Across the globe salons are facing a worrying time for their businesses, their staff and their clients.
In the last few days FUSE has talked to UK salon owners to see how they are managing in this extremely worrying and unknown situation, but even as we prepared this feature things were changing and on Saturday, most salons closed their doors.
In Central London, TIGI Global Technical Creative Director, Christel Lundqvist closed her award-winning salon, STIL, at the end of the day on Saturday.
We asked Christel what plans she had made to ensure her clients remain happy with their hair in the coming weeks. Christel’s receptionist will be contacting all clients by email to ensure they’re fully aware of the situation. “The most important thing now” said Christel, “is that everyone remains safe and healthy and that applies to my team and myself.
You know what,” Christel said, “Closing is for the right reasons, and that is to support the healing process, and that process will allow us to reopen as quickly as possible.”
We also spoke to John Forrester, founder of the eight-salon Forresters for Hair group in Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Last week 10,000 emails were sent to clients. They plan to follow this up with regular text messages and ‘welcome back’ offers when the time is right.
Education and training have always been important to Forresters, and to maintain staff positivity, a WhatsApp group has been set up to enable easy communication and give them reassurance for the future. As John said, “We have got to give our staff support and confidence for the now and the future. If we do this then the businesses will survive for their future and ours.”
TIGI Session Team member, Jennifer Low of Scots, Grantham, has a private Facebook page where she and her team can address any concerns and run through protocols as laid out by the Hairdressing Fellowship, the NHF and the Government.
“We’ve talked to every client about their hair concerns” Jennifer said, “And given them as much advice as we can so they can look after their hair at home. I’ve ensured we have all our clients’ contact details up to date so we can maintain remote contact. Hopefully after this crisis, every hairdresser in the UK will be rushed off their feet!”
Jennifer will be keeping in regular contact with her team sending updates and doing educational videos and encouraging them to use TIGI Fuse to watch Modern Classics.
Jennifer’s message to all other salons is: “Stay strong, stay in contact, post on social media to keep your clients informed and most of all, be safe and follow the guidelines properly.”
In Scotland, Brian MacMillan and Kevin Paul Finnell, of F&M Hairdressing say: “It’s about good communication with our clients.”
“We’re very transparent and have everything in place in terms of client communication: e-shots, text messages, personal calls and social media” says Brian.
When it comes to their team, Brian and Kevin also have plans. “We’ll keep in touch – that’s a given! We’ll be communicating via our salon WhatsApp group, and are looking at organising team Skype calls. We’ll also be encouraging our team to use online digital education platforms, ensuring they’re constantly up with the latest trends and consistently progressing. This is the benefit of the Internet, you really can never stop learning.”
The message from F&M echoes our other salon owners: “During this period of uncertainty, remain as positive as possible not only for yourself, but your team. This storm will pass and hopefully, soon, we’ll back to normal. Keep supporting those around you – community is powerful. Stay strong!”
Central London salon owner, Andrew Jose, had planned for closure. He and his team have created a weekly newsletter to share with clients, on top of their usual social media posts. And Andrew was sadly ahead of the game when it comes to team communication as many of his team were already in self-isolation when we spoke. “Everyday we’re holding a morning WhatsApp meeting,” says Andrew, “And number one on the itinerary is to find out how they and their families are doing.”
Andrew’s message to you all is: “Do everything possible to make your business safe. Start negotiating with everyone now to stop all your outgoings by agreement – even if you are still open.”
In South London, Anthony Laban has two boutique salons and barbers. “We’ve planned our social media and will continue to post while we’re closed,” said Anthony, “And, to ensure we maintain our clients’ support we’ve pre-recorded blow-drying and styling tips to share with them.
It’s really important to keep in touch with my small and loyal team. We’ve already set up a variety of apps to keep in touch, and are planning a couple of virtual education sessions and, importantly, some virtual social sessions too. I’ve got a message to salon owners out there: ‘Stay strong. This is the time that you have to prove what sort of company you own. Our teams will judge us on our leadership and care. Put your team first.’ “
As you can see there are some truly valuable and important messages in the information these salon owners have shared. From inspiring your team, giving your clients confidence, to utilising social media and thinking about the future of your business.
Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing insights from other hairdressers, not only in the UK but across the globe.
In the meantime, we think you’ll agree, the strongest message is to stay safe, keep in contact and help ensure the healing process comes as soon as possible.