One Week Back in Business for Many Salons
A look at the challenges
Although some salons are only opening doors from July, many salons have been back in business for a week.
It is worth noting that with the increase in business activity which now includes the opening of restaurants, there will be a surge in cases. This was expected and is inevitable to a degree. Lockdown bought time for SA to create more hospital and care facilities and also to obtain equipment such as refrigerated containers to store bodies. This is the unfortunate reality of what we are facing and all we can do is to keep ourselves, and others, as safe as possible to keep the curve low as we go about rebuilding our business.
Here’s some of the challenges that people have been facing in their first week.
Masks plus visors
Some people find this is uncomfortable and the visor mists up. As a result we are aware some hairstylists and barbers are choosing not to wear the visors.
A better and safer solution is to find a visor that suits you. All are different and the visor-mask combo can also make a difference. Rather experiment and find something that works the best for you while still ensuring you comply.
Clients wearing masks
There have been photos circulating of clients in the salon without masks. Please ensure that your client wears their mask at all times, because the virus is spread through droplets - these enter the air when you speak, sneeze, or even breathe - the mist you breathe on cold days is actually your own moisture droplets. Masks prevent the droplets from entering the wider environment. Without a mask the droplets from an infected client can circulate freely in the air or land on surfaces, where they can be picked up by other clients or by you and your staff - droplets can enter via the mucous membranes in the eyes, as well as the nose and mouth. Not all sufferers show symptoms, especially at first, and may be highly infectious without knowing it.
If you publish photos of clients in the salon without masks, which were from the pre-Covid era, please say so. Masks are a contentious issue and a lot of people will not feel safe going to a salon which is being seen to be lax about following the protocols.
Staff feeling overwhelmed
Staff - and salon owners - can feel justifiably overwhelmed in the new normal, and this may only "hit home" after a few days when it all suddenly becomes too much and feels too different. Make sure you support your staff and that you ensure they are coping both logistically and emotionally with what they need to do.
Capes and Disposables
Salons are finding it challenging to keep up with the sheer amount of materials that are being produced during a day's service in terms of disposable items. If you are using disposables, ensure that they are recyclable or biodegradable and that you dispose of them in the right way. An alternative is to have sufficient washable items in your salon to allow for daily single use, and wash these at the end of each day. However this can be weather-dependent, especially for towels, which take longer to dry.
It seems that issues with landlords demanding full rent are an ongoing problem â€“ kudos to all the landlords who have been accommodating during lockdown and who are being flexible going forward. Inflexible landlords is one of the major reasons for salons having to close. Post lockdown, with reduced turnover due to social distancing and safety, a salon cannot pay the rental they were paying previously â€“ many salons were finding it difficult to be sustainable even pre-Covid. Your landlord must come to the party here and agree to a turnover-based rental of around 10 percent. This is something salons need to discuss and negotiate now, before everyone thinks it is back to business as usual. If your landlord cannot or will not agree to this then rather cut your losses and make a move elsewhere sooner rather than later. We have seen many salons that have relocated during lockdown. Rather be busy and profitable in new, smaller, alternative premises than slowly bleed away in premises where you are paying too much. Be firm and persistent, honest and open with your landlord and do your best to help them understand the predicament you are in.