Business Advice

Lessons from Australia’s small business hairdressing owners

- July 1, 2022 2 MIN READ
hair dresser

Last month, I attended the debut of the Hair Festival 2022 at the Carriageworks in Sydney. It was a prime opportunity to speak face-to-face with those in the hairdressing community about the challenges they’ve faced over the past few years, particularly, writes Elise Balsillie, Head of Thryv Australia.

From salon owners to hairdresser apprentices, the biggest challenge they face is the sheer volume of admin-related tasks on their to-do lists.

At the height of the pandemic, pressure mounted with supply chain issues and increased staff absenteeism (which was up 60 per cent earlier this year, according to the Australian Hairdressing Council).

What I also heard from business owners is their desire to adopt technology into their business models to grow customers, improve customer experience and embrace digital payment platforms.  This echoes the findings of Thryv’s own research on the state of small businesses across our nation, with owners indicating they’re not digitally savvy (28 per cent) but agree they need to be (69.9 per cent) for their business to be successful.


It was uplifting to see those we had the chance to speak with walk away with a new level of optimism after hearing there are technology solutions for them.

While these conversations were had with hair salons in particular, the issues are not solely within the hair and beauty industry. These are wider issues across the entirety of Australian small business environment, and so solutions can be found in a similar manner.

Here are two ways you can solve these issues in your business:

  1. Streamline through automation

Regardless of the industry in which they operate, small business owners can benefit from digitisation. Digitisation can have a significant image on running a small business efficiently and effectively as it can help to automate and streamline admin-related tasks. Many service-based small businesses are (quite literally) “pencilling in” appointments or consultations.


This is an example of a task that can be automated with ease. In fact, it should be automated. The modern-day customer prefers to make bookings using an online system and is likely to do this outside of regular trading hours. Small businesses that don’t have this functionality will lose growth opportunities.

2. Modernise customer engagement

Very few small businesses have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system in place. The benefits of implementing a CRM are endless but one of the most important is the impact this can have on the customer experience. Most notably, it can help to personalise the experience with minimal effort. Making customers feel like they’re getting a specialised treatment can result in repeat business that is long-term. It can also help to communicate with customers.

One of the most common ways this is used is to ask for reviews on Google or Facebook. This is where small businesses will reap the rewards of positive customer experience, shining a bright light on positive and outstanding services.

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