Why the joy of giving isn’t just for Christmas (and it’s great PR too!)

Christmas is the season for giving, and that also includes helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. But we shouldn’t just leave it until December to try and support others. In fact, the hairdressing industry is packed with some of the most generous, giving-conscious people you could ever hope to meet, and hair-themed charity events are held regularly across the country throughout the year – Movember and Misstache are two of the most recent, but there’s also Macmillan Cancer Support’s Brave the Shave and important causes like the Little Princess Trust (a charity that provides real hair wigs for children suffering with hair loss) and Haircuts4Homeless (a nationwide project where skilled hairdressers volunteer their time free-of-charge to give haircuts to homeless people).

But you don’t have to cut or shave off your hair (or anybody else’s!) to make a positive difference to the lives of others - you can hold a raffle, do a sponsored run, throw an in-salon fundraiser or even jump out of a plane. The only limit is your imagination, and we all know how imaginative hairstylists and barbers are! And here’s the additional benefit - you won’t only be helping a fantastic cause, you’ll also be promoting your business and showing your community how much you care.

Whatever you decide to do, careful planning is the key to success.

1: Get your team motivated

Hopefully everyone will want to get involved, but those that don’t (maybe because they’re a little bit shy or have a lot of important outside commitments) might take a bit of extra persuading. Be gentle about it though. Emphasise how good helping a cause will make you all feel, how positive it will be for the business and how much fun you’ll have doing it (don’t forget this is a valuable team-building exercise too). If they’re still not convinced, don’t hold it against them. Concentrate on the people who do want to take part. 

2: Get the details right

Make sure that everyone’s involved at every stage of the planning process. That means you should all agree on the charity or cause you want to represent and you should all brainstorm and be comfortable with whatever you decide to do. You’ll probably have to schedule time outside of salon hours to hold these meetings, so keep the sessions focused but light-hearted and keep the energy high.

3: Get promoting

There’s no point doing this if you’re going to keep it quiet so make sure that your customers, suppliers, local businesses and even local newspapers and radio stations know what you’re planning. Put up posters, hand out leaflets, and find creative ways to get your event some valuable publicity (and don’t leave it until the last moment to publicise either – if you want to get the media involved you’ll have to do that early enough to meet their deadlines). Also, don’t forget to tell the charity you’re representing what, when and where your event’s taking place, and make sure you keep your website and social media channels updated too.

4: Get happy!

Whatever you’re doing, make sure that everyone enjoys themselves. It’s amazing how much more you’ll achieve if everybody is having a good time so if you’re holding an event like a salon fundraiser go the extra mile by offering your attendees a welcome drink, and asking your suppliers if they’ll contribute towards a raffle or a goodie bag. You might even find this becomes a regular event, and you’ll be attracting more new customers to your salon simply because of the great word-of-mouth. And when everything’s finished, show your appreciation!

Follow those four simple rules and you’re guaranteed to be a huge success. So, which fabulous cause are you going to support next year?

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