No business guru ever told you how to plan for this. While some might have told you to save for a rainy day, no one expected the rainy day to hit the whole world at once and to last for months on end.
Instead of waiting patiently for things to return to normal, you need to be ready to act. No matter what your plans were for 2020, it’s time to adjust them.
Waiting for assistance from the government and other governing bodies will only leave you at the back of the line. Instead, you should be thinking about adjusting your business to help weather the storm.
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It’s time to review your business expenses and cut anything that can be considered non-essential. Hit pause on all repeat orders. If you have a lot of stock piled up in a back office, think about how you could package this up and sell it online to your customers. Many people are trying to recreate their favourite experiences at home, so salon-quality hair care could be just what they need.
It might seem pointless to carry on paying for marketing when you can’t take any bookings, but you can’t afford to fall silent now. If you wait until you’re allowed to open again before you start making a splash on social media, your salon will be the last place your clients are looking. The businesses that survive economic hardship are the ones that continue marketing through difficult times. By all means, slow down, but don’t stop.
If you haven’t already, start offering gift vouchers so that your loyal customers can support you through these difficult times. They might not be able to book an appointment, but they can buy a voucher that will bump them to the front of the line when you can open your doors again. As soon as the lockdown is over, you can guarantee that people will want to splash out and look their best.
As it stands, no one knows when salons will be able to re-open again. Be cautiously optimistic and pick a date to start accepting bookings. Make it clear to customers that all appointments will be provisional. A date like 4th July is realistic, yet cautious. If the lockdown is still going on, you can reassess further down the line and move appointments as required. And if you can open your doors sooner, you can contact existing bookings to ask if they would like an earlier appointment, while giving them priority over other customers. What’s important is that you give your clients the option to book soon.
If you need to extend your credit or refinance a loan with your bank, do it now. Don’t wait until everyone else has had the same idea. Adopting a wait and see approach will leave you at the back of the queue.