Build Back Better – The Salon of tomorrow.

What will a post Covid salon look like? Will it be the welcoming and vibrant space that we fell in love with or will it resemble a cold apocalyptic scene of a high street wasteland. With the subliminal toxic waste signage and do not cross hazard tape with staff dressed in hazmat suits? How welcoming will that make our clients feel?



One thing is for certain, multiple lockdowns followed by the constant rule changes, Salon and barbershop owners will be scratching their heads with what they can do next. Let’s think about the changes we can make today that will work with the salon of tomorrow. How can you comply with regulations that are damaging to the experience of our future clients? How can we be certain where to allocate our capital to make genuine changes for the best? I have asked a number of successful salon owners about their principles when it comes to building a salon.

Lee Stafford multiple salon owner and housewives favourite told me “The biggest mistake most people make, is they design the salon how they like it and not how their customers like it.”

Joe Mehmet former owner of Sloane Avenue famous Joe’s Salon has his own take when I asked the question “When looking at the actual building project. Were you more motivated by the feeling of the space or the cost? Joe says “Always the space, for me the most important aspect is how the air moves around the salon. The way the air flows has to be more comfortable for the client experience than the hairdressers needs.”

Lee & Joe both had takes that were guided entirely by the customer’s experience.

When it comes to the actual planning of building a salon Adam Sloan CEO of Big Yin told me that advice he would give start ups would be frugality “Allow 10/20% for extras on initial budget. Seek a location with low overheads and ensure you have some financial reserves whilst building your salon.

We have to be guided by the principle that a post corona salon will still provide a wonderful experience in a relaxed environment. No matter what the precautions ask.

Let’s stop calling for things to go back to how they used to be, Also let’s ignore this BS term about a new normal. You should be focussed on how your customers experience your salon.

If we look at 3 important points
1. Environment
2. Customer Service of Staff
3. Technical ability of Staff
in that order then the salon of the future will be a slick and fast machine that can only help to return a profit. It will be a destination spot for your customers to enjoy and always want to come back.


How else can we make our salon work for us and not against us?

a look back to Lockdown 1.0 and how The Mail imagined salons to look.

At GoSalon we are looking at a way of economising salon business using what we call Salonomics. It’s a way of measuring your space and calculating the maximum value from the space in a clean and efficient way. Will those that do this the best be the victors in 2021? Can we understand this process well enough that we can hedge our business from disruption further down the road or at least increase our chances of survival. Can we learn anything from this experience that gives us the chance to mitigate further Black Swans down the road?

New Podcast with Joe & Aaron

We have a podcast it’s called Salonomics – It’s hosted by Joe Mehmet and myself and it’s a weekly chat about things related to hair and Joe’s new found passion for trolling on LinkedIn. You should give it a listen. Joe has 40 plus years of working in and owning a top London salon. The first podcast is out now. You should be able to find it on all good podcast networks

Other huge things we could do to improve our chances;
Can we look to renegotiate our rent and rates? if you are not talking to your landlord now about improve rental rates then you are missing a trick. Can we do a costing of winding down the business altogether – what to do about Business rate relief of Grants. – do we even believe in that. If you cannot make a profit from the service industry before Corona Virus then should you be looking to diversify your business elsewhere?

Businesses with decades of experience have been wiped out with no obvious way of fighting there way back to break even. Mcdonalds will struggle to break even this year so it’s no stigma that your business got destroyed by a pandemic. The key is to use this opportunity to build your salon better.

How will your salon footprint look after post Covid-19?

If you want to receive your free strategy of zoning and putting a little piece of your business online then follow this link. Add you details and we will send you our 3 point plan to digitise parts of your salon.

Free to reprint with attribution. Details here.

About the author @aarondornhair
Aaron Dorn is a hairdresser with twenty years of experience. A background in finance and computers. He continues to cut hair and is a consultant for several companies within the hair and beauty industry.

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