While it’s only been a short couple of months since the Coronavirus showed up and rocked our industry to its very core, it feels like a lot longer. In those few weeks, salon owners have closed their doors, let staff go, panicked over their livelihoods and wondered if those doors would ever re-open.
Salon owners would be forgiven for hiding away and switching off social media – who wants to be reminded of the very thing that has undone your business every time you scroll through Instagram or switch on the news? But that said, simply disappearing isn’t going to help your business survive the pandemic.
Keeping the lines of communication open is imperative for your business, now more than ever.
Update your employees
Don’t let it be a case of out of sight out of mind with your staff. Check in with them regularly to see how they’re coping. If you had to make people redundant, but are able to re-hire thanks to the JobKeeper package, communicate this to them, and update them as to when it will come into effect.
Whether you speak with each staff member personally, or create a chat group where you can update the team at once, make sure you’re interacting regularly. “Try to provide timely information as you receive it, rather than waiting until you have all the answers,” advises Paul Aggenti of the Harvard Business Review.
Talk to your customers
There are plenty of reasons to keep your customers at hand. For starters, if they know you’re planning on re-opening when the restrictions are lifted, they’re less likely to start researching other salons to use.
Customers want to feel valued, so an email from yourself or the CEO will go a long way to ensuring they feel informed and up to date on your situation.
The moment you have a date for re-opening, update your customers. Invite them to book in, assuring them that the hygiene practices that were in place before the forced closure will still in effect. “Focus on what is going to be important to the customer at that point in time,” advises Paul. “You’ll get a feel for this by analysing their feedback to your emails and social media posts.”
Be transparent with investors
If your salon has shareholders or investors, be open, honest and updated on your situation. It doesn’t all have to be bad news though. “Use the crisis as an opportunity to reinforce your business’s long-term fundamentals and plans, and highlight that your intention is to move forward with these plans, together,” says Paul.
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