What to do when your former employee opens a rival salon
You’ll never forget that sucker punch moment when your best therapist tells you that they are leaving, and worse still, are going to set up in their own salon down the road.
This is the person you mentored, nurtured and helped to build up a busy column. Now, you’re scared they’re going to take all their clients – the ones you helped to generate – with them.
It’s enough to make even the calmest, most agreeable salon owner blow smoke out of their ears. My advice as someone who has been there? Don’t get angry, get clever.
Whatever you do don’t retaliate to anything, don’t bad mouth and don’t get into a price war. I’ve been there and have not only survived but grew my business to be even bigger and better from exactly this situation.
How do I protect my salon’s client base?
If this person has remembered everything you’ve taught them, which is highly likely, then they will probably hold a salon opening party, so you need to quickly host a client indulgence evening yourself, reproofing your brand and letting your existing customers feel valued.
You also need to get brave and start reconnecting with your clients. Target everyone that was a previous customer with your former employee and invite them in for a free service in exchange for a customer review.
When I say customer review, I don’t mean completing an online questionnaire, but sitting down with the client after their treatment and listening to the good and bad things they say.
By offering this free service, you’re giving your business the opportunity to introduce your competitor’s clients to one of your other therapists. Hopefully they will love the new therapist and you’ll win their custom back.
This is exactly the type of clever strategy I put into place when not one but two of my top performers left me to open a rival business and it was crucial in keeping clients who possibly would have followed the ex-employees to their new venture.