Why are you changing your opening hours later this month?
From Monday 28 June my salon, Kings and Queens Hairdressing in Northamptonshire, will be open from Monday to Friday only. I made this decision after taking a close look at the business during lockdown and realising Saturdays were not the busy days they used to be. A long time ago Saturday was the mega day of the week that was packed out and the only day that many clients were available for an appointment.
Even before the pandemic we noticed there were far less walk-ins on Saturdays. The working from home trend started before 2019 but I believe it’s now here to stay. This gives clients the option to visit the salon when they would otherwise be travelling to and from the office or during their lunchbreak. Similarly it means our clients have much more flexible schedules during the working day and might choose to start or finish earlier or later than usual to fit in a hair appointment.
Plus, the change means all of our clients will benefit from the fact they have to get their hair appointment ticked off during the week, which will give them extra time at the weekend to spend with friends and family.
The 2020 lockdown highlighted the importance of mental wellbeing for all of us. I was at home for eight months out of 12, for example, and realised the amount of time I’d missed with my children and family due to working in the salon at weekends. I’ve got a child who will be starting football in a few weeks-time so if I was working every weekend, I wouldn’t get to see him play.
How will your new opening hours affect your profits?
I don’t believe the change in opening hours will hit us financially. I do believe that giving our team free weekends will boost their mental health and wellbeing.
We don’t get walk-ins anymore as everyone books via appointment. Plus, most of our clients can see us later in the evening during the week or on a Monday when most salons are closed.
How has the hairdressing industry reacted to your plans?
I shared my plans on hairdressing Facebook groups and I’ve already had so many positive messages from fellow hairdressers. Some told me they were considering it, while others said they might try to phase out weekends slowly.
I’m going cold turkey with it and will also be closed on bank holidays. On a bank holiday week, for example, we will be open Tuesday to Friday.
KINGS AND QUEENS HAIRDRESSING’S NEW OPENING HOURS
From 28 June 2021 Kings and Queens Hairdressing will be open Monday to Friday with the following hours:
Monday ................ 9:30am to 6pm
Tuesday ................. 9:30am to 6pm
Wednesday ........... 9:30am to 8pm
Thursday ................ 9:30am to 8pm
Friday ..................... 9:30am to 6pm
What impact will this change have on your staff?
The team are really happy with our plan and appreciate that we are doing this for them.
They are really excited, especially as we’re one of the first salons to do this and they do understand it means having to work longer hours during the week to accommodate all of our clients.
I believe the change in hours will be really positive from a recruitment perspective as it will give us a unique point of difference from other salons in the area.
How have your clients reacted to the news so far?
We’ve had a brilliant response from our clients. One client did ask what should she do if she needs a blow-dry or style for a Saturday night out. Over the years however, there has been a decline in the Friday, Saturday night party hair for us. This isn’t a crucial part of our business.
Most of our clients who usually visit on a Saturday can book an appointment during the week instead. We realise we might lose a few clients but we will gain others from salons who are usually closed on Mondays.
What’s your advice to salons who are tempted to do something similar?
From the response I’ve had from the team and clients so far as well as the hairdressing community – I’d say just go for it! The first client I told was excited for me and said congratulations on opening Monday to Friday. Any big change is scary at first and if you’re worried about it you could start with every other Saturday to give you and your team a better work/life balance.