Things to consider prior to reopening your salon…
With discussions of lockdown lifting over the next few weeks, you might be panicking about how you are going to prepare your workspace to welcome back clients and also how to manage all of your client bookings. Now is the time to consider what your strategy will be so you are prepared. You will need to think seriously about things like:
- how to implement infection protection measures;
- what your operational protocols are and what controls you will need;
- how you will manage your client diary;
- keeping your clients up to date about your new salon strategy;
You will need to plan for reopening to ensure you are calm & collected and organised.
INFECTION PROTECTION MEASURES
While keeping your workspace clean and tidy should not be a new phenomenon, we must be extra strict on protection measures to ensure everyone’s health is top priority while they are under your roof. Things to consider:
- Re-think your salon layout. Most people will be cautious of getting too close to others when your salon/business re-opens so you will need to consider reorganising your salon layout to maintain a degree of social-distancing. Consider removing some chairs to ensure the required 2 metre distance between clients, where possible. Or consider erecting screens between stations.
- Ensure adequate ventilation throughout the salon – open doors and windows where possible.
- Wearing protective masks, gloves and aprons. Your staff and clients may also feel more comfortable if you wear protective masks, gloves and aprons during the first few weeks of re-opening. It has not been stated as essential as of yet but we would recommend the use of masks and gloves, and also encourage your clients to wear them to their appointments as well.
- Disinfect all surfaces before and after clients visits. It is recommended to leave 15 minutes between clients to ensure all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Regularly disinfect high traffic areas of the salon throughout the day. Think about bathrooms and handles and light switches that are regularly touched throughout the day.
- All equipment items will need to be disinfected before and after every client service.
- Disposable towels and gowns must be used at all times and disposed of/changed between clients.
- Ensure every staff member should be trained to serve every client in a safe, hygienic and professional manner.
A few preventative measures will ensure the risk of infection spreading is minimised.
You may want to rethink your salon opening hours. When you re-open you will be busy so this may be a time to open for longer each day and possibly 7 days a week until things calm down. It may also be worth rethinking how your organise your team. Consider having two teams working at different times. This will reduce contact and you can keep your salon open for longer. You may also want to stagger appointment times to avoid congestion.
ON CLIENT ARRIVAL:
- Hand sanitiser must be used on entry to the salon and throughout the day. It is not unacceptable to ask clients to wash their hands on arrival.
- Do not accept walk-ins – all clients must pre-book
- While you want to greet your customers warmly, avoid hugging or shaking hands
- Clients must minimise what they bring to their appointments
- All client’s should come to their appointments alone
- You should consider only accepting card payments
- Ask clients to turn up to their appointments on time and not early. Consider removing your waiting room for the time being, and ask clients to wait outside the front door until you are ready for them.
- Arrive at the time agreed to maximise social distancing
- Arrive with clean hair
- To wear a face mask as they enter the salon and for the duration of their appointment
- Wash their hands or use hand sanitisers before and after each service
- Explain that you will not be serving refreshments or offering magazines in the salon at this time
- Ask clients to contact your salon and re-arrange their appointment, at no additional cost, if they have a temperature, or are feeling unwell; or if any person in their household is unwell or is self-isolating.This is extremely important.
- DO NOT come to work if you or anyone you live with is unwell or is self-isolating
It is worth thinking about how your working day is going to look. For example, how many hours are you prepared to work in order to ensure your clients are seen as quickly as possible? How many appointments can you fit in in a day including the recommended 15 minutes between appointments to thoroughly clean your client space? Here are a few strategies you may consider:
CREATE A WAITING LIST
If you haven’t done so already, start a priority waiting list. Set up an online booking system and ask people to use it to reserve their place on a priority booking list. Or use your old hard copy diary and ask clients to call, email or message you to secure their spot. You could put clients who had appointments cancelled at the top of the list before you open it to new bookings.
SEE CANCELLATIONS FIRST
Revisit your diary and offer appointment slots to anyone who had an appointment cancelled. Anyone who had an appointment on the first day of lockdown gets the first appointments when you reopen. This is the most fair system for your existing loyal customers; however, it comes with its disadvantages such as, you might disappoint clients who didn’t realise lockdown was coming and/or it doesn’t allow for any new bookings or clients.
Offer to see clients in order of urgency. This system is a little more complicated but has the advantage of making sure those people who really need to see you get in first. For example:
- Top priority – those who missed their last hair extension maintenance, hair replacement system clients
- Medium priority – those who just squeezed a maintenance in pre-lockdown
- Low priority for – new extension clients
Post your update on your social media channels, send them an email or Mailchimp or use your online system to send out a text update.
Here’s hoping the easing of lockdown measures continues to run smoothly and you are able to get your clients booked in to your chair as soon as possible.