The effects of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic are creating a “coronacrisis" for the salon and spa industry. In an effort to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, many non-essential businesses have been ordered closed or have employees work from home. When you’re providing professional beauty services, that just isn’t possible especially if you're also adhering to the practice of self-isolation. However, these drastic measures are deemed necessary to confront the outbreak head-on and slow its viral spread.
While the situation may look bleak right now and be making life very difficult, this will pass and things will eventually return to “normal”. The good news is you’re not losing business to the salon or spa down the street as they too are closed. Your clients are also unlikely to be doing their own hair, nails, facials, massages, etc. so they’ll be eager to get back into your capable hands as soon as this is all over. In the meantime what can you be doing while you’re waiting to get back to work?
The Coronavirus outbreak has for many people, meant a crash course on the subject of germs, their transmission, and how to deal with an outbreak. However, the practice of infection prevention is not new to salons and spas given regulations, state guidelines and best practices have been in place for decades to protect professional beauty workers and their clients. This may be a good opportunity to refresh your knowledge and get a good understanding of the impact germs can have on your business and client interactions. Rejuvenate offers a free online educational module covering germ basics; such as where bacteria, viruses, and fungi lurk in salons and spas and how to reduce the risk of infections. At the conclusion of the course, you can obtain a personalized certificate to display in your place of work. It will only take a total of 45 minutes, so why not upgrade your germ knowledge and get certified today?
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of being prepared and having processes in place to address the spread of germs before they become a problem. What is the state of your readiness and to what degree are your employees and colleagues following the same practices and protocols. There’s little benefit to having one clean and disinfected area next to another where germs allowed free reign—infection will spread wherever it can. Your protocols can include topics like:
What is your policy regarding clients who are sick and present with flu-like symptoms or have nail fungal infections?
What cleaning and disinfection practices take place between each client service or treatment?
What state directives or cosmetology board guidelines regulate your business or treatments?
How did you select the cleaners and disinfectants you’re using in your salon or spa? Are you and your staff/colleagues fully aware of the use instructions and precautionary statements listed on the labels or safety data sheets (SDS)?
What is your onboarding process to ensure all new employees or fellow workers obtain the same level of training and knowledge?
Just as a pilot undertakes a pre-flight checklist to ensure everything is ready for take-off, so too can you go through your own process of what needs to be done before, during and after every service/treatment to ensure the safety of your clients, colleagues and most importantly, you.
Spring is generally a time associated with a big clean so perhaps now is the time to undertake that top to bottom scrub of your facility. Maybe a fresh coat of paint, replacement of some old and tired furniture or investment in new equipment is just what this downtime calls for. Take a look at your cleaning supply cupboard and make an inventory of the products you are using. Are they the right match for your sanitation protocols? Do they kill the germs relevant to your salon or spa? Are they safe for everyday use or do they come with some potentially harsh side effects after prolonged exposure (e.g. bleach)? When was the last time you looked at the expiry date on your disinfectant products? Coming back to work, you’ll want to ensure the products you are using are still effective and have not expired. As you walk through your treatment areas, there will be lots of things that stand out—now is the time to get to them.
No doubt you’ve received any number of COVID-19 updates from companies you regularly deal with keeping you apprised of the latest developments. You can also be communicating with your own clients through email, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social channels to share what’s going on. Let them know what steps you’re taking to maintain a germ-free facility and the protocols you're putting in practice to ensure everyone’s safety. Take a look at your website—is there a section there that addresses your spa/salon’s position when it comes to infection prevention? Social isolation need not extend to digital interaction, so get out there and communicate with your clients—they will listen.
If you’re more of a traditional promoter or marketer, your print pieces, in-store posters, and point of purchase displays can also be updated to include some re-assuring language outlining the steps you’re taking to maintain a germ-free facility. Use them as an opportunity to engage with your clients and share your advanced awareness and knowledge of infection prevention, like prominently displaying your Rejuvenate Certificate (read: How to Get the Most Out of Your Online Education). Tent cards on work stations can also be a way of letting your clients know you’ve taken disinfecting steps between each service. Combined with client engagement and education, such initiatives could just be what distinguishes your salon from others. And while we may not see another pandemic the likes of Coronavirus, smaller outbreaks are likely to be the new norm, so it’s good to be proactive.
It was once said a long time ago that “necessity is the mother of invention” and no more is that relevant than now in these difficult times. Salons and Spas are certainly taking a beating but the perseverance and ingenuity of the professional beauty industry is fighting back with initiatives and preparation for a return to normalcy like offering discounted gift certificates to maintain cash flow. The Coronavirus outbreak was a wake-up call for many that the germs that can lead to a pandemic or a nail infection can not be taken for granted. With knowledge, planning and determination, you can make a difference to keeping you, your clients and your business safe when that “open” sign goes back on the door.