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ÂŁ3.50 The essential magazine for salon owners

Sept/Oct 2017

ENGLAND’S FINEST

NHF ambassadors Gary Hooker and Michael Young embrace individuality

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Salons urge minimum and living wage pay restraint

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Get ready for the crucial Christmas rush

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How salon technology is boosting profitability Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


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Contents

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C O N T E N T S P6 NEWS End of energy “raw deal”, and new health and safety toolkit P10 FRUITS OF LABOUR A government review of new working practices could have important implications for selfemployment within hair and beauty P12 PAY PERIL As trading conditions toughen on the high street, and salons also face a recruitment crisis, the NHF calls for restraint in the setting of future minimum and living wage rates

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P16 LEADING LIGHTS Gary Hooker and Michael Young of the award-winning Hooker & Young brand were announced as NHF “ambassadors” in July. They outline what drives them and the secret to their success P20 MAKE CHRISTMAS A CRACKER How to prepare for the festive rush and make the critical Christmas and New Year period financially merry P28 FESTIVE FIZZ Offering a glass of bubbly at Christmas can be a nice touch. But, even if you’re not charging for it, don’t forget you will need not one but two licences from your council P30 PROFIT DRIVERS Cutting-edge technology has transformed how salons and barbershops run their businesses. But, with the high street climate getting tougher, how are software providers helping salons to sustain profitability? P34 DIGITAL DEMAND Barbershops are shaking off the industry’s cash-in-hand reputation by increasingly offering a mix of online and walk-in bookings P36 THE FINAL COUNTDOWN We are just days away from the finalists being announced for November’s glittering NHF Business Awards P37 COMPETITION TIME Britain’s Best in November is set to be even better than ever. Here is what you can expect on the day

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P38 EVENTS All you need to know about November’s Pride of Scotland, and where and when events will be coming to your area

COVER IMAGE

£3.50 The essential magazine for salon owners

Sept/Oct 2017

An image from “Made in England”, a collection from new joint NHF ambassadors Gary Hooker and Michael Young. The collection, explain Gary and Michael, “embraces individuality and real people, inspired by celebrating different cultures and trends.” They add: “Creating a story, personalities and a couple’s background is the aim of this collection, whilst representing hair that real people want to wear.”

BLONDE AMBITION

Jack Howard’s inspired balayage

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Salons urge minimum and living wage pay restraint

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Get ready for the crucial Christmas rush

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How a ‘gaps’ app has saved one member £2,000 Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus

CREDITS: Hair: Gary Hooker and Michael Young Make-up: Megumi Styling: Clare Frith Photography: Jack Eames

CONNECT WITH US AND HAVE YOUR COMMENTS AND TWEETS IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF SALONFOCUS Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


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Welcome

PR ESIDEN T’S

L E T T E R SALONFOCUS IS PUBLISHED BY: National Hairdressers’ Federation, One Abbey Court, Fraser Road, Priory Business Park, Bedford MK44 3WH t: +44 (0) 1234 831965 f: +44 (0) 1234 838875 e: sfenquiries@salonfocus.co.uk w: www.nhf.info PUBLISHER Hilary Hall e: hilary.hall@nhf.info EDITOR Nic Paton e: nic@cormorantmedia.co.uk PR, EVENTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA Kelly Sylvester t. +44 (0) 1234 834384 e. kelly.sylvester@nhf.info ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER Andy Etherton T: + 44 (0) 1536 527297 e: andy.etherton@nhf.info ART DIRECTOR Adriano Cattini Matrix Print Consultants Ltd t: +44 (0) 1536 527297 e: adriano@matrixprint.com While every care is taken in compiling this issue of salonfocus including manuscripts and photographs submitted, we accept no responsibility for any losses or damage, whatever the cause. All information and prices contained in advertisements are accepted by the publishers in good faith as being correct at the time of going to press. Neither the advertisers nor the publishers accept any responsibility for any variations affecting price variations or availability after the publication has gone to press. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the permission of the publisher, to whom application must first be made. The views expressed by contributors to salonfocus are not necessarily those of the NHF, the publisher or its editor. © 2016 The National Hairdressers’ Federation.

ur industry relies on confidence – the confidence of stylists and beauty therapists in their ability to do a good job, the confidence of business owners to set up by themselves and provide a valuable service to their communities.

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We are also reliant on the confidence of clients to come out and spend. As we saw in the crash of 2008/09, even when times are tough, a relatively small “treat” such as hair and beauty that makes you feel good about yourself is often something people are reluctant to give up on unless they absolutely have to. ABOUT AGNES Yet, when consumer confidence starts to Agnes Leonard is president wobble, it does have an effect. It can mean clients of the NHF and a registered hairdresser. She has worked in book less frequently, have fewer services or the industry for 36 years and even decide to switch to a cheaper salon. owns Croppers Hair Studio in Dundee, a busy, family-run salon This is why the NHF’s survey of members as successfully adapting to the part of its evidence to the Low Pay Commission fast-changing retail environment – just, in fact, like many NHF is so worrying, with salons reporting sales members up and down the country. suddenly declining while prices and costs seem to go up and up. With all the political and economic uncertainty we face at the moment, it is hard, if not impossible, to say what the long-term outlook is for our industry. As salon owners, all we can do is continue to provide an excellent service and experience that will make clients want to return. But we need to be prepared – and that means making sure we are running our businesses in the most professional and efficient way possible. To help business owners do this, the NHF will, as always, be with hairdressing, barbering and beauty every step of the way.

Material for consideration in this section of the magazine should be submitted via email or digital file transfer to the editor, salonfocus. Submissions should be made on the understanding that the National Hairdressers’ Federation has the right to use the material in any part of the magazine and any of its other publications, promotions or website, free from any copyright restrictions, or appearance fees other than the issue of artistic and photographic credits where applicable. Please include salon name, photographer and stylist.

AGNES LEONARD NHF president

COMING UP IN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 75 years strong – in the month of the NHF’s new Business Awards, we look at how members feel the industry has changed, and how being an NHF member has helped them to run their businesses better If you’ve successfully met your pensions’ auto-enrolment obligations and enrolled your team in a pension, well done. But you may now need to start thinking about pensions’ reenrolment. We explain how it works.

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

Do uniforms really make a difference to how professional your salon looks and feels? We speak to members who have made the change

Do you have a salon story to tell? Would you like to be featured in salonfocus? Get in touch with the team, on 01234 834385, or send an email to nic@cormorantmedia.co.uk


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News

MINIMUM WAGE WOE

END OF ENERGY ‘RAW DEAL’ COULD MEAN CHEAPER BILLS FOR SALONS

alons and barbershops could save thousands of pounds off their energy bills, as energy companies have been told they can no longer automatically roll small and microbusinesses on to more expensive “default” tariffs.

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It is estimated the move by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) could save small businesses as much as £180m a year. The CMA has ordered energy companies to stop locking small firms into so-called “automatic rollover” contracts. These are more expensive tariffs that businesses are automatically transferred on to if they fail to negotiate a new supply deal within a specified time once their contract is up for renewal. Once on the default tariff, not only is it more expensive, but there are normally expensive termination or exit fees to leave. To make matters worse, energy suppliers have normally only published a full list of available tariffs for domestic

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

customers, making it much more difficult for microbusinesses to compare prices and switch to cheaper energy deals. MORE TRANSPARENCY The CMA has said both these activities must now stop, forcing energy firms to make comparison deal information more clearly available on their websites or via a link to a price comparison website. The move follows a two-year investigation into the energy market by the authority, which concluded that nearly half (45%) of microbusinesses were stuck on these more expensive default tariffs. Hilary Hall, chief executive of the NHF, said: “For too long, many small businesses have suffered a raw deal in the energy market. “It is all too easy when you’re busy just to let things like energy contract renewals slip, when you could have saved money by searching out a better price. This change means there should be no excuse for not switching or renegotiating. It also makes it even more important that hair and beauty and barbering business owners are proactive in shopping around for the best energy deal,” she added.

Nearly half (47%) of hairdressing apprentices were paid below their legal National Minimum Wage rate last year, a damning report from the government has concluded. The Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2016 from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy concluded hairdressing apprentices were “by far the most likely to have received non-compliant pay”. Hairdressing was far and away the least compliant industry when it came to paying apprentices the legal minimum, with childcare the second poorest at 27%. Despite extensive campaigning and awarenessraising by the NHF, the situation is even worse than the government’s previous report in 2014 – when hairdressing was once again the worst offender of any industry. At that point, 42% of hairdressing apprentices were paid below the legal minimum, the government concluded. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady described the situation as “shocking”. The apprentice minimum wage is currently £3.50 an hour. But it is complicated by the fact this rate is only for apprentices who are aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship if aged 19 or over. Any other apprentices must be paid at their appropriate agerelated minimum wage rate, or if aged above 25 at the National Living Wage.


News

HALF OF CLIENTS ‘LOYAL’ TO THEIR SALON More than half (53%) of Britons say they always visit the same hairdresser or barber, highlighting the trust and loyalty within a salon/barbershopclient relationship, research from insurer Direct Line for Business has suggested. A further 15% said they would only “betray” their regular hairdresser or barber if they were absolutely forced to. Older clients were more likely to be faithful to their hairdresser, with 57% of over-55s visiting the same salon, compared with 46% of 18- to 34-year-olds. The most loyal region was the north east of England, where nearly two thirds (63%) said they would always go to the same hair professional, compared with the south west, where the figure was 47%. Loyal clients stuck with their hairdresser on average for eight years, the research suggested.

SKILLS 'MOSAIC' SHEER PINK Next month is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and hair and beauty salons and barbershops are being urged to “wear it pink” on 20 October. Wear it Pink day is an opportunity for salon teams up and down the country to show their support for the charity Breast Cancer Now by wearing something pink and raising money. More details on other ways salons and barbershops and individuals can get involved can be found at https:// wearitpink.org/

NEW HEALTH AND SAFETY TOOLKIT

GO, KAT Well done to Kat Duke, a stylist with William Guy Hairdressing in Ringwood, Essex. Kat has made it through the process to join the WellaUnicef Making Waves programme, and so will be going out to Cambodia to spend time working to bring hairdressing training, mentoring and life-skills education to vulnerable teenagers in the country.

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The NHF has updated its health and safety toolkit for hairdressing salons and barbershops, and will shortly publish a similar toolkit specifically for beauty salons. The new toolkit includes a practical “what’s changed?” section designed to show business owners what in the toolkit has been amended and is new. For example, the new booklet includes a fire risk assessment checklist that owners should complete and clarifies what health and safety guidelines

Roles within hairdressing and beauty are becoming ever-more technical and skilled, making the argument for mandatory registration within the industry even more compelling, a report from qualifications body VTCT has argued. The Skills Foresight 2017 report was launched at an event at the Houses of Parliament in July. Services such as micro-needling and chemical peels were examples of qualifications that now have reached degree-level standard, the report highlighted. New career routes into the industry were also opening up as new services, especially new beauty services, became more popular. For example, aesthetic nurses, non-surgical beauty technicians, trichologists, cosmetologists and semipermanent make-up artists were all now part of the hair and beauty landscape. Alan Woods, chief executive of VTCT, said: “The hair and beauty industry is fighting hard to shed the label of being a default career route; the stereotypical image of a hairdresser, a barber, a beauty therapist is changing into a far more complex, multi-faceted mosaic.”

should be given to employees and selfemployed workers working in a salon or barbershop. There are also new risk assessment templates and new sections on managing risks around asbestos, legionella and gas safety, among other changes. The new toolkit is available from the NHF’s online shop, at nhf.info

Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


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News

EXTRA CHILDCARE Salons and barbershops in England are being reminded that working parents of three- to four-year-old children may be eligible for 30 hours a week of free childcare from this month (September), rather than the previous 15, under a new government scheme. The national rollout follows a number of regional trials carried out in various parts of England during this year. To be eligible, the child must be aged three or four and both parents (or sole parent) must live in England and be working. Each parent must earn weekly at least the equivalent of 16 hours at the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage and must have an annual income of less than £100,000. Those who are not eligible will still be able to receive the previous 15 hours a week. However, parents should also be aware this new provision is only available for 38 weeks of the year (equivalent to school term times) rather than the full 52 weeks of a year.

WATCH OUT FOR NEW GCSE GRADES

HF members are being reminded that school leavers in England applying for jobs or apprenticeships this autumn will have new 1-9 GCSE grades for English and maths rather than the more familiar A*-G grades.

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The new numeric grades have been introduced from this summer. But the fact they have only been brought in for some subjects means school leavers will have a potentially complicated mix of numeric and alphabetical GCSEs. Current Year 11 pupils (in other words those who took GCSEs this summer) will get their English and maths results under the new system, but other subjects will still be graded A*-G. The government has published a range of resources to help businesses understand the new grading system,

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

including a dedicated webpage https:// newgcses.campaign.gov.uk/ Other guidance can be found on the government’s gov.uk website. Under the new grades, nine is the highest mark and one is the lowest. A Grade 4 is broadly comparable to an old C. Education secretary Justine Greening has described a Grade 4 as a “standard pass” and a Grade 5 as a “strong pass”. Grades 7-9 are broadly equivalent to an A to A*. Grades 4-6 are the equivalent of Bs and Cs. A Grade 3 is like an old D, with Grades 1-2 being the equivalent of grades E, F and G. More subjects will be brought into the new system next year (2018), with the final transition being made in 2019. The A*-G grading structure will continue unchanged in Wales, but pupils in Northern Ireland will have a mix of numerical and alphabetical grades. In Scotland, the system of Nationals and Highers will also continue unchanged.

PENSIONS WORRY More than a third (35%) of UK small businesses still do not know what pensions auto-enrolment is, a survey has suggested, despite the fact all UK businesses must be offering pensions to their employees by 1 February 2018 at the latest. Of more than 2,300 small businesses polled by online local services marketplace Bidvine.com, more than two fifths (43%) felt the expense of contributing to an employee’s pensions would affect their ability to hire new staff. When asked “has your business already complied with pension auto-enrolment?”, as well as the 35% who did not know, 33% said “no” while two thirds (66%) admitted they did not even know when the deadline for auto-enrolment was, despite February now being just six months away. To find out more about the NHF’s pension scheme, which guarantees entry to NHF members, go to nhf.info.


News

TWITTER FOLLOWERS 11.2K

FACEBOOK LIKES 12,575

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INSTAGRAM LIKES 1,728

WHAT’S TRENDING TWEETS AND POSTS FROM AROUND THE NHF Revive Hairdressing

NOT SO

BUBBLY Hairdressers and beauty salons in the Midlands were warned over the summer about the dangers of offering a free glass of bubbly to clients without first getting the appropriate licences. Staffordshire Police issued the warning to businesses in June, amid concerns that some salons were offering alcoholic drinks – especially during hot weather – as part of treatment packages without the proper licences. Firms that fail to get a premises and personal licence to allow you to serve alcohol, even if it is complimentary, risk a £20,000 fine and up to six months in prison if caught. Inspector Paul Prenter, head of Staffordshire Police’s licensing department, said: “Providing alcohol to customers without a licence is a breach of section 136 of the Licensing Act and is a criminal offence.” Licences are readily available from local councils.

FIND OUT MORE Turn to page 28 to find out how to get your business covered for serving alcohol in the run-up to Christmas

TECH-TASTIC Salon technology company Shedul is celebrating after being highly rated on a prestigious software advice and review website. The company was rated in the top position for “Most user-friendly” and “Most affordable” salon software by Capterra.com, a review site run by respected US research company Gartner. It also made second place in the “Most popular” salon software category.

Krissy and Laura enjoyed a evening out in London last night at National Hairdressers Federation barbering workshop with Vik Riat at TRU Barbers Did you know we offer anything from clipper work through to the latest haircuts for men and boys, hair colour treatments and barbering appointments including beard trimming and cut-throat shaves? www.revivehairdressing.co.uk

Respect hair @RespectNews- Jun 19 Head of legal help line team @NHFederation, Laura Chalkley talks misconduct, holiday pay + more... #HUBnetwork17 @goldwelluk @kmshairuk

The NHF team and Thehairdresserscharity are supporting the charities Helping Hairdressers Day by wearing purple outfits and even a purple wig! #HHD17 #HelpinghairdressersInNeed

JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION @nhfederation @NHFederation facebook.com/national hairdressersfederation

Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


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Self-employment and working practices

FRUITS OF LABOUR A GOVERNMENT REVIEW OF NEW WORKING PRACTICES, INCLUDING THE SO-CALLED “GIG ECONOMY”, COULD HAVE IMPORTANT IMPLICATIONS FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT WITHIN HAIR AND BEAUTY.

s salonfocus highlighted in July, self-employment remains a popular method of working within hair and beauty. In fact, nearly half (48%) of people working in hairdressing and barbering are self-employed, and 57% within beauty.

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But in an increasingly flexible and fluid working landscape, how businesses use self-employed workers has been coming under scrutiny, with the working practices of so-called “gig economy” app-based and self-employment-based businesses such as Uber and Deliveroo particularly in the spotlight. The government’s Review of Modern Working Practices, led by former Labour strategist Matthew Taylor, was given the job of looking at whether such new models of working are fair or exploitative and whether, more widely, self-employment as it currently operates remains fit for purpose or needs to be reformed. Of course, hair and beauty salons are not gig economy businesses. But the fact self-employment is so commonplace, especially chair and room renting but also mobile and freelance working, means the report’s conclusions, published in July, could have significant implications for the industry. ‘DEPENDENT CONTRACTOR’ The report set out a range of recommendations and “principles” but the key suggestion was that a new category of worker should be created – “dependent contractor”.

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

This would be a half-way house between an employee and a selfemployed worker, and would mean someone working on a casual basis for an employer could still be eligible for basic employment rights, such as sick and holiday pay and the minimum or living wage. However, the tricky thing for the industry is the report left unanswered exactly how this new category of worker should be defined, in other words at what point someone would move from being deemed self-employed to “dependent”. This, Taylor argued, is something for the government to decide. To that end, as NHF chief executive Hilary Hall made clear, it is still too early to say with any certainty exactly how these recommendations may in the future affect salons and barbershops. “The government will have to decide which of those recommendations they want to accept and then whether changes to legislation or tax policy will be needed, so it could be some time before we know how the government will respond,” she said. But the very fact self-employment is under such scrutiny, and the likelihood the rules may change in some shape or form, means it is even more important salons and barbershops make sure their existing arrangements and contracts are watertight, Hilary emphasised. “We urge business owners to have proper NHF chair renting or beauty room agreements in place which, under current legislation, are designed to remove the risk of HMRC deciding that your self-employed workers are really employees, which leaves you wide open to tax penalties and expensive legal action,” she said.

q The Modern Working Practices report by Matthew Taylor (inset) was looking at new ways of selfemployment-based working pioneered by firms such as Deliveroo and Uber, but could have implications for hair and beauty

OTHER KEY RECOMMENDATIONS The review asked the government to consider a number of other changes, including:

ã Currently, if an employee’s hours differ from week to week, holiday pay is calculated on the average pay the employee has earned in the past 12 weeks. The review has suggested this should be extended to 52 weeks. ã The Low Pay Commission should advise on the effect of introducing a higher minimum wage for workers on zero-hours contracts. ã Workers on zero-hours contracts should have a “right to request” to have a direct contract after 12 months with their hirer.


Self-employment and working practices

ã Statutory sick pay, which is currently paid from the fourth day of absence for up to 28 weeks, should become a basic employment right, much like the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. This would mean it would be available to all workers from the first day of their employment. ã Workers who are returning to work after a long period of sick leave should have the right to return to the same or similar job, as long as they have previously engaged with the government’s Fit for Work Service. ã Employers that fail to pay employment tribunal awards against them should be “named and shamed” and incur stiffer penalties.

WHAT WOULD A ‘DEPENDENT CONTRACTOR’ LOOK LIKE? ã A dependent contractor would be a category of person eligible for “worker” rights yet not an employee. ã However, it will be up to the government to decide precisely what this might look like in practice. ã As the report said: “Currently, an

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individual can have almost every aspect of their work controlled by a business, from rates of pay to disciplinary action and still not be considered a worker… We do not think this is fair… Ultimately, if it looks and feels like employment, it should have the status and protection of employment.”

ã The government will also need to look at the level of “control” an individual has over their work when determining dependent contractor status. ¢

FIND OUT MORE The NHF’s chair renting and beauty room agreements can be found online at nhf.info

Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


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The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

PAY PERIL WITH THE BUDGET DUE THIS AUTUMN, ALL EYES ARE ON WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MINIMUM AND LIVING WAGE RATES NEXT YEAR. THE NHF HAS WARNED THE GOVERNMENT TO THINK LONG AND HARD BEFORE PUTTING THEM UP TOO SHARPLY.

the hours staff work, recruiting fewer people, cutting back investment, reducing training and slashing bonuses or commissions. And the prospect of the National Living Wage going up from its current £7.50 an hour to £7.85 an hour, as the Low Pay Commission has previously indicated it should, fills members with horror.

he NHF has fired a warning shot across the bows of the government, urging it to show restraint in deciding on any increases next year in the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE If this happened, most salons said they would have no option but to raise prices, or try to. Otherwise it would be a case of slashing hours, taking lower profits, or recruiting fewer workers. The NHF pointed out in its evidence that salon and barbershop owners are also being hit by additional costs, including pensions auto-enrolment, new compulsory contributions to apprenticeship training and steep rises to business rates in some areas. As NHF chief executive Hilary Hall put it: “We are seeing a continuing trend that, where employers can afford to do so, they are paying well above the minimum wage, especially for qualified and experienced staff. “But if the big rises currently projected are too fast and too frequent, many salons will struggle to continue providing employment in the current climate. The NHF is therefore urging the Low Pay Commission to recommend wage increases which are more in line with the rate of inflation.”

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In its latest evidence submitted to the Low Pay Commission (LPC), the body which recommends to government what future minimum pay rates should be, the NHF has argued that members are reporting tougher trading conditions on the high street, and many are already struggling to pay the current rates. At the same time, many salons and barbershops are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place – with turnover declining and costs rising, they’re struggling to find (and afford) the high-quality, experienced staff they desperately need to help them trade through the tougher climate. So, what’s going on? As part of its evidence to the LPC, the NHF carried out a survey of 271 members during

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

June to find out how they were coping with the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage, and how trading was looking generally. While the picture on the high street was relatively optimistic in 2015 and 2016, this year things appear to be much darker. TOUGH TRADING There has been a 5% increase in members who said sales are now going down. The number of members who are still positive, and still seeing sales rising, is also declining, down 9%. Just as worrying, this decline is affecting even the biggest salons. When it came to pay, three quarters (78%) of members polled said the introduction of the National Living Wage for over-25s in April last year had increased their wage bill, with 44% saying it had risen “to some extent”. Most salons have taken the hit and simply absorbed the extra cost. The next most common response has been to raise prices – but salons felt this was getting increasingly hard to do as consumer confidence slipped. Other reactions include reducing

• Turn over to see what members said.


The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

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Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


14 q

The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

HAS THE NATIONAL LIVING WAGE AFFECTED YOUR WAGE BILL?

50%

WHAT MEMBERS SAID

CUSTOMERS SEE PRICE INCREASES AS THE SALON ‘PROFITEERING’, AND ARE NOT AWARE OF THE OVERHEAD INCREASES THAT WE ARE ABSORBING

45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20%

15% 10% 5% 0% Yes to a large extent

Yes, to some extent

Yes, to a small extent

No, my staff No, but I expect No, and I don't aged 25+ it to increase expect it to already earn my wage bill in increase my the National the future wage bill in the Living wage or future more

q HOW SALONS SAY THEIR TURNOVER HAS CHANGED TURNOVER

2015

2016

2017

Gone up

43%

37%

28%

Stayed the same

32%

37%

42%

Gone down

24%

25%

30%

THE MORE THE MINIMUM WAGE IS INCREASED, THE MORE PRICES GO UP. THE COST OF LIVING IS LOWER IN THE SOUTH WEST, BUT THE NATIONAL LIVING WAGE IS THE SAME AS IN LONDON. BUT OUR PRICES CANNOT BE THE SAME AS IN LONDON. AND, IF CONSUMERS RESIST PRICE INCREASES, THEN HOW DO WE MAKE A PROFIT?

FACTS & FIGURES

INDUSTRY ‘RECRUITMENT CRISIS’ Salons and barbershops are struggling to attract the right people into their to recruit experienced staff, with business and keep them there. rural businesses in particular finding “Increasing competition from other it hard to do so. employers, coupled with a shortage of people looking for work, is creating a More than eight out of 10 hairdressing, recruitment crisis across the UK for barbering and beauty employers our industry.” (82%) say they are finding recruiting qualified and experienced staff to be WHAT MEMBERS SAID either “very difficult” or “difficult”, the NHF’s Low Pay Commission survey also found. WE ARE IN A VILLAGE The poll found the problem was LOCATION; PEOPLE WANT TO especially challenging for salons and BE IN A TOWN. I TRAIN STAFF; barbershops in rural areas, as staff THEY MOVE TO TOWNS. often preferred bigger cities as a more attractive destination. THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF At the other end of the spectrum, LEEDS BECKON THE YOUNG, nearly three quarters of members in the NHF poll (72%) said it was also AND WORKING IN A SMALL “very difficult” or “difficult” to find and TOWN ISN’T APPEALING. recruit apprentices. NHF chief executive Hilary Hall IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND said: “Wages are already increasing EXCELLENT HAIRDRESSERS rapidly due to the National Living AS THERE IS SO MUCH Wage, but employers may have no option but to pay more if they want COMPETITION FROM OTHER

“ “

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

43%

Percentage of hair and beauty salons and barbershops that say recruiting qualified and experienced staff is “very difficult”

33%

Percentage of hair and beauty salons and barbershops that say recruiting apprentices is “very difficult”

39%

Percentage of hair and beauty salons and barbershops who say this is “difficult”

SALONS LOOKING FOR THE SAME QUALITY.

A LOT MORE COMPETITION; MANY MORE SALONS HAVE OPENED SINCE WE STARTED OVER 30 YEARS AGO.


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NHF ambassadors

LEADING LIGHTS

GARY HOOKER AND MICHAEL YOUNG, THE MASTERMINDS BEHIND THE AWARD-WINNING HOOKER & YOUNG HAIRDRESSING BRAND, WERE ANNOUNCED AS NHF “AMBASSADORS” IN JULY. IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, THE NHF MEMBERS OUTLINE WHAT DRIVES THEM AND THE SECRET TO THEIR SUCCESS.

Gary and Michael, congratulations on becoming the first ever honorary NHF ambassadors! You are about to celebrate 25 years in business together – what has been the key to your success? Michael. We’ve lived by two rules over the years – “you only get back what you put in” and “treat people in the way you would want to be treated”. We’ve always instilled this into our team; be humble, hardworking and share what you know with others. We’re both incredibly proud of the people we work with and are lucky to have such great loyalty in our team. Gary. Stay focused and keep your goals in mind. Take time to think of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to accomplish your goals. This wonderful industry can be so full-on and demanding, so try to stay on track and keep your aims and objectives at the centre of what you do.

What is the best business advice you have ever been given, and how did you take it on board?

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Michael. Surround yourself with like-minded and inspiring people. Hairdressing for us is all about sharing knowledge and encouraging creativity. We’re lucky to have five salons, each with talented teams who bring a different and unique outlook on hairdressing. Gary. Another piece of advice is to treat everyone with respect and take the time to listen to them; you never know what you might learn!

Many business owners say that awards and competitions are too time-consuming to enter – yet you have won many awards during your time in business. Why are awards important to you, your team and your business? Gary. It is time-consuming and can be very expensive, but we’ve seen first-hand how it motivates our team and in turn their work within the salons. We think it’s so important to invest in young talent and are extremely proud of our Protégé and Art Teams. We take team members with us to events and award shows; we love to give all of them the chance to go for awards and thrive on all that our great industry has to offer!


NHF ambassadors

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Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


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NHF ambassadors

Michael. Gary and I also learn a great deal about ourselves on every shoot and during the process of writing award entries. It’s a chance to look back and reflect on the business, which is something that we rarely get a chance to do! It’s also a great personal development process that filters down to our team. And besides, who doesn’t love to win an award every now and again?!

How do you strive for business and creative excellence? Gary. As a duo, we have our own roles within the business, which ensures that all areas are covered! Michael tends to lean towards the education and marketing side of things whilst I look after the financial, contracts and HR elements of the business. Although this isn’t completely inclusive, we work on all elements of the business with one-another; we’re a true partnership! Michael. No one has complete control over any aspect, we just seem to have fallen into these roles. The creative side is very much a joint effort! For any shoots or on-stage performances, we both come together to merge our artistic visions. Gary. We have an amazing staff retention rate because we invest in our team and create amazing opportunities for them, no matter what avenue they choose to go down. Whether it’s management, education or creative,

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everyone has different plans and career ambitions, so we cater for everybody. I think this is super important to achieve business excellence – a happy team equals happy clients!

WHAT ARE NHF “AMBASSADORS”? The NHF ambassador role has been created as part of the NHF’s 75th anniversary celebrations this year, which culminate in our glittering Business Awards on 19 November. Gary and Michael will be announcing some of the winners on the night, but their role is much wider than that. NHF ambassadors are leading industry figures who work with the NHF to inspire and motivate our members to build professional and profitable businesses. For example, Gary and Michael are ten-time British Hairdresser of the Year nominees, and their brand has gone from strength-to-strength in a career spanning some 25 years. As part of their role, Gary and Michael will be active on the NHF’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and on our website, nhf. info, passing on top tips and advice and sharing their business experience. So keep your eyes peeled! The NHF will be inviting key industry figures from the barbering and beauty sectors also to become honorary ambassadors.


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Getting ready for Christmas

MAKE CHRISTMAS A CRACKER WITH THE HIGH STREET CLIMATE BECOMING TOUGHER, GETTING IT RIGHT AT CHRISTMAS IS EVEN MORE CRUCIAL FOR HAIR AND BEAUTY SALONS AND BARBERSHOPS. AND THAT COMES BACK TO PLANNING AND PREPARATION, STARTING RIGHT NOW, AS NHF MEMBERS EXPLAIN. hristmas, it is said, comes but once a year. And what that means for many salons and barbershops is that a successful preChristmas rush can often make all the difference as to whether a year turns out to be good, bad or indifferent from a business point of view.

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With consumer confidence on the high street looking more fragile, getting Christmas right – planning your retail, your offers, your services, your systems, your staffing, your displays, and your “extras” (such as drinks, nibbles and parties) – is going to be even more critical this year. “Ultimately, it comes down to: plan,

plan, plan,” emphasises Ian Egerton, owner of The Stress Exchange in London and NHF vice president. “For example, we have a management meeting that is specifically about Christmas and planning for the runup to Christmas. At that meeting, we discuss what brands we have and what budget we have to spend; we’ll review last year’s sales, looking at what sold quickly and what did not work. “We’ll look at what products and packages are available to us and select what we think works best for our guests. We retail gift cards year-round; but Christmas sees a massive spike in gift card sales, so for this year we have designed a beautiful new presentation package to help boost sales further,” Ian explains. “Beyond that, we always plan a Christmas client event for the end of

FIFTEEN CHRISTMAS TIPS By Alice Kirby

1

Eye level is “buy level”. When creating festive retail displays take a tip from the high street retailers. They place their most expensive,

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

profitable lines at eye-level and relegate discount brands to the lower shelves. Between eye-level and waist height is the area for impulse buys and any Christmas marketing or promotional signs.

2

Keep retail displays balanced. You want

your retail display to look visually balanced and definitely not top heavy. So, place dark coloured products (which appear heavier than light ones) lower in your display, and lighter coloured ones at the top. This is simple, but effective.


Getting ready for Christmas

3

Be crystal clear on pricing. No-one likes to ask the price; clients can find it embarrassing or worry it will make it sound like they can’t afford the product. What happens then is they don’t ask, and don’t buy. So, you need to make your retail zone somewhere where clients

feel comfortable to buy from you. Always label individual retail products clearly, or use shelf talkers showing the price, name and size of the product.

4

Don’t let small items get lost. Small retail items can get lost among the festive decorations,

so give them more impact and structure by massing them together in a collection. Five lipsticks, for example, look insignificant, but 35 make a statement.

5

Use lighting to heighten the effect. The right lighting draws

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attention to retail products and enhances them. This doesn’t mean having to rewire the salon, however. Sometimes it can be something as simple as using a different coloured bulb to bathe a shelf in a warm glow of light.

Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


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Getting ready for Christmas

We always purchase our stock for Christmas by the end of September. Why? Because then the bill for it will come in October or November. A lot of salons will still leave their stock purchasing until November or even December. But then you’re getting the bill in January, when the turnover just isn’t there.

make that much difference. But it does help to keep the salon busier during January and February, as it means more clients are coming in the door,” Ian adds.

November/beginning of December, where the local community are invited to browse and purchase products whilst sipping champagne! “The event includes makeover consultations, nails, tips, hair-up and so on, everything to get prepared for that Christmas night out or party. It gives us an opportunity to highlight the services we have on offer over Christmas, so that clients will know well in advance. “We also have two ‘brand ambassadors’ within the team who are responsible for educating other team members about our brands and products, and keeping the team up to

6

Psychology is a curious thing, but retail research suggests the majority of people head to the right when they first enter a shop, perhaps because most of us are right-handed. So, put festive gift packs and deals on the right side of your salon, barbershop or spa.

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

speed on seasonal gift packages. We’ll have several team meetings in the runup to Christmas and a couple will be completely dedicated to retail, these will be delivered by our brand ambassadors. “We review the staff rotas, especially looking at the Christmas break, so as to make sure people are working the days they want. We also review all our licences and check things have been renewed when they should have been. “When it comes to looking ahead to January, we give guests a Christmas card with a one-time voucher than can be used during January or February. To be honest, in terms of money, it doesn’t

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Pinch a marketing tip from the supermarkets. Place a basket of inexpensive stocking fillers on your reception desk to tempt last-minute purchases.

8

Advertise your salon Christmas retail promotions and festive

FOCUS ON CLIENT EXPERIENCE “We make sure all of the salons are decorated for the festive season throughout December so all clients visiting over the Christmas period feel like they get a great experience. We always have a glass of fizz on offer along with festive treats,” advises Gary Hooker, co-owner with Michael Young of north east England salon chain and now NHF honorary ambassadors Hooker & Young. “We always do a new year offer to clients to drive January business. It’s normally a colour offer, which enables clients to visit earlier than normal at a discounted price,” he says. “It’s all about availability,” recommends Michael. “No one wants to be told ‘no’ at

opening hours on your answering machine throughout December.

9

Make your till work. Replace the standard print-out on your till receipts with your festive specials, offers and opening hours. Most salon software can do this.

10

Stimulate the senses. Fragrant candles can create a relaxing calming atmosphere, but obviously only if they are also safe to use in the environment.

11

Refresh your playlist. A client having their hair coloured will be spending two hours in the


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Getting ready for Christmas

Christmas, which easily happens when the appointments are snapped up. Oddly, Christmas is a time when we experience a lot of new clients visiting, and this is most probably from a lack of availability at their regular salon. “Although the hours are longer, the atmosphere is fantastic. We have a group Christmas party where all of our salons come together, which is amazing, and we normally do this at the beginning of December. This is followed by all salons having individual Christmas parties towards the end of December, so they have a few things to look forward to,” Michael adds. CHRISTMAS SELFIES Encouraging Christmas selfies can often be popular with clients, as well as just great fun, suggests Lorraine Scrivener, owner of Eden Skin Clinic in Kensington. “I always take photos or a quick video of our Christmas displays to use on our social channels promoting our seasonal gifts. They also act as a useful record of retail displays so we know what works well,” she says. “Odd numbers are more appealing to the eye than even numbers. So, when we display retail products we create groups of three, five or seven. Not two, four or eight,” she adds. WINDOW DISPLAYS “It is just about giving yourself peace of mind,” says Mikaela Martin, co-owner of Spirit Hair Company, which has salons in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, and High Wycombe and Farnham Common in Buckinghamshire. “For me, this year one of the biggest things I will be focusing on is making my window as eye-catching as possible. I’m going to be really focused on catching footfall, and bringing new passing trade into the salon. “I always find it remarkable how many salons don’t make an effort with their

chair. Listening to the same festive tracks repeated over and over can become deeply wearing. So, make sure you regularly refresh your festive playlist.

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Keep on top of tidying. You may all be rushed off your feet, but don’t let basic salon

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

housekeeping standards slip. Hair salons can be dusty places. Set up a weekly rota for cleaning every bottle and shelf. You don’t see dusty shelves in Selfridges, Boots or John Lewis. Your clients don’t expect them in your salon.

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Dress your window. A bright, eye-catching window display can be a great way to tempt clients in, especially on dark December evenings. Perhaps create a story, maybe “winter wonderland” or “party time”. Try to theme your decorations, colour

choices, merchandise and lighting. Use a mixture of large and small items to catch the interest of both pedestrians and car drivers. Remember, mirrors can add sparkle and depth. Don’t forget to take some photos, for your own record but also to put up on social media.


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Red is festive, but don’t go overboard. Attentiongrabbing festive red is a dynamic colour which evokes strong emotions. However, it can have discount, sale and deal connotations, so think before using it too liberally in merchandising pre-Christmas. Also think about using silver, black and gold.

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

window at Christmas, or perhaps rely on their product house banners when they don’t even say ‘Christmas’. You can get good festive banners for less than £100. Then, as soon as Halloween is over, the Christmas display goes out in the window. “We always purchase our stock for Christmas by the end of September. Why? Because then the bill for it will come in October or November. A lot of salons will still leave their stock purchasing until November or even December. “But then you’re getting the bill in January, when the turnover just isn’t there. If you order it in September,

15

Shout out. Hopefully your salon will be packed in December, so make sure all these clients are encouraged to post online reviews. Word-ofmouth is one of the best ways to attract new clients and these glowing online reviews will help reduce salon downtime come January.

15-Aug-17 9:51:51 AM

you’re paying for it when you’re busy, and so then your bills are covered and in January and February you’re just topping up. “Clients, we’re finding are increasingly busy and time-poor. So, yes, while a party can be fun, a lot of people just don’t have time for it. In fact, express services – so a 30-minute quick styling between work and a Christmas party – will often be popular. “Other things we’ve found useful have been to offer free gift wrapping with retail purchases – men buying for their partners like this in particular. Just always, always, always take off the price tag!”

Alice Kirby is director of Lockhart Meyer Salon Marketing


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Getting ready for Christmas: offering alcohol

FESTIVE FIZZ OFFERING A GLASS OF BUBBLY TO CLIENTS AT CHRISTMAS CAN BE A NICE TOUCH. BUT, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT CHARGING FOR IT, DON’T FORGET YOU WILL NEED NOT ONE BUT TWO LICENCES FROM YOUR COUNCIL.

opefully the previous pages will have helped you to start getting prepped and ready for Christmas.

H

But if you’re going to offer clients a glass of sparkling – and let’s face it, it’s a nice thing to do – don’t forget you will need the correct alcohol licences in place. That’s right, licences not licence. Where salons sometimes fall down when it comes to serving alcohol is not realising that, legally, you need two licences: a premises licence and a personal licence. Another common misunderstanding is that, even if you’re not charging clients for their tipple, if a glass of alcohol is all part of “the service” (in other words if you’ve not just got clients round for a Christmas celebration out of salon hours), then you’re going to need to be licensed. REGISTERED WHOLESALER A premises licence, as it sounds, simply gives your premises the right to serve, sell or supply alcohol. You also now have to make sure that whoever you are buying the alcohol from has been approved by HM Revenue & Customs under its new Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme. If it’s your local supermarket, wholesaler or off licence, this should be the case as standard, but do check. However, any premises that has a

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

licence to sell alcohol must also have what is called a “designated premises supervisor”, and this is where the personal licence comes in. The designated premises supervisor – and in a hair or beauty salon or barbershop this is most likely to be the owner or manager – is the person who will act as the primary contact with the police or council if there are any issues with the sale of alcohol from the premises. UNDER-AGE DRINKING It will also be the supervisor who will be responsible for ensuring that no one under 18 is handling, selling or, worse, consuming alcohol. And the designated premises supervisor has to have a personal licence. The good news is that both these licences can be acquired relatively simply through your local council. To apply, you will need to complete an application form (which can often be done online nowadays) and send it to the local council, along with its fee. The fee is based on the rateable value of your property, and will normally be somewhere between £100 to £1,905. You may also need to send copies of the application to the police and other “responsible authorities”, although the council can advise you on this. So, remember, if you intend to serve alcohol at Christmas, and you don’t have your two alcohol licences, now’s the time to get your paperwork sorted.


Getting ready for Christmas: offering alcohol

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30

Salon and barbershop technology: helping owners stay profitable

PROFIT DRIVERS CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY HAS TRANSFORMED HOW SALONS AND BARBERSHOPS RUN THEIR BUSINESSES. BUT, WITH THE HIGH STREET CLIMATE GETTING TOUGHER, HOW ARE SOFTWARE PROVIDERS HELPING SALONS TO SUSTAIN PROFITABILITY?

he NHF’s research for the Low Pay Commission, highlighted earlier in this edition (page 12), showed all too clearly that, for many hair and beauty salons and barbershops, life on the high street is getting tougher.

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Surviving is going to come down to a range of factors: the quality of your service and reputation, the skill of your team, the loyalty of your clients, your ability to keep on top of business costs. But salon software and technology, and how it can help you to work smarter, is becoming an increasingly important part of this mix. In fact, whether on your reception desk, on your mobile or in the Cloud, your software can nowadays act almost as an extra, digital business partner, offering support that goes far beyond just doing the books or taking appointments. We spoke to technology and software providers about how they felt their relationship with salons is changing as a result, and what they feel the future holds.

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

PROVIDING INSIGHT “Technology has to be that extra pair of hands, providing insight and a complete business overview at a touch of a button,” agrees Leonie Wileman, chief operations officer at Premier Software (premiersoftware.co.uk). “Gone are the days of the paper diary, salons are beginning to see the true potential of their business and are looking for intuitive software that can provide the information they need at a touch of the button. “Many salons also demand online booking to ensure their business never shuts. How customers book and communicate is a key driver for salon technology and one salons have to respond to. “The new generation are tech-savvy and expect their hair salon to be at the forefront of new trends – salon technology is at the heart of this and must keep pace,” she adds. “Salons want to do what they do best, and have software handle the rest. Salon software needs to be smart, automated and make them look professional with minimal human intervention,” argues Lou Donnelly-Davey, head of marketing

at Timely (gettimely.com). “Increased focus on targets/staff performance is a real area of interest for salon owners. Previously this was tracked offline, but increasingly salons are demanding that this be built into their salon software for ease of monitoring staff performance,” she adds. BUSINESS SUPPORT ROLE Technology and software providers are increasingly positioning themselves as being about more than just “tech”. Initiatives such as Phorest Salon Software’s (phorest.com) recent ​ #30Days2Grow challenge, which was designed to help salons grow their businesses through a series of daily challenges, highlights the wider business support/partnership role many software providers now feel they can bring to the table. “The initiative was a tremendous success, with over 1,500 salon owners and their teams taking part, with many participants commenting that they plan on continuing to implement their tasks/ challenges on a regular basis,” says chief executive Ronan Perceval. “Our mission [as software providers]


Salon and barbershop technology: helping owners stay profitable

31

is to make salon life easier and increase salon revenues. Team motivation, marketing automation, dashboard reporting and mobile bookings are all made simple,” agrees David Levine, founder of Salon-iQ (saloniq.com). MOBILE AND CLOUD-BASED Technology is increasingly being used for a much wider range of day-to-day tasks than just taking appointments, managing data or doing accounts or payroll, agrees Ian Egerton, NHF vice president and owner of technology firm Loop HR (loophr.com) as well as London salon The Stress Exchange. It has become more mobile and more Cloud-based, and being used for things like managing holidays and attendance, benefits and team incentives, performance analysis, reporting and feedback, he argues. “A tool like the Loop Employee Dashboard, for example, can help you as a business owner to engage with your employees, share information, communicate more easily and encourage greater levels of performance and accountability,” Ian adds. Finally, what’s next for salon technology? “Salon technology will eventually move completely to the Cloud or a fullyhosted system for ease. New functions to meet customer booking preferences will be added as well as robust security to protect data – both personal and financial,” predicts Premier’s Leonie Wileman. “In the future, we are going to see everything in salons (from purchasing stock from suppliers to hiring future salon staff) processed through a technology platform,” agrees Phorest’s Ronan Perceval. “In the past, the salon till was used solely for processing and storing financial transactions. This till has now evolved into an all-in-one system that is used for everything from managing client bookings and salon stock takes, to connecting with and rewarding clients,” he adds. Technology will only ever be part of the solution to surviving in a toughening commercial climate, especially for such a very people-based industry such as hair and beauty. But it is increasingly clear that how you use technology to give your business that extra competitive edge needs to be an essential part of the business survival conversation.

Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


Salon and barbershop technology: helping owners stay profitable

WEB

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APPS APPOINTMENTS

PROTECTED

PAYMENT

BOOKINGS

MIND THE GAPS he ability to use technology to plug last-minute cancellations is something many hair and beauty salons and barbershops are increasingly demanding and expecting from their software.

T

A provider such as Gappt (gappt. com), which last year partnered with Premier Software, has built a whole business model in this area, for example, and can be integrated with most major booking systems. It also promotes the fact this sort of technology can help salons to fill lastminute appointments without having to resort to discounting. Ross Kendrick, developer of

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

app and web tool Bright Salon (brightsalon.co.uk), has found this functionality to be particularly beneficial for a business extremely close to home – H&Co Hair Salon in Torquay, Devon, set up by his partner Hannah Harry in May, and an NHF member. “In my experience, when a client comes to a salon’s website it’s because they’re either new to the area, have been let down by their usual hairdresser or are just looking for a change. In all those scenarios, what they are often looking for is an appointment there and then, or certainly in the next few days,” he explains. “Through both the app and our website – which is enabled to have a banner running down the side that shows cancellations and last-minute

appointments – clients can see what times are available and then make a booking online. Since opening, we have already recovered over £2,000 worth of gaps. “I’ve also found the push notifications’ function to be useful. For example, one Saturday morning we got a call at 8.45am to cancel an 11am appointment. Traditionally, there was going to be no way we would be able to fill that cancellation – and it was a big appointment, a full head of highlights, treatment and a cut. “So, we put out a push notification basically saying that anyone who booked the appointment in the next 15 minutes would get a special reward. Within five minutes the phone had rung and the appointment had been filled,” Ross adds.


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Salon and barbershop technology: online bookings versus walk-ins

DIGITAL DEMAND BARBERSHOPS ARE LOOKING TO SHAKE OFF THE INDUSTRY’S BACK-STREET, CASH-IN-HAND REPUTATION BY INCREASINGLY OFFERING A MIX OF ONLINE AND WALK-IN BOOKINGS.

ack in May, research by a software firm called Mojo and male grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge suggested barbers were failing to embrace the brave new world of digital and online bookings, despite the fact their clients increasingly expected it.

B

More than half (54%) of male clients aged 18-24 said they would prefer to book online or via an app than just walk in, rising to 66% in London. Yet, just 8% of barbershops polled said they offered online bookings. However, anecdotal evidence from NHF members suggests barbershops may not in fact be quite so stuck in the past, after all. As both reputable barbershops and hair and beauty salons look to shake off the industry’s back-street cash-in-hand reputation, switching to online booking or, more commonly, a mix of online (web and app) and walk-in appointments is

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becoming an ever-more popular way to go. Flanagan’s Gents Hairdressing – which has a number of shops across Manchester – has recently made just this transition and, as manager David Looms explains, offering online booking has made a visible difference very quickly. “The last two months have been a great success. Our city centre barbers have seen over 1,000 online bookings, so the plan is to roll it out in the other four shops with a fifth one opening very soon,” he says. “Online booking has given us the ability to fill-up the quieter periods. Two-way text messages have reduced no-shows and the staff are not as tired at the end of the day,” he adds. CONTROL OVER APPOINTMENTS James Beattie’s Beatties Barbers & Co in Abergavenny and Brynmawr was an early pioneer of online booking for barbers, making the switch nearly a decade ago, in 2008. “It’s just about being more efficient. Walk-in appointments do still have their place, of course, and we still offer them.

But with online booking, as a business, you just know where you are so much more. You have much greater control over your appointments book; you can see what is happening each week,” James tells salonfocus. “I’d say we’re now about 80% online bookings, 20% walk-in. Online bookings have really taken off for barbers in the past three years. It’s just so much more convenient for clients, too, as you can book online, 24-hours-a-day. “If you’re working shifts, say, and come off work at 6am, you can make a booking there and then if you wish. Or if you’re working nights, you can book it then, either through the app or through the website. “Of course, it’s not necessary to have an appointment – I’d hate it if we ever got rid of walk-in as an option. Walk-ins are often good for attracting new clients


Salon and barbershop technology: online bookings versus walk-ins

who see the barbershop and want to give us a try. “Finally, however, do bear in mind that if you switch to online booking and still offer walk-ins there can sometimes be an issue of someone turning up for a walk-in booking and, even if chairs are available, you having to turn them away because you know you have booked clients coming in in a few minutes. That can be a tricky conversation at times. But, generally, offering online bookings as a barber just makes a lot of sense,” James adds. CHANGING EXPECTATIONS Walk-ins still have an important role to play, argues Nick Mitchell of Alter Ego Hair Design in Colchester, but client expectations increasingly mean hair businesses – whether barbers or hairdressing – do need to be offering

online booking. His salon switched from just walk-in to offering walk-in and online in July, and hasn’t looked back. “I find encouraging walk-in bookings can be a useful way to get people through the door when you have a quiet period. We’ll often physically get out on the street outside the salon and perhaps do a price or voucher promotion,” Nick explains to salonfocus. “But our online appointment system has already made a difference; we have had a very positive response. As we’re speaking, the system has been in place for only about a week, and most of the bookings we’ve had through it have been new clients. So, clearly, it is encouraging and bringing in new business, which is really positive. “I’d estimate that in the first week alone we’ve had about a dozen bookings through the site, of which maybe one or

35

two have been existing clients but 80% to 90% have been new clients. Once they come in you can of course show them what you can do, and hopefully they will become a regular client,” he adds.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK Are barbers increasingly switching to online or do you swear by walk-ins? Join us on social media and tell us what you think.

Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


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NHF competitions: the NHF’s Business Awards and Britain’s Best

THE FINAL

COUNTDOWN WE ARE JUST DAYS AWAY FROM THE FINALISTS BEING ANNOUNCED FOR NOVEMBER’S NHF BUSINESS AWARDS.

C

ould it be you? In just a few days’ time, on Monday 4 September, the lucky finalists of the first ever NHF Business Awards will be announced. Entries for the awards closed at the end of July, and all finalists will be invited to celebrate the night away at a glittering ceremony when the winners are announced on Sunday 19 November.

To recap, finalists will be announced in nine categories:

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

ã Best independent hair or beauty salon ã Best independent barber shop or male grooming business ã Best business group (for any chain of two or more salons) ã Best new business ã Best client experience ã Best community support ã Best apprentice ã Best front of house ã Best environmentally-friendly business Although the competition process may be well underway by this point, there

is still time to book your place and buy your tickets to come along as a supporter for the evening. Tickets cost £95 for members and £150 for non-members, and will include a drinks reception, the awards presentation, the presentation of the Photographic Stylist of the Year winners, dinner and a glamorous party until 11.30pm. The awards will take place at the VOX Conference Centre, part of the Resorts World complex at the NEC, Birmingham. Full details of how to book your place can be found online at nhf.info/ nhfbusinessawards


Britain’s Best 2017

37

COMPETITION TIME

BRITAIN’S BEST IN NOVEMBER IS SET TO BE EVEN BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER. HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT ON THE DAY.

f you haven’t yet put a big circle around Sunday 19 November in your diary, now would be a good time to do so.

I

Not only will it be the day when the winners of the first ever NHF Business Awards are announced, it will be when the NHF celebrates the winners of the NHF Photographic Stylist of the Year competition and this year’s Britain’s Best. Entries to Britain’s Best opened in July, and interest has been building fast over the summer – so if you think you have what it takes, don’t delay and get your entry in, to nhf.info/britains-best There are nine categories this year, and here is how you can expect the day to pan out. All three events will take place the VOX Conference Centre at the NEC in Birmingham. Look forward to seeing you there!

START TIME

END TIME

COMPETITION

12pm

12.30pm (30mins)

12pm

12.30pm (30mins)

12.45pm

3.45pm (3 hours)

Male fashion look – cut and finish (students and trainees) Male fashion look – cut and finish (open to all) Forties to Noughties (open to all)

1pm

1.40pm (40mins)

1pm

1.40pm (40mins)

2pm

2.30pm (30mins)

2pm

2.30pm (30mins)

Female fashion look – cut and finish (students and trainees) Female fashion look – cut and finish (open to all) Barber – total look (students and trainees) Barber – total look (open to all)

3pm

3.40pm (40mins)

Hair-up (students and trainees)

3pm

3.40pm (40mins)

Hair-up (open to all)

4.15pm

4.45pm

RESULTS and other special awards: - Model of the day - Best conducted/prepared competitor - Most successful team of the day

Sept/Oct 2017 | salonfocus


38

Events

SCOTTISH

TALENT PRIDE OF SCOTLAND IS BACK THIS NOVEMBER, AND IS NOT TO BE MISSED! The prestigious competition will be held at the Glynhill Hotel in Glasgow on Monday 06 November. One change for this year will be the crowning for the first time of a Junior Champion, explains NHF West of Scotland regional co-ordinator Mary McAdam. This champion will join the four senior category champions: Ladies, Gents, National and Open. “The Junior Champion will have to have competed in at least two categories and the winner will be the person with the highest aggregate score. The National Champion has to have competed in two competitions but also reside in Scotland, while the Open Champion is a competition for everyone,” says Mary. “It is about the prestige of taking part and (hopefully) winning; it is also about the buzz and learning to work under pressure; it is about the publicity and extra profile; it is also about giving the team a morale boost and a shot in the arm when it comes to confidence. “In all, there will be three competition categories for students and trainees on the day and seven categories for seniors. Students and trainees can also enter senior categories, assuming of course they don’t mind competing with more experienced seniors,” Mary adds. EARLY ENTRIES NEEDED While entries will be accepted right up to the day, organisers are encouraging teams to get their entries in well in advance to ensure the competition goes from strength to strength. The entry fee is £20 for seniors, £15 for students and trainees, and £5 for the photographic and colour creation events. Spectator tickets are £10. For full details go to nhf.info/events/ competitions Don’t forget… stylists of all levels only have until 8 September 2017 to enter our exciting Photographic Stylist of the Year competition. For information, visit: nhf.info/ photographic

salonfocus | Sept/Oct 2017

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EVENING CREATIVE EVENTS BOOKINGS Anyone interested in attending events should contact the NHF team on 01234 831965 or events@nhf. info. Bookings can be made online at nhf.info/events

ONE-DAY EVENTS NHF BUSINESS “SURGERIES” 19 November – Birmingham HALF-DAY WORKSHOPS INSIGHT INTO AFRO 18 September – Nottingham COLOUR – BALAYAGE/ OMBRE FUSION 18 September – Edinburgh 02 October – Durham HAIR LOSS SOLUTIONS – IN SALON 02 October – Leicester 13 November – Chelmsford

BARBERING WORKSHOP 02 October – Loughborough 02 October - Exeter CLIPPER AND BEARD CONFIDENCE 13 November – Gateshead

REGIONAL AWARDS/ COMPETITIONS 05 November – Wales Awards, the Angel Hotel, Cardiff 06 November – Pride of Scotland, Glynill Hotel, Glasgow NATIONAL AWARDS 19 November – NHF Business Awards (incorporating Photographic Stylist of the Year and Britain’s Best), the VOX at Resorts World, NEC, Birmingham


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salonfocus Sept/Oct 2017  

Salonfocus is the NHF’s award winning magazine. Created for salon owners, the pages are full of business news, industry hot topics and tips...

salonfocus Sept/Oct 2017  

Salonfocus is the NHF’s award winning magazine. Created for salon owners, the pages are full of business news, industry hot topics and tips...

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