My Salon Insurance Claim Scare And What You Can Learn From It

insurance for your beauty salon and how it can save you

Have You ever had a Salon Insurance Claim Scare?

I did. Read here how I overcame the experience and my lessons learnt…

This is something that I have never really talked about but it seems so appropriate in light of a new safety guidelines booklet released this month.
I’ve got the guideline download for you too.

My experience and this can happen to any of us

In this ever-increasing world of ‘Claim Culture’, It is imperative that we, as salon business owners, protect and arm both ourselves, and our staff with the best protocols and continually stay updated on safety protocols. Even though the ‘Have you had an accident at work’ adverts have dulled down, work-related claims are still on the increase.

I have always prided myself and my business on our really high standards of health and safety and the personal protective equipment we enforce.
All that didn’t stop a small loophole forming and resulting in over a year of worry and mixed emotions when an employee tried to make a claim.

This was back in 2000, and it was the worst time I have ever experienced in the 31 years of owning my salon. I contested, along with my Insurance company, against an employee who was trying to make a claim for industrial dermatitis.

I could have opted just to expect my insurance to pay out but that just didn’t seem fair on my insurance company either. Instead of paying out, they decided to fully back my decision to fight the claim.

The support from my insurance company was amazing, as the case turned out to be very complex taking up lots of time and resources.

Their support totally instilled in me the benefit of having legal support as part of my insurance package.

Cutting a long story very short, at the end of the day there was no real winner, but that didn’t stop such sad energy which overshadowed my whole life at the time.
Although I was repeatedly told not to take it personally, I found it so hard to separate myself, my business and my reputation from it all.

The 10 happy years of experience I had from building my business, seemed to pale into insignificance when the biggest dose of imposter syndrome kicked in making me question if I even wanted to still be a salon owner.

That feeling thankfully past with the support from my friends, family and amazing team who I will be forever grateful to.

My thoughts Now

I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone, but now, I look at it all as a blessing. That may sound crazy, but I always believe things happen for a reason. To be totally honest, I am sure that I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if it hadn’t all happened. I learnt so much.

It also propelled my whole passion for our Industry and high standards further, enabling me to work closer with standard-setting organisations and to offer help and guidance from an employer’s perspective.

It pushed me to succeed further, allowing me to help fellow salon owners to achieve, by utilising best business systems for the long-term.

What to do if it happens to you?

Please remember, that If ever you get thrown into a similar situation with either a client or staff member trying to claim against your business, that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that some good will eventually come of it all.

It makes you super vigilant so that it will never hopefully ever happen again. I am sure like me that it will take you to a new level with your business.

Please try not to take it personally. That was the hardest part for me. A better way to look at the situation is that it is all part and parcel of being a business owner.
Things happen to learn and grow from.

How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Business?

A good idea is to regularly review your insurance policy to make sure that you are covered in every area.

  • If your policy requires named staff, then always update the policy after every new training.
  • Check if you have any legal cover as part of the policy.
  • Hold regular 1-2-1 reviews with each team member and keep up to date records.
  • Ensure that you have updated Health and Safety documents and documented Risk Assessments.
  • Keep up to date with Safety data records from your suppliers and train staff to use any recommended Personal Protection.

We will be covering how to handle uncomfortable and challenging work situations further in our 2020 Beauty Directors Club Business Bootcamp. More details are at the bottom of the page.

Protect your salon environment with The New Safety Guidelines from the CPTA.

A great way to start protecting you and your team is to read the new guidelines that I was privileged to work along with a team of experts and the CPTA, (The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association), addressing issues that Salon Owners face in relation to safe practice.

The CPTA website also has oodles of useful information.

You can download the CTPA Guideline on Artificial Nails and Minimising the Risk of Allergy. In this link CTPA Guideline on Artificial Nails and Minimising the Risk of Allergy

Join us in The Beauty Entrepreneurs Hub, my free Facebook community.

…oh and if you want to learn first-hand how to avoid ever landing in hot water with any aspect of your business then watch out for our 2020 Beauty Directors Business Bootcamp. More details will be released soon in our facebook group.

Here’s a snapshot video from 2019 giving you an insight into what’s to expect.

Win £5500 in the Support Our Salons Competition…

Win £5500 to spend on Your Business

The deadline is fast approaching to enter the SOS Support Our Salons competition.

We ALL face business dilemmas on a daily basis. All you need to do to enter this competition is to describe a business challenge you have faced and let us know how you corrected it (in less than 100 words). Click here to enter>>

It‘s really that simple!

I’ve put together a 2-minute video so you can learn more about this fabulous prize…

Prize Highlights:

The winner gets FULL ACCESS to my 9-month online business programme Salon Success Freedom.
And can you imagine Marketing Expert Catherine Trebble PERSONALLY writing your newsletters for you AND sending them out to your clients for a whole 6 months? That’s part of this amazing prize too!

Here’s to YOUR great business,

Susan. x

P.S. I’m DELIGHTED to congratulate Emma Heaney of the Elite Aesthetic Clinic as the winner of the Support Our Salons £5500 prize at Professional Beauty Ireland.

Don’t miss out, YOU could be the winner, but only if you enter!

Click the link here….and Good Luck

Employment Law–Can an Employee Legally Steal Your Clients?

employment law

You Really Can legally protect your client base once an employee leaves!

In the last video in our series with Employment Law Expert David Wright, David covers your legal position on what you can do when an ex-employee attempts to take your clients with them when they leave.

David also offers some frank advice on how to protect yourself from an unwelcome tax investigation and a hefty fine if you don’t meet the criteria on the HMRC Checklist.

Self Employed or Employed? This is an important question, as there’s a fine line with this one. Cross it and it could easily cost you a £10,000 HMRC bill.

At 10 minutes’ duration, this is the longest of our videos, but you really don’t want to miss a moment.



David will be speaking at Professional Beauty North on Monday 23rd October on Staff & Employment – The reality & Myths.

Click the link here to book David’s seminar…or any of the other business seminars. I’ll be speaking there too, so make sure to come and see there!


If you missed Video 1 Click Here to view>>

If you missed Video 2 Click Here to view>>

If you missed Video 3 Click Here to view>>


Here’s to YOUR great business,

Susan. x

P.S. Do you have any burning business issues you would like me to tackle for you? Drop me a line in the Ask Susan box or comment below and we will tackle your business issues TOGETHER.


How to avoid a hefty fine…

salon employment law

Are you aware that HMRC has a dedicated team where there only focus is to hunt out businesses who are not paying the minimum wage?

In Part 3 of this Employment Law series, David Wright explains how one of his clients who thought they were doing things correctly ended up with a hefty fine even though they fell foul of the minimum wage laws by only a few coppers.

The fine can be up to £20,000—Gulp!

Click on the video below to hear David tell this story and explain exactly why hair and beauty salons are a favourite target for the HMRC team.



PLEASE NOTE. The video was recorded Pre April 1st 2017 and the rates have now changed.
The New Minimum Pay Rates from April 1st 2017 are:
25 years & Over   £7.50
21-24 years           £7.05
18-20 years           £5.60
Under 18 years     £4.50
Apprentice Rate   £3.50

Ignorance of the law is never a valid defence, so make sure you don’t miss any of this important 4-video employment law series where the following topics are addressed:

  • Changing Hours, what to do if your employee works different hours to their contract
  • Commission and how you can easily fall foul of the law
  • The legal requirements for Apprentices of different ages
  • Self Employed/ employed and how the law views this
  • How to legally protect your business against an employee taking your clients
  • And how to avoid that £20,000 Fine

You can find out more information on David and his work at

If you have a burning question for David or I, you can comment below. We love your feedback! Or you can pop your query in the Ask Susan box and David or I will respond as soon as we can.

If you missed Video 1 Click Here to view>>

If you missed Video 2 Click Here to view>>

Here’s to YOUR great business,

Susan. x


Are You Risking a £20,000 Fine?

David Wright salon HR Expert

Where staff and your legal obligations are concerned, the law can be an absolute minefield. To make matters worse, UK Salons can be easy targets for the tax man when it comes to employment law.

To find out more so our lovely salon owners can protect themselves, I recently persuaded employment law expert David Wright to answer some of the more pressing legal questions salon owners have. These question and answer sessions turned into a fascinating 4-video series with David.

David is not only the Employment Law Expert in my Salon Success Freedom Online Programme, you may also have seen his monthly column in Professional Beauty magazine. David also advises government organisations such as HABIA on employment law on our obligations.

Part 1 of this Employment Law series is all about Holiday Pay and our Legal Obligations.

David also addresses what we need to do if you find you aren’t paying your team correctly.

Ignorance of the law is never a valid defence, so make sure you don’t miss any of this important 4-video employment law series!

The next 3 videos will be released over the next 2 weeks. David covers hot topics such as

  • Changing Hours, what to do if your employee works different hours to their contract
  • Commission and how you can easily fall foul of the law
  • The legal requirements for Apprentices of different ages
  • Self Employed/ employed and how the law views this
  • How to legally protect your business against an employee taking your clients
  • And how to avoid that £20,000 Fine

You can find out more information on David and his work at

If you have a burning question for David or I, you can comment below. We love your feedback! Or you can pop your query in the Ask Susan box and David or I will respond as soon as we can.

Watch out for Video 2 on Friday.

Here’s to YOUR great business,

Susan. x


30 Days 2 Grow Challenge

I’ve put together a 2 minute video telling you all about a great NEW 30 Days to Grow Your Business Challenge that the guys at Phorest have put together for us all. This Challenge will run through July.

Every day you get a new idea to help transform and grow your business.

I know one of the tips in there saved me £5000 when I implemented it, and I always encourage everyone in my SSF Programme to do it too.

Watch the video and see what you think…


By the way…30days2grow is totally FREE. It’s a great Gift from the guys at Phorest

So sign up now, I’m all signed up.

Here’s to your great business success…in July and beyond !!

Susan. x

5 Simple Salon Reception Rules to Boost Your Business

salon reception rulesThe NHF Salon Focus magazine this month featured my 5 Simple Salon Reception Rules for a new team member or receptionist to learn.
And there’s a discount code at the end of this page to book one of the last few slots for the reception course I am running on the 12th June!


I emphasise to receptionists always to contact a client if they have missed an appointment.

You should always confirm the appointment at least 24-hours prior, by text or telephone. If they don’t show on the day, contact them to make sure they are OK and reschedule.  Most clients will be extremely apologetic and grateful for the call. But the key is, if you don’t contact them, then they may be too embarrassed to return.


I find it incredibly disrespectful when a regular client gets moved from one column to another without being asked or consulted.

When taking a booking, always repeat back to a client their appointment time, treatment and who the appointment is with at the time of booking. This should now be set in stone, unless there are circumstances completely out of your control.

If you do have to change an appointment, the client should always be fully informed and give their approval. Change without acknowledgement at your peril!

It should be no different with new clients. They may have noted who their appointment is with and will feel totally undervalued instantly at their first (and possibly as a result only) ever visit to you.


Always introduce yourself and preferably wear a name badge. One sure way to make a client feel worthless is to refer to them in a three-way conversation as “he”, “she”, “him” or “her”.

Always ensure you remember a client’s name – and know the preferred name they wish to be addressed by, and then use it frequently during the conversation. If you have inadvertently forgotten, then apologise and ask again.

In correspondence, where possible either always use a person’s name or a simple “hi” but never, ever refer to a client as “Dear client”. This is so impersonal!


If you need to contact a client and cannot get in touch, please only ever leave a message on a personal mobile phone. Never leave a personal message with a family member or friend, or on a landline answerphone.

Remember, it is a client’s own private business to choose to visit you, and you may be breaking their confidence and trust in you by revealing to a third party that they use your services.

If necessary, only ever leave a personal name, along with a contact number asking them to call you back. Never mention the business name unless you are 100% certain that you are not divulging unknown information.


I always say that there is one thing you don’t ever know about a client – and that is what they don’t want you to know. When a client arrives, you don’t know what kind of day they have had, or what is truly going on within their work, family or life in general.

If a client does arrive in a less than pleasant mood, it is essential to read the situation and never, ever react. There is a saying “attitude breeds attitude” and it takes very little to accelerate a situation.

Always stay 100% professional, as there is a strong possibility that the client is unaware that their behaviour and attitude is noticeable to you. If they are aware, then they will apologise on the next visit and thank you for their tolerance.

But if a client is being abusive or aggressive, that’s not right and not something you should have to tolerate. Call on someone senior and more experienced – ideally the owner – to help and intervene. If nothing else, they need to know what has happened – and perhaps why – and take a firm decision on how to respond.

To Book a place on Let Your Reception Team Boost Your Business on 12th June, make sure you get your £80 discount by calling the NHF on 01234 831965 or email [email protected] using my special code SRTREAM.

That means your Beauty Entrepreneur price is only £170 instead of the full price of £250 🙂

See you there?

Here’s to your great business!

Susan x

Interview with Lesley Caster, Pro. Beauty Winner

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Lesley Caster of City Retreat, the 2017 Winner of Professional Beauty Salon AND Employer of the Year about her determination to make her salon stand out in a crowded marketplace, and also how it feels to win awards for your business.

The video is only 3 minutes long, so click below to be inspired!



Here’s to YOUR great (award-winning?) business,

Susan. x

Are You Maximising Your Retail Space?

Sometimes in our industry it’s easy to be so focused on providing great services that we neglect our product range. As business owners looking to build profitable, long-term relationships with our clients, this is a huge mistake: customers who buy products are twice as likely to stay loyal for 6 or more years.

And despite constant warnings that we’ve shifted to an online economy, research from 2016 shows that 71% of shoppers want to buy a product in a nearby store rather than go online.

That’s your store they’re talking about. So spruce up that retail display. It might feel like a small part of your business, but it has the potential to dramatically increase your revenue without having to find extra clients.

Do your research

If you’re not sure where to start, then take to the internet. Browse pictures of retail displays and pick out ones that look effective, perhaps using a tool like Pinterest to help. Can you replicate their impact?

Spend some time thinking about who you’re selling to. Do you know your customers’ lifestyles and habits inside-out? Are you marketing to the right segment of your clientele?

Once you’ve collected some inspiration, start planning your display. Why not sketch things out so you have a clear goal before putting things in place? Planning anything well is essential to your success.

Use space to your advantage

However big or small your retail area is, try to make it a focal point. When clients are waiting for their appointments and, especially, when they have their credit card in their hand ready to pay, does their eye line fall naturally on your product range?

If it doesn’t, then consider moving things around or simply help shift people’s gaze with a really eye-catching display. Point of purchase displays are responsible for 80% of all impulse buys so get encouraging those impulses!

Put yourself in your clients’ shoes – what does it look like to view your product display as a customer? Exactly where are your eyes drawn to? Be certain that your bestselling products are in your prime space, not hidden slightly out of focus with lesser lines in the way.

Really spotlight items that will do best. This could literally mean picking out key products with a real light or perhaps using stand-out, brightly coloured arrows pointing to a star purchase. Use your imagination!

There are lots of ways to show customers a product is popular. For example, if you display a new box of ten identical products, take a couple of them out so it looks like they’re going quickly. Keep everything spotlessly clean and don’t hide your prices – if you do, expect to lose an incredible nine out of every ten possible sales.

Delight the senses

Once a customer is in store, we can learn from various retailer tricks that help convince people to buy. Many of these involve appealing to the senses and that gives our sector a huge advantage because all our products look, feel and smell great.

Ever heard of the rule of three, or the Pyramid Principle? In the rule of three, stores group three items together in a symmetrical layout, because this symmetry helps buyers’ eyes settle in one place. The Pyramid Principle takes a similar concept but places one central item higher, forcing the gaze to start at the top and work its way down.

Unsurprisingly, 85% of shoppers prefer to buy in-store because they can touch and feel products. So don’t be afraid to put products where clients can touch them as this helps to break down the psychological barriers to making a purchase. The same goes for scent – smell is a known “fast track” to the powerful part of the human brain responsible for emotion and memory. For beauty products in particular, making a small selection of testers available is a great idea.

And don’t forget about sound either – 8 out of 10 people buy more when music is playing and the type of music you play can influence both moods and buying habits.

Manage stock wisely

Keep things simple. Offering too wide a variety of products is overwhelming for clients and for staff and often results in a chaotic-looking display. This might mean you need to be honest and cut a few of those lines taking up space. But what can you do with them?

Firstly, do you understand why they’re not selling? It could be that your team simply doesn’t know enough about the product. With a bit more first-hand experience, they might become strong advocates who help make informed buyer choices. 90% of shoppers are likely to make a purchase after assistance from a knowledgeable staff member, so a well-briefed team makes a big difference to your bottom line.

But if you really can’t shift something, why not try bundling two or more products together as a good-value gift set? Or gather up lots of less popular lines, and maybe one or two more popular ones, to create desirable hampers for a prize draw. You could even donate excess profits to a local charity.

Think about turning slower sellers into gifts to go alongside purchases of, say, two other items at a minimum spend. And it’s perfectly OK to move on larger collections of stock by selling them privately, either to other salons or through online marketplaces. But my tip is to always do this in bulk, rather than wasting valuable time listing and posting individual items.

Crucially, once you’ve depleted your stock of items that weren’t selling, don’t buy any more! If any of your clients are particularly disappointed, you can always arrange to get them in by special order.

How did you do?

With a dazzling, multi-sensory display featuring only products that you know sell well, all stocked by knowledgeable staff, you’re well on the way to getting the most out of your retail feature. But now is not the time to sit back and congratulate yourself. It’s critical to keep changing things up as over-familiarity with your range will slowly chip away at your revenue. Plan to freshen up your displays each season and keep trying out new ideas, measuring their effectiveness as you go.

After all, if you don’t evaluate your impact, how will you ever know what works for next time?

Here’s to your great business!

Susan. x

My Book, Your Gift, Merry Christmas!

As you can see I’ve been really busy parcelling up all of the pre-booked copies of my latest edition of The Little Book of Client Retention and I loved every minute.

If you haven’t ordered YOUR copy, then NOW is the time.

My Little Book of Client Retention is jam packed with 50 ways to increase your client retention, and in the spirit of Christmas I will send it to you totally Free of Charge in time for Christmas, and ready for you to start planning new ways to maximise your business for the coming year.

Why am I doing this?

Well, Christmas is the time for giving and my true wish is that you, and every reader of Beauty Entrepreneurs has the MOST Prosperous 2017 by retaining as many clients as possible.

Christmas is also the time for reflection.

This means evaluating all that you have successfully achieved this year, along with all the things that you seriously need to change!

Wishing on a Star isn’t good enough to bring about the right change you need in your business, so I have added a few bonuses to the Book to help you along your way to mastering your business.

To claim my Christmas gift to you:

Simply enter your Name, Your Business Name & Address, plus your email and telephone number into this Ask Susan link and I will personally post your copy this week….

I think I may need to get Santa’s little helpers on board as well!

Here’s to your great business in 2017!

Susan x