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Winning at Week One | Richard Darby at Mark Leeson

July 10, 2020

So what does it mean to be a salon owner in the ‘new normal’?   How has the first week panned out? Professional Hairdresser checked in with Richard Darby at Mark Leeson to see how the post lockdown land lies…..

  “There was just so much to think through – and every salon in the country appears to have their own slant on it – which has been amazing to see to be honest, proving that we are all ‘creative souls’.   There was a lot of anxiety, stress and nervousness about coming back to the salon as a business owner as well as a working stylist.

 It wasn’t just about ourselves but our team as well however the sleepless nights worrying about everything soon disappeared and subsided once the first elated clients walked through the doors and, in fairness, we haven’t had to tweak anything so far as everything is running smoothly.

For our two salons – it was important for us to implement a waiting queue system outside both of the salons with clear signs and floor markings – showing ‘entry’ and ‘exit’ doors both internally and externally with an added barrier system which then follows through to clear, directional markings on the floor.  There is also a strict hand sanitiser regime policy to follow on both entry and exit.  

 We are asking clients to adhere to their strict appointment-only policy and we have also introduced dedicated appointments for new customers to come for consultations and undertake allergy tests as well as introducing ‘virtual consultations’.

Each stylist has been given two complete new sets of brushes so they are able to sanitise after each client – so much so that our dispensary room is now running as a full on sanitisation pod complete with large barbicide trays as well as individual barbicide jars for each stylist.

 In order to limit congestion at the reception, clients are now asked to pay at their styling station, adhering to the salons cashless policy.

Future appointments are either being taken by phone or email.

Although we have covered all the necessary PPE requirements it was important to Mark and myself that the salon didn’t look too clinical so we personalised signage and markings to blend with the salon ethos.     

Opening hours have also been increased to not only ensure that all our guests are able to schedule appointments as quickly as they can, but to ensure that the team are still able to work full time over across a six day week.”