If you’ve spent time during COVID-19 lockdown in touch with clients, working to reschedule their appointments for when you can reopen, and now that day has come, what is a good strategy for taking care of them without burning yourself out?
“I think it’s most important to focus on what’s ‘essential’ … much like the country has deemed what is ‘essential’,” says Marco Pelusi, salon owner, entrepreneur, educator, and colorist. "If you have clients who need root touch-ups, book those all immediately. Try not to spend too much time on any one client, necessarily; so that you can be able to accommodate and see most of your clients.”
The term ‘triage’ is being used to describe how stylists are assigning degrees of urgency to their client’s needs; some may be clamoring for more attention than you’re able to give, right away, so be strategic in how you work, Pelusi says.
“Everyone who does not want to stay home will most likely want to see you right away, so it’s vital to find ways to get them all in. For example, I have a client who comes to see me every three weeks for color, and once in a while, we will do highlights. Her color will need some work; so I’m going to recommend that we focus on her base color, which will be desperately needed, and that we do some highlights as well, to blend everything together.
“We will skip the haircut this time around, and book it at a later date,” he goes on. “Most urgent, of course, is the coloring. And I will need time to be able to make sure it looks good, and it won’t necessarily be an inexpensive visit. Skipping the cut will allow me to move onto someone else quicker and get more people into the day, while still working to maintain proper social distancing, and/or fulfill a capacity percentage (many salons/states are to be at 50% capacity, for example). Then immediately book the cut and her next appointment BEFORE SHE LEAVES. Doing the cut later will also give her another reason to come back, it’ll leave her begging for more from you!
“The only exception to this might be some of you who do not have large book of clients; or those of you who have clients who are elderly or who do not wish to return for a while. If this is the case, fill up your book as much as you can, within the guidelines provided to you by your Department of Health and State Board.”
Pelusi is a big advocate for pre-booking and emphasizes this important piece of business advice in all his coloring classes. As an artist and an owner, he is thinking about profitability, knowing you can’t create your art if you can’t afford to stay open.
“Pre-booking will also be ‘essential’ at this particular time; and most people will appreciate it. It’s one way we can manage and attempt to control the craziness and the uncertainty that’s out there right now – we can work to set up a successfully full book over the coming months.”
In the end, Pelusi reminds his students that what hasn’t changed is just as important as what has; they are still the professionals and they are up to meeting any challenge and thriving.
“There’s a lot of information but it’s all quite similar – it all boils down to sanitation, social distancing, and the wearing of masks, by the giver and the receiver. Do that, do your work, and we’ll all rebound, together.”
Marco Pelusi, has advised us over the years on many topics, including tips for a fierce foilyage, the best off-scalp highlights, and introducing hair color to your male clients.
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