With non-essential business shutting down, social distancing becoming the new norm and admittedly stressful daily updates about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hard to take a moment to sit down, relax, breathe and think calmly about what our next steps should be. As a beauty pro, it’s likely you’ve been hit pretty hard by what’s happening. Currently, it’s in the best interest of public health to keep a healthy distance—and unfortunately, your job requires you to work up close and personal with clients day in and day out. As a result, it’s likely that you’re dealing with salons or shops that are entirely closed down for the foreseeable future, or at least a severe cut in your hours and clients.
To help you out in this time of uncertainty, we reached out to Elite Beauty Society to offer up advice on tangible ways to offset the burden of the pandemic with a few helpful, no-contact, totally safe ways to cushion the COVID-19 blow you might be dealing with. Read on for some great advice!
1. No-Contact Product Delivery
If your salon is closed (or dealing with serious cutbacks), we highly recommend diving into no-contact home delivery for your clients on retail items they need or want. Think about it—people still need to wash their hair and take care of their mane; they just need to do it on their own. That doesn’t mean you can’t help facilitate that. This service is something you can offer without any contact needed whatsoever—which is key right now.
Take orders online or over the phone. Set up an online payment system so you’re not dealing with cash being passed back and forth, sanitize products, and deliver them without contact, such as on their front porch, etc.
2. Offer Online Tutorials & “Master Classes”
We’re not going to sugarcoat this by saying something like “this is a great time to really get involved on your social media.” Truth is, you guys, it’s not an exceptionally great time, but there are ways that we can work together to make it a little better. And honestly, by diving into your digital marketing and social media platforms, you could really use this time to connect with your clients, offer them great content that’s valuable and even make a little extra money. Using your own social media channels, consider setting up private classes for tutorials and how-to videos for all the fun hair things—you can talk strategies, do Q&As, showcase techniques and teach simple-but-awesome ways to style hair. How you go about this is up to you—but you could consider having tiered levels if you’re looking to make a little cash to help offset the burden.
Think of having free tutorials and then a level of “master classes” that include a small fee! Believe it or not, there are people out there who would love to learn from you—and your skills are valuable! This type of offering doesn’t require you to go anywhere—you can do this from home without ever having to come in contact with anyone or put anyone’s health at risk.
3. Continuing Education Time
If you can’t truly work with people right now, make the best of the situation and set yourself up for future success by taking classes that can help you advance your career when this situation isn’t as prevalent. Continuing education courses are always a great idea for talented professionals like you, and luckily, there are plenty of free options out there right now (because honestly, paying for continuing education right now might not be in the cards for everyone). When you purchase a policy from us, as part of our member benefits we offer Sam Villa, a beauty industry icon, the first two months of education for free.
Take a look at what the beauty icons you respect are doing—are they offering deals on their continuing education? If it’s your budget and you can benefit from it in the future, now might be the right time to invest in yourself.
4. Offer Discounts on Future Bookings
Unfortunately, none of us can see into the future (if we could, we’d be giving you all the details, we promise), but for now, there’s nothing wrong with offering discounts to clients for future bookings—as long as those bookings fall within the appropriate time (i.e., 8-12 weeks out, but check in with your city’s current ordinances first). This will help keep the schedule filled in the future, will give you the hope you need and encourage you to keep your skills sharp—because eventually, this will pass and you’ll need to be ready to serve your loyal clients who have probably been missing you terribly.
Remember, none of us know how our current situation will change in the coming weeks, so if you’re going to offer these discounts, you need to be prepared to be flexible and work with your clients based on how things progress. The more willing you are to adjust as the situation changes, the better off you’ll likely be.
5. Apply for Disaster Assistance Loans If You Need It
If your salon has closed, don’t panic. We promise this won’t last forever. In the meantime though, things might seem a little scary. As a small business in the United States, you’re important, and you’re a big part of why our economy runs. That’s why the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest, federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses like yours. These loans can truly assist you if you’re in a time of need, and we whole-heartedly encourage you to take a look and consider your options if you’re struggling. For information on how to apply, contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or email [email protected].
More than anything, we wish we could change what’s happening in the world right now. But the most comforting thing we can offer is the knowledge that as a community—and as humanity—we’re all in this together. Do you have other ideas or suggestions for how your fellow beauty biz pros can creatively offset the burden of the world’s current situations? Do you have safe, healthy, and responsible advice? Share them with us! Remember, we’re here for you. Your community is here for you. And we’re all going to get through this together.