Find out 6 revealing facts about how to have a successful salon post-Covid-19
The post-pandemic key to a successful salon lies in:
#1 Handling the challenges of trying to remain profitable and
#2 Keep team members happy
#3 Attracting a constant supply of reliable, valuable customers coming through the door.
You might think this sounds the same as pre covid and lockdown…
But it’s how you go about these things and what it takes that has changed
Read on to find out how you need to adapt and adjust.
If you want to survive the next few years in business and come out of this stronger this is the blog for you!
A relentless focus on juggling the challenges and changes to create a successful salon is taking a massive toll on salon owners!
They are walking away from their salons and leaving the industry in droves.
Some, if they are lucky enough, sell their businesses.
Others just fail, close the doors and walk away.
More are in an even more troubling situation. They are in too deep and are continuing to take on a lot of water.
If you were like most salon owners the idea of closing your doors at the outset of the pandemic in 2020 seemed far-fetched.
I recall an economics forecaster saying in March 2020 that many businesses would be better off bailing out now. They would only take on more debt and be worse off trying to battle through what was predicted to be an ongoing unstable world catastrophe.
But many salon owners, like you, clung on hoping better times would come… How bad could it get?
Plus what else could you really do?
Once the first major lockdown and closed businesses came to an end all our customers were crying out for their hair to be done. You’d believe the worst was over.
But here you are facing an even more challenging economic environment over 2 years later.
Times in reality are more challenging than most would have ever experienced in business before. The truth is for some salon owners, the tough times are really starting to bite
Running a salon has just become an overwhelming, stressful nightmare!
I wrote a blog 2 years ago outlining my predictions for what we would face and some tips to start HERE
There are some glaring facts that we as an industry can not ignore.
Facts on how we are doing with our post-pandemic recovery.
- Industry booking and appointment software companies are reporting that the average quarterly revenue among hair salons in Australia in has decreased by up to 36%!
- The beauty industry was similar with the average quarterly revenue per spa or clinic dropping sharply by 44%!
- The National Hair and Beauty Fed in the UK show turnover falling by 45%.
NHBF’s chief executive Richard Lambert said: “The future could be bleak for the personal care sector”
No wonder there is a crisis among Salon and Spa owners.
We’ve been hit hard.
With campaigns like the ‘Save Our Salons’ and industry leaders and training organisations trying to lobby governments to make sure our industry gets the attention it needs to move through this it is no wonder you as a salon owner feel overwhelmed and disillusioned about what you can do..
Things just aren’t the same anymore.
The mistakes salon owners are making when it comes to recovery and restructuring are coming at a time when our industry is in the worst position it has seen for decades. We can’t blame Covid entirely for the major shifts we are seeing.
What you and every salon owner do now will determine how our industry moves forward for a whole new generation of stylists and salon owners and if you don’t adapt then you will become a statistic like the ones above.
Take a look at the most common mistakes that will cause your business to fail post-pandemic.
#1 A common mistake I see most overwhelmed and disillusioned salon owners making is…
They rarely look at the relationship they have with their business.
Yes, you read that right..the relationship.
Just like we are in a relationship with a partner, our friends and families we are in a relationship with other elements of life.
For instance, money, food and our home…
And yes we don’t really look at our business and the relationship we have with it clearly enough.
It was this relationship that had many salon owners in denial and using up all their savings plus more to keep their salons afloat over the last few years.
Frantically sticking tape over holes in the bucket.
BUT… The pressure and nature of water mean that tape is never going to hold for long!
If you set up your salon when there were no holes in the bucket, holes like pandemics, hairstylist shortages, recessions, stock supply issues, rent crises etc… Then maybe the relationship you had with your business was pretty smooth sailing. The odd issue here and there but nothing you couldn’t handle. Having a successful salon was relatively easy.
Things get very real very quickly in a crisis though.
Holes turn into major cracks and no amount of tape can hide or cover that up.
The way you treat your business and your relationship with it determines your reactions and the consequences of your decisions.
All relationships need boundaries. Successful salons have very clear boundaries.
How are you doing with boundaries in your leadership relationship?
It’s worth a look because “Boundaries are basically about providing structure, and structure is essential in building any relationship that thrives.” Henry Cloud
This leads to the next common mistake…
#2 Not asking quality questions
The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” — Voltaire
The questions we ask are powerful, for better or for worse.
Questions direct focus, energy, and intention.
Not only that, but questions are part of what forms your reality.
Questions open our minds — or close them. They direct our energy towards positive ideas — or sink it into negative, limiting beliefs.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” — Voltaire
Have you taken the time away from the front line to reassess, regroup and ask yourself quality questions about what you really need to do in your business to have a successful salon?
Asking yourself open-ended questions and not ‘why’ questions is a good place to start.
You want to seek solutions with your enquiry not just position yourself as a victim of circumstances you can do little about.
How can we change our habit of questioning?
By first being aware of what empowering questions are. Empowering questions are:
- Clear and concise.
- Draw on deeper thinking as opposed to shallow thinking.
- Come from a place of genuine curiosity.
- Asked with a beginner’s mind.
- Use positive language and don’t come from poor underlying assumptions.
Far too many salon owners are trapped spending time working in their business and doing things the same way out of habit. Despite everything changing around them.
This brings me to the next big mistake….
#3 You being the barrier and showing up as resistant to change
Do you like to try new things?
Of course, you do!
Ok, let’s put it to the test.
Tomorrow, why don’t you try using a better salon booking system?
UMMM I can hear you say…
Maybe you want to re-think your answer.
That’s okay, it just means you’re like the rest of us. We are hardwired to resist change.
Part of the brain—the amygdala—interprets change as a threat and releases the hormones for fear, fight, or flight.
Your body is actually protecting you from change.
That is why so many people, when presented with a new initiative or idea—even a good one, with tons of benefits—will resist it.
You can however overcome the psychological costs of change that keep you chained to the old habits of the past by focusing on:
- Dissatisfaction with the way things are now
- A positive vision of the future
- Concrete steps to make the vision a reality
What can you do differently to improve upon the relationship you have with your business?
Faced with tough times people often just dig in and keep carrying on exactly the same despite things falling down around them.
I wrote a great resource blog HERE with easy steps to help with this.
‘Overriding habits demands many resources, so people are likely to lapse back to old patterns.
We say that we want one thing, but do another.”
As an Empowered Salon Leader envisioning your successful salon, it’s your CEO’s role to facilitate change for you and your team.
But is it easy to re-envision your future when the one you planned isn’t quite working out?
Is it easy to leave a bad marriage..not at all correct!
Or ease your parents into seeing your side of things when they clearly don’t!
I think not ..right?
Changing things isn’t always easy. When you are in the middle of it it’s often the hardest thing to do. You need to be emotionally mature and of sound mind enough to:
- Evaluate without bias.
- See things without preconceptions.
- Unemotionally making hard decisions.
- Deal with conflict without judgement.
You are human after all and you are hardwired to have an emotional response to everything around you.
So ask yourself how honest are you with yourself about your courage to change and what are you resisting.
The best tool I have to keep emotions in check when doing this and help me make decisions based on facts, data and logic are my structures and frameworks.
Why??? Because they don’t lie, or have a bias or perception.
If you’re not changing you are standing still and going around in circles.
#4 Not reading the room
Good-intentioned connection and communication are the salon owner’s responsibility to get right. for a salon business to be a truly successful salon.
Honest, transparent straightforward, it’s easy, right?
But are you like the rest of us and perfect connection and communication with every customer, partner, inlaw and friend is not your reality?
Connecting and having problem-free communication is key… but we all muck it up, don’t we?
Salon owners today need to have a very close eye on all the people in their salon business world as needs have changed, human reactions have altered and what worked before is not a reliable way to handle things.
With our teams for example we need to be very aware of how we communicate and connect with them so we are helping to empower and nurture them to success, continue building relationships and encourage them to see a future within our business.
The Great Resignation is everywhere in every industry and we are certainly not immune. Plus we are facing more difficulties in encouraging trainees to come into our industry and stay.
Structure within communication gives consistency.
It connects them to what is going on and how everything they do affects everyone else.
- Equality and consistency with your presentation.
- An unemotionally charged and unbiased energy.
- Non-judgement and preconception of how things are.
#5 Hiring from a place of desperation and limitation.
Going from a ‘behind the chair salon owner’ to an ‘empowered salon leader’ successfully means you need to employ people to grow your business.
But if all it took was an interview and a job description to help ease the stress and overwhelm you are under, then all the salons that hired people to support them would be successful salons and we know that’s not how it always works out.
In fact, it causes your business to go backwards when hiring goes wrong.
I have some great hiring and onboarding tips for successful salons here
#6. Understanding that Structure in your business gives you freedom.
Are you micromanaging your salon into failure?
Its easy to think to have a successful salon you need to be there doing All . The . Things!!
BUT… Micromanaging your salon means slamming into the day-to-day, reacting to issues, overwhelm and frustration.
You may think that you are structured in the way you manage your business and not micromanaging.
But this is the key word here…MANAGE.
The big reality to grasp that really shifts you from being an overwhelmed ‘behind the chair salon owner’ to an ‘empowered salon leader’ is dropping the manager hat… but how?
But here’s the truth
Structure is like the Marie Kondo effect in your business.
Structure cures the “mess” inside your business. All those messy cupboards and overstuffed drawers are your business’s old habits and badly evolved procedures that just aren’t serving you anymore.
If your business doesn’t rely on structure it relies on you.
And there is only one result of that pressure.
I wrote an in-depth look at simple steps that you can do right now to take away the stress and Manage Your Salon Successfully with Marie Kondos Secrets HERE.
If you want to Increase Your Salon Revenue and Profitability
Get your copy of my 3 Steps to Designing Services That Sell
There is a Money Mindset Guide to help you create the abundance mindset you need for success, a Profitability Calculator so you can understand the numbers that affect your profits, revenue and salon success, and an Effective Customer Communication Guide so you can learn the 5Cs for consultation success.