What you need to do NOW to ensure the survival of your business after a COVID-19 shutdown.
Our intention with this article is to help salon owners manage through this trying time and come roaring back once the current crisis has calmed down. Read on to discover our best practices to shore up your business and help your salon survive the shutdown.
Our Top SEVEN tips to Help your Salon Survive the Shutdown.
Finding aid in times of crisis can be tricky. You know help is out there, but where? Here are a few of our favorite sources.
ONE: Find the Right Resources to Save Your Salon.
- The Small Business Administration has small business loans available immediately. You can review your options for loan resources here.
- The Professional Beauty Association has created a fund, “designed to help support the licensed beauty professionals who have not been able to work or are experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 outbreak.” At the time we are writing this, stipends of up to $500 are being offered. You and your stylists can apply for aid here.
- Independent Contractors are now eligible for unemployment benefits in some states. Application and availability is state by state, so contact your Employment Department to find out about benefits in your area.
- Learn what the Stimulus Package Means for Your Salon. We have an entire post dedicated to this subject here.
- Apply for Local Low Interest Loans. In Washington State, we know of at least one credit union (BECU) that is offering small 0% interest loans for members. There may be something similar in your area. Likewise, Amazon corporate offices are providing grants to businesses that serve their thousands of employees in downtown Seattle. Contact banks, credit unions and even large businesses in your area to see if they have programs you could benefit from. Don’t assume the answer will be “no”! Remember this assistance could really help bolster the long term health of your salon, so it is worth the effort.
TWO: Get your finances in order.
The worst thing you can do right now is stick your head in the sand and figure out your finances later. List all of your payables and put them in order of priority. Taxes, rent, credit cards, etc. Start having conversations now with those you do or will owe money to, and keep a record of those conversations. Since we don’t currently know the length of the shutdown, you may need to repeat these conversations again later. That’s ok. Don’t let the uncertainty stop you from having a first conversation today.
THREE: Engage with Your Clients.
One of the most common questions we get is, “Should I be rescheduling my clients when I don’t even know how long the shutdown will last?”
It may seem counterintuitive, but we would recommend rescheduling now for one major reason: it gives you a chance to check in on your clients. This is an isolating time for everyone, and they will be missing that time you spent behind the chair with them as much as they miss how great their hair looked. Reach out, reschedule, let them know you will do your best to keep the appointment and that regardless you will make sure to open your schedule as wide as possible to fit them in when doors open. If you have to reschedule more than once because the shutdown is extended, then you get to talk to them again! That’s a positive. Encourage your booth rental stylists to reach out to their clients as well, and if they are willing to share contact details of their clients, it would also be a good time to touch base with them and let them know how much you appreciate their business.
FOUR: Be a Great Leader for Your Stylists.
Leadership is not a title or a position, it is action and example. Now is the time to step up for yourself and your team.
- Challenge them and yourself to make one big, positive change in their lives. Choose something big that you’ve been putting on the back burner for a while.
- Hold online happy hours to connect with your team. Zoom makes it pretty easy to sign up and get a video conference going from your phone or computer.
- Keep in touch by text, DM or whatever method they prefer. Just like your clients, stylists will be feeling isolated. Human connection matters right now more than ever. A service like EZTexting.com can help you send to multiple stylists at the same time.
- Discuss your plans for return and negotiate the (temporary or permanent) rental agreement you will have in place upon reopening with your Booth Renters. (you can find more on that here.)
- Share resources like the PBA link and Small Business Administration sites.
FIVE: Build Community.
It only takes a minute scrolling through Instagram to see that the hair community is coming together like never before. Make connections online, and please join our Zoom calls! It is incredibly uplifting to see our peers and take a moment to connect. We give specific, personalized advice on our Monday – Thursday Salon Community Chats on Zoom, but we also leave time simply to connect with each other and feel the support. Bring your questions and input for the community. We are in this together! (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details)
SIX: Take Advantage of the Time and Educate Yourself for a Prosperous Future.
Now is the time for you and your stylists to devour education. Here are a few ideas:
- SEVEN bootcamps. We have a full schedule of online classes. From Product Knowledge to Retailing Techniques and more, we have short, fun, live courses happening almost every day of the week. email@example.com for details.
- As we write this, BTC University has a stellar deal for binge watching their education with top stylists from around the country. It’s a great chance to deepen you skillset.
- @BeautyLauchpad, @Hairbrained_official and @wellaeducation are favorites as well for free content.
- Education goes both ways. Now is the time to share what you know! Post your home tutorials on Instagram. Be sure to tag @sevenhaircare so we can repost!
SEVEN: Get ready to roar back.
We’ll do another post later on specific tactics for a successful re-opening. In the meantime, prepare as best you can for that day. As we mentioned in a previous post, the halls of our salon are lined with developer because we know we will be doing a lot of color the moment our doors open again. Remember: We are in this together. At the top of this page you will find tabs with additional articles we’ve created to help including specific information about the stimulus package. And we are only a phone call or email away for any salon – whether you carry our product currently or now. We are here to help. We hope to hear from you soon! firstname.lastname@example.org.