Why these salon and barbershop owners rely on their NHF membership

Paul Watts, Owner Paul Watts Hairdressing

The NHF helpline is worth its weight in gold

I joined NHF just before I opened my first salon three years ago.

The main reason I joined was for the security and stability you get from having access to well-written contracts bolstered with the NHF legal helpline. It is important that both employer and employee know what is going on. A good contract gives both parties something to refer back to.

When one of our stylists left and we had some problems, I was in a strong position thanks to the NHF contract. In the end it was all resolved amicably and the NHF helpline was worth its weight in gold during the process.

Part of my plan for the year is to get some formal business training, so I will be attending the NHF seminars to help me develop the business further.
The contracts alone make it worth joining the NHF and combined with the other membership benefits, such as SalonFocus magazine, it really helps to keep my finger on the pulse. It’s invaluable. 

Robert Rix & Dan Rix, Owners The Master Barber's Shop

I can’t afford not to be a member

I have been a member of the NHF on and off since 1974. I think it is an essential requirement to be a member of a recognised trade body. It enhances your credibility in the eyes of clients.

The members’ magazine, SalonFocus provides concrete answers to real business issues, whereas many of the other industry magazines are quite light and just focus on the creative side. For example, there was a very informative article in SalonFocus recently about the national minimum wage situation.

The contracts are particularly useful. In the past I have used contracts drawn up by lawyers but they charge extortionate fees. The service you get from generic lawyers is second rate as they simply don’t understand the trade.

I recently had a chair rental situation where the image of the business was being undermined. I called the NHF legal helpline and was given clear guidelines - we were able to end the agreement without any negative consequences. The NHF was very supportive and gave me the confidence to tackle a tricky situation effectively. The legal helpline is a truly great resource.

You simply can’t put a value on the wide and varied support the NHF offers. 

Simone Thomas, Owner M.W.A.H and Hair Loss

The NHF seminar on building a successful salon was phenomenal

Not only did I come away with excellent new ideas for enhancing my business, it also showed me what I was doing right.

The facilitators gave us brilliant tips about branding and pricing. Some people in the room realised they were drastically underselling themselves.

A key change I made as a result of the event was to encourage my stylists to specialise in specific areas, rather than being generalists. It has given them so much more confidence and they have become much more proactive, which is great for business.

I also worked on our image. The team now all wear black, which looks much smarter and I give all new juniors a detailed induction handbook so they fully buy into the brand before they even meet a client.

In terms of marketing, the seminar has helped me plan six months ahead. A useful tip was to create separate social media accounts to target different audiences. For example, my hair loss clients don’t want to hear about colour treatments and vice versa, so I create Facebook and Twitter accounts relevant to each group.

Overall NHF is an excellent source of guidance. I joined because some of my chair renters wanted to move onto PAYE and I needed a way to navigate the rules and regulations. My accountant isn’t a hair and beauty expert, so she doesn’t always have access to the latest industry rules. NHF provides that vital missing information.

My new premises will have 20 staff, so I’ll be relying on NHF’s services even more! 

Hellen Ward, Managing Director of Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa

I always advocate NHF membership

NHF is unique in that it supports the UK’s salons and gives employers a strong voice. I fundamentally agree with what the NHF stands for and the role that it plays in shaping the future of the industry.

For example, NHF is helping to develop the Government’s Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme, alongside Habia. I’m passionate about education and this led me to join Trailblazer – I’m chairing the strategic group on hairdressing. It is a chance to input into the framework of what training should be and how Apprentices should be assessed.  NHF represents the 36,000 salon owners who are paying for the education of future talent.

Whenever I talk at educational events for salon owners, I always advocate NHF membership. The NHF gives you practical and legal advice, very good employment contracts and excellent business networking opportunities, which help take you beyond the artistic standpoint.

Debbie Parkinson, Owner Innervision Hair & Beauty 

Being an NHF member is definitely money well spent. The benefits are endless!

NHF is the best and only place to turn to ensure we continue to do things the right and legal way. I rely on NHF for clear and up-to-date advice on everything from wages, to maternity leave, disciplinary procedures and contracts.

When I had to deal with a disciplinary procedure, NHF sent me all the formal documentation and a process to follow. Thanks to NHF, we did everything correctly and it all worked out OK.

The NHF event on making your salon more profitable was incredibly informative and inspiring. It brought all the things that no one wants to discuss out into the open.

It gives me such peace of mind having an expert body like NHF at the end of the phone. 

Richard Grizzle, Owner Foxy's Barbers 

I rely on NHF’s contracts and chair renting agreements to make my business legally watertight.

I joined NHF because I wanted a legal framework around my business. I have several chair renters in my barbershop and when you have people running their own business within yours it can lead to issues unless it’s properly organised.

I used to draw up my own agreements with chair renters until I learnt about the importance of having legally watertight contracts. I have also heard stories about people running into problems with the tax man due to poorly drafted contracts.

NHF’s contracts have an excellent reputation. They are recognised by HMRC and protect renters in terms of what to expect of me. 

Evelyn Woolf, Owner Alexander Lawrence Hair & Beauty Studio

NHF has been our personal buffer in our first year of trading.

I wouldn’t have opened my salon without being an NHF member. I have called them many times and find the team so helpful.

I use practically every aspect of the membership, such as the fact sheets, contracts, staff handbook and risk assessments. I also use the NHF calendars and the salon stationery including the consultant cards, first hair cut certificates and gift vouchers. It looks more professional and saves us the hassle of making our own.

Whenever I’ve cross-quoted, I’ve found that the NHF deals save me money. The insurance I sourced via NHF was cheaper than my previous supplier and more comprehensive (my new policy includes a colour test clause). And I take advantage of NHF’s member rate for music licenses.

It’s not enough to love hairdressing – to run a successful salon you also have to understand every aspect of running a business. I’m not a natural businesswoman and being able to rely on NHF makes things so much easier. 

Jane James, Owner Evergreen Hairdressers

I wouldn’t dream of not being a member. NHF provides me with up-to-date information and a great deal of security.

It gives me peace of mind to know that there is someone to turn to for advice and to stay abreast of the latest trends.

At the beginning of the recession, we had to make some redundancies. The NHF legal lifeline was very helpful and ensured we did it accurately, fairly and without a hiccup. I was on the phone weekly to the lifeline during the whole process.

The NHF fact sheets are excellent and help us stay on top of the regulations. Whenever we’re assessed for school work placements, they always say that our health and safety procedures are the most up-to-date and comprehensive they have seen – all of it is downloaded from the NHF website!

NHF’s magazine SalonFocus is also the only industry magazine that I actually read! 

David & Lynsey Baker, Owners The Vault Hair & Spa

Our NHF membership gives us an excellent return on investment.

We are new to running a salon and being able to get financial and legal advice from an organisation that understands hairdressing is incredibly useful. It gives us the security of knowing where we stand if a member of staff is off sick for ten weeks or someone has a reaction to colour.

At one of the excellent NHF ‘profitable business’ events, a speaker asked if we knew how many clients we had to see in the week before we started turning a profit. As hairdressers you sometimes try to ignore numbers, but you can’t do this if it’s your own salon. When we open other salons in the future, I will send managers on similar NHF courses.

Being part of a large organisation also gives you a voice in the industry. It’s great that NHF lobbies on our behalf, otherwise there is a risk that we would be walked all over. 

Victor Pajak, Owner Headquarter

My NHF membership enabled me to win my case in court and claim compensation.

When one of my employees broke his contract, NHF backed me up through its tribunal insurance. They assigned me a lawyer and we took the case to court – the costs were covered thanks to my membership. We won and I was awarded compensation.

What I learnt from the experience is that common sense contracts stand up in court. Other contracts I’ve seen contain unreasonable clauses, whereas NHF’s contracts are excellent - they protect employees as well as making good sense for employers.

It’s essential to use the right procedures as an employer. I always use NHF’s contracts with stylists and apprentices.  I also use the legal helpline often for employment and HR issues.