Editor's letter: keeping therapists loyal

For as long as I’ve been writing about the beauty industry I’ve been hearing stories from salon and spa owners about therapists leaving to set up in competition down the road – often taking their clients with them. While some employers resign themselves to the fact that this is the nature of the salon market, others fight tooth and nail to protect their territory.

A clause in contracts to let therapists know they’d need to pay back any training costs if they leave you within a certain timeframe can help with the immediate financial impact, but it’s often the long-term loss of business that’s more of a worry. In our focus in the September issue, we speak to both salon owners and therapists who have been through the situation to find out how they dealt with the fallout.

Putting a restrictive covenant in employment contracts goes some way to protecting your client base but they can be difficult to enforce and, ultimately, many salons end up focusing on ways to keep both clients and staff loyal instead.

Most employers recognise that everyone on their team will be motivated by different things. Commission tops the list for some, career development for others. However, many place the highest value on achieving a work-life balance, and our feature on flexible working in this issue outlines the options for keeping your team happy and your business profitable.

When it comes to client loyalty, there are plenty of changes you can implement to make them feel special without breaking the bank. Turn to our top tips feature in the current issue for seven of the best. Finally, as we prepare to head up to Manchester this month (see the September issue for our full Professional Beauty North show preview) we explore some of the city’s most exciting new businesses. QMS is making a splash with its first branded hotel spa at the city’s Lowry Hotel, while Margaret Dabbs has opened her eighth Hands and Feet Clinic – her first outside London – in nearby Alderley Edge. Read about both in the current issue. See you in the Northern beauty business hub on September 18 and 19!