The overarching lesson in Michael E. Gerber’s best-selling business book The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to do About It is “Work ON your business, not IN your business.” Applying that advice to a salon, Gerber means it’s much more effective, productive and profitable for an owner to spend time setting up systems that streamline their operations and make service consistent than it is to work as a service provider in their business.
At no time in history does that advice ring more true than during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis when mandated salon closures make it impossible to work in your salon, or at least work in your business with your doors open to the public. To keep sane during this surreal time, here’s 15 ways to work on your salon business right now.
Keep Your Clients Engaged
Remember, most of your clients are home sitting on the couch, waiting this thing out. This is a great time to engage them with content, and the stronger the bond you build with them now, the more likely they’ll return to your salon when this is over. What can you do? Write an advice blog about destressing tips or offer them home-care beauty ideas. Launch a “Show Your Roots” contest on social media and give a gift card prize for a color service for the client who posts the best roots. Do a treasure hunt on your website by asking different questions about your salon and your services and encourage them to find the answers on your site (shows them the full functionality or your site and introduces them to all of your services), then offer a prize to the person that gets the correct answers in first.
Keep Your Team Engaged
At Studio Wish in Twinsburg, Ohio, Rowena Yeager asked her team to post pictures of how they are spending their time at home, and they shared those fun-filled pictures on the salon's social pages. Put together a reading list or host a team book club. Have everyone get their mannequins and phones out, initiate a Zoom call and practice techniques together. Invite different team members to share their expertise with their colleagues.
Take an Online Class
Many manufacturers and industry education companies offer online learning. Take a class and learn a new technical skill or take a business tutorial. Challenge your team to do the same.
Cleanse your Office
Get out the shredder, break open a box of folders and go through those mountains of paper that have been accumulating on your desk for months. When you reopen your salon, a clean, organized office will help give you a fresh start.
Design Future Social Media Posts
Do you struggle to keep on top of the salon’s Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest pages? Now’s the time to get ahead! Set aside a few hours and work ahead. Have your team text you images of their best work, and design posts for the future. Search our STAMP section for fodder for great ideas.
Update Policies and Procedures
Are you working with outdated handbooks, but haven’t had the time to update them? Use this time to update the employee handbook, crisis management plan, opening and closing procedures, and any other internal documents that keeps your team running smoothly.
Plan your 2020 Marketing Calendar
Plan out ideas for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation, Summer, Back to School and Holiday. Figure out your promotions, sketch out your merchandising plans, plan your website banners and social media posts. Looking for some great ideas? Check out our past STAMP winners.
Explore Your Salon Software Functionality
According to STX Cloud President Jeff Mason, the majority of salons only use 30 percent of their salon software’s functionality. Use your time off to explore your system’s marketing capabilities and study available reports and how they might help your business. Explore other technology tools that may be available to you, such as reputation management, AI or a salon app. If you are shopping for a technology tool or salon management system, check out our Technology Guide.
Reach Out to Your Schools, Teach an Online Course
Many cosmetology schools have switched to online learning during the shutdown. Contact your local schools and see if they need your help. Have a list of things in mind you can share, and explore their digital capabilities. Is there a way you can teach a class virtually? Connecting with students now, puts your salon on their radar when they are looking for jobs.
If you’re allowed to physically go to your salon during the shutdown, you’ve got some quiet time to focus on your physical space. Catch up on whatever DIY projects are on your To Do list, for example touch up paint around the salon, clean out sink drains, hang a new light fixture or rearrange color tubes. Daydreaming your next big salon design also may take your time off your troubles. Scroll through our past Salons of the Year honorees for some beautiful inspiration.
Hire a Coach
If you feel you’re going to need some help to steer yourself out of economic turmoil ahead, consult a salon business coach. Many offer free first-time consultation calls, use the next several days to interview a few to find the best fit for you and your needs.
Make A Connection
While everyone is isolating at home, many are on social media sites like never before. Check in with other owners you’ve met around the country, discover what you can learn from one another, build a network of like-minded support that will serve you well when your salon is open.
Go Through Reviews and Repost Them on Social
Reading reviews of why your clients love your service providers can be soothing for your soul in the stressful days ahead, but it can also be a great social media marketing tool. Repost the reviews on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, thank the guest and add your own shout out to the employee mentioned.
Write Your Congressperson
The PBA and many of your salon owner peers are asking Congress to make the 45B FICA Tax Tip Credit part of the COVID-19 stimulus credit, but they need your help. Learn about the bill, how it can help your salon and how you can send your Congressperson a letter with one click.
Read, read, read
While you’re working on your plan for reopening, remember the team at SALON TODAY is doing their best to keep COVID-19 relevant information front and center. Check out our Resource Portal and our COVID-19 news site.