While Lockdown begins to ease and non-essential retail return on 15th June here’s what returning to the salon in July may look like and what you need to consider now.
The government guidelines aren’t set in stone yet but what we are seeing as probable new protocols is social distancing for your teams and clients, and hygiene. (PPE has not been confirmed yet) however most salons are supplying their teams with masks and or face shields.
With my salon management experience here are some suggestions I think will be beneficial for you as a salon owner to look at so you can think about how you will implement these in your salon ready for 4th July 2020.
Social Distancing The government will most likely insist upon social distancing measures to be put in place. (Some salons have had screens fitted other salons have re-arranged positions to create space between each section. At the moment for retail this is 2 meters – however this is under review and may be reduced to 1 meter by early July (great news for small salons)
In the meantime this means salons will need to consider the number of clients you can safely service in your salon. Making changes to your team rotas( including assistants/foh) to work around this. Your team will also need to be able to keep a safe distance from each other too, so this is another aspect to think about.
You may want to consider the following:
• Operating extended opening hours or seven days a week to cope with demand
• Work out how many clients you can safely hold in your salon and get your stylist rotas sorted early to ensure you can operate.
• Ensure your team have or are provided with and are using the correct PPE such as gloves/masks/face shields.
• Asking clients to attend their appointments alone (as salon will have limited space and no waiting area)
Health and Hygiene Stylists and clients may feel anxious once the salon reopens. Ensure you have the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene and provide the correct PPE.
Visit the salon ahead of reopening to give the whole salon a deep clean. Promote your high standards of cleanliness both across social media and within the salon so clients and staff are reassured and know that they are in a safe and clean environment. Some other points to consider are:
• Discard all magazines
• Include your chairs and all appliances when you deep clean
• Use paper towels in toilets
• Think about disposable towels at backwash. (Be careful with cost as often up to 4 towels can be used per client) If using washable towels do not re-use any towels.
• Deep clean salon gowns, cutting collars and all tools and brushes
• Continual washing of hands after every client
• Antibacterial gel/wipes available throughout the salon for the team and clients – ask clients to use this at the reception desk as soon they enter the salon. Face masks/shields to be worn by stylist if necessary to perform services (waiting on government guidelines)
• Markings on floor to ensure clients know how to move around the salon during their visit. (We aren’t clear if a one-way system will be advised yet)
• If drinks are allowed use disposable paper cups for beverages in-salon. Better still encourage your clients to bring in their own drinks.
• Services Offer your normal range of cut, colour, extensions services just bear in mind the duration of each client and manage your bookings to maximise the revenue for each chair. For e.g don’t allow a client to blow dry their own hair after a colour service as that’s taking up a chair that can be earning you revenue! Instead offer them a discounted blow dry with a stylist so the colour chair is available for another colour service
Think about charging a surcharge to cover your PPE costs – I’m sure your clients will understand if it’s a small amount and for a set period. Alternatively you can sell client packs or masks to help cover costs.
• Take card payments only, no cash if possible. Cash tips can be given straight to stylist or placed in a little envelope by the client.
• Clean the styling position fully after every client. In Denmark where salons are now open and operating, one of their guidelines is to thoroughly clean the area after every client. This of course will take a little time, so you will need to take this into consideration when booking clients in.
Coping with Demand The good news is I’m pretty sure you will be in high demand and very busy once you reopen.
I’d suggest putting a list together of your loyal and long-standing clients who visit your salon regularly to offer them priority booking slots. Also it will be good to print out your top spenders of the previous year to cross check if you missed anyone.
Send ALL your clients an sms or email to communicate to them the booking system is open and the date you plan to re-open the salon. Put a call in to your loyal and top spending clients – trust me they will be so happy to hear from you. (Check if they have already booked before you call)
Create a wait list for those that weren’t able to get booked in and monitor it. Add in their name, telephone, service, stylist and how much notice they need to arrive.
Push out communication of your opening date and how to book an appointment regularly on your social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Include links where possible to online bookings.
If you wish you can implement a “pay in advance” system for bookings (speak to your bookings system supplier to put in place) this will insure you have a lower level of “no shows” and help manage income projections.
Think about taking a deposit for all new client bookings – redeemable against their service and non-refundable if they cancel outside of your cancellation period.
Stock, Housekeeping and Services In the next week or so check you have enough stock for when you open including PPE. Contact suppliers ASAP if you need anything to open. Check colour stock (all your most used) and retail stock (top selling and of course your backwash area.
Also ahead of reopening to check the water supply is operating, the backwash boiler is working and front of house pc/internet:bookings system and phones are all working fine.
Appointments for NHS and Key Workers Some salons will want to say thank you to NHS staff and key workers by offering them a hair service complimentary. This is great if you do however think carefully about how you will accommodate NHS/key workers in your already busy schedule. It may be a good idea to put a time/day limit on the offer.
That’s all for now folks, I will be updating once we have guidelines from the government. I’m an open door so if you have any questions or want to chat about anything prior to re-opening just give me a shout.
Secondblonde aka Kelly (The Salon Manager Expert)