As you scroll through your calendar, you’re excited to see a new client has booked with you! They leave a comment, asking if you provide services and products for nonbinary people. Unsure of how to respond, you quickly reply and say, “Yes, we carry unisex products.”  

A couple of minutes later, you get a cancellation notification. 

Now, this is an extreme example of how a business was not prepared to support nonbinary customers, but this scenario is completely plausible. Gender norms and ideas are evolving, and most businesses are behind the curve in meeting the needs of people who identify as nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, bigender, trans or any other experience that is not necessarily only female or male. Adopting a gender-inclusive approach is a great opportunity to innovate your business and become more socially responsible.   

“If you’re aiming to serve thousands or even millions of customers, your solutions need to work across a wide range of human diversity.” - Constantine Gavrykov, Global UX Director at Intersport  

To begin, implement a strategy that will appeal to all customers’ wants and needs. Here are some tips you can use now to ensure both your employees and customers feel respected and included.  

Tiles spelling out Gender Pronouns him her they

Use Proper Language  

People appreciate being referred to correctly, no matter how they identify. Some nonbinary people prefer “they” while others use “he” or “she.” The best approach is to not assume and instead ask your client which pronouns they prefer. It shows you care enough to take the initiative. It’s an easy act that can make your client feel like they are in the hands of someone who respects them as an individual. If you make a mistake, it’s okay-recognize it, apologize and move on. 

Include Nonbinary Labels

Another approach is to use genderless naming conventions when listing your services or products. For example, you can rename “women’s shampoo” as simply shampoo. Or consider speaking to the cut itself as either long or short rather than using gender identifiers. Get creative and think of it as your opportunity to uniquely brand your services, which will help your business stand out from the crowd.   

A gender-fluid individualPost Gender-Fluid Imagery 

Customers want to see themselves in your pics and products, and images that don’t reflect them can be alienating. When uploading photos to your gallery, be sure to include a diverse selection of folks. An option to consider is using a wide range of appearances to represent all consumers. Small changes like these can help your customers feel represented and seen by your brand.  

Create a Safe Space 

When customers visit your business, you want them to feel like it’s an environment free from any discrimination, criticism or harassment. Having gender-neutral imagery or signs hanging is a start, including gender-neutral bathrooms. It’s all about creating a comfortable space where everyone can be their unique selves.  

Gender neutral bathroom sign

Embracing a gender-neutral business strategy is your chance to innovate your business brand, but more importantly to become socially responsible towards all human beings. Additionally, being more inclusive will help your business continue to grow and reach new levels.  

P.S. If you own or manage a business that charges rent and fees, learn more about how you can do that with Vagaro’s new Automatic Rent & Fees feature.