A walkout is one of a salon owner’s worst nightmares. It causes the loss of valuable employees, financial ramifications, and often, a reduction in clientele. Not to mention the task of boosting the morale of remaining staff. Unforeseen problems may also occur. For example, a friend of mine recently discovered several stylists and colorists, including her own stylist, walked out on their salon. A couple of weeks later she received a postcard with the name of her stylist’s new salon and she booked a haircut. During the appointment, her stylist revealed a few of the reasons she and the other staffers left, but kept mum about details, citing a pending lawsuit.

A few weeks later, my friend booked an appointment for color at the old salon. In the chair next to her was a stylist having her hair colored. As my friend’s color processed, the stylist and another colorist gossiped about the staffers who had walked out, revealing details of law suits and repeating accusations from both sides.

Not only did the two employees come off as unprofessional, my friend learned things about die lawsuit that turned her off to the salon. While these things may or may not be true, the damage is done.

 Steve Izzo, owner of Portfolio, knows all about the damage a walkout can do. With a busy spa, a great benefits package and educational opportunities, Izzo was shocked when two-thirds of his staff left his New Hampshire-based salon. With the help of a consultant and some creative strategizing, he saved his business and now has a prevention plan in place. Turn to page 44 for more on Izzo’s story as well as two other owners’ personal stories of triumph over disaster in “Combating Catastrophe.”

Although having a plan for emergencies is a necessity, a plan for prevention is even more effective. In “Safe Haven” on page 58, experts offer advice on everything from alarm systems to panic buttons to door locks. And on page 64 in “10 Things You Never Thought Would Go Wrong in Your Salon,” owners share stories of unexpected mishaps and how they handled them.

The invaluable tips from owners, insurance experts and consultants in these articles will help you map out a road to recovery should your salon go through a crisis. Use this issue as a reference to keeping your salon secure and your staff and clientele safe.