As some countries begin a slow opening of the Beauty & Wellness Industry and others are still in strict lockdown, there are a few business MUSTS that all owners and managers should be focused on to ensure the longevity of their business.
Stay in touch with your clients
I cannot emphasize how important this is and that the messages you convey are appropriate and show you truly care.
If you are in strict lockdown the communication should be of a caring and “how can I help you” nature. A fun short video clip with messages from all your staff to your clients will go a long way to maintaining and solidifying the relationship.
You can also engage with clients in communication that asks for feedback to make them feel a part of your business and giving their input into how they feel about your business. If your lockdown is lifted and you can do treatments your communication to clients should be very personalized and targeted to help them with their specific skin and body goals.
Once all the grooming needs have been sorted after lockdown is lifted is where the real challenge of keeping your beauty business alive will face you.
If you are communicating regularly with your client, this challenge will be much easier because you know exactly what they need and want and can tailor-make the service to suit them specifically.
Personalization is the ONLY WAY FORWARD.
One size fits all treatments are a thing of the past.
Adjust your standard operating procedures to conform to the highest possible hygiene and sanitation practices.
SOP’s are the BIBLE of any business.
If you don’t have SOP’s in place it’s time to get serious about your business and get an SOP manual implemented. The Spa Professionals Guild has a template with over 50 different SOP to use as a template to build your own procedures manual.
Again, there is no one size fits all here but the fact that you have to start somewhere is real and necessary. COVID-19 prevention SOP’s are not negotiable and the sooner you implement and train your team the better. If you are still in strict lockdown use this time now to train your staff and ensure to book time with them in the salon (lockdown regulations permitting) BEFORE you open to clients, to train and check they are following procedure.
The Spa Professionals Guild has a COVID-19 Sanitation & Hygiene Guide that is vital to ensuring that you are prepared to start performing treatments in a safe and controlled manner.
The guide has signage templates and all SOP templates for COVID-19 prevention from taking bookings to performing a treatment on a client and even the follow up after the treatment.
Please do NOT leave implementing these SOP’s to the day or two before you open up as it will be too late. The adjusted way of doing things has not become a habit yet so all staff and clients are going to find it a little uncomfortable at first so the better prepared and trained your staff are the easier things will flow.
VIP List – Have you started one?
Chatting to my father’s barber in Spain after they were allowed to re-open gave birth to this idea because he was traumatized and said to me, he was not sure if going into lockdown or coming out of it was worse.
His words to describe what he was experiencing was “CHAOS”. He couldn’t keep up with the demand for bookings and wished he had a system implemented to avoid the trauma of not being able to help clients when they wanted a booking.
So, this VIP list is pretty simple if you are still in lockdown or if you are about to re-open. You will start a list without dates or times of what services clients want to book for when you are allowed to open. Your first communication is simple by informing clients you are going to start a VIP list and when you are ready to re-open you will be in contact and book clients from the top of the list first.
Once they have responded and let you know what treatments they wish to have, then you upsell them to include another one or two treatments as the idea is to keep the client in the salon for as long as possible doing numerous treatments so the added sanitation expenses are kept under control.
There is POWER in this VIP list as it will indicate to you what services your clients are desperate for and also what state of mind they are in. This VIP list will also help you in creating a post lockdown treatment menu to fill the lag that will happen after the initial rush of bookings.
Yes, you are going to very busy when you reopen but that will not last as once clients have that initial void filled there will be a dip and how big and long that dip depends on how carefully you structure your post lockdown treatment menu.
I will go into this menu creation in another article so look out for it.
Strengthen your online presence
Online sales globally have seen an increase in over 200% over the same period last year and this is to be expected as people are restricted to shopping online.
If this is not incentive enough for you to get your online presence optimized, then there will never be one. Now is the time to optimize your website, add features such as virtual online consultations with your skin somatologist, add a shopping feature, update blogs and get short video clips loaded to engage with your clients and attract new people to your business.
Are you selling gift vouchers online? Are you taking bookings online? Get your social media platforms upgraded and post meaningful comments to engage with the audience. Now is the time to ensure that you are prepared for the future of online.
Restructure your business
Use this time to look at everything in your business starting with your expenses. Analyze every single line item and decide whether it is crucial and necessary or if you can put it on hold for a few months.
The absolutely necessary expenses, go negotiate them with every single supplier and service provider. Cut your expenses down to the bone in order to boost profit as there is no other way to do this right now. Work on a strategy to increase retail sales and implement a strong and efficient virtual online consultation programme with your team.
You will need to look at creative ways to remunerate your staff as this too will need to change to accommodate the COVID-19 marketplace where you have to cut the number of clients you allow in your space as well as ensure you have a grouped roster system in place.
A grouped roster system is necessary for the event that one person in one group becomes infected the second group can continue to work whilst the first group isolates. If you do not group your staff and rotate them you run the risk of being completely closed again for a period of 14 – 21 days if one person becomes infected.
Speak to your brand partners and negotiate better margins and stronger staff incentives to assist you to boost profit.
Last but not least I will leave you with one last thought. BECOME OBSESSED about succeeding in your business!