Aside from natural disasters, like storms and floods, COVID-19 is probably one of the first things in our history to close business doors. Especially across the entire nation. While that fact might seem overwhelming and a touch scary, it’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. There are so many business owners across the country facing the same reality right now. But we’re right here with you and dedicated to supporting you through this time!
So when life gives you lemons you’ve gotta make lemonade, honey. Instead of fretting about what you might be losing and what you can’t control, it’s important to try and flip your focus to how you can progress your business and regain control.
We have some great tips to help you on your way.
1. Get creative with earning revenue
Are you daydreaming of ways you can keep the cash flowing even while your doors are closed? While you may not make what you normally would with a booked out appointment book, you can still bring in a little bit of revenue so the impact of COVID-19 doesn’t hurt quite so much (we hope!)
Consider providing virtual consultations to your clients, where they would pay for your time and advice (just like they would in the salon during their service). You can run tutorials on how to achieve the perfect curl, tips on a dreamy blow dry, how to style your hair for the fellas and so much more. Remind your clients how important it is to support small businesses during this time, and if they want to help and support you then this is the best way!
2. Staff development and training
Do some virtual education with your team members so their isolation time isn’t wasted. This could be training or revision in products you have in the salon, new services you recently introduced or need revisiting, or in improving the guest experience and customer service once you re-open.
Suggest your staff take online courses in their free time. These could even extend to self-development courses or areas your staff are interested in becoming experts in.
3. Spring clean your website
Now is the time to give your website that well-deserved spruce you’ve been meaning to give for a while (we know – we’ve all been there!) Kick-off the makeover by refreshing your website copy, updating your images, playing with the template you’ve built the site on (if you feel comfy doing that kind of thing), and updating your blog section if you have one with heaps of helpful resources for your clients.
If websites aren’t really your jam or make you feel a little queasy then don’t stress! Shortcuts offer a website building service, where we create sleek, best-practice websites so you don’t have to fork out endless cash through a web design agency who don’t really understand the industry and what’s important to you. You can learn more about building a website through Shortcuts right here!
4. And your shelves while you’re at it…
Clear out all of the stock on your shelves. If you have an online shop, now is the perfect time to add these items to it if they’re not already. Update your stock levels on the site and create new bundles of complementary products. You can position these as COVID Care Kits, full of your favourite shampoo, conditioner, and mask combos.
If you don’t have an online shop, no dramas! You can still do a stocktake to see where you’re at and prep bundles and gift packs for when you re-open, or even look at selling some stock on platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Instagram as a way to stay connected to your clients, and get some cash.
Or, you could do a re-opening special with any of your products that may be reaching their shelf life. For anyone who books an appointment within your first two weeks of opening will receive a free full-size bottle of product. They would need to spend a certain amount to claim this offer though!
5. Focus on your online rep
Take a time out to have a look at how your online reputation is tracking – Coronavirus or not. What are your clients saying about you really…?
Check out your Google Reviews and suss out the general feel. You’ll be able to spot trends in customer satisfaction. For instance, there may be a period where you receive a few reviews about clients feeling like they’re receiving inconsistent service. This would be a great time to revisit your service processes with your team and focus on rebuilding that consistency if your attention slipped to other areas of the salon experience.
Also encourage your clients to support their favourite local and small businesses by leaving a review about their experience. This will be so useful to you when you re-open and some clients may potentially be looking for a new salon if their previous go-to isn’t operating.
6. Become a marketing maven
While your salon is closed, don’t look at it as dead time. Look at it as an opportunity to work on and build your business at a time when it needs it most – which means your marketing strategy. One of the best ways to combat COVID impacts is to have a marketing plan ready to implement as soon as your doors re-open. You want that appointment book to fill up quick smart!
Brainstorm with your team some promotions you can run to get clients revisiting again. This could be a special you can run, additional services on top of a cut and colour, a refer a friend campaign. Even a free coffee with every appointment from the café next door to support EVEN MORE local businesses feeling the Coronavirus pinch.
7. Engage with your clients
This is more important now than ever! Staying engaged and in touch with your clients will mean they won’t be able to forget about you amidst the COVID crisis. When we all come out the other side, you’ll be able to attract them back to the salon ALMOST like nothing ever changed.
So step up your social media game! Get on Insta, Facebook, and IGTV. Post regularly! You can work on building your brand story, introducing your following to your team, why you started business originally, and establish yourselves as though leaders in the industry. The important thing is to remind your followers why they started following you originally. Make them fall in love with you and your WHY all over again, so they can go on to support your business in this time of need. Check out Social Sorted for how you can take your social media engagement from 0-100 today!
At Shortcuts we also created a communication kit to help you get important updates out to your clients. These include common email and SMS templates you may need, as well as a bunch of social media posts you can use in your feeds and Stories.
Lastly, approach the whole situation with a positive outlook and a splash of humour. We’re all feeling the *slightly* crushing weight and fear of the COVID-19 situation and a little giggle can help alleviate some of that pressure. Don’t forget to remind your clients not to panic and box dye their hair!