Ken’s Clinic

by | 1 Oct 2020

Ken’s diagnosis:

We find ourselves facing a Christmas like no other. At the time of writing, salons are still obliged to follow tough PPE guidelines. I feel that come Christmas our salon lives will still be far from normal.

So how can you go about making Christmas special for your clients and profitable for your business? Well hopefully you have already made changes to your current pricing and working structure to ensure that the work you are doing and the services that you are delivering are profitable.

Unfortunately many salons may have focused on merely being busy while not doing the maths to ensure that they are still profitable. The possibility of having to serve fewer clients in a Covid 19-safe manner, often with reduced team sizes, may have a massive effect on profit margins.

Assuming that you have all of that covered, Brian, then I think that now is the time to really do things differently and also take clues from the major retailers that are still achieving good results. Normally I would be suggesting that you should be planning VIP guest festive gift and styling events and I would still suggest that you do these. However, you are unlikely to be able to actually physically host them, so if you can’t, what can you do? Online of course.

I have always been frustrated by the lack of online product and styling advice that salons make available to their guests, so now is the time to put this right.

There are many tools available now to host online presentations. We are currently delivering all of our coaching online whereas six months ago we had never done so. There is so much you can do if you plan it. Testers and samples can be sent in advance to clients that sign up to an event, ready for you to explain why and how to use them during your online event. Clients can still get engaged via live chat or by using breakout rooms.

I see many manufacturers of hairdressing products creating and sharing online tutorials on how to use their products and their styling tools, yet salons spend more time trying to show their clients how clever they are, instead of showing the clients how clever they could be with the help, advice and products available from the salon.

If clients can’t be in your salon then make sure that your salon is in their home. Never before have your website and all of your social media incarnations been more important to the success of your business. Learn how to maximise social media and make your website a real showroom for your business and why people should come to you.

Finally, fully booked means fully booked; ‘squeezing in’ is no longer acceptable. Now is the time to understand which services make you money… which means now could also be the perfect time to decide which services you need to stop doing. No change = no change.

Some people make it happen, some watch it happen and some say what happened.

Ken West is director of business experts 3•6•5 – email him on

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