What can we expect after lockdown when really, we don’t know what to expect?
Currently, there seems to be two schools of thought, one being life will return to how it has always been, the other is that nothing will ever be the same again.
I think we will be somewhere in between; I think some things will go back to how they have always been and there will be some fundamental changes.
For us as business owners it’s crucial that we use lockdown to think through how our business might operate post lockdown and what changes there may be to how we used to operate.
Now is the time (while you have time) to think through each aspect of your business process and how you may need to alter that or adapt to keep your business going. We have all been scared at the speed that Coronavirus has not only taken hold but interrupted our day to day life.We now know that this can happen, and it will have created a new fear and feeling of vulnerability that we didn’t have before. It’s crucial that your clients feel safe in your hands and it’s your job to provide that reassurance. So what do you need to be considering?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Your clients will want to know what infectioncontrol measures you have in place and its crucial that you can respond appropriately.Have you considered taking an online infection control course? There arelots to choose from and they don’t cost a huge amount of money. Choose one thatmeets your particular business needs as well as offering a certificate ofcompletion that you can display on your premises as well as sending a copy or notificationof completion to your clients. This will reassure them that you are takingthe control of infection seriously and have strategies in place for bothyour own and their safety.
2. Consider operating a “Client Charter”that details out what you will offer clients and how you will safeguard themduring their visit to your salon (or home). This can also outline what you expectof your clients in return such as rescheduling if they are unwell, attendingappointment on time etc.
3. Does your business cater for the use of card payments?If not, then now is the time to sort out acquiring this option. It is widely recognisedthat the passage of physical money can aid the spread of infection andduring lockdown more and more retailers have encouraged customers to use cardsrather than cash. This trend of using cards only is likely to not onlyincrease but be the preferred method for both individuals and businesses to operateso make sure that you are ready for that eventuality.
4. It is likely that people will feel nervousabout contact with others for a substantial period of time post lockdown.We have all quickly gotten used to the concept of standing 2m apart fromother individuals and given that the ending of lockdown restrictions are likelyto be a slow increase in contact, its crucial that your business modelcan accommodate that potential requirement for social distancing to continue.This is easy for mobile or at home beauty creatives however over a prolonged periodthis can be tricky for a salon. Could you consider reduced numbers ofclients in the salon at any one time and increased opening hours toprevent you needing to reduce your overall daily numbers. Perhaps your staffcould operate a rota system and stagger their working day to accommodate.This may be something you want to start thinking through now.
5. The wearing of uniforms may be aconsideration for some businesses. Within the beauty industry there have alwaysbeen therapists who wore uniforms and as an Aesthetics Nurse I certainly wouldnever see a client if I wasn’t in uniform, however it’s never been an acrossthe board standard. Perhaps you may wish to consider this as an infectioncontrol method, it is a useful means of reassuring your clients as well asyour personal life if you are not wearing clothing at home that you wear in a clientfacing role. You could go a step further and consider how uniforms are laundered.If you are a salon and providing the uniforms, then you may wish to also havethem laundered to ensure that they are being washed to the correct standard. However,this is overall a pricey option but worthy of consideration if you feel thatreassurance to staff and clients warrants it.
6. One of my previous blog posts discussed themerits of keeping in touch with your clients during this lockdown period.If you have kept in contact perhaps a great question to ask your clients is whatwould concern them post lockdown about re commencing beauty treatments. Notonly may this garner together some ideas you may not have considered but itgives you a great list to work though and address whilst allowing you to reassureyour clients that you have considered all of these points and can advise howyou will be operating in the future to allay their fears.
7. Have you considered what treatments clientswill want post lockdown? It may be worth reviewing your service menu andthinking if some of what you offer will still be required. Do we think client’staste/trends will change as a result of Coronavirus? Will people still wantpotentially “invasive” treatments? Will there be a desire for a more “natural” look?maybe a fresh faced make up look will become more desirable or shorter nails /lashesetc. Take a look at what your kind of images clients are posting on Facebook orInstagram for a feel of what they may want post lockdown.
8. Given that people have been working from homerather than travelling into an office base, if this was a trend that continuedor increased, is there a potential for this to have a knock-on effect (goodor bad) on your business? This may vary depending on your location but it’sworth considering how a change in your clients general day/week may impactyour business and how you adapt.
9. We all suffer the impact of cancellations;indeed, The Beauty App was built specifically around supporting businesses tofill cancellations and continue their revenue. However, will we see a changein cancellations? will more clients opt to cancel rather than attend fortreatment whilst they are unwell where previously they have just come along,indeed is this something your business would encourage? Will this see an increasein cancellations? It’s hard to tell just what cancellations will look likein the future but it’s certainly worth you reviewing what your previouspattern looked like and if an increase feels likely, what impact would thathave on your business as well as what you can do to maintain your revenuestream.
10. Willwe see an increase in home based/ mobile treatments? This is very possiblegiven that we can anticipate social distancing to continue in some fashionpost lockdown. If your mobile already or operate on a one to one basis fromhome this may be great news, BUT is it? Can you take on more clients? Howcan you potentially meet increased demand and how would you store/affordadditional stock/petrol/electricity etc. If you’re a salon this may seem likebad news, but could you adapt? Could you allocate mobile appointmentsto a staff member for a few days per week where they go to client’s homes andundertake treatments? Therefore, allowing you to keep valuable clients meanwhileassessing the impact that some changes to your business model mayhave overall?
I hope some of these pointsprompted you to consider how life may change for your business and possibly thereare many to be added that you have realised whilst reading through. It’s hardfor any of us to predict what the next few weeks or months look like but betterto think through the possibilities and plan your strategy now that beunprepared and caught out when lockdown finally ends. Your clients will bedesperate to see you so make sure that you as a responsible business owner canwelcome them back safely and keep them coming back in these uncertain times.