Alright, so you were a good person and you quit your job the classy way by following my advice in Quitting Your Salon or Spa Job: How to Do It the Right Way. Now you’re ready to make the move and you’re wondering how to break the news to your clients. (I’m going to assume that these clients belong to you, you’ve got your previous employer’s blessing, and that you are not going to be violating any contract that restricts or prohibits contacting these clients. If this is not the case, please realize that you may be putting yourself in a position where you could be sued by your ex-employer.)

What to Do

1.) Call the clients that you have appointments scheduled for for the next two weeks: Those clients need to know immediately. The last thing you want is for them to show up for their appointment at the old salon.

2.) Invest in stamps and nice stationery: Don’t just send an email. Emails are informal and many of your clients may not even read it. You might not even have all of their email addresses and half of the ones you have may not be current. So, type up a nice letter, save it as a PDF, and have it printed at your local copy shop or office supply store on heavy paper. Sign each of them by hand.

If that means you have to sign your name 300 times, then that’s what it means.

Include a significant coupon in the letter. 5% off isn’t going to cut it. You want to show your appreciation for their continued patronage and convince them to follow you to the new location. If you can afford to give 20% off and a value added service (like a free brow wax), then do it.

For your top ten clients (you know who they are), go a step further and send them a nice card with a handwritten message. You can get a pack of 10 with matching envelopes for as little as $1 at Target, Walmart, and sometimes at Office Depot.

In the letters, tell them about the great new place you’ve moved to. Let them know about what the new place is going to offer them (whether it be a full coffee bar, a more serene atmosphere, or a higher quality product line).

Keep in mind that not all clients will be willing to follow you, so be sure to include a stylist recommendation for them should they chose to remain at the salon.

We all have that one stylist that we work with that we trust. Let her know that she’s going to be the one you refer the clients to in the letter.

3.) Send an email 3-5 days after you mail the letters: Give the clients time to receive the letters by mail and then send an email. Tell them that if they haven’t already received one, there is a letter coming in the mail with a great offer to thank them for their continued patronage. Let them know that things are going great at the new location and you look forward to seeing all of them there.

BE SURE TO USE THE BCC LINE.

If you put everyone’s email addresses into the “To” line, you will have disclosed those email addresses to everyone on that list and you will thoroughly piss off your clients. So, BCC ONLY!

What NOT to Do

1.) Do not talk about why you left your old salon: If your clients ask, just tell them that you just desired a change. Don’t bitch about your old boss, the salon’s policies, or any injustices you may have suffered. It’s unprofessional and you don’t want word getting back to your old salon.

2.) Do not stalk the clients: Make the calls, send the letters, and send the emails. Then, drop it. Not all of your clients will follow you. Don’t be obnoxious about it.

Letter Template

Dear Valued Client,

It has been a pleasure doing your hair at [INSERT SALON NAME HERE], but sometimes a change of scenery is needed! Effective [INSERT RELOCATION DATE HERE], I will be relocating to [INSERT NEW SALON NAME HERE]. I would love to have you join me! I’m happy to offer you 20% off your next service and a complimentary eyebrow wax at your first appointment with me at [INSERT NEW SALON NAME HERE]!

[INSERT NEW SALON NAME HERE] offers many exciting new features and services! Including:
[LIST FEATURES, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES HERE].

It is located at [INSERT ADDRESS HERE], approximately [INSERT DISTANCE] miles away from [INSERT OLD SALON NAME HERE].

Should this change not suit you, the stylists at [INSERT OLD SALON NAME HERE] will be honored to serve you with the professionalism and style you have enjoyed in the past. If you choose to remain at [INSERT OLD SALON NAME HERE], I personally recommend my good friend [INSERT PREVIOUS COWORKER NAME HERE] and know she will provide you with the same level of service you have come to expect from me.

If you’d like to book your next appointment with me at [INSERT NEW SALON NAME HERE], please call our reception desk at [INSERT NEW SALON PHONE NUMBER HERE].

Again, it has been my absolute pleasure to be your stylist and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Best regards,
[SIGN YOUR NAME HERE]
[TYPE YOUR NAME HERE]

Follow-Up Email Template

Dear Valued Client,

If you haven’t yet received the letter I sent to you, I have recently moved from [INSERT OLD SALON NAME HERE] to [INSERT NEW SALON NAME HERE]. I would love to have you join me there! I’m happy to offer you 20% off your next service and a complimentary eyebrow wax at your first appointment with me at [INSERT NEW SALON NAME HERE]!

[INSERT NEW SALON NAME HERE] offers many exciting new features and services! Including:
[LIST FEATURES, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES HERE].

It is located at [INSERT ADDRESS HERE], approximately [INSERT DISTANCE] miles away from [INSERT OLD SALON NAME HERE].<

The move has gone smoothly and everything is great at my new professional home away from home!

Should this change not suit you, the stylists at [INSERT OLD SALON NAME HERE] will be honored to serve you with the professionalism and style you have enjoyed in the past. If you choose to remain at [INSERT OLD SALON NAME HERE], I personally recommend my good friend [INSERT PREVIOUS COWORKER NAME HERE] and know she will provide you with the same level of service you have come to expect from me.

If you’d like to book your next appointment with me at [INSERT NEW SALON NAME HERE], please call our reception desk at [INSERT NEW SALON PHONE NUMBER HERE].

Again, it has been my absolute pleasure to be your stylist and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Best regards,

[SIGN YOUR NAME HERE]
[TYPE YOUR NAME HERE]

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Tina,
    You always give great advice! Yesterday, we found out that the property we lease has been sold and we were given four months to find a new location and move. Talk about stress! Anything you would recommend I do as the owner of the business (incase I haven’t already jotted it down on my to do list) or anything that my staff can do to help with the move? I have already talked to the staff and everyone is going to be joining me! Thanks again for letting me pick your brain!

    -SMS

    • Woah! That’s stressful! Obviously, the first thing I advise is finding a location ASAP. Four months is ROUGH, even in a best case scenario. Do your best to find a place that won’t require much of a build out. Start lining up contractors and plan on getting your hands dirty. With that tight of a timeline, you’ll likely have to do a bunch of work yourself also.

      If you’re still taking clients, unless you’re really cranking out super crazy profit, I’d turn 100% of my time and attention on getting this accomplished. In my work as a consultant, builds and moves are insane. They’re so insane that I cannot take more than one at a time and have to cut my normal workload down by half throughout the duration because I spend three hours of every day checking the status of each project and making sure everyone is doing what needs to be done. I spend an hour or two talking the salon owner back from the brink. Even with all the planning and compulsive management, delays happen and things go wrong. Expect it and try not to panic.

      If your staff can handle that, bring them on board to help with packing, promoting, and minor construction. You’ll save a ton of money on contractor services, they’ll love being part of creating the new space, and you’ll be better able to manage a crew you’ve had experience leading.

      My last piece of advice: take your worst case scenario opening date–and plan for 4-6 weeks after that. Don’t announce ANYTHING until you’re ready. I know it’s stressful, but try to have fun!

      • I have been put in a similar situation – except I have purchased a new building for my barber shop, but once my landlord at my current location found out, he put a notice on my door to vacate in 30 days. I had a feeling he would do that, which is why I made the decision to move my business. So I’m really feeling the crunch. Any advise on how to let my clients know and get the community involved would be great! My barber shop has been in it’s current location for over 90 years in a small town, so the community aspect of it is very real. Also, on another note – we have a back bar with sinks that were custom built and made by the first barber who owned the shop – very sentimental. Since it has been attached to the wall I’ve heard I can’t take it with me. Do you have any advise about that? Thanks so much for all of your great help and efforts!!

        • Oh holy crap, I would absolutely lose my mind if I were to lose those sinks. I don’t know how far you’ll get with it, but I know that if I were you, I’d fight for them. I’d try to get an attorney to negotiate the replacement of them with other sinks or *something*. I’d be digging up the original lease from 90 years ago to see if that lease specified how upgrades were to be handled. Seriously, I’m not normally a sentimental person, but that would have me climbing the walls if I were you. Since most states don’t have protections for commercial tenants, there’s likely nothing you could do legally, but since the landlord isn’t likely to have a reason to keep them from you aside from spite (especially if you offered to replace them), I don’t know that they’d be able to make a logical argument for wanting to keep them.

          As far as letting the community know, each demographic is so different, it’s hard to tell you which method would work best for you. In some areas, neighborhood newspapers are great resources (mine, in particular, is fantastic and netted me tons of business). Most communities have events going on that you could sponsor, and charity fundraisers are always a great way to draw new clients in–especially if you’re doing the event for a local charity.

          I seriously hope you get those sinks back. That’s so sad. 🙁

  2. hi tina! first off, I want to say that I love this page and everything you post is so informative and just great advice!! i do have a question. i just recently quit my salon after working there for 4 years. it was not on good terms unfortunately. Im not happy that it ended that way because i used to have a good relationship with my boss. She was becoming extremely unprofessional and talking about her staff loudly on the floor to her clients and basically being mentally abusive to everyone. ive seen her lose 15 stylists since ive started there. Big red flag, i know. But i was a new stylist building a decent clientele and was afraid to lose them. Well, one day i finally had it and packed up my things and left before things got ugly. Not my proudest moment, but i cant take it back now. My main question for you is, can i contact my clients and tell them where i am relocating? i have most of their numbers and did NOT sign any kind of contract. is this legal if i contact them? im nervous what the owner will do!
    please help!!

    • If you didn’t sign a contract, your previous owner will likely not have any legal recourse. However, because she does sound like a whack, I’d recommend creating a website and Facebook page for them to find you through, and taking out a local advertisement. Owners like that tend to get very litigious, and the last thing you want is to end up spending months in court dealing with her.

  3. hey there,

    This article is very helpful, and your scripts are great!.. If I had addresses. Somehow, my phone which had all of my client information I had collected over the passed 2 months prior to leaving my job has been stolen. I have lost all contact information and have been trying to search all of my clients on social media, phone book and I am having a really hard time. I have found quite a few clients on facebook, is there any way to send a professional message via facebook? Should I even bother or just hope they find me?

    Thank you,

    Penelope

    • It depends on the client. If it’s someone who you think values you as a professional, definitely reach out to them. If they’re new or perhaps indifferent, then don’t.

      • Hi Tina,

        was wondering if you had any samples letters of Esthetician leaving a spa locaiton moving to a medical clinic and spa. any ideas would help. thank you

  4. Hi Tina, I have been working for a salon for 20 years. I have been working in a commission salon. My boss has been a freind of mine for 30 years. (We worked together prior to her opening her salon). So that being said she is part of my family. So….. this is difficult. My niece opened a salon and she is a rental salon. I want to go work rental but don’t know how to tell my boss/friend….. there isn’t anything wrong where I work just feel
    Like I need a change and challenge! (money also will be better. ) If you could just send me the right words to say

    • You have the right words, lol. Just tell her exactly what you said here. Be sure to reinforce the fact that you love her and value her friendship, but you want to support your niece and you feel like it’s time you went out on your own. She’s had 20 years of your loyalty professionally and 30 of it personally. I’m sure she’ll be a little upset, but I doubt highly this will interfere with your relationship permanently.

    • Why do you want to tell them? If you’re resigning, you aren’t required to give a reason. If you’ve signed a non-compete or a non-solicitation agreement, you’ll want to seek legal counsel before you disclose anything.

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