With Brexit coming into force, should I switch to British brands?
Unlike their suppliers, most salon owners will not necessarily be directly dealing with post-Brexit red tape. However, Brexit may well be having an impact on your business in terms of limited stock availability, discontinued product lines, potential price increases, customs duties applied, VAT charges and delivery delays.
To import goods, there are many forms, applications and authorisations to go through – it can be a real minefield. If you are loaded with paperwork, it could also have repercussions on the running of the day-to-day salon business.
As a result of these factors, many salons may decide to source UK alternatives. It would be a savvy move to consider British-manufactured brands right now. Not only for the practical reasons of reliability, accessibility, on-hand customer service, a more stable price point and efficient system repairs, but also as an opportunity to consider their environmental impact and carbon footprint, something beauty brands and consumers are becoming more aware of.
If you’re thinking of switching to a British brand, then do your research first. Look at British brands that continue to attract new countries and global markets to their community. CACI International has built a strong reputation as a “Made in Britain” aesthetics systems brand since 1992 and during the coronavirus pandemic, export sales made up 34% of the total of CACI system sales in 2020, up from 15% in 2019.
Now could be the right time for salon owners and managers to invest in these homegrown, heritage brands that have stood the test of time.
Dean Nathanson is managing director of CACI International, which manufactures its face and body devices in the UK.
How can I juggle my beauty business with parenthood?
The first thing to do when you run your own beauty business and have children is admit that you can’t do it all, all of the time, and that’s OK. It’s not about a set balance, more of an ever-changing juggle; and that’s the beauty of beauty – you can do just that.
I go between tanning clients, photoshoots and press deadlines while raising my little boys; Billy, two, and Dex, three months. It’s a tough gig and one that means I have to say no to some work opportunities, but that’s OK. My clients know and understand.
It’s really important to be honest about being a working parent. Highlighting to clients that you hold your work life and family life in high regard shows that you are a professional across the board. Never complain, and never explain; you don’t have to justify the way you do both, just show everyone that it works.
Work the times that suit you and your clients; it doesn’t have to be typical business hours. I often see clients from tea time until late at night. One of my regulars even has an 11.45pm tan, so I get home just after midnight. It works for me, though, as doing nights means I get the days with my babies, I can feel like myself all evening chatting with tan fans and then kiss the boys when I get home, feeling proud of fitting in as much as possible. Sundays are a great day to see clients, catch up on emails and plan for future business adventures.
Where possible, try to involve your children in your work. It shows them the importance of earning a living and also allows them to see you can be driven with passion. Billy likes to help me sort through my kit – he makes an excellent tower out of boxes of paper pants and sticky feet – and Dex falls asleep to the whir of the tanning machine when I’m giving the boys’ dad a glow to go. Get them excited about work and reassure them that you’ll be back soon for more fun.
When you’re working away or for long hours, always ask for help from family, friends nurseries and childminders. Don’t try to do it alone or just with your partner. Find other local beauty professionals with children too so you can support one another with playdates, or with a WhatsApp group where you can offload, vent and celebrate the wins of all your juggling.
Finally, make sure you pause, not just for a rest, but also to reflect. I do this by running through my camera roll, which has lots of pictures of the boys smiling and having fun, and also work highlights.
It helps on the really tricky days to remind myself that I’m doing a good job; in work, parenting and play, and that the mantra of not doing it all, all of the time, really is paying off in the long run.
Carly Hobbs is a professional spray tanner, brand ambassador for tanning company Sienna X and a mum of two.
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