The Great Disruption and How You Can Take Control

It came into our industry like a wrecking ball. COVID-19 has been one of the big disruptions of our generation and many of us feel mad, sad, frustrated, angry and afraid. Once we have rolled through the cocktail of emotions, we want to take back control of our livelihood, industry, and future. We step through the tactics needed to get our salon businesses through this turbulent time.

Have you ever experienced a plumbing issue at the salon? As you may recall, the disruption happens in three phases.

  1. The water must be completely turned off leaving you without the ability to service clients.
  2. The water is turned back on and built-up pressure creates a water blast, powerful and jolting.
  3. After the initial rush there is a slow trickle until pressure has built to a steady stream.

Our business will be in all these phases over the next several months. What tools will you need to manage through each phase?

Phase 1 Shut Off

During this shutdown period, your customers remain your biggest asset and opportunity for revenue. Therefore, staying engaged with your clients is more important than ever. Remember, all the hard work you put into building your clientele? Don’t lose traction now. Stay connected, engaged, and provide value to your clients.

  1. Gather client information

    Collect and organize all your client’s contact information. You want their phone number, email, social handles (to follow and have follow you).

  2. Create a plan to communicate

    Segment your clients into groups based on their services (i.e. full color service, men’s/kids’ haircut, gray touch-ups, long-time loyal customers) to create valuable information to share with that group.

    • How to extend your haircut a few more weeks
    • How to style to hide grays
    • DIY moisture hair masks with kitchen ingredients
  3. Activate social media

    Now is the time to start a business Facebook or Instagram account. If you have one, actively post to stay connected with your clients. You can do this as tips and tricks or even small videos.

    • What to eat for healthy hair, skin, and nails
    • How to do an at-home facial
    • DIY bath salts clients can make at home (include kids for a fun activity!)
    • Create a spa experience in your bathroom with a diffuser oil recipe
  4. Virtual Events

    Host online chats, calls or events for your clients.

    • Use Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facetime or Portal to connect.
    • Facebook live event offering at-home DIY beauty tips, relaxation, and self-care
    • Step-by-step of an at-home facial
    • Tutorial to maintain their brows, home nail care or no-fail nail art, quarantine hairstyles, and more!
  5. Review current website/e-commerce

    Take the time to review your current online presence and maximize how you can expand digitally.

    • Does your website need an update?
    • Do you have an e-commerce store that links to your social pages?
    • Utilize sites like Shopify that make e-commerce and websites very easy.
  6. Promotions

    Find alternate ways for revenue right now.

    • Offer a discount on retail products and ship products or drop off on doorsteps
    • Create mini kits to help with home maintenance
    • Switch to digital payments to avoid touching cash, credit cards, or people
    • Use Venmo, Zelle or other online methods
  7. Set a goal for client outreach

    Let them know what you are doing to help them at this time, ask if they need anything (tips or tricks).

Phase 2 Turn Back On

When the shutdown period is over and we can welcome our clients back into our salons, we see two scenarios happening in our space. The first is a massive flood of customers wanting appointments ASAP. After that initial rush, a trickle of clients will return slowly over time. Both scenarios require different tactics to handle, so having your plan in place will give you confidence that you are ready for either.

Scenario #1 Rush of clients - You can expect to experience a burst of built-up demand for services from clients dying to see you again. How will you manage this surge, even if only a few weeks?

  1. Book more appointments or more working days
  2. Use an assistant or support person to help with cleanings between clients, shampoos, booking or changing appointments

Scenario #2 Trickle - After the rush of consumers that flooded the salon with pent up demand, we may experience a decline in demand. For three specific reasons, some consumers may take longer to come back to the salon.

  1. Less disposable income – Clients may have fewer dollars to spend in their lives right now. As restaurants, movie theaters, and kids' activities open back up, you are competing for client's disposable income. Some may have had reduced salaries or job loss at this time. How can you incentivize them back to your service? Can you offer free product, discounted services, a package of services to entice multiple services or repeat appointments?
  2. Alternative solution – Clients could have found a “good enough” solution to the service. At-home hair color, self-tanning lotions, a return to tweezing and shaving, as examples. You may need to combat this option by offering incentives like promotions, buy one service, get one at a discount or even refer a friend options that allow both your current client and a friend to get a discount or product.
  3. Fear of being safe at the salon - People may be hesitant to venture back into public, even after it is deemed safe. Help them feel more confident by communicating the Standard of Care your salon is taking. Make it a printout, put it on your website and your social handles. Visually sanitize chairs, beds, sinks, reception areas while clients are there to see the active effort you are doing to keep them safe. Have cloth masks available for them or as an option for you to wear. Understand there is a new concern people will have about being around others and in communal areas, so over-communicating your efforts will go a long way here.

Phase 3 On-Going

Eventually we will all be able to return to work again. We will build-up our client lists to what they were or better. However, it will be a new and different world. Client’s expectations will have changed (even if slightly), the way we do business may be different and what we prioritize as important may have shifted. How are you envisioning the new world?

Think of different scenarios you will be faced within the next 90-120 days and create tactics that will first protect you and second will give you ways to optimize new opportunities. The more scenarios and plans you can create (including the outlandish), the more control you will have over your future no matter what is thrown your way. Will you have more digital presence, new protocols or even new service offerings? Will you offer new ways to book appointments, try and buy product or create additional revenue streams to build your business should another disruption occur?

Return to Life, But Not the Old-World

At Buzz, we remain committed to helping the beauty professional during and after this disruption. If you would like individual advice or scenario planning for your salon, spa or clinic, please reach out to us at info@buzzbeaute.com to receive one on one recommendations for free during this time. We have your back.

BUZZ BEAUTÉ competently guides beauty and fashion brands through the obstacles of commercialization by efficiently using resources to achieve your goals and vision. We offer a suite of marketing and sales services including go-to-market asset development and execution, distribution, brokering, strategic planning and project management. With over 30 years in the beauty industry, we have a track record of success, know-how, and experience to get your brand into the market. We have successfully built, grown, and transitioned iconic brands in the beauty industry across various channels. Both individually and as a team we have worked on world class brands including Revlon, CND Shellac, Sebastian, Dermalogica, L’ANZA, California Tan, Essential Elements and more!