With worrying economic predictions, we are heading for unprecedented times, but working and living through a recession isn’t new for Jamie Brooks. Co-founder of Brooks & Brooks, London, has lived through five recessions, run a business through the financial crash of 2008 and trained as a hairdresser during Black Wednesday in the 1990s.
“The last recession was about money; this pandemic is about keeping people apart. This time we are seeing a societal change which is effecting every industry. Post-Covid, we will see a different culture, where people will be less tolerant of packed trains or busy pubs and be more conscious of cleanliness. This is going to become common place so as a business, we need to be ready for a new outlook.”
What Jamie learnt in the last recession and how you can use the lessons today:
1 During the last recession, salon business grew as people were looking for an escape – and it’s the same now. They are looking for something away from the doom and gloom so make sure there’s a positive vibe in the salon and every client has a great experience.
2 If you don’t know what you’re doing, your team won’t either. Set out a plan and stick to it – it will be the right thing for your business whatever else is happening.
3 Step back and look at everything – when you’re in the middle of it, it’s easy to make a bad decision.
4 Go back to your core business strengths and values and work by them. Try not to get distracted by everything else.
5 Think carefully about introducing new initiatives such as discounting – don’t do anything you wouldn’t be prepared to do when we get back to ‘normal’.
6 Have a plan B, C and D – if another lockdown was announced, be ready. Follow your instinct and keep moving, don’t stand still.
5 Remember the client is king. With shows and education cancelled, everything is about the salon – the service, the visit, the experience. Get the balance right between restrictions and a pleasurable experience for your clients.
6 It’s a rollercoaster and many people don’t want to be on it! So try and be as normal as possible.
Find out more about Brooks & Brooks: