Every day we hear about more cases domestically and abroad about the spread of COVID-19 also known as Corona Virus. While this article will not go into what this virus is and what it can do health-wise as there are already enough commentary on these topics in the news, we will highlight some of the ways you can survive and thrive during this outbreak and beyond.
Whether your business has already been impacted or not, it’s important to review our suggestions and see how they can be applied to your business. Doing so will help you mitigate the negative effects COVID-19 can have on your business. You may even develop some good practices that will keep your business profitable and thrive to reach your maximum potential when the current outbreak is over.
Some of your clients may cancel appointments for fear that they might somehow catch this virus at your spa. These fears are real and cannot be discounted because people actually feel this way. In many cases, the fear may not be warranted. Your clients need to hear from you. If they are going to continue to see you, they need to feel safe and know that you understand the risks at hand, are trained in sanitation and disease prevention, and are doing something about mitigating them. Explain some of the things you do to keep them safe such as but not limited to: you disinfect all surfaces, product containers, testers, surfaces, faucets, door handles etc. before and after each client; you wear gloves and a mask during services; you space appointments as to avoid having several clients in your waiting/retail area; you personally avoid exposure/public places as much as possible outside of your spa. Please review our suggestions below and apply them to your spa. We are here to help.
Communicate with Your Clients
In any crisis and especially with the current one, COVID-19, communication with your clients becomes even more important to your business. This may be the difference between surviving this outbreak or not. Here are some tips.
- Don’t just rely on emails as many of your clients may not read emails regularly.
- Call them personally as clients tend to value the personal touch even more in times of uncertainty. Ask them if they have read your message about what you do to protect their health. Ask them if they have questions, and reassure them.
- Use text messages for shorter communication and follow ups
What to communicate
Let your clients know what steps you are taking to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. Let them know that you understand the severity of the outbreak and their concerns. Many of your clients may not even know what you do to keep your spa clean and safe. Now is the time to let them know and make sure they know. This is very important as your success depends on it. This would include how you were cleaning before the outbreak and the extra cleaning during the outbreak after each client and what extra precautions you are taking with you and your staff. You need to get across that while the risks cannot be reduced to zero, you are doing everything possible to reduce the chance of transmission at your spa.
Focus more on retailing
If retailing has not been a big focus for your spa, now is the time to reconsider. It’s critical to find ways to sell products to your client base. Any shortfall in services revenue can be made up with retail sales. If your clients are not coming in for services as often, products can be shipped to them. Be flexible on different ways your clients can buy and receive products from you. Having inventory on hand is important as clients will want products quickly like they do when they come in for services and buy products when they leave. Offer to mail the products to them free of shipping and handling or allow them to pick up orders at your spa. You can pick up boxes at the post office to further reduce costs.
Discounting services to fill your schedule
Before you consider such an action, ask yourself this question. If you were afraid to get on a plane because you think it will put you at a much higher risk of getting the virus, would you get on the flight now if the ticket prices were 30% or 40% cheaper. For most people the answer is no. So the solution is not to discount your services but to address and mitigate the real fear your clients may have. If they feel safe and trust that you have taken the necessary precautions, they will come to your spa at your regular prices. This is not to say you don’t discount at all. Just make sure you discount for the right reasons. Discounting will not overcome fear.
Like many outbreaks before, this too will pass. Hopefully the above suggestions will make a meaningful impact on your business and the well-being of your clients.
We appreciate our partnership with you, care about your success and wellbeing, and commit to ship your orders even if the virus situation gets worse. We are taking measures to continue to do business as usual while keeping our team safe and healthy.
We’re all facing unique challenges right now, and for business owners, the stakes are particularly high. We want to offer support and help in the ways we can.
Now more than ever, we recognize that business owners may need a space to communicate and learn from one another. Over the next few weeks, Square will be hosting Town Hall, a series of webinars to help you rethink your business and access tools to better connect with your customer base.
We’re kicking it off with verticalized, virtual conversations hosted by experts and business owners in the following industries:
- Food and Beverage: Wednesday March 25 at 2:00PM PST
- Retail: Thursday, March 26 at 2:00PM PST
- Services: Tuesday, March 31 at 2:00PM PST
Services panel: Additional panelists to be announced soon!
- Keith Miller, Founder of Bubbly Paws
- Genevieve Weeks, founder of Tutu School
- Jesse Lopez, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Square
If you’re unable to join us for a live panel, we’ll have a recorded version available to view here.
Our hope is that these sessions help you through these uncertain times. You can find the latest information and tools to support you and your business in our dedicated Resource Hub.
When you sit down to write to anyone right now, there are 3 things I want you to address – in each message you write, and over the coming weeks as the situation evolves.
Phase 1: Shock. Never in my life have I experienced such a universal emotion. People around the world are experiencing fear and grief at the same time. Fear of what’s to come. The agony of losing their everyday way of life. That’s not small or something to be ignored. You must communicate with empathy. Find small ways we can be kind and compassionate to anyone you interact with right now. Let me very blunt about this: Stop the pitches. It’s embarrassing. Unfortunately, I’m confident all of us could open our inboxes and find a few examples of people who skipped this step entirely.
Phase 2: Stories. The next time you reach out, the language has to be personal. You. Me. Us. We. When all this starts to settle down, people aren’t going to react to jargon and corporate communications lingo. At that point, I imagine everyone will be so overwhelmed with news and headlines. You can stand out by being the human voice. Your messages must come from people to be heard and to build trust at this critical moment. No matter what you’re selling – a membership, a job, convincing people to stay – you can’t be successful without trust.
Phase 3: Recovery. Now, and only at this step, is it possible for you to offer advice or convince anyone to do anything. Most marketers are getting communications all wrong by jumping to this last step, which is why we all feel like we need a shower after reading some of these emails this week. Right now, we’re all waiting to see what happens. What’s next, and your paid service/role/benefit/tool/etc. should come after it’s well thought out and ready to be rolled out to your team. As for HR, I think this is so important – tell people what’s next when you know. Be detailed. Stop and ask, “What would I want to know right now?” Write that down.
It is at times such as these, that relationships mean everything.
All of us at évolis Professional Hair Care want to lend our support to your Salon, Spa or Beauty Organization. We understand that during this mandated pause in our Industry all of our clients are experiencing feelings of uncertainty as to how long of a period will pass before their scheduled beauty appointments can be resumed. évolis Hair would like to partner with you to bring a sense of comfort and relief to YOUR clients and customers. Some clients have critical hair issues and may be feeling anxiety being separated from their favorite beauty destinations. Hair loss and hair thinning are very emotional to all who experience it, and during times of stress hair loss can escalate and intensify. In fact, stress is one of the top contributors of hair loss.
While nothing can ever replace professional beauty services, évolis Professional would like to help you and your clients with this at home beauty offer:
· For your Clients:
- 15% off and free 2-day shipping
- For you:
- 25% commission on all purchases made by your clients, friends or family
How it works:
· All you need to do is opt in and we will send you your own coupon code. When the code is used for purchases on our website, the 15% discount will be automatically taken off the order and orders will be sent, free of charge, via 2-day shipping.
· All orders placed using your coupon code will be eligible for payment of 25% commission directly to you. Commissions will be paid monthly by check on the 15th of each month
· We will send you a post-able announcement with your coupon code that you can use.
· You or your establishment do NOT have to currently sell our products to participate.
We at évolis believe this is the best way to reach out to the community we love and provide an option for income at this uncertain time. Please respond to us by Friday, April 3, 2020to opt into this program. This program will run until May 31, 2020.
Please email us at; firstname.lastname@example.org or call Nicole at 973.223.8898 with questions or a quick training on the products.
About évolis Professional:
évolis Professional is the first truly anti-aging hair care collection. Formulated with a proprietary blend of 100% natural botanical actives that REVERSE hair aging, PROMOTE faster and better hair growth and PREVENT future hair challenges.
Come in today and learn how to REVERSE hair aging, PROMOTE gorgeous hair, and PREVENT future hair challenges.
Patti Biro, Patti Biro and Associates
When we return to operational status members can help to fill the books and help us quickly in the spa and wellness industry to return to “the new normal” . In the mean time there are three things that you should do immediately as part of your bounce back planning.
1. Communicate clearly and frequently to your membership. They are your best allies in this time of crisis and will the first to return for services when you reopen. Once every two weeks is a good schedule for eblasts or posts on Facebook member pages.
2. Clarify how you are handling membership charges to avoid cancellations. Some spas have elected to freeze all membership charges until they are open, others are offering to offer a complimentary month or two to members. Membership charges will resume when the spa reopens and will be prorated if needed. Be generous on roll-over policies.
3. Honor the special relationship that members have with you, your staff and your business. I encourage you to offer members a complimentary enhancement or upgrade on their first return visit. You might consider taking the time now to inventory all your available inventory and identify if there are samples, lines you are phasing out or other items that could be a welcome retail gift for members.
Taking the time to manage your members with warmth, honesty and support will help them return quickly to your business!
While the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing an abundance of concerns for all walks of life, this also a game-changer for respiratory wellness and the Salt Therapy industry. Unfortunately, it may take a global pandemic to bring attention to having people focus on their respiratory health, but far too often, people do not act to be as proactive as possible until something ‘bad’ happens such as becoming sick. Every year, millions and millions of people suffer daily from allergies, asthma, COPD, lung cancer, and so many other respiratory conditions. Respiratory conditions lead to the most sickness and death of the world’s population. This escalates year over year.
As a society, we must start looking at some of the root causes of our current environment. Every year, billions and billions of dollars go towards prescription drugs, medical treatments, and insurance payments. The costs to workplace productivity and our school system suffers as well. Our health care system in the United States desperately needs a transformation. The traditional methods of diagnosing and prescribing must change.
A recent research physician commented about why children may be at less risk for contracting the COVID-19 virus and, while there are no current studies, one of the explanations given is that older people have experienced longer exposure to pollution, poor air quality, household chemicals, smoke and ash, and other environmental conditions. It’s a fact that your immune system weakens as you get older, and your respiratory hygiene deteriorates.
We will continue to compile helpful information for small businesses (including spas, medi-spas, and medical practices) to weather this tough economic time. Please check back often as more resources will be added as they become available.
I am available for consultation on cash flow, business loans and more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out through the contact page of this site. Also see my blog post on protecting your business financially.
Resources & Information for Business in General
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Up to date information about Coronavirus
Small Business Administration SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus
IRS Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave
Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Requirement for employers with less than 500 employees to provide Paid Sick Leave and Family Medical Leave to their employees in specific situations associated with COVID-19.
- To offset the cost to businesses, Employer Social Security Tax will be reduced by the amount of Paid Sick and Family Medical Leave costs covered by employers.
A month ago, I didn’t know what “social distancing” was. A week ago, I flew to New York City to teach at IECSC. I arrived on the redeye on Saturday morning. I went out for a slice of New York’s best cheese pizza, then went back to my hotel. At 4pm, New York had declared a state of emergency. The Javits Center needed to be emptied of all exhibitions so that this massive conference center could be used as triage for Coronavirus screening if needed. IECSC New York was cancelled, and I was back on a plane to Seattle on Sunday morning. It was the most expensive slice of cheese pizza I have ever purchased. This was the first impact the Coronavirus has had on my business. This doesn’t really compare to what many of you are experiencing in your businesses. Many of my clients are reporting a decline in sales upwards of 75%. Like you, now I know what social distancing is. Let’s not be naïve. This is going to affect us. We don’t know how much or how long.
We have heard that the SBA is making funds available to small business owners under a special new program. Information is available on their website (https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19). When I spoke with a couple of local bankers yesterday, they had not received any information about this program or how to administrate it. It seems like this program is a work in progress. A different and established program, the “SBA Express” funds loans up to $350K on a line of credit and is a relatively simple application process. Initially, it is interest only and then converts to a term loan. This might be a better and more expedient loan for you to pursue. You can submit an application at any SBA bank or lender. Prior to applying, put together three years of business financials, tax returns, and a personal financial statement. Be aware and prepared to explain any non-favorable issues on your credit report. Also, be able to articulate how you intend to use the funds.
Please be sure to create a (free) Square account PRIOR to the webinar so you can easily follow along with the presentation.
Join us on Friday March 27th, at 2pm PST for a webinar about taking your business online.
In this webinar you’ll learn how to set up a Square Online Store where you’re able to accept orders from your customers who can’t visit your in-person location.
We’ll cover best practices for building a Square Online Store including how to upload your item library and how to customize the look and feel of your eCommerce website.
Register now to learn from our Online Store panelists:
- Martin Guerrero, an eCommerce Solution Specialist at Square
- Ahmed Ali Bob, Community Affairs at Square
Our hope is that this webinar will be helpful in these uncertain times. You can find the latest information and tools to support you and your business in our dedicated Resource Hub.