And the winners are… BUSINESS, EDUCATION, AND (drumroll please) MARKETING!
Quarantine blues is no big news – we all knew this was going to be a tough run.
However, focusing on the positives is so important when looking ahead at the future of your beauty and aesthetics business.
It’s important to remember that we will at some point return to normal, and whilst it may be a new version of normal, we predict it’s going to be a busy time for our salons.
Taking the time to support your clients remotely is a necessity at present. Phone and tablet usage is in overdrive with so many people having unprecedented time on their hands, and your clients’ Google skills will be well honed nearly 3 weeks into lockdown!
Posting regularly on social media and sending out messages of support is crucial for successful client retention. Why don’t you post some of your top tips or most valuable skincare advice? Alternatively, you could film a mini facial demonstration, or post a ‘how to’ video for a face mask made from fridge and store cupboard staples. It’s the perfect time to get creative, and if you’re not doing it, your competitors will be!
When will you ever have time like this on your hands again? If you are successful, then you’re usually super busy right? Diaries overflowing with appointments – no time to embark on a new course, or for admin days, or for marketing. In the chaos of everyday life, it’s easy to lose sight of why you opened your business in the first place – all of those entrepreneurial hopes and dreams, only semi-realised.
Well, here is your opportunity!
- Business. Dig out that business plan. If you are self-employed, think of your business plan as a silent manager – setting you tasks, goals and objectives, and providing guidance. Have you even looked at it since you got busy? Did you have one in the first place? And, if you have taken the odd peek, maybe now is the perfect time to adapt it in line with your current business, and make decisions about what you want for your business going forwards.
- Education. ‘knowledge is power’: there really was never a truer saying and excelling in your area of expertise will set you apart from your competitors. Your staff will revel in the knowledge that working for you means continued learning, and therefore, continued progression. As an individual, manager or owner, it means you are a ‘go to’ for clients, someone whose opinion they seek, value and trust. Trust equals retention, and retention equals revenue. Keeping abreast of trends and having an in-depth knowledge in your field generates interest and sales. Make the most of this time by taking a few online courses to extend your theoretical knowledge. Develop your team’s ‘thinking’ around retail, course sales and treatment, and come up with collaborative strategies as to how your approach could potentially be improved. Instead of scrolling through Facebook in bed, why don’t you watch a couple of those YouTube treatment videos that are always piquing your interest, but that you always seem to be too busy to actually watch?
- Marketing. This doesn’t mean you have to be online all day, every day. If you are someone that normally finds themselves saying ‘I can’t do it, I’m no good at social media’, use this time to brush up on your online marketing skills. If you wanted to be really productive, you could even create a marketing calendar. This will prevent the last-minute panic before events and launches that always seem to come round way too soon: no more missed deadlines of half-hearted attempts at your ambitious vision. Creating a marketing calendar will give you a realistic timeline, outlining clearly when certain tasks need doing in order to deliver an event smoothly and successfully. Plan your marketing schedule around key events: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas etc. Find out seasonal product launch dates from your supplier; they will usually have all information available at least six months in advance. Plan launch nights and demonstration evenings well in advance, and consider scheduling them for when clients may have just been paid bonuses (end of quarter) to help you secure course sales. For each date you mark, work backwards up to eight weeks for physical events (e.g. parties, open days, open evenings) and 4 weeks for anything that just requires social media and web advertising. Think about your message, reason, budget and objective for each occasion, and allow yourself plenty of time to achieve your goals.
Lastly, never has there been a better opportunity to become part of the community you trade in. There are volunteer groups springing up all over the place, and many of them are looking for ideas, help and morale boosting posts. Hospitals and care facilities are seeking donations of protective clothing and sanitizer gel, and this is a key way in which your business could show solidarity with our healthcare system in these trying times. These opportunities are ways that we can all genuinely help, and we believe they will pay forward when the time comes for us to re-open our doors.