In the run up to December, hair and beauty hair and beauty professionals were getting busy decorating their salons and making preparations for the pre-Christmas rush. After the Christmas that wasn’t in 2020, most salon owners looked forward to a return to pre-pandemic business levels over the festive season, however, the virus, of course, had other plans.
The ghost of Christmas past
The end of November brought with it the new Omicron variant, first identified in South Africa and, while there’s no need to panic just yet, businesses across a number of industries, including hair and beauty, are preparing themselves for the possibility of more restrictions in the coming weeks. For salons in most parts of the world, the good news is that a full lockdown is unlikely, however, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be business as usual. New restrictions are expected and, these are likely to include mask wearing, limiting numbers in salons and proof of vaccination. As we wait to see what happens, most business owners are adopting the ‘hope for the best, prepare for the worst mentality’ and are working on contingency plans for the holiday season.
Mistletoe and masks
As we speak, the majority of salon owners are making changes to their premises and their operations, including:
- Improving distancing within salons including seats
- Removing reception desks and waiting areas
- Moving to appointment only
- Appointments only for the fully vaccinated
Lots of business owners, like Joliet’s Angel Rosario, are also signing up to Booksy to help them keep the wheels turning in the event of increased restrictions. Booksy began life in 2014 as a simple appointment booking system and quickly grew into a full management tool which serves over 14 million customers worldwide. For a considerable number of salons, Booksy may just be the secret weapon that they need to help keep the doors open and, Booksy’s features include:
Appointment booking – The Booksy cellphone app allows customers to make and manage their own appointments at any time of day or night. As well as being hugely convenient for customers, the AI powered app is able to more intelligently schedule appointments to ensure that both safety and profits are optimized. Salon owners are also able to request vaccine status information during the booking process, as well as increasing profits by doing away with the need for a receptionist to take bookings.
Payments – In the age of COVID-19, cash has become pretty much obsolete and, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus, cards are going the same way. With Booksy’s management system, salon owners are able to request payment and prepayment directly through the app. This helps significantly in minimizing hand to hand contact within salons and helps with book-keeping for owners. The prepayment option is a great tool for cutting down on costly no-shows as customers are more likely to change or cancel their appointment rather than lose their deposit or payment.
Sales – Product sales and upselling of services are often a vital part of a salon’s revenue but, in recent times, many owners have been forced to remove their retail walls to help minimise contact within the premises. The good news is that salon owners are able to sell products directly through the app which not only helps to avoid hand to hand contact but, also, helps them to manage inventory more effectively.
Staffing – In ‘the new normal’, staffing is very much a balancing act for salon owners as, too few staff leads to disgruntled customers, however, too many means money wasted on wages. Booksy’s management system uses artificial intelligence to make light work of managing staffing levels to ensure that salons operate efficiently and cost effectively.
Without a crystal ball, it’s impossible to say just what kind of Christmas 2021 will turn out to be. However, we can predict that Booksy’s smart booking and management system can lend a hand in making sure that salons are still around to enjoy a happy new year.