As a salon owner, you’ve got a lot of hats to wear. From keeping your shelves stocked to keeping your stylists smiling, there’s a never-ending list of projects and tasks you’re always juggling.
And, of course, you’re always looking out for your bottom line.
Salon accounting is typically straightforward these days. You have endless CRM and bookkeeping software options to choose from.
Odds are, your big daily focus is on supporting your stylists. After all, you wouldn’t be able to serve your clientele without stylists! Sure, there’s lots of ways to show them you care… gift cards… free classes and trade show tickets… taking them to a nice dinner…
…But none of those options will help your stylists during their crazy, chaotic work days. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there were something you could for your incredible staff… that didn’t take any of your time AND boosted their mood day… after day… after day?
Well, a new study published by the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health has discovered the Golden Ticket to your stylists’ long-term satisfaction and productivity! It’s so simple, and you won’t even have to clear your schedule to make it happen.
The answer isn’t right under your nose… it’s right under your feet!
As a salon owner, you already know your stylists are on their feet for 90 to 95% of each shift… and that shift can be as long as 10 hours, depending on the stylist’s schedule.
And they aren’t just standing… each day is full of tiny steps back and forth, hundreds of presses on their chair’s hydraulic pump, and sometimes even kneeling to work with extremely long hair.
Did reading that make your feet hurt and your shoulders stiff? Imagine how your stylists feel after actually doing it all day!
But a new study has shown that anti-fatigue mats are your new secret weapon. In fact, 93% of its participants reported that using an anti-fatigue mat:
Imagine it: You buy an anti-fatigue mat for each station at your salon. Even the top-of-the-line mats cost only $250. The items are shipped straight to your salon, where you and/or your employees spend just a minute adding the anti-fatigue mats to each station.
And you’re done!
Later that day… The salon has closed for the night, and your stylists are all texting you. Each one talks about how much better their knees feel after today, how nice it was to have padding under their feet all day, and how grateful they are to have an awesome boss like you.
And you made it all happen with just a few clicks.
Plus, anti-fatigue mats for salons are insanely durable. You won’t need to replace them for years… and most mats come with a five-year warranty. They truly are a risk-free investment.
Before you start thinking anti-fatigue mats will only benefit your stylists, consider this: According to Reach.ai, the average employment lifespan in a salon is 3-5 years. On top of that, one-third of new hires quit within the first 6 months.
But why do stylists leave a salon? According to a poll by 1N Agency, most stylists leave a salon because they feel undervalued and unappreciated.
Let’s be honest. That’s expensive for you, the salon owner. Every time you have to onboard a new stylist, there’s a laundry list of tasks and expenses YOU must undertake to bring them up to speed.
The best way to show new and veteran stylists you care is to invest in their well-being.
By buying anti-fatigue mats, you’re telling your employees “I know this job is hard, physically and mentally. I appreciate and value your hard work. Allow me to soften the impact this job has on your body!”
Not only will your stylists stay employed with you longer on average… they’ll also do better work! The big scientific revelation of anti-fatigue mats is “the squish factor”. Standing on a slightly squishy surface all day forces feet to make micro-movements constantly, which means:
Increased blood flow and improved circulation, reducing pain and fatigue
Movements become low-impact, allowing stylists to work longer without pain
Reduced neck and shoulder stiffness, allowing stylists a wider range of motion and more precise results
That’s right, anti-fatigue mats allow your stylists to work longer AND produce better results… meaning your clientele benefits just as much as your employees!
When your clientele is thrilled… and your stylists feel appreciated… you’re guaranteed to see an uptick in your total clientele and in your total sales.
Can you see how this one purchase benefits your bottom line, month after month?
Now, your eyes are open to the many benefits you’ll enjoy by purchasing salon anti-fatigue mats.
But no matter where you shop, there are a wide variety of options! These mats come in so many shapes, styles, sizes… how do you narrow it down? It’s not as overwhelming as you think. Just make sure your choice checks five boxes:
1. Style. First things first, salon anti-fatigue mats must have sloping edges. Sloping edges prevent your clientele and your stylists from tripping and falling! They’re also much easier to sweep after a service than non-sloping edges.
Next is the shape. You’ll have many options like circular, square, and even hexagonal. Consider your salon’s current style and theme.
The third detail is the size. Anti-fatigue mats can be as small as 2’ by 2’ and as big as 5’ by 5’. You may want to take measurements of each station to guarantee a good fit.
The final detail—and one that’s often overlooked—is the shape of depression or cut-out. Look at the bases of your styling chairs. Do they have solid round bottoms, individual legs, or something different? Make sure the shape of the base matches the shape cut-out of the mat.
2. Thickness. Anti-fatigue mats for salons are available in several thicknesses. You’ll see as thin as ½” and as thick as 1”, with lots of options in-between. In a home kitchen or office, thickness is a matter of personal preference.
In the salon, it’s a matter of safety. Too thin and you’ve wasted your money. Too thick and your stylists will be struggling to balance on the thick, squishy surface. Experts and manufacturers recommend either 5/8” or ¾” thicknesses. Both sizes are proven to reduce discomfort without compromising the stylist’s balance and footing.
3. Material. The best anti-fatigue mat material depends on your salon. You may need puncture-proof if your stylists wear high heels. Other qualities to look for include:
Most of the time, as long as the anti-fatigue mat is made of high-density foam, it will contain all of these qualities.
Additionally, you may spend a few extra dollars for a polyurethane sponge or cell polymeric sponge mat. These are not your typical “sponge”! These two materials are renowned for standing up to the test of time. They won’t be flattened or compressed from regular use, unlike the lowest quality anti-fatigue mats on the market.
4. Warranty. If you take away one thing from this guide, it should be: Never buy an anti-fatigue mat which doesn’t have a warranty! A lack of warranty is a huge red flag for the mat’s longevity… and for the money you’re investing.
These days, the “gold medal” mats come with a five-year warranty. You know you’re looking at a quality product in that case.
The “silver medal” anti-fatigue mats typically include a three-year warranty. Not bad at all, but make sure you keep your receipt and any related paperwork… because, most likely, you will need to take advantage of a three-year warranty.
Finally, “bronze medal” mats will include a one-year warranty. One year is absolutely acceptable; you don’t need to write off every option that only has a one-year warranty. But, just like the “silver medal” mats, keep your receipt and warranty paperwork somewhere safe… because you will definitely have a stylist calling you and saying their mat has “lost its squish”!
This is exactly why you never buy an anti-fatigue mat that doesn’t have a warranty. If the company selling the mat doesn’t believe in it enough to offer a warranty, don’t waste your money!
5. Price. All the previous categories lead to the final anti-fatigue mat “checkbox”… the price! Pricing should never be your number-one decider for salon purchases… especially anti-fatigue mats. The highest priced mat on the market is not guaranteed to be the absolute best.
Often, a high price means that it’s endorsed by an A-list celebrity or a worldwide brand… and the manufacturer has to pay for those endorsements somehow! Typically you, the consumer, are left footing the bill for a highly-endorsed subpar product. That’s why price is the last item on this list.
So, don’t go smashing your piggy bank to buy the most expensive anti-fatigue mats. While it’s true that the cheapest mats typically don’t have warranties, you can find tons of affordable options which do.
Finally, do the math on what this purchase will REALLY cost you. If you find your “perfect” mats are indeed at the top end of the price range… around $250… consider this:
There isn’t a single reason your salon shouldn’t have anti-fatigue mats. OSHA recommends it, and this new study by the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health illustrates the huge benefits to your business, like:
Increases employee satisfaction… so you stop getting calls from frustrated employees.
Investing in new equipment for your salon can be a harrowing task. Oftentimes you’ll end up with more questions than when you started the search! But if you use this guide to anti-fatigue mats while you shop, you’ll have your Golden Ticket to salon success in no time.
Do you have follow-up questions or thoughts about anti-fatigue mats for your salon? Add a comment to receive my expert advice!
Rooting for you,
Your freelance beauty copywriter
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