Hairdressers Journal
Hairdressers Journal


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WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE LAST RECESSION?

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2020 has given us many unprecedented events, but working and living through a recession isn’t new for Jamie Brooks, co-founder of Brooks & Brooks, London, who has lived through five recessions. He ran a business through the financial crash of 2008 and was training as a hairdresser during Black Wednesday in the 1990s. Jamie explains: “The last crash was an economic recession where money was tight, but this is more of a health emergency. This means it has to be viewed on its own merit and we are learning as we go along. The last recession mainly affected the financial sector but we are seeing a societal change. Post-COVID-19 we are going to have a different culture. People will be more conscious of cleanliness and habits will change for good. Members of the public will be less tolerant of things such as unprofessionalism and will avoid busy pubs and packed trains.” He adds: “As a society our outlook is changing and will continue to change over the next few years. As a result we have to make features out of things we have never thought about before, such as having stylish sanitiser bottles and face shields, and providing a hand-cleansing area for clients. Make it luxurious and not just functional. We’ve got to live and work with this so try and make it as pleasurable for clients as possible.”  

THE 9 LESSONS YOU CAN TAKE FROM THE LAST RECESSION

1 DON’T PANIC

There will always be rainy days and sunny days. You need to take a longer-term view and not just look at the days ahead. You can’t live in the moment – you have to start planning for the other side.

2 BE FLEXIBLE AND OPEN

TO CHANGE During the last recession, everyone extended their hours because clients wanted to come in after working late in the offi ce. This time round no one is in the offi ce. This means your busier times are during the day so make sure you can accommodate them.

3 HAVE A PLAN B, C AND D

As we’ve experienced fi rsthand, there is always the chance of another lockdown so you need to be ready. Follow your instinct and keep moving – don’t stand still.

4 CREATE SOLUTIONS

Come up with the best solutions for your business. A city centre salon, for example, will have very different issues to a village salon during the pandemic.

5 REMEMBER THE CLIENT IS KING

With shows and education cancelled, everything is about the salon – the service, the visit, the client experience. Get the balance right between restrictions and a pleasurable experience for your clients. Otherwise they will feel like they are in hospital rather than enjoying a special treat for themselves!

6 MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR OPPORTUNITIES

You have to manage your expectations and be realistic. Salons will be quieter, and your business will earn less money. Try and shift your focus to the positives rather than trying to put a plaster over the negatives.

7 WORK AS A TEAM

Everyone has to work together towards a common goal rather than worrying about their own agendas.

8 EMBRACE THE UPS AND DOWNS

The current situation is like a rollercoaster and many people don’t want to be on it! The trick is to try and be as normal as possible for the sake of your team, business and clients.

9 KEEP EVERYTHING POSITIVE

Try to remember this moment in time is only a moment – there will be a day when we can all come back together.

This article appears in the December 2020 Issue of Hairdressers Journal

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This article appears in the December 2020 Issue of Hairdressers Journal