Tell us what major adjustments you have made to your business going forward to remain competitive in the market during this crisis?
Despite many changes to adjust to the way our clients have been able to retain some form of operation via retail sales and ‘virtual consulting’, we’ve remained true to our values and not changed or adjusted the essence of derma aesthetics. dermaviduals is a customisable skincare range that still remains internet sales free  to support the industry and you as the practitioner. While our clinics couldn’t physically open, we received so many messages appreciative that we were truly supporting our clinics by our campaigns to drive consumers their way. 

We have made modifications for our clinic owners to adjust to more convenient buying behaviours for their customers and reflected this on our website and social media messaging. 

To remain competitive, we’ve had to be diligent with our management and conservative with our cash. There is a lot of risk fluctuating in the marketplace that still needs to be accounted for, but by focusing all attention on our customers who need our help right now is the best way we can remain competitive – it’s not rocket science! Throughout the COVID period, we have communicated with our customers even more regularly – in fact, communication has never been more important.

Reika Roberts says it’s important to learn big lessons during the pandemic.

What impact has the pandemic had on your business?
It enabled us to conduct a detailed review of our operations and the way we conduct business – of course reducing our overheads and using the time effectively to re-frame has been a huge learning curve. We utilised valuable insights and feedback from our partner clinics to adapt to their changing needs during the pandemic, to continue serving them to the highest standards. Facing difficulties head on and confronting, without fear and panic, has helped us to lead both internally and externally the industry at this time. As we have said – taking the ‘y’ out of emergency and emerging has changed the way we think from the outset of the pandemic. 

Like most businesses we had to redefine the way we worked with our partner clinics throughout lockdown. We’ve worked hard to turn long-term plans into short- term realities. Take our education, for example – we have always valued the physical classroom environment so highly (and still see the value in that) but have taken our core Skin, Corneotherapy & Product Knowledge online and are now working on an online Education Hub to provide even more options for therapists to upskill & learn. 

Internally, the pandemic has brought our team closer together. Team Derma have really banded together whilst facing the unknown and it has been amazing to watch. We have seen so many new skills developed as we’ve adapted to our new normal.
As is part of our culture, we’re all very conscious to take time to really check in on each other and offer support from afar. Whilst we’ve transitioned to mostly work from home, we are all especially enjoying our Wine Wednesdays where we virtually get together mid-week for a catch up & check in! A safe, flexible and welcoming work environment has fostered resilience and morale that has actually strengthened our business.

What is the forecast for the future of your business?
A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Throughout COVID, we have been focusing on the little bit of positive that comes out of change. A focal point for us has been working on a strategy to ensure our team comes out thriving to support our clients; people are our biggest asset. Keeping our team motivated has been core to our management strategy, and ensures we come out of COVID ready to support our clients. 

Essentially, we see a strong future for our business and whilst we have made short term adjustments to our forecasts, we have found efficiencies that mean we are in an even stronger position to realise our dreams. Whilst we have made slight modifications to our 12 month business plan, our 3 year plan remains unaffected. 

What is the biggest strength you have discovered? 
It would have to be leading people by both externally supporting our community of dermaviduals therapists and internally supporting our team of amazing humans – managing outcomes and expectations on both fronts. This was certainly a challenge when we were in such unchartered waters! We learnt to keep our communication channels open and flowing. A clear, transparent and empathetic approach to messaging was key to helping our partners and staff understand our reasoning behind any operational changes and how we could continue supporting them and adapting to do this better. Communication is always important, but especially so when a situation such as this is so unpredictable and unprecedented. 

We have a private Facebook page that all our dermaviduals partner clinics (AKA our dermaviduals family) is part of, which became the first place we would share any breaking news or new information that was applicable to our partners and/or industry. We focused on sharing accurate information from trusted sources, to eliminate all the hearsay and guessing that was so commonplace. 

Our strengths have certainly turned into a game changer for our business and we will continue to develop our people to be curious about doing things differently with boundless energy and a vision to change lives, not just skin.

This article first appeared in the July issue of Professional Beauty magazine. Download the issue here.

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