6 steps to keep your business prospering under the lockdown
There is no way around it – when you are a business owner, the mandatory lockdowns are scary. You fear for your financial security, the motivation of your team and whether or not your clients will come back once the lockdown is over. Although you understand the gravity of the situation, it’s hard to accept you have to simply stop making a profit for a while. The thing is – you don’t have to. It is possible for you to earn revenue, support your team and keep clients’ loyalty under the lockdown – and there is no breaking the law nor irresponsible behaviour involved. And we know what we are talking about – many of our clients’ businesses are literally thriving under the lockdown. Do you want to learn how? Keep reading!
1. Inform your clients about the situation immediately
Do you know what often makes clients disappear in such crisis situations? Uncertainty. When a lockdown starts and your salon goes into a radio silence mode, they have no way of knowing how it really affects you. Is the crew okay? Does the owner have a plan? Will there even be a salon to come back to? Most people do not feel entitled to asking you these questions directly. And without clear answers, they may assure the worst… and move on.
It’s crucial to assure your customers that you are not hanging the white flag. Even if you are not sure what is your exact plan as of yet, as soon as possible send them a short message explaining the situation.
Hello [CLIENT’S NAME], from [CLOSING DATE] our salon will be temporarily closed due to the mandatory lockdown of close contact services. But worry not – we are not laying down arms! Stay tuned for the updates. Best regards, [YOUR SALON’S NAME].
Tip: You will send the message to all of your clients in just a few clicks by using Versum’s SMS bulk messaging feature.
2. Asses the situation and present your employees with a plan
When it comes to your employees, you should also give them assurance as soon as possible – however, the feedback should be much more detailed, especially when it comes to the financial side of things. In order to deliver such information, you need to keep yourself updated first. Currently, there are multiple financial schemes available (make sure to check our article on the new and extended financial schemes for hair and beauty specialists in the UK) and new ones are introduced as the next countries are enforcing the temporary lockdown.
- Localised Restrictions Support Scheme
- Other financial help schemes for businesses in Northern Ireland
Once again, if you are unable to present your staff members with a full-on plan just yet, at least make sure they know you are working on something and won’t leave them alone with the issue. Try to give them a time period in which you will deliver all the needed information.
3. Open your own online store
Ever since the epidemic started, many people have begun to almost exclusively shop online. Buying things on the Internet is not a novelty, but nowadays, we really appreciate its benefits. You should take advantage of it as well – opening your own online store allows you to get back the money you invested in your retail products, keep financial liquidity and public relevance at the same time. You are not only making a profit, but also delivering a way for your clients to keep their hair or beauty routine going. Everyone wins – you earn money as well as popularity, and your clients can safely get professional care products and have them arrive directly at their doors.
Sounds like a dream come true, but now you may be thinking “it’s all fun and dandy, but creating a website for my digital shop with a full-on working payment process… it is all just too much”. Don’t worry – we have you covered! Our salon management software has a feature dedicated to selling products online that is fully integrated with your Versum account. You can select products for sale directly from your inventory, accept payments via PayPal and manage the offer visible on your booking page. It’s the easiest way to run a store online!
Tip: Find more details about Versum’s Online store feature in this article!
4. Start selling online vouchers
Another great way to generate revenue even if forced to close is to sell online vouchers. Once again, you ensure the safety of all parties involved, as there is no direct in-person contact between you and the buyer, while getting money and filling your appointment book for the future.
Many loyal clients want to support their favourite businesses during these trying times and purchase a promise of a relaxing experience for themselves. To make the offer even more tempting and to thank your patrons for their interest, you can add additional benefits to each purchased voucher, such as priority booking, bonus treatment or a value increase. The longer validity of the voucher ensures that your clients will be able to use them. Also, as the Holiday time is slowly creeping in, vouchers will become extremely popular as luxurious, thoughtful yet versatile gifts!
Versum is once again here to help you with the organisational matters. All you have to do is to activate the Online vouchers feature to start selling via your online booking page. And don’t worry – the booking feature itself doesn’t have to be active for you to sell vouchers!
Tip: Find more details about Versum’s Online vouchers feature in this article!
5. Promote your newest special features
Setting up an online store and offering vouchers is not enough. Clients have to be actually aware you introduced such options to be able to enjoy them! This is why you need an effective marketing campaign that will allow you to get the word out.
Remember when in the first point we discussed the importance of keeping your clients informed? Your new online store and online vouchers offer are the perfect opportunities to send your customer base another message. This will not only encourage them to take advantage of your newest special features, but also ensure that they won’t forget about your business.
How can you do this? With Versum, of course – namely, with the aforementioned SMS bulk messaging feature. Text messages are extremely effective when used as a marketing medium, especially in our industry. It’s almost intimate, giving the feel of personal care many clients are thriving for, universal and customisable (just check our guide to SMS marketing!). With Versum you can easily filter your customer base, fit the tone of the message to the target group, create your own message templates and schedule the sending time.
6. Take your sweet, sweet time to rest
Finally – your business cannot keep prospering if your state of mind and health keeps declining! You are probably very tired, as you spend the last months not only putting your best into the work you are doing, but also making sure your salon is following all the safety restrictions. It’s time to cut yourself some slack. After all the organisational work is done, use this time to wind down, enjoy the time with your family, and keep care of your mind and your body.
Versum delivers many opportunities for businesses to keep going during the lockdown. From the newest features introduced especially for the purpose of making a profit when you cannot work at the salon, like Online store and Online vouchers, to ones that are our tried-and-true secret weapons from years, like SMS bulk messaging. The lockdown is the perfect time to start the free trial, set up your account and test the capacity of our system for yourself. What are you waiting for?