The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting mandated shutdown has had an impact on the professional beauty industry like no other event in history. To spotlight the resilience and determination of owners and their teams as they rebuild their businesses, SALON TODAY launches the Profiles in Courage series in partnership with Intercoiffure Canada-America. In this first one, we catch up with Scott and Mary Randolph, owners of three Randolph’s Salon locations in Clarkston, Michigan.
SALON TODAY: How long were you closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Scott and Mary: Three months.
ST: How many employees do you have?
Scott and Mary: 90
ST: During closure, how did you engage and educate team members?
Scott and Mary: We held Zoom "Happy Hours" every week with each individual salon, and we called each team member personally to check up on them every month. We held two full-team Zoom meetings, featuring Michael Cole, who gave the team tools for coping with the stress & anxiety of COVID-19 and the shutdown. Associate trainings were held every Monday morning via Zoom. They were facilitated by our trainers and featured everything from color theory to hands-on cutting classes.
ST: During closure, how did you engage and educate clients?
Scott and Mary: We posted monthly videos on Facebook with updates on our industry, salon, and team.Upon reopening, we created an instructional and humorous short video explaining our new Covid-19 safety procedures. The video was featured on our social media platforms and sent to each guest with their appointment confirmations.
ST: Did you have any team members who didn’t return after the closure?
Scott and Mary: Yes, six of them.
ST: For you and your business, what has been the most challenging part of 2020?
Scott and Mary: Of course, being closed for three months was a huge financial hardship. That being said, as leaders, our job has always been to have a finger on the pulse of our people. This has become the most important and challenging aspect of surviving 2020. Listening, reassuring, understanding, being flexible, and generally being strong and present have become our number one priority.
ST: What specific strategies have you developed to grow service and retail sales during this time?
Scott and Mary: In order to battle our guest count dropping due to social distancing regulations, we have become hyper-focused on each and every guest in our chair. Most guests have required, and each guest is offered, additional services. Additionally, we have begun preforming virtual consultations on new guests to ensure proper timing of services, alleviate no-shows, and pre-sell retail.
ST: How does 2020 sales compare to 2019 sales?
Scott and Mary: In gross revenue we are down 7% as a result of social distancing requirements and loss of service providers. Our Average Ticket is up $8 and our retail to service ratio is up 3%.
ST: What are you doing to keep team morale high?
Scott and Mary: Monthly personal development meetings, offering more flexibility with scheduling, and keeping open lines of communication. We are hosting a class created for our team called "The New Industry Normal" with Yureesh Hooker. This will be held via Zoom in a movie theater style format at each location. The focus is on the amazing opportunities for stylists to grow right now simply by being present mentally with each guest.
ST: What other activities are you doing to strengthen your business at this time?
Scott and Mary: We are actively recruiting salon owners, stylists, and students to join our team. There are many owners who are on the verge of closing, stylists who are stuck or find themselves without a salon home, and students who have no idea what is possible for them in the industry right now. We have created a comprehensive social media recruitment campaign focusing on all the opportunities our salon company has to offer these people including employee-based pay structure, advanced education, goal-oriented salon coaching, and positive team culture.
ST: What are your marketing plans for the holiday season?
Scott and Mary: Retail promotions featuring discounted pricing on all holiday kits featuring sales prizes for guests and team members ranging from kayaks to cameras!
ST: How has being a member of Intercoiffure helped you through this tough year?
Scott and Mary: The comradery that being a member of Intercoiffure has offered is invaluable. Being able to reach out to salon owners of like mind during this time is what keeps us going (and sane)!
The Intercoiffure partnership with Qnity, which offered current financial information. helped us navigate this turbulent financial year.
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