We are FINALLY starting to see the light at the end of the very long COVID-tunnel. With hair and beauty businesses allowed to start operating somewhat normally, it’s time to get your ducks in a row so your business is ready for clients again!
Begin by thinking of the things you have control over: cleaning the salon, communicating with your staff, and creating new sanitation processes. This is also a great time to think about any changes you may want or will now need to implement to keep you, your clients, and your staff safe. For example, allowing for time in-between services to sanitize your stations.
By giving yourself time to think about your re-opening plan, you will be able to focus on each key area of your business so you can reopen with a bang! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Map Out a COVID-Safe Plan
Think about how you are going to sanitize work stations, basins, waiting areas, in between clients, and the entire salon at the end of every day. It’s important to establish a consistent routine for you and your staff to prevent the risk of contamination within your salon.
In your Shortcuts Appointment Book, consider adding a finishing block titled “Sanitation” or “Sterilization“. This should be booked after every service to allow a minimum of 15 minutes to clean your space in-between clients.
Plan ahead and pre-order any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ahead of time to maintain your sanitation standards once you are back in full swing.
Something to think about:
With the current limitation of performed services, new increase of PPE and sanitation between customers, have you thought about how you are going to cover these additional costs? Consider increasing your service prices $2-$3 or add a sanitation surcharge for each appointment.
2. Clean like you’ve Never Cleaned Before!
When is the last time you were in your salon? What is the condition you left it in? Before you re-open, consider doing a deep cleaning to Government standards. Now is also the time to move things around, rearrange, and remove the clutter to maximize for optimal service when you re-open.
Next step? Deep clean your salon! This includes stylist stations, lobby, front desk, waiting area, bathrooms, and break areas. While you’re at it, re-arrange stations to provide maximum distance between clients and staff.
3. Prepare your Shortcuts System
If you haven’t done so already, consider setting up Online Booking and Upfront Payments. Online Booking will help you get your appointment book filled up while keeping your salon as COVID-safe as possible. You know exactly what appointments you have coming up, the revenue you will earn from them, and it will make collecting details for regulation compliance that much simpler.
Online Booking simplifies the booking process for your client and they can choose an appointment time that suits them – but ultimately YOU control it. You can set Online Booking up to suit your business and the way you like to work.
Together, Online Bookings and Upfront Payments enables you to take a part or full payment of a client’s appointment upfront at the time of their booking. If they cancel or no-show then you can choose to keep part or all of their deposit as a cancellation fee (make sure whatever you decide is outlined in your T & C’s!). When you take a full upfront payment of a client’s appointment, you can pretty much guarantee they will show up for their appointment because of the financial commitment they’ve already made. It also eliminates cash-handling and reduces credit card machine use, both of which aren’t recommended at this time.
Together Online Booking and Upfront Payments are going to help guarantee you business, and fill your appointment book with pre-paid appointments so you don’t need to worry about clients not turning up for their appointment.
4. Prep your staff
COVID-19 has affected everyone’s work and personal life in different ways. Before re-opening, make sure you are connecting and communicating with your current or even previous staff members. Now is the time to get everyone on the same page.
Organize your rosters and schedules and make sure it works best for your business in the tentative reopening time, while keeping your team happy. It’s important to confirm with staff before communicating to clients so you aren’t left in a bind when the time comes to reopen your doors.
Based on your returning staff numbers, some of you will need to consider what your rehiring process looks like and what steps you will need to take to acquire new staff. You’ll also need to consider how you will onboard them best in this time. What does your on-boarding process look like for new staff? Have you checked out the Shortcuts New Employee Checklist? What will your new schedules be, and will your staff be able to accommodate?
When you’re ready, round up the team to discuss your re-opening strategy, roles and responsibilities, and how everyone impacts the success of the store.
5. Communicate with your Clients
We know we’ve said it before, but we’ll yell it a little louder for the people in the back: Communicating with your clients every step of the way is key! Letting them know you are reopening, what changes you have made, what your new protocols are, and most importantly how these changes are going to keep them safe will only strengthen your relationship.
Not only will it show them you are taking things seriously, but it will also make them feel more comfortable to come back for a much needed post-isolation glam up.
Think of how you want to start opening your Appointment Book again for bookings. Are you going to contact everyone who previously had an appointment that you are now going to reschedule? Hell yes!
6. Fill your Appointment Book with Pre-paid Appointments
Once you have notified and rescheduled cancelled appointments, you will be ready to start marketing your reopening to the rest of your client base. You want that appointment book to be FULL! Jump into Shortcuts Marketing and send an email or SMS blast (or both 😉) to your database letting them know you are now open and taking bookings!
Be sure to include direct links to your Online Booking page in any communications to make things super simple for your clients. Don’t forget to update your service times, employee schedules, and more before sending this information out! You want to be 100% prepared.
Some other things to consider during your recovery planning are:
- Set up Online Gift Cards. Looking to boost revenue? Ummm, always! Consider setting up Online Gift Cards so clients can purchase a gift card to redeem at their next appointment. Learn more here.
- Sell products via Shopify. If you find appointments are a little slow to start with, consider selling retail via an online store. We have a Shopify integration to make selling retail online super simple! Learn more here.
- Spring clean your data. There’s nothing worse than dirty data! Merge duplicates & remove old, in-active clients. Learn how here.
- Get social savvy. Use social media to get this information out to your clients! Be sure to post your new sanitation practices on social media. Let your clients know exactly what steps you are taking to keep them safe and letting them know what they can expect when they come in.
- Get clued-up on Shortcuts. Did you know we offer Online Classes to help you learn all the ins-and-outs of Shortcuts? Yep, our experienced Shortcuts Coaches with industry background lead these classes and help you become a Shortcuts expert. Check them out here.
- Upskill your staff. Your staff may not have worked for several months! Make sure to host some education refresher sessions before reopening your doors to paying clients.
- Plan out your marketing for the coming months. You’re going to have a lot on your plate reopening your salon! Marketing often falls to the wayside but it’s so, so important to keep your clients up-to-date and new clients coming in. Social Sorted can help alleviate some of the social media planning stress for you. Plus, it’s FREE until June 30th. What’s not to love?!
- Update your Google My Business. Make sure you update your business hours to reflect your new opening hours and add any posts to update Google searchers (AKA potential new clients) of your reopening processes.
We’re all in this together!
No one knows what the future will bring. No one knows how long these changes will have to stay in place. What we do know is that we are all experiencing this together! You are NOT ALONE! Be prepared that things will continue to change over the next few weeks and months, but staying organized, being fluid, and keeping a positive mindset will only help you in the long run.