[UPDATE: Victoria’s lockdown has been extended a further 7 days, through 10 June 2021 for Greater Melbourne. Stay-at-home orders have been lifted in regional Victoria but temporary Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.]
Victoria will enter a state-wide, 7-day circuit breaker lockdown from midnight tonight, according to Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino. Because salons are generally not considered a necessary service we’ve created a beauty business lockdown checklist for you to implement today, ahead of closing for a week, to help you through the current lockdown being enforced to contain the latest outbreak.
According to the ABC and this morning’s press conference with Merlino, there will be five reasons only to leave your house for the next seven days and they are:
- shopping for necessary goods and services
- authorised work or permitted education
- exercise, a 2-hour limit with one other person
- care giving, compassionate, and medical reasons
- to get vaccinated
Beauty services will likely not be open during this time. This means a sudden 7-day period of lost revenue for you, appointments that might not rebook or have hesitancy rebooking and might be causing you some panic. Most small businesses don’t operate with a huge reserve of cash to cushion them during times like these. We’ve put together our beauty business lockdown checklist of the actions you need to take today to ensure you lose as little business and revenue as possible over the next seven days.⠀⠀
Avoid cancellations with proactive rescheduling
Proactively call clients to re-schedule their appointments before close of business today. Do not wait to do this or contact them in a passive way. Get them on the phone and get a firm commitment, if possible, for a new appointment time, possibly even the same day and time just kicked out a week to make it as seamless as possible. If you leave it to them, or simply cancel without rebooking, interia on the customer side could mean you never see that appointment rebooked again.
Update your Google business listing
Australian businesses do not update their Google business listing with the regularity we see overseas businesses doing so. You need to. This is the first point of contact you will have with virtually all potential or current customers. Google has made it possible to set special hours (instructions here) and you need to set them and amend as soon as it’s back to business as usual.
Update your website
Either use the hero image (the big one at the top of your website, above the fold), a dedicated landing page or an announcement bar (there are free versions available) to alert anyone visiting your website that there are special hours (or you are closed) due to the circuit breaker lockdown. Websites can and are meant to be updated with info like this. It’s not a static thing. Keep it current.
Put it on social, but not ONLY on social
Many businesses have adopted the practice of only alerting their customers to changes in hours and opening on social media channels. We don’t advocate this, but we do agree that you should update your social channels alongside everything else. In that vein, place a post or announcement on every channel you use and pin it to the top if possible. Clearly outline special hours or closing and specific dates and contact information. If Instagram is your main tool, put it in your stories and on your grid. And when you re-open, set up a series of posts with all of your business information (regular hours, etc.) and announcing the re-opening.
Fire up the newsletter
If you have a newsletter, send a special one out today to let people know what you are doing to make sure their experience with you isn’t too disrupted. Give them all the information they need for the next week, contact details to call you (but you’re proactively calling them to rebook). Get one scheduled in your system to send out the day before you re-open as well, and create a special offer if you think it’ll help bring people back in.
Stay in touch
With your booking software, you should be able to send out automated texts and communications confirming rebooked appointments. If you don’t use that functionality yet, use this week to set it up because it’s hugely important to retaining customers and keeping cancelled and missed appointments to a minimum and keeping your business or brand front of mind.
Take advantage of free money available to you
And, lastly, once this is over, make sure you take advantage of any grant programs the government has set up to help relieve any undue financial stress that circuit breaker lockdowns have placed on small businesses, and take advantage of the time to set up a budget to deal with emergencies like this.⠀
These are quick and pretty painless beauty business lockdown checklist actions you can take today to ensure you lose as little revenue as possible over the next seven days.
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