but clients too. They will understand if you need to increase your prices slightly or introduce a levy for the additional time spend on mobile bookings. Just be open and honest about the reasons for the change. You’ll find more advice on getting your business finances in shape in our article over here.
Are you having a difference experience? Have some more advice for a fellow stylist? Tag us on social @capitalhair. For more insight and hair and beauty business advice, visit our inspiration section - https://www.capitalhairandbeauty.co.uk/inspiration.