Jordan Becker, director of Marketing and Business Development for Interlocks Salon + Spa in Newburyport, MA. 
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Jordan Becker, director of Marketing and Business Development for Interlocks Salon + Spa in Newburyport, MA. 

During the recent “Staying Strong” webinar presented April 6 by Salon Today in partnership with the ISBN and sponsored by ViviscalPRO and XFusion, panelist Jordan Becker of Interlocks salon and spa shared examples of how the Boston-based Salon Today 200 honoree has stayed connected with staff, clients, community and industry, all while innovating to keep bringing in whatever cash they could during the COVID-19 closure.

Becker’s  presentation spurred much interest in tapping retail innovation to connect and communicate with clients, and was balanced with segments from April McDaniel of Kopsa Otte on navigating the CARES Act, Frank Zona of Zona Professional on advocating for more salon support via the FICA Tax Tip Credit legislation, and Edward Logan of Sport Clips on proactively managing expenses and business relationships through the crisis and into the reopening stage.

Listen to all of Becker’s and the other presenters’ messages and see examples on the webinar broadcast archive here (https://www.salontoday.com/webinars/how-to-stay-strong-during-salon-shutdowns), and check out Becker’s responses to a handful of the 200-plus questions posted by an active audience of more than 800 real-time webinar viewers:

The campaign Interlocks developed to encourage clients to wait until salons reopened, but also forgiving those who take beauty matters into their own hands. 
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The campaign Interlocks developed to encourage clients to wait until salons reopened, but also forgiving those who take beauty matters into their own hands. 

Q. Can you share some verbiage for  how you discourage at-home coloring and why salons don’t offer color kits?

Becker: Below is an example of text that we use to respond to clients privately when they send individual inquires, along with information on products we offer in our online store. We are also now offering private consultations with stylists for color match root touch-up retail product recommendations.

“We don’t have the ability to provide clients with professional hair color products. The use of professional products requires both knowledge and skill to formulate and apply. We are also bound by licensure and contracts NOT to resell professional hair color supplies, and that is true for all salons. We urge you to accept the challenge of having some regrowth while this pandemic is being managed. We know it can feel uncomfortable, but believe it is a very small price to pay to keep our neighbors, ourselves, and our families SAFE.”

Also, just this week, we put out a statement of “We Get It” on our social media platforms, with a message of acceptance to acknowledge that we understand clients need to do what makes them feel best, and we are promising to be here when this is all over.”

Q. Do you need product liability insurance in order to sell online?

Becker: I would recommend each salon speak with their own legal counsel or insurance agent for what is needed.

An example of a post promoting the salon's online retail store. 
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An example of a post promoting the salon's online retail store. 

Q.  Is your retail site a drop-ship site?

Becker: We offer drop-ship only for a few brands that we have partnered with for that feature. But 90% of our products are being sold through our brick and mortar store, and are being pulled off our shelves, packaged, and shipped by our retail manager, who remains the lone team member still physically in the salon.

Q. I'm a hair replacement specialist and uncertain how I can stay engaged with my clients Doesn’t seem like there’s much I can do regarding maintenance services and re-attachments. Any recommendations?

Becker: We offer hair integration services, but this is not yet a service area we have addressed in efforts to stay connected through our shutdown. But virtual consultations would be reassuring for any client that is experiencing regrowth, hair loss, or feeling like they need solutions. Many clients are feeling disconnected right now, and simply being able to talk and connect face-to-face (virtually) eases stress and anxiety over their hair woes.

Alternate ideas that come to mind are blog posts on ways to wear or cover hair; video tutorials on at-home treatments that might help promote a clean and healthy scalp; and pointing out what NOT to do, helping clients avoid setbacks in their progress.

The front windows of Interlocks display an encouraging message during the salon's closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The front windows of Interlocks display an encouraging message during the salon's closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q. Any suggestions on how to advise our extension clients? How can we help them care or remove taped-in extensions, beaded rows, I-tips, etc.?

Becker: Patience is the focal point. We are not recommending clients take anything into their own hands, but rather accept suggestions for creative ways to style and maintain their hair. That being said, “we get it” (a campaign we launched this week on our social media), and understand that some clients are going to make rash decisions, and many will take matters into their own hands. So, we are reminding everyone that we will not judge and not criticize any home hair care that clients choose to do through this pandemic. We will be here when this is over and we will help them get their hair goals back on track.

More on the Salon Today/ISBN Webinar Series: As salons, spa and barber businesses across the country work to manage responses to COVID-19, thousands of beauty business leaders from across the professional beauty industry gathered together online. In record-setting numbers, all segments of the community tuned in for the first two installments of a webinar series on coping through the crisis. Both broadcasts were  presented by Salon Today in partnership with ISBN, the International Salon and Spa Business Network of multi-unit businesses.Engaged viewers posted hundreds of real-time questions during the interactive forums. Attendees sought ideas from peers and input from industry leaders, including Salon Today 200 salon owners and ISBN board members and other experts.

Access the Insights: Complete recordings and visual presentations from both webinars presented by Salon Today and ISBN are archived at salontoday.com/webinars. To access more examples, templates and checklists that are updated and added to on a continuing basis, visit Salon Today’s “Salon Share” online portal of downloadable “Documents to Help You Through COVID-19” at salontoday.com, and the ISBN’s “Resources for the COVID-19 Financial Crisis” at salonspanetwork.org.

  • The first webinar aired March 18, right as the rolling shutdowns were happening, and featured Laura Ortmann of Ginger Bay salons, Emily Brown of V’s Barbershop, Scott Missad of Gene Juarez Salons and Spas, Rhoda Olsen of Great Clips, Debra Penzone of PENZONE Salons + Spas and Tamara Shealey of Politics Beauty and Barber. Watch here now. https://www.salontoday.com/webinars/preparing-your-business-to-weather-the-covid-19-crisis
  • The April 6 broadcast focused on business survival and what to do while waiting for salons to reopen: strategies for managing cash flow, accessing CARES Act relief, and thinking ahead to what the salon industry can do know to secure much-needed tip tax relief that could soon provide immediate (and retroactive) game-changing financial benefits. Panelists were Jordan Becker of Interlocks, CPA April McDaniel of Kopsa Otte, Edward Logan of Sport Clips and Frank Zona of Zona Professional.  Watch here now. https://www.salontoday.com/webinars/how-to-stay-strong-during-salon-shutdowns

Important disclaimer: While navigating response to COVID-19 and related business decisions, is critically important that every small business owner or leader consult with their company’s own personal financial, legal, HR and business advisors, consultants or coaches to assess the best options and actions for their individual, particular situation. All thoughts shared here are general dialogue on the overall professional beauty industry and cannot be considered legal, business or financial advice, but as a resource to help shape your own discussions with your advisors.

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