The last two years have been a pretty wild ride for London’s hair salons. Lockdowns, restrictions and more have kept owners on their toes as they battle to keep their businesses afloat. Unfortunately, a huge number of businesses have faced a threat even more significant than the pandemic – staffing issues.
A bad hair day
During the various UK lockdowns, we saw the rise of the black market stylist. As salons closed their doors in line with government legislation, some hair and beauty professionals chose to defy the law by providing services to customers in their own homes on a cash in hand basis. Once salons were once again able to serve their customers, they found that many were lost as they continued to enjoy the convenience and cost savings of these rogue stylists.
On top of this is the worrying drop in people taking up hairdressing apprenticeships. The National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) reports that the number of hairdressing apprenticeships fell by 50% between 2016 and 2020 and, the NHBF’s Chief Executive, Richard Lambert, predicts a further 30% to 50% in the next 12 months. Carolyn Sweeney of Creations Hair And Beauty says, “We are finding it really hard to find the right people. It’s a job that’s all about passion and creativity. You’ve got to have people who believe in what they’re doing because it’s really hard work.” Many salon owners like Carolyn have been struggling to effectively manage staffing within their salons and, lots are turning to Booksy to lend a helping hand during the busy festive season.
Cuts both ways
Founded in Poland in 2014, Booksy is a booking and management system for the hair and beauty industry and can help with the battle against staffing issues through its clever, AI powered features, including:
Booking App – Booksy’s mobile phone app means that salon customers are able to make and manage their own appointments quickly and easily. For customers, this means greater flexibility and convenience (and no annoying phone calls). For salon owners, this important feature means that they no longer have to hire a member of staff to man the phones and make appointments for customers. With staffing levels at an all time low, this feature alone can prove to be a lifesaver for salon owners.
Management – Booksy is so much more than just an appointment booking tool. In fact, it offers full management services for salon owners, including staff scheduling. As Booksy is powered by artificial intelligence, it is able to schedule employee working hours much more effectively than us mere humans. This, in turn, allows salon owners to make the most of the staff that they do have, as well as keeping salary costs down where possible.
Marketing – When in the market for new staff, salon owners first need to know where to look. Booksy has some fantastic marketing features, including postering and email outreach which can help owners to reach out to new staff and, of course, new customers. Many salon owners are using this feature to reach out to schools and colleges in the hope of attracting new apprentices to their salons.
Payment – Booksy’s payment and prepayment options are a game changer for understaffed salon owners who are able to request and receive payments directly through the app. Not only does this mean that a receptionist is no longer required, owners are also able to integrate Booksy with their accounting programs, saving a huge amount of time and hassle.
Customer service is also top-notch. According to data from Number For Live Person, Booksy’s representatives are among the best. On top of that, public’s view of the app is mostly positive. Brand24’s sentiment analysis shows that over 80% of the mentions involving Booksy’s name are positive.
We’ve all heard about The Great Resignation which has been sweeping the globe for a while, hand in hand with the pandemic. Coupled with the unique staffing issues faced by the hair and beauty industry, salon owners are under increasing pressure. As we move into 2022, Booksy can help salon owners to overcome these issues in the short and long term and, through its management and admin features, ensure that employees can focus on what they do best – serving their customers.