Don't kill the messenger, but the likelihood of our economy going into recession is high, and some economists say we are there already. What's the big deal about a recession? How does it affect a salon professional, and why should you care?

During a recession, businesses often cut back on hiring and lay off some employees.  In simple terms, a recession is a time of higher unemployment and less spending.

Fortunately, the salon industry is a relatively recession-proof career because it combines necessity and luxury. Salon services aren't something people can provide for themselves, and they will always need their hair cut. But, with money and employment tight during a recession, clients often try to save on salon visits. Perhaps skip the conditioning treatment, pass on retail, and prolong their time away from the salon.

How-to Survive a Recession

What to do?

  • Save wherever you can.
  • Be on the lookout, stock up during supply house sales, and increase your booking hours and availability. 
  • Offer clients savings through high-quality services like highlighting. Explain how the initial investment might be higher, but they can "cheat" on their retouch a little longer and still look good.
  • It might sound like a good idea to offer specials or discount your services. Don't do that.
  • Instead, provide extra services for a salon visit, like an exfoliating service at the shampoo bowl or a refreshing color rinse. Add value for the same or a higher price when demand is tight.

Take These Steps Now to Recession-Proof Your Career

Whether a big recession happens or not, you should be ready just in case by taking these steps: 

  1. Increase your earnings/decrease your spending—Aim for having as much money "leftover" at month's end—and put it away.
  2. Add as many clients as possible. Expand your availability and working hours.
  3. Sit down and total your expenses. Set a budget and abide by it. Use your online bank/credit card statement. Eliminate frills and look for less expensive options for now.
  4. Begin today to put away three months of living expenses if possible. As a freelancer, this habit saved me from ruin several times. Put something away every month, even a tiny amount.
  5. Establish an automatic bank transfer to savings after each deposit.
  6. Don't increase debt. Interest rates will go up—credit cards, car payments, mortgages.
  7. Put away the credit cards.
  8. Keep some frills. Don't become so frugal that you lose interest in the day ahead, and don't punish yourself. Live a little.
Throughout his career, Carlos Valenzuela has helped guide thousands of salon professionals on...

Throughout his career, Carlos Valenzuela has helped guide thousands of salon professionals on their career journey. 

About the Author

Carlos Valenzuela is a salon professional and bilingual writer. He is the author of the multi-awardwinning novella Letters to Young Carlos. Visit his work at carlos-valenzuela.comModern Salon, and find him on GayTucson.

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Originally posted on Modern Salon

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