Hair Salon Reopening: How to Manage Your Hair Salon Online
It's not easy running a business that requires close contact with clients during a pandemic. How do you social distance when you're styling hair after your hair salon reopening?
To limit possible exposure to coronavirus, stylists have to get creative. They must find ways to reduce the amount of time people spend in their salons. One way is to manage their hair salons online.
How are stylists using the internet to manage their businesses during coronavirus? For one, more people than ever have turned to hair salon online booking.
Using a scheduling software is the easiest way to space appointments and prevent people from waiting in crowded lobbies. In other words, it's the best way to ensure social distancing.
Salon owners are also relying more on online time management tools than they have in the past. Coronavirus has forced stylists to give deep cleaning extra attention—and cleaning is time-consuming!
Online booking and time management are just a few things to consider before your salon's reopening.
- How can you manage your hair salon online?
- How can you run your business efficiently in a post-quarantine world?
These eight steps will keep you on track as you welcome clients back to your salon.
1. Get the best information on hair salon reopening guidelines
The first step to managing your hair salon online is to gather information and resources.
- What are your state's requirements for hygiene and social distancing?
- What policies, products, and services will allow you to follow them?
Gather your resources and bookmark them in your browser. You'll refer to them often.
No matter where you live, your area's hair salon reopening guidelines include masks, deep sanitation, and social distancing.
Since regulations vary in different states, check your location's policies to ensure compliance.
Ebena also provided tips, sanitation checklists, and recommended sanitation products.
2. Deep clean and update your spaces before your hair salon's reopening
With guidelines in hand, products in mind, and a sanitation checklist to guide you, you're ready to deep clean and update your spaces. Here are the essentials.
- Disinfect trash cans and laundry hampers. Before your hair salon reopening, thoroughly sanitize your trash cans and hampers. Use a product labeled as fungicidal, bactericidal, and viricidal, and follow directions properly. If the label says to leave on for ten minutes, don't leave it for only eight. Otherwise, it won't kill everything.
- Wash linens and store them in an airtight cabinet. If your linens have been exposed to the open air, you'll have to rewash them before reopening. Use the highest possible settings and dry them to completion. Store them in an airtight cabinet to protect them from the open air.
- Disinfect all surfaces. Once again, use approved cleaning products and follow label directions to disinfect your surfaces. This means counters, floors, and chairs, but it also means product bottles and anything stored outside an airtight container.
- Purchase airtight containers for linens, tools, etc. With the need to sanitize anything, not in an airtight container, you'll want plenty of these on hand.
- Remove items you can't sanitize. Consider putting away all for-sale products, too, or you'll have to sanitize them between every customer.
- Place masks and hand sanitizer at doors. Customers will need to wear a mask in your salon and clean their hands before entering.
- Place hand sanitizer at the counter and workstations. Once you reopen, you'll need to clean your hands a lot. Put sanitizer in high-traffic areas.
3. Strategize how to book clients ahead of your hair salon reopening
Your salon may be ready for clients, but are you? Walk-ins and sporadic scheduling may have worked in the past, but scheduling appointments is essential to following social distancing guidelines. States strongly recommend it.
The best way to eliminate walk-ins is with hair salon online booking. It's a step up from traditional booking methods. You won't always be on the phone, freeing you to serve more clients.
And clients want their stylists! It's been nearly three months since most of America has visited a salon. You'll be busy for the next couple of months. To manage appointments without losing your mind, you need a solid booking strategy.
Appointment Scheduling with Ebena
How to Get Started with your Ebena Booking Website?
Use deposits to secure client commitments
You set your deposit prices on your stylist's page. Clients who pay deposits are more likely to honor their appointment times, which is especially crucial during the pandemic.
Although your services are in demand, filling dropped appointments is harder when you can't allow walk-ins.
Requiring a non-refundable deposit will ensure that if a client cancels and you can't fill that spot, you still get some compensation.
Fill holes in your calendar with a waitlist
Another method that helps book clients is its waitlist. If your schedule is full, a client can sign up for your waiting list and be notified when an appointment opens up.
Many salons offer a waitlist these days, but it's hard to maintain without technology. A high-demand stylist will find a waitlist helpful not just during the pandemic, but even after restrictions lift and life returns to normal.
Time management is a critical feature in running your hair salon online. With its easy-to-use calendar, automatic appointment reminders, and confirmation messages, keep your schedule and appointments on track.
4. Prepare to run your hair salon online
With operating guidelines, a sanitized salon, and a client booking plan, you're almost ready to run your salon online. But before your hair salon reopening, you've got decisions to make. Here are a few to consider.
- Are you removing any services? For example, some salons are discontinuing shampooing and blow-drying because of the risk they pose in spreading coronavirus.
- Are you offering any new services? Mobile stylists provide at-home services rather. At-home visits also allow those at high risk of coronavirus to stay home while still getting their hair done.
- Are you raising prices? Social distancing guidelines cut the number of stylists and clients you're allowed to have in your building at one time. This means you'll be busier than usual, but you won't be serving as many clients.
To make up for the lost income, you may want to increase your prices.
- Are you lowering prices? You may decide to offer clients an incentive to use your salon rather than your competitors. In this case, will you consider reducing prices?
You may also wish to lower prices if you're cutting shampooing or blow-drying services since your clients are getting less for their money.
Running your hair salon online means getting high-quality photos of your work. Since clients can't browse hairstyle pictures in your lobby, online images are the best way for them to view options.
How to Add Services Using Ebena
Letting clients know about your services and prices is easy with Ebena. Its features make adding new services and deleting or adjusting old ones a breeze. Just go to your Ebena profile and click on "My Services."
You can list service variants, price variants, different appointment durations, photos, and details unique to each service.
5. Update your booking website
Your services and prices aren't the only things you need to update before your hair salon reopening. You also have to update your website. Here's what you need to do.
- Create your Ebena webpage. If you don't currently have a website, you need to get one fast, and you won't find a better option than Ebena. It's free!
Even if you have a website, an Ebena page can boost your visibility online, expose you to new clients, and give you practical tools for running your business.
- Post your new opening and closing hours. Coronavirus changes the number of hours your salon can operate because you'll spend more time cleaning. Let clients know what hours they can schedule appointments.
- Announce new policies. Clients are less likely to be surprised or upset about new appointments, payment, and social distancing policies if you let them know what to expect before they book a visit.
- Include keyword-rich descriptions in your listings. Lots of clients are searching for stylists these days. Don't let your hair salon reopening be a bust because your listings don't include the search terms clients use.
Unless your description uses the keywords that clients use when looking for a hairstylist, you won't show up in their search results. Strong keywords mean that clients can find you.
6. Redefine your marketing strategy
Your business operations aren't the only things coronavirus has changed—it's also changed consumer habits. This is an opportunity to bring in clients who've never seen or considered you before. Now is the time to redefine your marketing strategy and pull in new clients.
- Give people incentives to try your business: Clients who've never booked with you are more likely to try your salon if you offer discounts, promotions, and freebies.
Brainstorm some possibilities, put a plan in place, and announce it on your site and social media pages.
- Market your hair salon on Instagram: When people want to know about trends and styles, they don't want to read about it - they want to see pictures and videos.
Instagram is one of the first places many people turn to when looking for the hairstyle and salon they want to try next.
Unless you're on Instagram, you're missing out on a lot of potential clients. This article provides 10 tips on how to use Instagram to promote your salon effectively. Here's another Instagram guide that's updated for 2020.
- Market your business on Facebook: Nearly every adult in America uses Facebook, but this network's wide reach isn't the only reason you should use it. Facebook has a lot of features that Instagram doesn't, such as features that notify clients about promotions and a place for client recommendations.
Most people refuse to try a new stylist without recommendations, so Facebook is your salon's place to shine. Here are 21 tips and strategies for promoting your salon on Facebook.
7. Reengage with your clients
Social media isn't just for marketing to new clients. It can reach current clients, too. The best way to contact them, however, is to get personal and let your clients know you've missed them.
- Use your contact list to reconnect to clients. Keep track of all client contact info in one place. This makes it easy for you and your clients to stay in touch.
- Send welcome back emails. Your clients can easily miss social media posts. A welcome back email makes sure they hear that you're open for business. It's also a chance to let them know you've missed them, which is the sort of personalized touch that keeps them coming back.
- Check on clients you haven't seen back. After your hair salon reopening, reach out to clients you haven't seen in a while. They may assume your schedule is too full, and it will be too hard to get an appointment.
Getting in touch will show them you still value their business, which might encourage them to schedule a visit.
- Offer exclusive promotions. A promotion exclusively for return clients helps build loyalty.
Your clients are less likely to book an appointment with another salon if you give them an incentive for sticking with your business.
8. Plan for the future
Salons may be reopening now that the curve has flattened, but the virus isn't gone. Another shutdown might happen. Until then, what do you do, and how do you prepare?
Unlike with the first shutdown, you have plenty of advance notice this time. Stock up and prep your salon! Make the next reopening easier by following these tips.
- Order more towels, capes, and smocks. You now have to change these items between every client, so you'll be washing laundry a lot more frequently unless you have a stockpile of linens.
Before the next shutdown, decide if you need to buy more or if you'll purchase disposable ones.
- Stock up on cleaning supplies. Keep a list of cleaning supplies as you reopen this time and replenish them before they run out. This way, a low disinfectant supply won't delay you in sanitizing your salon before the next reopening.
- Keep a running list of best practices and needed supplies. Over the next couple of months, you'll notice lots of small things you'll wish you had thought of before reopening. Jot them down. During the next shutdown, you can address those issues and be better prepared when salons open for good.
- Help clients form a long-term hair care plan. The last shutdown took the world by surprise, and stylists and clients were unprepared. This time, you can help clients care for their hair during quarantine by providing tips for easy styling and avoiding damage. They'll thank you for it and remember you at the next hair salon reopening.