When you have built up your salon or barber shop over the years, nothing feels quite as demotivating as seeing your business drop off suddenly.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what many hair and beauty businesses are experiencing across the country at the moment. According to Hair Journal, 68% of salons reported that they are down on both appointments and retail sales compared to the same month of 2019.

Yes, we are facing difficult times. But, by taking action you can ensure you have done your best to keep your business as strong as possible when appointments slow down…

1. Stay Proactive

When your appointment slots are empty, getting more business through the door might seem like an impossible task.

But, while marketing expenses are often the first to go when business struggles, professionals advise that this should actually be the last thing to be cut.

In those quiet periods, do everything you can to keep up communication with clients. Their loyalty is now more important than ever. So, work on emails, engage on social media or revamp your loyalty schemes – anything to touch base with them.

Keep active in advertising yourself, too. If you have open slots or last minute cancellations, put word out on your Facebook page.

We have a full blog on attracting new clients to your business with more helpful advice.

Or, check out these tips from Not Another Salon on attracting new clients through social media!

2. Work on Your Retail Sales

What is the retail culture like in your salon?

Are your stylists wary of selling products to clients? Can you help encourage them to improve the sales they make?

When you are faced with multiple empty appointments, try to make the most profit from the ones you do have. One way to do this is to boost your retail revenue from clients during their treatment.

Selling products to clients doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable if approached in the right way. Review the retail products you have and get feedback from your stylists on how clients respond to them. If any of them just aren’t selling, consider replacing them with ones that will.

See our salon retail selling tips here!

3. Explore extra revenue streams

Along with trying to boost your retail revenue in the salon, have a think about other revenue streams you can explore.

Some salons have seen huge access by taking their retail products online. With more people now staying at home and even working from home, e-commerce has seen a huge boost, so why not make the most of it?

A benefit you have over other retailers is that you know your clients. You have the advantage of knowing what they like, what their concerns are and the products that will work well for them.

Consider gifting seasons coming up, too – Christmas, Valentines Day, Mother’s Day – and see if you can make the most of the opportunity by creating hair or beauty bundles.

We have a guide to selling salon retail products online here!

Best salon Retail Products

Are there any other ways you could add to your revenue? Maybe by renting out a salon chair or making use of booking apps for salons?

4. Set up training sessions

If stylists are finding themselves with fewer bookings, it doesn’t only harm your revenue – it can also damage morale.

Consider arranging some training sessions to keep staff motivated. Task them with researching upcoming trends and refining their skills ready for their clients. This is a worthwhile investment, as it can put you ahead of your competition when appointments start filling back up again.

What’s more, you can post all those amazing new looks on social media to help build your following!

Why not take a look at our training heads – and, find out why stylists love Pivot Point Training Heads on our blog!

5. Keep an eye on your spending

Reduced appointments means you should be reducing the amount of money you are spending.

Take a look at your books and make sure your costs are inline with a reduction in revenue.

For example, the stock you buy for your salon should usually be about 8-12% of your total costs.

With fewer appointments, take care to buy what you need. Buying in bulk is often cheaper, but with a reduced cash flow it’s often better to buy smaller amounts more frequently.

Nevertheless, introducing new products and treatments can still be a good investment if you think they will bring in more clients. As always, just make sure you keep an eye on the return on investment they bring in, so you know what has worked well.

Don’t forget to give them a good marketing push, too!

See our blog on introducing new treatments to your beauty salon for some more advice.

6. Stay positive

Reduced appointments can be really worrying – especially when you feel like the cause is out of your control.

While it is hard, it’s important to do your best to stay positive and focussed. Keep sight of the future and continue to plan long term.

Don’t forget about your team, either. Your positivity and leadership will trickle down to them too. Their support may well be essential to your business making it through hard times.

If you need supplies for your hair, beauty or barber business, visit Salons Direct online today

Find more salon management advice on our blog…

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