The UK salon and spa industry contribute £7bn to the UK economy every year. And 41,000 salon and spa businesses employ over 280,000 people. To say that the salon industry is nervous about its future would be an understatement.

Much like the bar and restaurant industry, salon owners are uniquely vulnerable to the coronavirus lockdown. While other industries might be able to keep calm and carry out as normal, albeit from home offices, the salon industry has been forced to grind to a halt.

On 23rd March, the UK government ordered all salon and spa businesses to close to help stop the spread of the virus. This was some much-needed relief for salon owners who felt previous announcements and measures didn’t offer any guidance on their situation. But salon owners are now facing the reality of being forced to close their doors for an undetermined amount of time.

If you’re a salon owner wondering how you will survive this pandemic and be able to open your doors again in the future, read on. We’ll share some essential steps you need to take now to ensure the future of your business.

Keep in touch with customers

When the coronavirus started to spread, many salons faced widespread cancellations. And once forced to close, you likely will have been in touch with customers to let them know they would not be able to attend their appointments. But what next?

This isn’t the time to go silent on your customers. The salons that survive this will be the ones that manage to maintain a relationship with their customers so that they can fill their books when they can open again. Think about how you can keep in touch with your customers on social media and by email and text.

Make the most of the available support

It might feel like you have been left all alone, but there is support available. The Government has set aside funding to help companies pay furloughed staff throughout this crisis. Your employees will be able to claim 80% of the normal salary, up to £2,500 per month.

If you are self-employed, you may be eligible for a Government grant of up to £2,500 per month for 3 months. This will be available from the middle of May with payouts expected in early June.

As a salon owner, you will not have to pay business rates during the shutdown and you may be eligible for a small business grant of up to £10,000 if you already receive business rates relief, and up to £25,000 if your property has a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000.

Your salon software provider may also be able to help point you in the right direction. For example, Salon Iris are helping all salon clients prepare for these difficult times with helpful guides and links to resources that can help you.

Get your marketing in order

While you might be worried about your business, now is not the time to wait and see. Instead, you should take a proactive stance and start planning your marketing for the weeks and months ahead.

Creating a flexible 6-month marketing plan will allow you to stay one step ahead of the competition and ensure that you always have something to share with your audience. Those salons that stop marketing and stay silent through the lockdown will be fighting for attention when the time comes to open again.

Pick an opening date

While we don’t yet know when salons will be able to open again, you could consider setting a provisional opening date. Be conservative and realistic in your estimations. Remember that salons rely on close contact with customers, so it is likely that this industry will be the last to find its feet again. Pick a date well into the future and start accepting bookings so you have a better idea of your financial position.

Stay agile

As we’ve outlined above, no one knows how this pandemic will play out. Staying agile in your response will be essential to success.

  • Keep your costs down until you are certain you will be able to reopen.
  • Create a flexible plan for reopening your salon when measures are relaxed.
  • Be aware that further lockdowns could happen if we see spikes in cases. Don’t let this catch you off guard again.