The UK beauty pie is worth £28b per year. Can we grow the industry from £28b to £50b, despite a looming recession? For this edition of Timely Talks, we’ve rounded up the  top celebrity stylists, salon coaches and tech gurus from the UK and Ireland. And, our panelists think that if we rally together, beauty businesses can bounce back stronger than ever.

As an industry, we’ve gone through some tough times this year. We’ve fought through long closedown periods, worked hard to maintain our client relationships, and have changed the way we do business.

And it’s not over yet. 

Our resident social media star Lu Korth spoke with some of the biggest names in beauty from the UK and Ireland about how we can ‘blow up the beauty pie.’ We chat about why discounting is the worst thing a business could do right now, how our industry can demand the respect it deserves, and what technology you need to drive revenue growth.

Meet our panelists

Jessica Crane – International business coach, helping salon owners across the globe increase profit and reach the next level in their business.

Haylee Benton – CEO & Managing Director of Alchemy & I, Cecily Day Spa, Koha Skin Clinics.

Gareth Bromell – Celebrity session hair stylist, global brand ambassador for EVO Haircare, Co-founder of HENSHĪN, and soon-to-be-launched H by Gareth Bromell at Harvey Nichols.

Adam Chatterley Beauty Industry Business Success Coach & Course Creator, and Chairman of The UK Spa Association.

Ryan Baker – Co-founder and CEO of Timely.

How can we all work together to change the perception of the beauty industry and showcase its value and importance to the economy?

Jessica: It’s not a job that should be belittled. It’s difficult. We’re looking after everybody else – we’re counselors, we’re therapists, and we’re technical experts. We look after the whole community. We are what pulls people into the high streets. So, we are valued and need to demand the respect we deserve. 

Haylee: I’m worried about the amount of discounting that goes on in our industry, which devalues your brand. 

Gareth: I don’t have any qualms about charging what I charge, because you’re getting time with me. I love what I do, so you’re going to love what I do too.

How can technology step up and help the UK beauty industry to grow and become a £50b industry?

Jessica: We’ve helped clients set up systems and processes that enable them to take a 100% payment in advance, or at least a minimum 50% deposit. This means my clients are already getting base revenue into their salon every month.

Adam: Technology can help drive retail sales. A huge chunk of beauty retail sales are coming from supermarkets and high street retail chains, where people aren’t necessarily buying the right products for themselves. There’s a big opportunity to shift some of that revenue over to independent beauty and hair salons.  Booking software can help your staff recommend the right products for their clients, and enables you to keep track of a client’s purchase history. 

Haylee: Booking software can also give you valuable information about profit and loss – it can identify your most profitable treatments, and can track how well your staff is doing. You’ve got to embrace technology. That’s one of the reasons why I use Timely because I genuinely believe that it helps people become better at business.

So, how can we influence the beauty industry to adopt technology?

Gareth: It all comes down to education. I educate myself with new techniques all the time, so you have to educate yourself with new technology all the time too. 

Ryan: I think that technology is a skill that should be added to the menu for beauty. You learn people skills, you learn technical skills, and you learn business skills. It needs to be part of your business stack.

Haylee: If you can show business owners the benefit of booking software – how much more efficient they can be and how much more profit they can make, why wouldn’t they embrace it?

Adam: Yes, it’s an initial cost to the business. But, it’s an investment that gives you back valuable time in your day and generates extra revenue.

And finally, any parting words of encouragement for our Timely community?

Ryan: This industry has a lot of really passionate, intelligent, hard working people in it, and that’s what has truly shone through in these difficult times. I’ve seen people rediscover their “why.” 

Adam: If it wasn’t for the passion in this industry, it would crumble because we’ve had the least support financially out of any of the industries. But, we are still determined. Our industry is a place where people want to come and work because there are so many great opportunities and it is a genuine career choice. 

Haylee: It is tough but we have to all work together. Our services are so important for peoples’ wellbeing, so don’t devalue what you do. Because then, we devalue our entire industry as a whole, and we just can’t let that happen. So stand your ground and have faith in what you’re doing.

What a way to finish! Feeling inspired by this Timely Talk? We recently caught up with a powerhouse panel of industry experts, and discussed the future of the UK hair industry. Be sure to check it out!