The coronavirus outbreak has been a very challenging time for many in the hair and beauty industry. However, there are steps you can take to help ensure your business survives and thrives. 

If you need to take cost-cutting measures such as laying off staff or redundancies, you must ensure you stay within the law. 

Member-only in-depth guide

This blog post is a summary of our in-depth guide which NHBF Members can download free of charge. This post covers: 

Making a profit and getting back on track 

Cash flow 

It’s more important than ever to take control of your cash flow to ensure you have more money coming in than going out. This may sound obvious, but running out of cash is a major cause of business failure. 

Find out more about the importance of cash flow and how to ensure your business thrives and grows

Make sure your prices are right 

Deciding how much you’re going to charge is a crucial decision to get right. There are lots of factors to consider when setting your prices, for example:

  • Your location.
  • Your target market.
  • The range and type of services you offer.
  • Whether you're going for high-volume turnover or the luxury end of the market. 

NHBF Members can download our in-depth guide to business finances, prices, wages and profits for more information on this topic

Barber equipment

Boost your retail sales

Increasing your retail sales can make a real difference to your bottom line. 

Find more information about boosting your retail sales in our blog post. 

No-cost and low-cost marketing 

Make sure you take advantage of all the no-cost and low-cost marketing opportunities that are available to your salon or barbershop. These include:

  • Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
  • Your business website.
  • E-marketing.
  • Marketing with other local businesses.
  • Entering competitions and awards.
  • Getting ranked on Google.
  • Getting listed in online business directories. 

NHBF Members can download our in-depth guide to marketing your salon or barbershop. 

Lady on tablet

Get some expert business coaching 

NHBF Members can request a free 15-minute business coaching phone call every year and can also take advantage of special fixed-rate coaching support on an ongoing basis. 

Wise up with a webinar 

The NHBF has a programme of webinars on topics which are relevant for salon and barbershops owners who are working on rebuilding their business. 

Reduce no-shows and late cancellations 

While there is still a risk of virus transmission you should advise your clients to cancel their appointment if they have any symptoms or test positive for coronavirus. Never impose a financial penalty but reassure them that you will rebook once the danger has passed. 

Apart from this exception, you will want to minimise the number of no-shows and late-cancellations as these can seriously affect your cash flow and profit levels. 

NHBF Members can download: 

Manicure with PPE

Reducing staff hours, laying off staff and redundancies 

Always get legal advice if you are unsure about any employment issue. NHBF Members have access to our free 24/7 legal helpline

The law says you must explore alternatives to redundancy as part of a fair process. Dismissing employees without attempting to use the job retention scheme and other financial assistance set out by the government during the pandemic is likely to be regarded as unfair. 

Short-time working is when an employee temporarily works reduced hours or is paid less than half a week’s pay. 

Laying off an employee means they do not come into work because you temporarily cannot give them any work to do. 

Making an employee redundant means their employment with you will come to an end because you no longer need anyone to do their job. 

Make-up brushes

Laying off staff/working fewer hours 

Employees who are asked to work reduced hours or laid off will be entitled to full pay unless their employment contract says they don’t have to be paid or can be paid less for hours that aren’t worked.

You will always need to take legal advice if you are thinking of laying off staff or asking them to work fewer hours. 


Redundancy should always be the last resort and you must take legal advice before starting a redundancy process. NHBF Members can call the free NHBF 24/7 legal helpline before taking any action. 

The lawful reasons for redundancy include:

  • Your business closes permanently or temporarily.
  • Workplace closure - including where your business moves and your employee cannot get to the new place of work.
  • Fewer employees are needed to do the existing work. 


  • Take steps to boost your business if your are facing a downturn.
  • Always get legal advice before laying off staff, reducing hours or making staff redundant.
  • NHBF Members: download our in-depth guide to coping with a downturn in business.

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The NHBF's in-depth guides offer expert information and advice on a whole range of business issues, from employing staff, chair/room renting and finances to marketing, workplace pensions and apprenticeships. Become a Member for full access to all the guides.