13 June 2024

Cost of Living – Navigating the Pitfalls

2023 is a year like no other. Known as being the year that the world has fully re-opened, the pandemic is a distant memory. However, the looming and very much discussed cost of living crisis has arrived and is a huge talking point not just in the hairdressing industry, but across every sector and town within the United Kingdom.

The impact of the last few years have certainly taken it’s toll. Businesses, big and small are now feeling the effects and actively working to prevent any further damage or financial loss. As an industry, it’s time to work together and put together a strong plan on how to navigate through this financially critical period. We must and make sure that our industry and salons as a whole come through the cost of living crisis. It’s time for the industry to unite, and we have spoken to salons around the UK who are sharing their plans and advice on how to survive this rollercoaster period.

Brian MacMillan, F&M Hairdressing:

Just as we have survived the pandemic and aftermath, we have experienced another period of uncertainty. The cost of living crisis is a hot topic with business owners and consumers alike. For me, I have used the last 6 months as a pre-planning period, allowing me to evaluate where our business is at present, where we are likely to be in the next 6months, everything in between and how to ensure we are stable during this time. One of the things I have been doing is looking at our salon incomings and outgoings – something I do regularly but have put much more focus on as we came into 2023.

Looking at our outgoings such as electricity (we are all feeling this!), the products and quantities we bring into the salon, along with where we physically purchases goods for the business (stationary, refreshments and required goods). Everything that can be assessed and be adjusted ever so slightly makes such a difference. One thing to note is when it comes to the quality for our clients, this is something we don’t scrape on, the quality must always remain.

My advice for the business owners out there would be to simply chat to your suppliers and look at what other alternatives are available. Communication is key here and you may end up getting a better deal and helping hand by simply discussing your options.

Darrel Starkey, Taylor’s Hair Studio:

Being a single salon, the cost of living crisis is very much at the top of my agenda and something I am very much aware of and actively looking at and monitoring. Everyone is being affected by this, not just businesses and it is important to look at every aspect of the working day, week, month and finances in order to navigate our way through this scary time. One thing that I have changed, is my pricing – a very debateable topic.

Every year my prices increase, however this year I have taken everything into consideration into times, stock required, electricity and general salon costs and pulled together a new, comprehensive price list for my services. I have kept this as low as possible but at a time like this you have to be realistic as a business owner and be honest and open with your clients. Everything is rising and it is important that you back up your increase. For me personally, I have kept the increase as low as I can however have communicated this to the clients and made them aware with enough notice that the prices will increase. The feedback from them has been great and I am very fortunate that my clients are completely understanding.

I would advise any of my fellow salon owners to do exactly the same, be open and honest with your clients and give as much notice as you can when it comes to any changes in your business – the more notice the better.

Ijan Davies, JOICO European Design Team:

Having experienced the recession back in 2008, the cost of living crisis is very much a replica of that very frightening time for many – something we sadly knew would unfold as the pandemic took hold. This year, although not as severe as back then, is one to be wary of and is aa time for all business owners across every single sector to plan ahead and prepare solutions for every scenario – be as prepared as possible.

One thing you need to be aware of as well as your business is your team – they are also very much affected int their personal lives and as the foundation of services within your business, you want to make sure they are looked after and stable as much as possible. Be open with them and involve them in the ideas and solutions. Ask then their opinion on changes you are thinking of making, ask them for their input on ways to target more potential clients, increase client loyalty and how as a team you can upsell services such as treatments and retail. Bring them into the business as much as possible and go out of your way to make them feel valued and a part of something – this will only benefit you, in more ways than one.

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