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How We Share: ISBN Executive Leadership Council Preview

Ongoing dialogue, trend information and resource sharing have always been a hallmark of ISBN. Shouldn’t your leadership teams maximize the access?

ISBN’s new Executive Leadership Council (ELC) peer groups provide a great new opportunity and benefit for members to tap into. The following sample reflects the type of quick pulse data and insights the ELC peer groups are expected to generate for those who opt in.

Emily Brown, COO of V’S Barbershops and ISBN secretary, initiated a trial run of information sharing among ISBN members to demonstrate how useful the small, purposeful peer groups can be.  If you have not yet indicated interest in you or your team members being part of the Executive Leadership Council peer groups, please join today.

Although we know information and data changes quickly at this phase of the recovery, these insights are representative of many salon, spa and barber organization’s responses to these “test” questions. As ISBN gathers more feedback on these and future topics, we will update and share within the ELC peer groups.

ISBN: Are you seeing an overall decrease in revenue numbers, and if so, how much?

  • Most salons/organizations indicated that they had initial surges where revenue was up for 2-3 weeks and then fell off significantly. The first 2-3 weeks may have been up 30-50% and then revenues dropped 20-35%. Most salons and organizations have not had enough time to see a 6-8 week return cycle.
  • The revenue decreases are the result of customers’ fear of returning to normal retail/service businesses (many reports indicate up to 40% of the population are still fearful and are not venturing out), capacity restrictions, staffing issues, change in hours, reduction of efficiency with to new procedures, and customers dissatisfaction with requirements (masks, checking in online, making appointments, completing health screenings).

ISBN: Are you seeing customers bringing/wearing masks OR are you providing PPE to customers?

  • Salons and barbershops that cater to men see less mask wearing. Changes over the last 1-2 weeks may have impacted this. Appointment-based salons are clarifying their expectations to customers when they make or confirm the appointment. Most salons have very conspicuous signs/reminders related to masks. Even going as far as putting a mask on a mannequin head at the door of the salon. Some salons will provide masks to clients or sell them for a nominal amount.
  • There have been increased customer complaints about masks and other requirements. Many brands have had huge increase in complaint calls and complaints in social media.

ISBN: Are you charging for PPE, and/or in light of the longevity of the pandemic, are you reconsidering charging for it?

  • Many salons and organizations considered a surcharge, and only a small percentage implemented a specific PPE surcharge. Many salons have absorbed the costs. A significant portion of salons did increase prices given the overall costs of all of the PPE, dividers, etc.

ISBN: Are you allowing pre-payments and, if so, are customers taking advantage of that option?

  • Salons that have allowed pre-payments have seen an increase and are promoting the benefits of this. Other salons/organizations have initiated additional work on their apps to allow contactless payments and pre-payment. Many salons are encouraging contactless and/or credit card payments and discouraging the use of cash.


ISBN: Have you had stylists test positive? Any known transfer to customers?

Many salons have had stylists test positive for COVID 19. The health departments are fully engaged and provide very clear direction. It is manageable and salons typically have to close for a few days or more. Every situation is different and it depends on the nature of the customer interaction, length of time of service, wearing masks, etc. Although many salons/organizations report that a significant number of stylists have tested positive, there has not been any documented transfer of the virus to customers.

ISBN: Have you lost staff, because they are unwilling or unable to work?

  • Many salons have had a minimal initial loss of stylists who are fearful to return to work, either because of their health or because of the health of a close family member. In many cases, most staff returned. However, after the initial surge and excitement of being back to work, stylists who became discouraged with the restrictions and drops in revenue, made a decision to leave.
  • Many organizations have had higher than normal turnover. In some cases, the turnover may be related to both COVID 19 and organizations that are at risk financially.
  • Some organizations have allowed stylists to extend their furloughs or have provided other options for stylists to delay their return. This allows the stylists who are working to be more productive

In addition to answering the presented questions, one ISBN member shared information on consumer trends, providing insight through interviews and analytics. This includes hair salons and willingness to visit a salon in the upcoming weeks.

“ISBN will continue to share information, resources and best practices as we navigate this new environment,” says ISBN Past President Rhoda Olsen, vice chair of the Great Clips board of directors.  Please remember to sign up for the Executive Leadership Council peer groups today.

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