How to successfully reopen your business after a temporary closure
Closing your business temporarily is always painful for stylists, nail techs and massage therapists alike. Whether you’re the owner of a large, multistation salon, are home-based or a solo specialist and rent a chair, you’re going to lose some profit during this time – and with the current situation caused by the coronavirus, it isn’t known when it’ll be safe to go back to work. However, sooner or later we’ll have to, but there’s just one problem – how? Going back to business after being closed isn’t as easy as it sounds.
What should you be doing during this time?
If you’ve already closed your business, then chances are you’ve posted on your fan pages and online booking page, informing clients of your decision. However, simply packing up your tools and closing your doors until it’s time to reopen doesn’t feel right – surely there’s more you could be doing during this time. Now that you have some extra time on your hands, you should take advantage of it by planning your comeback! Plan out your return with these strategies that will help you get your business back on its feet!
Tip: Looking for some inspiration in creating your own procedures manual? Download our checklist and don’t leave out any crucial information.
Stay in touch with clients
Here’s a quick word of advice – if you’re not actively staying in touch with your clients, then sadly, they might not have that strong of a bond with you and your business. And what happens when you reopen? Are you certain that these clients will come flocking outside your doors? You don’t necessarily have to befriend them, but staying in touch during this time will make communication much more natural when you’re ready to reopen. Can you imagine not staying in touch with customers only to send them an SMS message a few days before reopening, saying: “Hey! We’re finally back, book your next hair treatment with us!”. Now put yourself in your clients’ shoes – wouldn’t you feel like just a number in this situation? It’s thanks to your customers that your business has stayed afloat all this time – and by not valuing their loyalty, you undermine yourself.
Whether you’ve boarded up your windows and have gone on lockdown, or are still taking bookings to some extent, you want to maintain communication with your customers from now, all the way until the coronavirus situation passes – but what exactly should you send to them, and through what mediums? Firstly, you should categorise your content into two groups – important and less important information. All important information should be sent directly to your clients, preferably via SMS or email – this includes your sick clients policy, updates on your working hours, and when you plan to close (that is, if you haven’t closed already). Although the current situation is quite grave, you should also avoid fearmongering. Here are some ideas for staying in touch with clients without creating further alarm:
- Post neutral content: share pictures of your latest treatment transformations, industry-related memes, or anything else unrelated to the COVID-19 situation on your social media pages. Make sure that it doesn’t seem like denial but a way to take a break from the serious news.
- Get clients involved: on your fan pages, ask clients what their at-home beauty routines are, and share your own advice as well.
- Show them that you’re there: lets your clients know that you care about their wellbeing and mention that if they ever need to talk, that you’re there to hear them out.
Your customers will value that you’ve taken the time to stay in touch with them during this crisis and will be more likely to book with you once it all blows over.
New marketing ideas
Before COVID-19 made its debut, chances are you had your hands full with bookings and didn’t have time to try new marketing activities. Your regular clients would book from time to time and the discounts you’ve posted on your fan pages would bring foot traffic as well, but here’s one thing you should keep in mind – once everything goes back to normal, your customers might be less willing to pamper themselves due to lack of time and different spending priorities. So what will you do then? In order to bounce back, you should consider trying new marketing strategies that will help you to bring back your loyal clients and earn you new ones. Here are some ideas that are definitely worth trying:
- Social media ads: this form of marketing allows you to target a local group of people who would be most interested in your treatments. Your ads appear in their Facebook and Instagram feed, so make sure that they’re tempting! In this case, a reopening offer would work fine.
- A loyalty program: this tool rewards your loyal clients for their purchases, however, Versum’s Loyalty program takes it to another level – allowing you to automatically distribute points to clients for purchases, reviews and even referrals. With their accumulated points, customers can choose prizes at your salon – a “welcome back” voucher with 15% off on any service would work wonders!
- Complementary offers: everyone loves highlights, but do you know what else they like? Highlights that last. Thanks to colour retaining products, they can – so why not create offers on products and treatments that complement one another? With your spare time, create a list of those that can be sold together as a package.
- Selective SMS marketing: let’s say you run a hair salon, and a number of your clients are men. Chances are they won’t have a proper beard trim for some time, so they’d be interested in your beard trim offer once you reopen. However, sending a bulk SMS message to ALL of your clients regarding this offer might backfire. Instead, use Versum’s search criteria feature that allows you to target a specific group of clients.
Have you been planning on giving your business a breath of fresh air for some time now? Either by making changes to the interior (those Christmas lights gotta go) or implementing new treatments to your services menu? Well, now is the best time for doing so. Refreshing your business not only makes you feel more organised, but it’s a great way to bring back your clients once you reopen.
Making changes to your business interior can either mean that you’re going all out and remodelling the place (not recommended if you’re on a tight budget), or simply working with what you currently have. Either way, a top to bottom scrub is recommended. If you’ve been planning on painting your interior, it’s best to do so when you’ve closed shop, as the fumes from the paint can be irritating for the eyes and throat. Once the coronavirus situation begins to pass over, you’ll have an even more beautiful business for the reopening.
Additionally, if you’ve been contemplating on refreshing your menu, now would be a great time to plan out which new treatments to add to it. Bear in mind that they should not be outside of your scope of work, as this can land you in hot water. Consider creating a survey on your fan pages, asking clients what treatments they’d like to see on your menu – from the results, see which services you can and know how to provide and research what’s required for the treatment.
Once you’ve made these changes to your business, there’s one more thing that you should consider doing, and that’s changing how you run your business. If you’re still rocking the old paper calendar and notecards, then you’re not working very efficiently. If you’ve been planning on making the switch to a digital solution, then now would be an opportune time to try out Versum. This digital manager automates the majority of your “dirty work” so that you can focus on other tasks at hand. No credit card required, no contracts, and free live training forever.