Nail salon and spa owners are already well aware of the importance of maintaining a hygienic workplace: To keep their clients safe, they frequently sterilize their equipment and clean their premises to prevent the growth of bacteria and the spread of infection. Still, the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 will pose challenges for even the most fastidious business owners, so you’ll need to update your list of best practices before you reopen. Likewise, because salons and spas can’t operate through a delivery or pick-up business model, you should have a solid plan in place to support your business while you wait to reopen.
How Should You Prepare to Reopen Your Spa or Salon Safely?
1. Review your existing hygiene protocol with your staff.
Spa and salon staff are already required to clean and sterilize each piece of equipment they use in between clients, and particular tools must be disposed of after each use. In between clients, equipment should be stored in sterile containers, and the interior of the spa or salon should be completely cleaned at least once per day.
Realistically, salons and spas tend to be hectic workplaces, so staff may occasionally forget some of these steps, or forget what order they must be completed during the day. (For example, a staff member may not remember that equipment should be thoroughly cleaned with detergent before it’s sterilized.) It’s, therefore, a good idea to have a virtual meeting with your staff before you reopen to review your existing best practices, to make sure everyone is on the same page. You may also want to discuss making the sterilization process more visible to clients (e.g., by sterilizing equipment where your clients can see it) to reassure them after you reopen.
2. Discuss ways to update your hygiene protocol to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Depending on which province or state you work in, you may be issued guidelines for how to reopen your business while COVID-19 is still circulating safely. However, even if no legal guidelines exist, you should always do your best to alter your work environment to accommodate physical distancing. Doing so will protect your staff and show your clients that you take their well-being seriously. Consider placing stations six feet apart, or only using every other station, and ask your team to wear gloves and a mask when they interact with clients. (If your staff find working with gloves on awkward, they can practise on a mannequin at home until they get used to it.) Likewise, remember to disinfect the entirety of each station in between clients, rather than just sterilizing tools. You’ll need to clean the client’s chair, any nearby surfaces, and the debit machine your clients use to make payments.
To make this complex sterilization process more manageable, limit the number of clients allowed in your workplace at any given time. (If this requires changing your booking protocol, be sure to let your clients know via email or SMS.) Before you reopen, post your new hygiene guidelines in several prominent locations around your spa or salon, both to help your staff remember them and to show your clients that you’re proactive about their safety.
For a complete list of COVID-19 best practices for spas and salons, check out this comprehensive guide created by Barbicide. You should also contact your local regulators to ask about specific laws that may apply to your region.
What Should You Do While You Wait to Reopen?
Temporarily closing a business invariably causes financial distress, but it also provides an opportunity to catch up on tasks you may have neglected while you were busy with clients. Using the strategies below, you can help your business grow from behind closed doors:
1. Work on your digital marketing plan.
Though most salon and spa owners market themselves digitally, many don’t have the time to sit down and create a comprehensive, long-term marketing plan. If you haven’t done so already, this is a great time to plan your holiday promotions (including a relaunch event) and measure which social media channels are working well for you and which aren’t. You should also revisit your Google Business Page and make sure all of the information and photographs have shown there are up to date.
2. Consider revamping your brand.
All businesses should periodically update the “look and feel” of their brand. Lockdown creates ideal conditions for this kind of work: Your staff are freely available to help you brainstorm, and your workplace is already empty, making it easy to update displays and perform other renovations. While you wait to reopen, think about expanding the list of services you offer and work on making your location as attractive as it can be. Now more than ever, you want your clients to feel like they’re entering a restful oasis when they visit you.
In addition to making your physical workplace more appealing, you should examine your website and online branding materials for possible areas of improvement. Does your logo need modernizing? Does your website have the same features as your leading competitors, such as online booking, Google map integration, online product ordering, and a gallery of “before and after” photos? If your website doesn’t have these modern features, you can work remotely with a web design firm to bring it up to speed.
3. Keep in touch with your existing clients while you’re closed.
Even if you can’t take bookings right now, there’s a lot you can do online to maintain the connection you have with your loyal customers.
As always, the best way to keep people engaged is to offer them content that has real value:
- Update your social media accounts and blog with at-home styling tutorials
- Create useful product reviews, host live online Q & A sessions
- Provide online consultations & tutorials.
- Offer delivery of nail removal & instruction kits to your existing clients for self removal
- When you aren’t actively posting, keep the discussion going on social media by encouraging your clients to share their at-home beauty routines.
Finally, don’t forget to offer your customers an incentive to return when you reopen, e.g., by sending out gift vouchers or having a reopening special.
Need Help Revamping Your Website or Marketing Strategy? Talk to Us!
Updating your website, marketing strategy, and branding materials require more than just time; you also need the right tools and expertise to get the job done. If you’re looking for an affordable all-in-one digital marketing, graphic design, and web design solution, look no further than AllinBrand. Our affordable, comprehensive services will help your Toronto spa or salon reach a larger, more engaged audience – to get started, contact us via email or by phone at +1 416 886 8855.