So, talk seems to have shifted from lockdown to what our exit strategy looks like in the coming weeks. Economists are warning that there is a tipping point beyond which the cost to the economy negates the lives potentially saved by lockdown and warn that that time is coming.
So, do you have an exit strategy for getting your business up and running again post lockdown? Here are 5 tips to get you thinking:
1. Make sure you have your Coronavirus strategy ready, what is your sanitation process, how will you support social distancing, what additional/new steps are you putting in place to protect yourself and customers.
2. What are your stock levels like? Do you need to contact your suppliers about stock so that you don’t get caught in the rush? Remember there is likely to be a higher demand on them than usual when the easing of lockdown is announced.
3. Keep your customers informed, how will you contact them to let them know when you are accepting appointments?and how will you let them know you are open for business? Get your client database open and start going through your client list and noting who will be most in need of booking and perhaps offer them priority booking, for instance clients who have a regular hair colour will be desperate to have you back as opposed to client’s who have a regular facial. Let customers know what your Coronavirus strategy looks like so that they feel safe to start coming back to you. If you undertook an online infection course recommended in one of my previous blog posts, make sure you let clients know about it.
4. Make sure you’re a walking advert for your business, remember how you look plays a big a part in attracting those client’s ,so make sure that you look well-groomed and if hair is your thing make sure yours is fabulous, similar for nails or lashes etc. After all these weeks spent in joggers on lockdown, we will all be craving some glamour so make sure you provide it.
5. Get yourself an appointment booking system.You may think you don’t need one and you may think your too small/don’t have enough client’s etc but if Coronavirus has taught us one thing it’s that technology is the way forward and this applies to your business too no matter how small.We anticipate big demand for appointments following the end of lockdown, how are you preparing to gear up for that? Will you have time to answer end less calls, texts and emails? Will you always have your diary to hand to look at bookings and if clients can’t get a response from you immediately will they look elsewhere? Now is the time to get yourself sorted with a booking system to automate that side of your business and allow you to do what you do best. Review what you would require from a system and then look at what options are available to you. The Beauty App is a free system, so if cost is an issue then take a look at what it offers (shameless plug, but I can’t not tell you!!). Also remember that experts predict that exchange of physical cash will drop post Coronavirus with card payments being the new norm, is your business set up for card payments? If not, now is the time to set this up and ensure that it links to your booking system.
Use these tips to get you thinking about what you can put in place now to be ready for your clients returning, remember they will want reassurance from you. You will need to review your current processes around how your business operates to ensure that it is still relevant in the new future, this may mean some changes. Make a start on those changes now whilst you have the time because when the world reopens for business your opportunity will be gone.