There is a lot of uncertainty and fear swarming us in the world right now. And if you’re anything like me, you operate at your best when you have certainty, and you feel confident in yourself and your future.
Take a huge deep breath! I’m here to tell you that we will be okay; we will get through this. However, I do want to give you some tips to help you navigate this situation.
First, I’ve been paying attention to what’s being said on Facebook and Instagram — especially in the hair forums.
Here are some of the things I have been reading:
- I’m scared that I won’t be able to pay my bills
- I’m afraid that I’ll have to close my salon (or my salon is already closed)
- How can I generate income right now?
- What do I share on social media during this time?
These are just a few that I have being seeing consistently — and they are valid concerns and questions. Before I address some of these for you, I want you to start to make decisions that feel good for you and your business. Please be considerate, kind and understanding: not all people think the way you do.
If you’re not in a panic, it doesn’t mean others aren’t feeling panicked. We need to come together to support and be compassionate toward each other; always. At our core, we are still in a service-based business. We are here to serve other people, and that still remains true — only now it’s going to be in different ways.
A closer look at some of the hair forums related questions
“How can I generate income while I’m closed?”
Promoting retail products is a great thing to do at the moment. I have seen some salons also running a “buy three products get a % off” type of promotion.
Pushing gift cards can be great too as long as you’re not spending all the money generated from those gift cards right now. This can cause you to run short later down the line. If you are a heavily promoted gift card salon, feel free to promote your gift cards; just be sure to manage the money properly, as it comes in.
“What do I share on social media?”
We are all in a weird spot. We want to be sensitive to others, yet still share content on social media. Here are some tips:
- Switch up your content from sharing only coronavirus updates. People want to see other things than what’s going on right now. It’s very heavy.
- Stay on brand and add light-hearted posts that make people feel good. Hair, nail and beauty pics are welcome too.
- Offer ways to help and give back. Share small businesses posts to support locals.
- Stay in front of your audience, educate them and give them something fun to try at home (maybe tutorials until you get back into the salon).
“Looking back and thinking ahead”
If you were a salon owner or renter back in the 2008-2009 recession, you might be having flashbacks of what happened to our economy. It was scary and debilitating for small businesses. I know, because I’ve lived it. I had a salon with employees back then, and it was the toughest time, but we made it through.
And we made it through because:
- I had a plan on how to cut back on things we didn’t need
- we communicated with guests and make them feel safe even though they were cancelling appointments
At the time, every salon owner had to think about how they were going to navigate their business; each differently. How they were going to adjust to less frequent visits and would fill gaps. I’m sure you’re having the same thoughts now.
Personally, I don’t think we’ll be hit as hard as we were back then. But it’s a valid concern. The biggest thing here is planning for this kind of stuff when you’re a business owner. I truly want to help you save, create more cash flow, and help you plan ahead in your business, so you don’t go into panic mode. A much bigger issue in our industry that I want to address: if you’re living paycheque to paycheque, it’s time to change that.
Focus on the things you can control.
Most importantly, don’t get bogged down by fear:
- Set up a plan of action for your business
- Plan out your finances for the next 2-3 months
- Decide what expenses you can cut
- Add up all of your expenses and figure out what your break-even will be over the next few months and beyond
- Have clear communication with your guests and your team
- Come up with a new solid marketing plan
This is huge, and another thing you can control: moving forward, base your decisions on facts and not fear. Take some time to shut out the noise and unplug from all of this for a minute.
As scary as it is, it’s also a time for you to rest and recover, as well as spend quality time with your family. But also, to create content and marketing strategies to future proof your business.
This is also a time for all of us to get what we feel we never have the time for things done. It’s about practicing patience — something I don’t have and am working on — and to really just be for a minute. Yes, it’s a huge mindset shift. But, we will get through it, and I’m here for you. I hear and feel you.
Facts vs Fear: Making the best decision for your business
If you’re looking for more in-depth information on this topic, watch my webinar “Facts vs Fear: Making the Best Decision for Your Business”!
For information on small business aid and relief, visit SBA.gov. Also make sure to research your state government pages for information on unemployment benefits and grace periods on payroll taxes, and even utilities bills and mortgages.
Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow