Johannesburg – There are around 37,000 hair salons across South Africa, many of which have suffered greatly from closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although salon doors are one again open for business, recovery will be a slow process for many, due to strict distancing guidelines and a degree of reluctance on the part of customers.
Salons hanging by a hair
While salon owners are working incredibly hard to maximise their time and space as best they can, for many it’s simply not enough.
As we move into Autumn; with holidays just around the corner, some owners are considering opening their salons on Sundays in order to meet demand and increase their revenue.
Traditionally, hair and beauty businesses open from Tuesday to Saturday, with rest days on Sunday and Monday and, this radical move may just be the answer to survival for barber shops and salons.
Unlike many countries, South African law places no particular restrictions on Sunday trading (although some limitations do apply for supermarkets and shopping malls).
For salons, this may present an opportunity to secure more weekend appointments – and may well turn into a long term solution.
The only possible fly in the ointment is the fact that the South African Employment Act requires that employees working on a Sunday must be paid one and a half times their normal rate of pay.
Although this may place extra financial pressure on salons, the hope is that the increased revenue will make this more than worthwhile.
A turn up for the books
As businesses contemplate turning a day of rest into a day of revenue, lots of salon owners are looking for ways to keep costs low and profits high.
The solution for many comes in the form of the Booksy scheduling app.
An innovative website and app, Booksy hands over control to hair and beauty salon owners by allowing customers to easily book, manage and cancel their own appointments, any time of day or night.
As great as this is, there’s much more to Booksy than just booking appointments. This clever platform, which is powered by artificial intelligence, offers a whole bag of tricks to salon owners to help them optimise their businesses, including:
The money stuff
The Booksy app puts financial control firmly in the hands of salon owners by allowing them to request payment for services through the app and, also prepayment for treatments.
The latter point is particularly important as it can significantly help to discourage no-shows – something which is the bane of many a salon owner’s life.
A timely reminder
With today’s busy lives, it’s often easy to forget appointments – not so with Booksy.
The app is able to send customers handy notifications and reminders to make sure that salon owners keep bums on seats and maximise time and space.
Marketing is extremely important for salons – but is also time-consuming and expensive, placing a drain on salon owners’ time and profits.
Booksy includes some great marketing features, including email outreach and flyers, letting managers and owners keep existing customers abreast of news and special offers while reaching out to potential new clients.
Closing the sale
For a lot of salons, the sale of products such as shampoos, conditioners and hair masks, provides a vital chunk of additional revenue. Booksy allows for the sale of products and merchandise directly from the app – as well as adding extra convenience, this cuts down on the multiple handling of product within a salon, helping to keep staff and customers safe.
With many shops, bars and restaurants running near to normal hours on Sundays, it makes sense for salons to follow suit.
As well as being much more convenient for workers who are unable to visit during the week, this extra day of trading will give hair and beauty salons the financial boost that they need to emerge intact on the other side of the pandemic.
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