The last year has been tough for salon owners but it has also been a learning opportunity. At Leaf Scissors, we’re creating a platform to share experiences and to learn from each other.
To start this series off, we’ve interviewed two industry experts and talked about the struggles and opportunities since the first lockdown in the UK. Joe Steven, co-founder of OS Barber, and Kamila Pruszek, co-owner of the Blue Tit London Portobello salon.
Head over to our YouTube channel to watch the full interviews or read through their experiences and tips here.
How Has The Pandemic Affected Salons?
Salons have been forced to close their doors numerous times since the first lockdown in March 2020. This had a huge impact on those working in the hair industry with many fearing to lose their jobs. The uncertainty took a financial and mental toll.
“When the first lockdown happened, there was a fear of losing what we had just started to grow.”
Kamila also remembers the anxious atmosphere when salons reopened after the first lockdown, with restrictions and a level of uncertainty still prominent.
How To Cope As An Individual
Since the pandemic began, businesses have undoubtedly faced adversity. But we’re not only business owners, we’re humans, too. Now and after the pandemic, it’s important to take the time to take care of ourselves and those around us.
Stick to routines
Joe recommends using the time to learn more about yourself. Keeping to a daily routine or checklist can allow you to maintain a level of productivity.
“There’s an element of control that we all look for which hasn’t been there. The only thing that we can control is ourselves.”
Listen and communicate
Kamila has been in close touch with the team throughout the pandemic. Supporting them and taking the time to listen to their feelings is great to keep morale high, and shows you care as a leader.
What Can You Do To Support Your Team?
With everyone looking towards you for advice and reassurance, it can feel overwhelming to keep your team feeling supported in these times.
Check in regularly with your team
Kamila recommends looking after your team by regularly checking in on how they are coping. This doesn’t only apply to the pandemic. Having a happy team that you can trust means they will deliver the best customer service and enjoy the work they do.
The objective-driven approach
Joe advises setting specific goals and to stick to them to keep everyone motivated. You can hold each other accountable through deadlines and clear roles. By helping each other to meet these expectations, your team will be well-coordinated.
What Can We Learn From The Pandemic?
For most, this will have been the greatest challenge that your hair salon has faced. But with these difficult times comes the opportunity to grow your business after the lockdown, with everything you have learned about yourself and your salon.
Flexibility is everything
Joe is feeling positive about what he has learned about his business throughout the pandemic. One of the main take-aways is the constant need for adaptability, but it’s also worth looking into courses on leadership skills, creating a brand identity and goal setting.
“From a business perspective, it’s changed us in terms of adaptability”
Celebrate your achievements
Although Kamila feared losing her salon’s success, she has learned to appreciate everything she has so much more. Because of the shared experiences, the pandemic has also brought the team closer together.
How Will The Hair Industry Change Post-COVID?
Following the Black Lives Matter protests, Kamila has reflected on the lack of education in the hair industry surrounding different textures. The industry still needs to grow and progress by being more inclusive and diverse.
“We don’t learn how to cut curly hair in education. We need to realise that ‘Texture Matters’.”
Getting Ready for the Grand Reopening
With the date of April 12th to look towards, the future of the hair industry is looking positive. Clients are itching to get back to the salons to fix their lockdown manes, and many salons are now being flooded with bookings.
Interested to share your story, too? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about the possibilities.