It’s estimated that over 100,000 small businesses across the country will permanently shut their doors thanks to the impact of the Coronavirus. Throughout this pandemic, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have become the norm. Now, as many states have started to let those orders lapse and go through a reopening process, salons and spas are trying to spring back to life while staying diligent and safe.
Many salon owners are still trying to figure out the best way to re-open to ensure the safety of their clients and their staff.
While states have different requirements for businesses depending on which phase of reopening they’re in, it’s up to individual salon and spa owners to make the best choices possible for their businesses as everyone continues to adjust and to move forward.
Best In-House Practices
There are several factors that contribute to the growth of infectious diseases, like coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), everything from demographic and social changes in living can all contribute to the spread of diseases. Even climate change has been linked to the growth of different illnesses. As a result, all businesses must have effective plans in place to keep everyone safe and do their part to limit the spread of diseases — now, and in the future.
For salons and spas, client and worker safety are of the utmost importance. This industry faces a few unique challenges since the physical and social aspects are very important. Every salon’s and spa’s plan for keeping people healthy will be different, but some best practices to keep in mind as you reopen include:
- Encouraging social distancing
- Only allowing clients in by appointment — no open waiting area
- Clients and workers wear masks unless facial treatment is being performed
- Workers must either wear gloves or wash hands frequently
- Improving sanitation process
- Restricting use of restrooms to customers only
- Reducing hours of operation to dedicate more time for cleaning
Most states that have already reopened suggest that if there is a trending rise in coronavirus cases again, or a second wave, that phasing could go backward and cause businesses to close again. As a small business owner, doing your part to limit those chances is incredibly important for the longevity of your salon. Having a fully trained staff that is on board with new policies will help you to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
Going Virtual Whenever Possible
When someone thinks about a spa treatment or getting their hair done, it usually doesn’t involve getting online or getting the services they need virtually. But as an owner, it’s important to offer as many virtual options as possible right now. Some people still won’t be comfortable going out into public businesses for quite some time.
So don’t be afraid to be as transparent as possible. Post a video or host a Zoom meeting and explain to your clients what you plan on doing to reopen safely. Tell them what to expect.
Additionally, you may even be able to provide some virtual services. Telehealth has risen rapidly in popularity thanks to COVID-19. It’s expected that virtual visits could top 1 billion by the end of 2020. While spas and salons might not be considered healthcare services, taking a page from virtual medicine’s book isn’t a bad idea when you can talk to your clients online about certain products or routines that might help them. Remember, salons and spas are about connecting with people. Thankfully, technology makes that easy to do even when you’re socially distanced. Some ideas to go virtual with your services include:
- Hosting livestream ‘classes’ or workshops for meditation or breathwork
- Tutorials for self-care practices at home
- Nail care videos and art (Olive & June even offers an online mani bootcamp!)
- Hair product video reviews
Videos can either be done live or pre-recorded and posted to all of your social media sites to help you stay connected with your clients and attract new ones.
Telehealth has many benefits, including accessibility for everyone. If you have clients who still aren’t comfortable coming in or you’re trying to reduce the number of people in your salon, this is a great way to stay connected while staying safe, so do what you can to get creative online.
Every business has to get used to a “new normal”. Figuring out what works and what doesn’t will take some time. But, as more salons and spas start to reopen across the country, keeping some of these ideas in mind can help you to continue to flatten the curve, limit the spread, and find success in your business once again.