Tell us how COVID has helped the beauty industry unite.
Our industry is all about relationships and building a personal connection and rapport with clients. These connections follow through with our relationships with others in the beauty community whether it be with business owners, staff or suppliers. We have witnessed and taken part in the virtual coming together on social platforms to share ideas, information, advice, updates, feedback and encouragement to all sectors of the industry. We continue to be inspired by all business owners and their staff in working to keep their businesses open and prospering under the current circumstances.

Pauline Valle says our industry can only benefit from working together.

What is the one takeaway lesson as a business leader you have learnt?
Whilst your business may not necessarily be able to adequately plan for an extraordinary event such as a pandemic or recession, your business marketing plan should always be set well in advance and be reviewed regularly so that you are able to adapt to the prevailing conditions as and when they occur. We have found that planning is key as when you have a set plan for your business you can focus and direct your focus and resources towards its execution. When the salon closures occurred we were able to direct our efforts
to support our salon partners to continue retailing online and promotional offers that suited the ‘stay home’ restrictions that were being required at the time. We also continued to plan for the eventual lifting of restrictions and the possibility for further restrictions such as the ones currently being experienced.

Tell us one of the biggest changes you have made to your business during this time?
One of the biggest changes that we had to make as a business at this time was quickly learning to embrace alternative methods to our standard business practices. Salon closures meant we had to encourage and assist our salon partners to think about retail differently and to change their offers and methods of client contact, engagement and retail. Another big one was training and on boarding of new salon partners which switched to various virtual platforms. And last but not least changing some of the ways and frequency with which we engaged with our salon partners and the broader community as a whole. 

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

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