Across the world, we have seen salons and spas close their doors temporarily due to COVID-19. For many people, this is a scary and uncertain time, but especially so for business owners. The stress of bills that will go unpaid, the responsibility they feel to staff and their beloved team, and the uncertainty of when restrictions will ease and business will begin to return to normal are placing enormous strain on business owners globally.
But every cloud has a silver lining, every rainfall a rainbow. While many salons and spas are unable to trade, we’ve seen an amazing array of innovative money-making ideas and schemes come to life. From virtual consults to at home DIY kits, we’re so proud of the innovation and imagination of our clients.
We’ve hit the (virtual) pavements and rounded up just a few of the creative ways our Shortcuts community are making money while their businesses are closed. Who knows – one of these could be the pot of gold you’re chasing!
Sell that stock
What better time to sell the retail stock that’s sitting on those shelves collecting dust than now? Your clients are looking for ways to up their beauty and self-care game, so get some gorgeous shots of those products and sell, sell, sell!
That means you can sell your retail stock online, even while you’re closed!
No Shopify? No worries. Try Facebook Marketplace, eBay, even Instagram! Make some imaginative packages to bundle up a few different products, or run a promotion like “Buy 2, get 1 free” to encourage customers to spend up.
For Anna Field from The Paddington Beauty Room, retail has always played a big part of her business. With the beauty industry across the world now closed by government order, Anna has a message for her peers to stay strong, and focus on retail to build your business both now, and when you re-open.
“I truly believe this is the wake up our industry needed. There are very strong business reasons to retail effectively because there are only so many clients you can see in a day or as we find ourselves unable to see clients. My best advice is to take this current lesson and never forget it, because retailing will be your new skill set as you move forward and re-open.”
Reward loyal customers
In case you missed it, we recently remembered a sneaky little feature in Shortcuts that you can use to make some money – like today! Rewards Club is part of every Shortcuts system, and super simple to set up. It’s essentially a spend & save program, that allows you to sell a membership to your most loyal customers today, whilst giving additional value to loyal clients as a reward for paying upfront.
One of the first adopters of Rewards Club, Susa Wynne-Hoelscher, actually came up with the concept and presented it to our Co-Founder, Jo Burgess, almost 20 years ago. With a bit of clever coding from the Shortcuts developers, Susa was able to sell her Rewards Club to 40 annual members, generating a whopping £50,000 each year!
“The idea originally came to us when we were driving to Yepoon for Christmas. It was a long drive so we would basically have one big business meeting. Each year we closed the salon for 2 weeks over the Christmas period to give our staff the opportunity to visit their families interstate. While this was good, it meant each year there was a 2 week period where we had no money coming in. The feature had the benefit of giving us a big cash injection which we could use to tide us over during that time.” Susa said.
Hear more of Susa Wynne-Hoelscher’s story in her interview in this episode of The Grit Behind The Glam.
Are your team sitting around twiddling their thumbs? Get them busy! Offer virtual consults to your clients, if possible.
Things like “how to tint your eyebrows” or “at home skincare treatments” are a great way to offer the outstanding salon-quality service that your customers are used to, combined with the #selfcare moment they’re craving while stuck in self-isolation.
It’s a win-win! ✅✅
Eva Frawley from The Skin & Beauty Suite has been offering virtual consults as a way to help customers who are now finding themselves with some extra free time (brand new skin woes – hello iso, why do you hate us so?!). Clients can book in for either email or video skin consults for a completely customised skincare prescription tailored just to them.
“I really wanted to make sure my clients weren’t just self diagnosing when purchasing their products which is a big no no. It’s always best to ask an expert when shopping around for skincare! We have also been offering complimentary contact-less local delivery and pickups for our clients in the local area for their isolation skin care needs. The comforting part of all of this is knowing that we are all in this together. Businesses, families, friends. It’s just about adapting as best we can.”
James Vivian, renowned dermal therapist and clinic owner, says the shift from face-to-face service to online required the team to move quickly and adjust their offering to suit. James has introduced a range of options for clients to connect, from complimentary consultations with existing and new clients, to a brand new online shop and at-home versions of some of their treatments.
“Just because our doors are physically closed doesn’t mean that we stop thinking about our clients all day, or that our clients lose their skin ambitions. Whilst we appreciate the change in priorities for many, for new and existing clients still wishing to ensure their skin is maintained during this period, we have introduced virtual skin consultations. We view these consultations as the next best option to a face-to-face consultation.”
Do DIY deals
Who has been having nightmares at the thought of your clients returning in a few months with a thick layer of at home box-dye on the hair you lovingly created?!
The last thing you want is all your hard work undone with one box of supermarket dye. Not every touch-up or hair appointment can be done DIY (think Britney-inspired bangs – put down the scissors!✂️) but some can – especially if you can supervise. We suggest following MOB HAIR’s lead with this one and insisting on colour packs for brunettes only, under strict video supervision, offered to existing clients only. That way you can ensure you have product notes to supply the right colour.
Tarryn, owner of MOB HAIR, closed her salon before the government restrictions were imposed on the industry. We spoke to Tarryn to get a bit of insight into her decision to offer at-home colour kits to her clients.
“Bondi and the Eastern Suburbs has been a high infection area for COVID-19, and we wanted to do the best thing for our staff and our clients for the health and safety,” Tarryn said.
“We understand our clients very well, and we know if they are isolating and not being able to go about their regular life, at least not having regrowth at home would make them feel better about the current situation! We decided to offer this service for existing clients only, so we could look up their previous colour history on Shortcuts, and ensure the ratios were 100% correct when we prepare it in a germ-free environment in the salon. It has actually been so nice for my staff and I to reconnect with our clients virtually!”
Connect with your clients
We don’t know how long the UK (and the world) is going to be affected by government restrictions and lockdowns, so getting creative with ways to keep in touch with clients is key. We now live in an appointment-free world, which means those re-bookings and reminder emails are not going to exist to drive those conversations. Make sure you stay front and centre in your clients’ minds so when they’re restocking their products, or looking for a solution for those pesky roots, they remember who to call.
Think outside the box and devise new ways to connect with content that uses your skill set, to deliver what your clients need. You could run online classes to show clients how to trim their split ends. Or use your content calendar to set regular reminders on social, like a #MonthlyMaskMoment or #DailyDetox with an at-home facial or hair mask recipe.
For James Vivian, the focus is very much on ensuring their clients are supported while the clinic is closed, so that they return when it re-opens. While their doors may be closed, the therapists have been running a highly engaging Instagram strategy designed to replicate the connection clients look forward to when they visit.
“We are running a 14-day isolation skin challenge on Instagram for new and existing clients who wish to join me on my morning and evening routines. I am sharing my tips for caring for your skin at home and I am inviting guests to share their routines as well as useful information beyond skincare, such as naturopathy, working from home advice, dermatological advice and hair and makeup.”
So there you have it – just five of the ways our clever clients are making money while their doors are closed. We know there’s plenty more clever cookies out there doing some wonderful stuff, and if we could list all the amazing ideas our clients are coming up with, we would – but you’d be reading all day, instead of selling!
We’ll keep sharing ideas and tricks on our COVID-19 Resource Hub, so make sure to keep an eye out. And if you’re looking for more ways to connect with fellow business owners and Shortcuts clients, join our Shorties Users Facebook Group!