Feeling uncertain about reopening? There’s nothing wrong with that

Uncertainty

While the entire hair and beauty community is buzzing with excitement about the upcoming reopening date, you just feel anxious, discouraged and even kind of panicked. You wish you were as thrilled as they are, but for some reason, you are not. With every passing day, you become more and more nervous, and seeing how enthusiastic everyone else is, you start to question if there is something wrong with you. Does this sound familiar?

Let’s make it clear – the situation you are in is not only very difficult to overcome, but also completely unprecedented. All your feelings are natural and valid. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at doubts and uncertainties you may experience and see what you can do to overcome them, or at the very least make them less distressing.

“The safety protocols are too much to handle”

After reading over the required health and safety protocols for your reopening, you probably shook your head in disbelief. Some points sound impossible to implement and others seem completely ridiculous.

We know that it feels like a lot – and let’s be honest, it is a lot. However, you need to understand that these protocols weren’t created to annoy you, but to ensure maximum safety. Moreover, some things may seem more difficult in theory than in practice. In countries that have already lifted the lockdown, hair and beauty salons have adapted to the strict regulations and are flourishing regardless of them. Bear in mind that it won’t always be like this – as the situation settles down, you will be allowed to gradually loosen restrictions. It’s a starting point – and a very important one. The better we comply with safety protocols now, the sooner everything will go back to normal.

(Psst – if you are looking for some salon protocol cheat sheets, we encourage you to visit our articles concerning salon protocols as well as spacing and disinfection instructions. If you work from home or are mobile, don’t worry – we’ve prepared safety protocols for solo specialists as well!)

“With all the restrictions, I may have more loss than profit”

This is a very credible concern. It’s a fact that during the first weeks (or months, depending on how the situation progresses) after the reopening, you won’t be working at full capacity. Fewer people will be allowed in your salon at the same time and you’ll have to schedule a cleaning time in-between clients. When calculating the cost of operating on the new terms (including the cost of disinfecting products, switching to disposable resources and changes in the interior), you may notice that your revenue is going to be pretty tight, to put it lightly.

In such circumstances, it’s good to have a backup plan. What you can do is introduce online vouchers, as many people may not want to get a service done right after the reopening, but secure their spot for later. More importantly, you should start selling retail products online. It’s a sound source of additional profit that allows you to get back money frozen in your commodities. We’ve just introduced the Online Store feature, now available to every user – so maybe it’s a good moment to give Versum a test drive?

“I think it’s too early”

When the industry was forced to close, many beauty professionals were strongly against it. Now when the reopening date is closing in, some argue it’s too early. Sounds relatable?

Remember that although the lockdown was absolutely mandatory, no one can force you to reopen the day it’s finally lifted. If you don’t feel safe or prepared enough, you can wait a little longer – a week, two weeks, a month or whatever you feel is necessary. As a business owner, it’s up to you to decide. However, you need to be aware of the consequences of doing so – from July, the Job Retention Scheme will undergo changes, and with each month, you will be expected to cover more of your furloughed employee’s payment (read more about the changes here). It’s also important to maintain good communication with your team and your clients, as your decision will affect both. Be very considerate when making the decision – analyse the possible outcomes of both options and make sure to keep yourself informed on all decisions imposed by your government that affect our industry. We encourage you to follow NHBF updates on the matter.

“I’m afraid of getting infected”

Once again – it’s a normal, natural and very human feeling. All people experience it to some degree. The harsh truth is that it’s impossible to eliminate the possibility of infection entirely – and paradoxically, if you follow safety protocols, the possibility of getting infected in your salon is significantly lesser than, for example, in a grocery store. This fear should motivate you to be very conscious and abide by the rules, but you cannot let it paralyse and stop you from living your life (if it does – keep reading, the next paragraph is for you).

Of course, your health should always be the priority, especially if you are immunocompromised. If you are wondering whether you even want to reopen already, take into consideration the situation in your neighbourhood – there are areas where the risk is much higher or much lower. Keep updated on news and recommendations for your direct area. If you decide to reopen, in order to further minimise the risk of an outbreak in your salon, introduce or revise your consultation form, mandatory for all clients who want to book with you.

“My anxiety overwhelms me”

Once again – it’s perfectly okay to be afraid, as fear is a normal reaction to a situation like the one we are currently in. Anxiety is a natural reaction to harmful or worrying triggers – however, if the feelings are getting out of proportion, you cannot function normally and/or experience psychosomatic symptoms, it’s time to seek help.

For numerous people, the current situation has either become a clash point for developing an anxiety disorder or it worsened the already existing condition. Do not ignore the symptoms – the coronavirus may be a sickness of the body, but it takes a horrifying toll on your mental health and well-being as well. Reaching for help is a sign of strength and courage – it’s the best thing you can do. Here you can find professional helplines and support groups in the UK.

“I feel like I lost heart for what I do”

When we face serious obstacles, we tend to question whether the career path we chose was the right one. During the epidemic, many people reevaluate their career choices. Hair and beauty specialists are especially prone to it, as their job comes with unsteady income and is very people-centred, therefore heavily dependent on the current social situation.

If you feel like giving up, firstly, don’t do anything hastily. It’s not that your feelings are invalid, but your current mood may heavily influence the way you see yourself, your job and the industry as a whole. Try to separate feelings that arose in connection with the epidemic from those that you usually feel about your work. The constant uncertainty, loss of profit and unacceptable behaviour of some of your clients may disrupt your view. However, if even before the epidemic you felt like you were wasting time, were unhappy and chronically exhausted, changing your career path altogether may actually be the answer.

“It just won’t be the same – and it makes me dispirited”

Who doesn’t love the atmosphere of a hair or beauty salon? The smell of scented candles mixing with hairspray, the chattering at every station, the laughter, clicking heels, debates over inspirational photos… for most clients, a salon is a place where they come to relax. And hair and beauty specialists, even if sometimes tired and annoyed, love it just as much. Now, when they have to hide behind masks, limit interactions and give up on drinks, snacks and decor, they feel like they lost something very dear to their hearts.

Once again – it won’t be like this forever! It’s difficult to get used to the new reality, but firstly, once you adapt, you’ll notice it isn’t as bad, and secondly – the restrictions will gradually loosen as the situation settles. Ask your clients on Instagram or Facebook to share their favourite memories from your salon – a healthy dose of good nostalgia will help you get through this difficult time and keep being hopeful.

Remember that all your emotions related to the upcoming reopening date are valid – no matter if they are positive or negative. You have every right on the planet to be stressed and doubtful, but remember that you are not alone. Reach out to your colleagues on forums or Facebook groups – you wouldn’t believe how many share the same uncertainties. If you are getting seriously distressed, consider reaching out to a professional – the sooner, the better. And if you need a reliable helper that will allow you to offer online booking, sell retail products on the Internet, help with the flood of incoming bookings and much more, give Versum a try!

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