Covid-19 has had a serious impact on the beauty industry, and we salon owners, colorists and stylists are having to find creative ways to maintain contact with our client base, retain a bit of income, and plan for the future, despite a ton of uncertainty.
Flexibility and determination will be key, now and for the foreseeable future, given that no one is aware of what the future holds in terms of mandatory business closures and social distancing mandates.
I actually started thinking about what a return to the salon would look like, even before closures were mandatory, and I have a few recommendations on how to weather the storm and prepare for when it's back to "a different type of usual." Here are a few suggestions:
Most importantly, make it a point to stay in touch with your loyal clients in some way, shape or form. If you have your client's contact information, take a minute and send them a note to wish them and their families well. It's such a challenging time for us all, and relationships are so important. This will be remembered and appreciated when the stay at home order lifts.
If you are able to, offer your clients online or virtual tutorials on how to maintain the health and vibrancy of their hair during quarantine. It's a great time for people to focus on improving the health of their hair, as there are fewer outings, which means less time blow drying and heat styling. Recommend deep conditioning overnight, and even into the next day.
If they don't have product, offer to sell and send product through the mail. A number of stylists are offering virtual appointments for trimming bangs or maintaining the best color possible before their next professional appointment. Don't worry, your clients realize that box color differs in a MAJOR way from a professional application. If there is an urgent situation where you need to guide a client through at-home color, to prep for a job interview, or an important call, do it. That client will only become further appreciative of your empathy and willingness to help.
Be sure to maintain a strong social media presence during this time. Be sure to post daily, or even twice daily, on all of your social media platforms. This will help you to remain top of mind, once business is set to reopen. Remember that most of your clients view you as a friend, and will want to remain in contact on a bit more of a personal level.
Use this time to better your relationships and improve your business practices. What a great time to focus on getting your salon business in order. Take extra time to think about what's going well, and what can be improved. There are a ton of YouTube videos online with suggestions on how to become more productive, better organized and more profitable. Set an hour aside each day to focus on becoming a better business professional.
Once the mandatory closure is lifted, and salons begin to open for business again, you may want to work an extra day, or evening, for the first month or two, in order to accommodate the many clients who want to see you. Also, spread your appointments out with at least 15-20 minutes between them to alleviate the stress of those who are concerned about social distancing. Follow state and state board requirements always. Try to book your client appointments prior to the mandates being lifted, in an effort to secure business. Remember to be flexible, however, as none of us know what the future protocol will be. And, above all else, take good care of yourself, first and foremost!
During this uncertain time, I am wishing you and your families health, comfort and love. Getting through such a scary situation can be stressful and depressing. Remember to focus on self-love first, as we can only truly help others when we are whole and healthy ourselves.
Editor's Note: Marco Pelusi offers private in-person or virtual coaching for hair and salon business. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.