Three words that have been thrown around with increasing frequency are “the new normal”. But what is it? And are we there yet? And how on earth do we continue to grow our salons once we work out that we’ve finally arrived at that mysterious point?

There’s no denying we’re all at different stages of working out the new normal. Our Victorian peers are currently in a second lockdown, while in other states, people are slowly making their way back into salons for treatments.

Here are some pointers in promoting growth for your salon in a post-COVID world.

Online is where it’s at
It’s no secret that when the country went into lockdown, online shopping really came into its own. For salons, owners were forced to really bolster their online sales of products, while the more tech-savvy set up webinars, live demonstrations, and how-tos. And according to business expert Sara Fitzpatrick, letting that slip now that your doors are opened again would be a mistake. “Why would you go silent on that new audience? They may not be in your neighbourhood, but they may well become e-commerce clients, or they may share what you’re ,doing on their own platforms, which could help to grow your presence. Online can’t be ignored. It’s the key to your growth.”

Look after your team
Staff work better when they trust their manager. With that in mind, being transparent is of utmost importance. “Bring me one staff member that isn’t worried about the future. You won’t be able to,” says Sara. “None of us have lived through a pandemic before in this country. We don’t know what happens next. Will it come back? These are all worries your staff has. Talk to them. Let them talk. Promise them you’ve got their back and that you’ll be honest with them on every development. And they’ll repay you with their loyalty.”

Customers are going to have less money to spend for the foreseeable future. They’re going to be pickier on how and where they spend it. “So you need to re-invent your offerings, and these need to be vague-packed,” says Sara. “Introduce a VIP membership, where an initial payment guarantees them a year of discounts. It’s a discount, sure, but if people know they have a year to reap benefits, they’ll make their bookings. Similarly, create bundles, whereby treatments are bundled to be of more value, but also requiring a series of bookings.”

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