June 25, 2020

How Can Salons Adapt To The “New Normal”?

New Normal

As salons prepare to reopen, many owners and their staff are wondering what their workplace will look like with the new rules in place. After a long period of closure, salons need to be able to reopen to make up for lost earnings. But we’re already bracing for a period of drastic disruption that will prevent us from returning to “normal” any time soon.

Being adaptive and responsive to change is essential if salons are to survive. The cost of running a salon is set to increase, as salon owners will have to shoulder the cost of additional protective equipment and an increased number of single-use items. And perhaps the biggest change will be the blow to salon capacity. With social distancing in place, no one is expecting their salon to be able to operate as normal for a long time.

We’ve been speaking to salon owners throughout the pandemic and we’ve heard their concerns. In this guide, we hope to be able to break down some of the problems you might be facing in your salon and present some solutions that could help you to survive this difficult time.

Question #1: My running costs are set to increase with PPE, cleaning time and more single-use items. How can I offset this?

The solution: One solution would be to increase your prices. Many salons are choosing to offset their increased running costs by raising their prices by 5%. This will be hardly noticeable to your customers, but it will make a huge difference to your profit margins. A £30 treatment will increase to £31.50. This might not seem like much, but it will help you to pay for things like:

  • Gloves, masks and hand sanitiser to keep your staff and customers safe
  • Time lost to cleaning between customers
  • Decreased capacity due to social distancing
  • Single-use items such as nail files

This increase in prices may be temporary or permanent, but your customers will understand why you have to take this step. And remember that many people have been without salon services for so long, they will be excited and eager to get back to your salon and help support your business!

Question #2: Our salon revolves around the reception desk. But with social distancing in place, how can I keep my staff safe while sharing equipment?

The solution: Salon Iris can help to keep your staff safe by allowing them to access salon software from their own mobile devices. This will allow everyone to access things like staff rotas and bookings without sharing any equipment. They will be able to access, amend and confirm bookings on their own devices, so no one will have to share equipment. By moving the focus away from a centralised reception desk, you can also ensure that customers don’t gather around one person or one area.

Salon Iris also makes it easier for you to visualise how many people you will have working at once, allowing you to create staff rotas with ease. Staff will be able to access their schedule on the app, so during this time of strange working patterns, no one will be left in the dark. 

Question #3: With social distancing in place, I have too many staff. How will I cope if I can’t bring everyone back at once?

The solution: With social distancing, the number of people you can have in your salon at any time will be drastically reduced. Even when you split the rotas and increase your opening times, you might struggle to bring everyone back full-time from the start. One solution to this issue would be to keep some staff on furlough and bring them back on a part-time basis. This will ensure you don’t need to let any of your staff go. 

The furlough scheme will continue until October, but the rules are changing slightly. The employer will be expected to start paying national insurance and pension contributions which will be around 5% of employment costs. From August, the scheme is supposed to become more flexible. This will mean allowing some people to be partially furloughed and allowing them to work part-time and receive a portion of their wage paid by the government. This should provide some relief to salons as they work towards reopening.

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