Despite the challenging economic climate, the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) State of Industry quarterly survey – demonstrates a return to positivity for the industry last seen in Spring/Summer 2022. Certainly, the hair and beauty sector is resilient and ever-growing, and this survey is proof!
State of Industry survey key takeaways
43% of businesses report making a small or good profit; 38% are breaking even, with fewer businesses (only 19%) making a small or substantial loss. These stats show the positive growth of our industry despite the challenging climate.
The general trend towards increasing prices is slowing. In the three months preceding the survey, 64% of businesses raised their prices. A further 51% will do so over the next three months.
Energy costs are still at the top of business concerns regarding the impact (80%).
The increased cost of trade supplies and increases to the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage (NMW/NLW) are the next concerns for business owners. The NHBF says that in response to this, business owners are removing non-essential expenditures, increasing prices, and not taking on new staff or apprentices. 23% have cut back on apprentices, and similar to the autumn, only 15% (up from 9% in January) were definitely or likely to take on apprentices in the next three months. This shows that although the industry is recovering, there is still a long way to go.
In more positive news, 21% of respondents were definitely or likely to take on new staff in the next three months, up from 15% in January.
Reliance on external support has eased back to levels seen in spring/summer 2022; now, only over half of businesses (58%) are partially or entirely reliant on Government support – down from 71% in January.
Business survival expectations have improved and are in line with a more positive outlook seen in July 2022. Two-thirds (64%, up from 49% in January) are now confident of their survival. Nevertheless, one third of businesses are uncertain of survival over the next six months which is still significant.
Growth intentions have improved and are back in line with spring/summer 2022, with 41% (up from 30% in January) saying that they intend to grow their business rapidly or moderately. Similar companies intend to remain the same size (41%), and 19% plan to downsize or hand over the business (down from 25% in January).
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NHBF says, “Overall, this latest NHBF State of the Industry survey is showing a more positive feeling in general and improvement for most of the industry.
Hopefully, the announcement of a rise in funding for the apprenticeship standards will encourage more employers to change their mind about recruiting junior staff, and we will start to see more young people come into the industry – plus this will help businesses to grow.
As an organisation we will continue to use this vital information to help inform our work with the government for their planning on issues that directly affect our industry.”
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