Business Featured

Preparing for the future | Dom Blake

July 06, 2022

In a new series Dom Blake, Managing Director of the Blushes Collective discusses getting ready for the future.

The Blushes Collective is more than 30 years old and during that time there’s been lots of changes in the industry and in business. Now, as we’re half way through 2022, we’re feeling extremely opportunistic; whilst our industry along with others, has been through hell and back after Covid-19, out of these times of apprehension comes revolutionary ideas. In order to survive and thrive in the next chapter, it requires you to look at things differently and solve problems, coming at things from a new perspective. When you look back at these periods of disruption, it’s where the best ideas have come from, using that time for reflection and to propagate a new chapter.

In a post-Covid landscape there’s certainly been a shift in people’s attitudes in general, both from a team and client perspective. We’ve found clients to be a mixed bag; some are leaving longer between their appointments, looking for a more lived-in style of colour and cut that gives them longevity, perhaps investing in a larger more transformative appointment that means the frequency they visit us can be less. But on the other hand, there’s been a resurgence of clients who’re keen to retain their 6-8 week appointment schedule – giving them that renewed sense of normality and a massively renewed appreciation for being able to visit that regularly.

From our internal team’s perspective, we are seeing more and more the desire to have a more flexible work/life balance, and a desire to really embark on aspects of hairdressing that they truly love. People want to enjoy and feel fulfilled in their work, and we love to see that. We encourage our team to put forward their aspirations for their careers and for us to be able to support them in getting there.

During lockdown we sent out both client and team surveys where our people could give anonymous feedback on how they’re feeling. Honesty is one of our core values and something we value above all else and so by receiving that feedback we have the information we need to make changes within the business.

In response to the feedback we received from our teams, we knew we had a real opportunity to create something entirely new – hairdressers are creative people that have an inherent desire to fulfil their creative passions, but need time and freedom to do so. And so came the inception of Co-Working, supported by our three new pillars, Creative, Business & Environment. We are pioneering the co-working revolution, a way to bridge the gap between being employed and self-employed, enabling stylists to found and grow their businesses, on their own terms.

Working in synergy to provide all the amenities, support and community-feel you would have working as an employed stylist, and the freedom, benefits and earning potential of self-employed stylist, our Creative, Business and Environment departments allow co-workers the benefits of both worlds.

Co-workers can expect the support of a business team to help them set up their businesses, help with tax/accounting and marketing support within fully serviced environments. With all the nitty gritty of running a business taken care of, we’re setting creative entrepreneurs free to have the time and space to do what they love.

The way the industry is working is changing and as business owners we need to adapt too. We’re all creatives at heart and whether you’re employed or a freelancer, we can and should be able to work together in harmony.

Dom’s top tips for a successful business in the current climate 

Be adaptable. Just because your model used to work doesn’t mean it does now. The habits of your team and customers have changed and you must move with it.

Charge your worth. Because of frequency, inflation, rising costs, if you are charging the same as last year then you are charging less. 

Focus on the next generation. Recruitment is the hardest it’s ever been. There has never been a better time to explore new ways to create your own.

Know your numbers. You must keep an eye on profitability. We are a fine margin business and tough times can quickly turn into losses if action isn’t taken. You must give yourself the knowledge and chance to act.

Remember that your digital shop window is more important than your physical one. Whilst word of mouth and referrals will always be the best form of generating new business, you are missing a trick if you aren’t boosting those numbers by focusing on your online business.

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