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Can you believe it has been a year since the first COVID case was diagnosed in the U.S.? Like me, I am sure many of you thought this would be done and over by now, but here we are … None of us could have prepared for the wild year that was 2020.
Typically, February is the month when we talk about how to prepare for the upcoming busy season. This month, though, I want to discuss small adjustments in your salon that will help you, your staff and guests make the most out of a busy season in a COVID World.
I’m confident that with a few small adjustments and positive energy,
we can make the most of our “COVID Busy Season.”
I am by no means trying to sound like Debbie Downer, but we have no idea how this season will play out. You need to be extremely realistic about what is priority and what is not. If you can cut costs, do it. If you can reduce staff overlap to cut down on payroll, do it. If you need to adjust your hours, do it. I think that approaching this tanning season assuming it will be like any other would be a mistake. We need to proceed with caution, then make adjustments as we see fit.
We all know that our staff are the backbone of any business; sales is what drives a company. Without sales, you don’t have a business. I have found it best to be as honest and transparent as possible with staff – let them in on brainstorming sessions, explain the different steps you are taking to help your salon navigate through these times. Many employees feel very uncertain about the future of their jobs (this goes for all industries) which, in turn, can affect their performance level. My best advice is to let them feel like they are a part of the team and they will work harder and be more productive. Their jobs may look a little different, and this is something that needs to be explained. If customers aren’t coming in, then maybe you work on creating an outreach program in which staff calls existing customers to offer them deals on at-home products.
Clearly-defined goals are key to employee success. In these uncertain times, I would also work on very short-term goals – all staff need something to work toward, such as a weekly bonus, and these goals should be obtainable and reevaluated every couple of weeks. It is important to keep staff motivated and working toward a common goal.
With Facetime, Zoom and the overwhelming force of social media, our world is more digital than ever. People are at home, on their phones, scrolling through social media. With that being said, what are they seeing from your business? Maximize your social media presence! Run contests, go live on Facebook or Instagram frequently to talk about product offerings, different deals, tanning tips, etc. Anything that keeps your customers engaged will drive sales. Making your social presence a priority is so important right now and it is really not difficult. Do a live salon tour, talk about your favorite lotion, explain your cleaning procedures. Get creative! All of these things will allow your customers to be at ease when they visit, as well as keep your business fresh in their minds even when they are not in your salon.
Although I wish I was just talking about how to gear up for a “normal” busy season, I can’t. But I do know this: our industry is resilient and adaptable. We have weathered many storms and always make it to the other side by remaining positive and adapting to the ever-changing world. I’m confident that with a few small adjustments and positive energy, we can make the most of our “COVID Busy Season.”
As Director of Brand Development for Devoted Creations’ family of brands, Lisa brings 17 years of industry experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to all aspects of the business, including social media, product development, training, customer relations, public speaking and marketing strategies. Lisa worked at the salon level managing a large chain of salons, which infuses her sales training and brand concepts with real world experience. Lisa has been chosen IST Magazine’s “Person of the Year” four times.
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