Jeff Mason, president of STX Cloud.
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Jeff Mason, president of STX Cloud.

Whenever our world gets off its axis, it is important to take a step back and say, “Where are the helpers?” Our industry is made up of compassionate helpers who can cleverly MacGyver just about any situation thrown their way. So whether you’re practicing social distancing or ordered for a temporary shut down, I want you to know: You’ve got this.  

It’s essential to carry on by communicating with your clients via email and social media, embracing innovative ways to generate revenue, and to be prepared for what may be the busiest time you’ve ever experienced in business when the dusts settles.

First off, the most important thing every salon and business owner can be doing right now is communicating with your clients. Small business owners need to be sending updates as to the status of their businesses, as well as creating promotions for their clients to take advantage of both during and after the hiatus.

Sending updates on a regular basis via email is high priority. Let clients know they can presently book appointments online for the date you are tentatively planning to reopen. Should that date change, you will easily be able to communicate with your guests and reschedule them. Email guests your ETA and encourage them to book ahead of time, e.g. “We anticipate opening on X date and want to make sure you are able to get an appointment as we are sure to be extremely busy!”

Create and send promotions as if you are preparing for Black Friday. Discounts on color, texture, straightening, haircuts, nails, etc. Offer online sales of gift certificates, gift cards and e-gifts, and consider a promo that incentivizes the purchase, such as “Purchase a $100 gift certificate and receive an additional $20 toward any service.” 

Use your communication tools to remind clients of the retail you carry and why professional products are so important to maintain their hair in the healthiest state possible. Consider selling retail on your website and shipping products so your guests don’t panic-buy that sulfate-packed shampoo from the grocery store out of desperation. If shipping is a challenge, offer curbside pick-up or home delivery for locals in a certain mile-radius of your salon. Just as restaurants are offering curbside and takeout only, we can just as easily offer the same for retail products.

Send daily emails and create social media posts with new tips and tricks for styling hair at home for your guests and followers. Actively include the products you carry in your salon in your tutorials. Highlight a different product every day and educate your clients on the many features and benefits of each product. This is a great opportunity to both educate your guests and promote your retail that you shouldn’t pass up.

Use this time to inform clients of the steps you are taking to sterilize and clean your salon. The beauty of this industry is that we are already experts in sanitation, so we can confidently assure guests that we are taking all of the necessary precautions and then some. Be constantly communicating and making sure clients know they should wait for you so that when their next appointment rolls around, they feel comfortable being back in the chair with you.

Plus, you may end up having your best year ever when things pick up again. After having to wait an unexpectedly long time between services, clients will be eager to get in and see their favorite hairdresser and resume their usual treatments, and possibly some new ones (looking at you, impatient box dye-ers).

Consider extending hours and days to accommodate the incredible number of requests you will be receiving. Maybe even offer free add-on treatments to any chemical service since they’ve gone a little longer than usual without your expert help.

Take advantage of the downtime to put your business plan together that I know you have been putting off for months (…or years). Make a promo calendar for the rest of the year and for into 2021 and get so organized that even Marie Kondo will be impressed at your productivity.

While you’re at it, get tech! The average salon owner only uses around 30% of what their software is capable of doing. That’s nothing! Take this time to learn more about the features in your system and increase your knowledge so you are able to use the full power of your software to grow your business. Manage your inventory, setup automated emails, implement a rewards program — there are so many possibilities!

Use these practices to cement your clarity and vision, and don’t let the current chaos surrounding you overwhelm you. Don’t be radio silent with your clients who have kept you busy for years. Communication maintains connections, and the more you are able to email and communicate with your clients, the busier you will be in the long run.

About STX Cloud: STX Cloud empwers stylists to work more creatively and productively thanks to it's wide-range of features, including online booking, text and email reminders, customizable check out, extensive reporting, marketing suite, credit card processing, and more, all in one simple but powerful software. For more stxsoftware.com/cloud or 800-766-4778.

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