LINDA STEWART, CO OWNER OF RAINBOW ROOM INTERNATIONAL WITH ALAN STEWART
It’s been a crazy year and many of us salon owners have had to solve problems and deal with issues we have not seen before and look at our business in a new way, outlining how we can make the most of a bad situation and keep our business going and doing as best as possible in these tough times.
To be able to do this all successfully, plans have had to be put in place and we’ve had to think ahead looking at the worst case scenarios and how we as business can tackle these and overcome them.
Although our salons are now back reopen and business is slowly getting back to normal the future is still uncertain and whether this pandemic will be soon be a distant memory or if it will continue for a lot longer is unknown. With this in mind, it’s important as salon owners that we future plan, are knowledgeable on the most important things that affect our business and we’re working on these religiously to ensure our business is as best as it can be. Whilst planning ahead, a few of the things we should be aware of are the following…
Cash flow is of course one of the most important factors of a business and in these times is one of the things us as business owners have been the most worried about.
It’s important to put together cash flow forecasts and profit and loss forecasts. Take into consideration if you owe any money to anyone and the money you are owed and try to make projections so you can get an idea for where your business is heading and how you can prepare for this.
Utilisation of time
This is of huge importance for a business and it’s a good idea to think of your organisational chart and to outline how the different levels of staff can utilise their time to the best of their ability.
For example here at Rainbow Room International, Directors of the salons should of course have their time with clients and help where required when the salon is incredibly busy, however, they should also have time to manage the team and to put together plans and goals for their individual salon and to look at the business side of the salon, as well as working on the floor. Stylists who are on the floor should be utilising their time effectively too and should be trying their best to work at full capacity with a full column.
This is especially important now when we cannot have as many clients in the salon at the same time and as many clients in the salon throughout the day. It’s important that stylists try their best to keep on top of their time without running over to ensure the days runs as smoothly as possible.
Marketing is so important for a business to be able to continue to attract new customers and grow the business. When you’re planning ahead and looking at marketing, always think about your target market and how you want to target them through marketing (whether this is traditional marketing or digital marketing via your social media and newsletters etc).
During these times in particular, clients want to find salons where they can feel comfortable and at ease, therefore, it’s important that through marketing you are able to promote your salon as being a place where clients can feel comfortable and at ease and that you can address their concerns and make them feel like they want to come and visit your salon.
Not only will marketing help you to gain new clients, but it’s also good for creating loyalty through regular communication with existing clients. During lockdown we kept in constant touch with our clients through email and social media and so many of our clients have thanked us for this and commented on how much it meant to them to have continual communication.
They felt it was personal to them and it has increased their loyalty to the brand.
Product and Service
For a salon the service is of most importance to clients and to building the brand.
Training should always be within your plan to ensure your team are constantly developing their skills and knowledge, particularly in regards to providing customer service and being aware of the products they are using and how they can recommend them to individual clients. At Rainbow Room International, we pride ourselves on our service and our customer experience and we always try to think out the box from our competitors so that clients chose us.
For example, we have a ten-step consultation programme to ensure clients feel confident that every area of their service is addressed and their chosen stylist has the correct information to carry out the requested service with ease. Looking at what’s coming in terms of product and service is also key when planning ahead.
When something becomes on trend and popular clients want this, whether it’s a service like balayage or a new hair treatment on the market, it’s important that you as a salon are aware of this before competitors and are able to offer it to clients as soon as possible in order to attract clients into the salon.