The Covid-19 pandemic has left lasting marks on the hairdressing industry, with many businesses left playing catch-up for the time and money lost. How is the long-term future looking?
How has Covid-19 affected hairdressers?
According to the NHBF, the number of apprentices looking to get into the trade has halved over the past two years, which is causing great concern about the industry’s future.
After long times of drought without customers, hairdressers have been left out of pocket – especially those who are self-employed or rent a chair in a salon. As things continue to reopen and restrictions ease, hairdressers are gaining back some of the lost custom. But it’s fair to say that not everyone will feel safe cutting and styling hair or having their hair done at the moment.
With increased health and safety procedures, hairdressers must thoroughly clean down their stations in between customers to reduce any chance of spreading the virus. This can cause delays and what might have been a 10-customer day is now chopped down to around 5.
Having fewer customers in to keep up with shop repayments and the costs of products is causing a huge loss in profit.
However, the NHBF says the average turnover of staff within this sector has decreased by 45% this year as compared to 2020, showing an inkling of positivity. To help salons that are struggling, the Government has announced an extension of the non-payment ban until 25th March 2022 in England and 30th September 2021 in Wales.
What are some solutions?
Bouncing back from financial difficulty is never easy, but here are some suggestions for short to medium term solutions that can help hairdressers get back on track.
- Tax was reduced from 20% to 5% until March 2021, meaning that some additional savings could be made to help offset other costs.
- Scout out discounts and deals when buying stock and products for your store. Many online stores are offering large discounts to regain the custom they lost throughout the pandemic, so it’s a good time to make the most of these.
- Be sure to keep promoting your business on social media and keep up communications with your team and customers here, this will help you to stay relevant and gain new customers where possible.
- Use an online booking system instead of walk-in appointments – this will help reduce the chance of health and safety being breached or appointments clashing, and it will allow you space in between bookings for a thorough clean down.
- Ensure you are on top of government hygiene guidelines and that your salon is a safe yet pleasant space to be. This will make customers feel more comfortable with coming back.
- Get better hairdressers’ insurance to cover all your needs in times of a crisis and know that you are supported in worst-case scenario situations.