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Our industry has been threatened, it has been taken away from us and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but there are questions that remain: “How long is that tunnel and when will it end?” “What will my new normal be?” 

It is one of the most challenging times we have had to face, but it is within these times that true leaders emerge, our community comes together and we find ourselves digging deep which often allows us to come up with our very best offerings. 

My company has been in the beauty industry 25 years this year, we had so many grand plans for our 25th birthday and now that has all changed. It is heartbreaking, it is frightening and it’s completely unprecedented. The feelings I have are much the same as everyone working in our beloved industry, no matter how big or small your business is, we are all in the same boat and we all come back to the point: “We are all in this together”. 

I spent a few days trying to process the reality of what has transpired, I reached out to many industry friends just to connect and share ideas, we did live webinars to share emotions and of course a few tears. As we all know our industry is not the only one to be affected in a shut down scenario, our feelings and thoughts are with everyone throughout the world as we are all connected through this COVID-19 journey. 

As a mentor in the industry my role is to help inspire and support whenever and however I can and after an initial time of processing everything, I knew that it was time to get on with the show and essentially get ready for the new norm and the next stage of the journey. Some days it’s hard to always lead the way, some days we all need a moment of reflection so that we can feel those moments of vulnerability and only from there do we truly cherish the feeling of inspiration and the power of positivity and influence. 

You do have a choice about how to move forward when something crazy happens around you. This is one of the hardest things to master emotionally, but nevertheless, we do have a choice, we just need to get to that point where we feel strong enough to make those choices. In this situation we can look at China and South Korea and we can see that things are starting to get better there and businesses are going back to the norm, I do have many colleagues that I work with there and they tell me every day that things are getting better, so I have to take this as positive news and I need to analyse that and make some plans for what will be our new norm and get ready for that moment of when things WILL get back to normal in the beauty industry. 

For my salon owner friends and supplier friends I have a few things that I’m working on that I’d like to share, that I think will be productive and beneficial in this moment so that we have everything in place and we can hit the ground running, because you’ll need to be as I predict a surge on all things beauty once we have the green light. 

Reset and deep clean 
Take a look at the work space, your office, your salon rooms and clean everything down – really well. As beauty therapists and professionals we understand how important it is to have a sterile salon environment, but this needs to be a deep clean, not only for the sterilisation side of things, it’s also to do with your mindset and having a fresh start. Reset everything in your room so that you feel like a new business and that everything is of showroom quality and then have professional photos taken of your space to show clients on social media exactly what they can expect to be in when they get to come back for services. Your clients are going to be laying down in that bed or chair and we want them feeling like that space is safer than ever before and that is represents everything your brand or business offers, maybe it’s luxury, maybe it’s medical, maybe it’s calming and tranquil, but whatever it is, make sure it’s telling a story of your pristine space and about how amazing it will be when they come back to visit you when things go back to normal. 

Review your views and policies 
Whether we like this or not, there’s a good chance that things are going to
be a little different now, after many major events that impact the world there is always a period of change in the way we do things to ensure safety and the best outcomes for everyone concerned. For example, there could be a chance that all clients may need to wear a mask for a while, all your team and yourself may need to wear a mask and gloves when performing services, for some of us we already wear masks, but for some of us that don’t, it can feel a bit strange when we have to change what we are used to. Here’s the thing though, we may have no choice and we just have to get on board and make it as natural as possible. One of the best ways to combat these awkward moments are to be reassuring to your client and give good positive communication, tell them you hope they have they have had a beautiful day, find a positive compliment to give them and break the barrier of the weirdness that you might feel from having to wear a mask or checking their health criteria. We don’t have all the answers yet, but from what we are seeing in China, many places are using these new procedures to ensure safety for the clients and staff alike so that we can all get back to business of making people feel great about themselves. 

Time to kick goals 
Well, most of us now have some time on our hands to think about the things we have always wanted to achieve or maybe haven’t thought of yet. One thing for certain is we need to make a goal list and we need to have a clear plan on what we want to do to reach them. 

We usually look at the stages of how to achieve these by evaluating the “Outcome” what we want at the end. Then we look at the “Process” how we are going to get there and what resources do we need. Then we look at the “Performance” so the key performance indicators that tell us what we need to stick to and achieve the final outcome. 

You can simply map out a list starting with the outcome and then under that goal write a list of processes that will be required to get there and then add in your performance indicators which will be your flashing signs telling you if you are hitting the mark and what you might need to do to tweak things if you’re not quite on the right track. 

One thing I have always loved about goal setting is you can see where you are going, you are not just floating along each day waiting for everything to fall into place. You can take action and you can make dreams a reality, goal setting can help you achieve those dreams a lot faster and get you the outcomes you’ve always wanted. 

Financials under the spotlight 
Taking a snap shot of the financials is super important and working out how to make the most of your income or savings or how you will get back on track once the doors are open. Make sure you take advantage of any government subsidies available to you, such as loans and have a budget in place for each week and no what you need to be making in order to get this train back on the tracks. Look at any good retail lines that are an easy add on to treatments that you offer to help boost that bottom line. Most of all get yourself feeling the best so you can give your 100 percent going forward. 

Otto Mitter is Managing Director Ex-Import Niche Products. www.eximport.com.au 

Visit the #BEAUTYSTRONG hub at https://www.professionalbeauty.com.au/beautystrong/

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