Returning to the Salon Post-COVID-19 Pandemic:
How to Adjust, Adapt, and Re-Open as Seamlessly as Possible
The day we’ve all been waiting for has come—or will soon come—to pass—our salons, shops, spas, and studios are finally getting the go-ahead to swing open their doors and welcoming in clients with (not literally) open arms. Finally, we’re all getting the chance to do what we’ve missed for so long—practice our craft and serve our clients.
That initial celebration is probably giving you a much-deserved dose of overwhelming joy, so have a dance party for like, 30 or 40 seconds before you continue reading.
Danced out? Perfect. You deserve it.
Here’s the thing about our salons, spas, and shops reopening—we’ve all been closed for a hot minute, so it’s easy to feel eager to jump back into our old routines and grasp (as quickly and greedily as we can) for normalcy.
But that’s not possible just yet.
Sure, we’re opening, but nothing about our current world looks like our old definition of normal. If we want to reopen our spaces successfully and safely, we all need to come to terms with what the new normal is going to look like.
The sooner you do that, the sooner you’ll be able to set yourself, your shop, and your staff up for success.
At Beauty Insurance Plus, we’re all about helping you expedite that process. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive, all-inclusive, one-of-a-kind guide that’s going to help you navigate the ins-and-outs of reopening your salon, shop, spa, or otherwise—all in the middle of dealing with the pandemic.
Are you ready to reopen the right way? Good—because we’re more than ready to help.
How to Prepare for Reopening: A Mini Checklist
We wish we could write up a one-size-fits-all checklist for every salon, shop, or spa out there. But the truth is, that’s kind of impossible right now.
Why? Because every state, city, and local government is handling COVID-19 regulations differently, which means there’s no blanket rule we can apply to help everyone reopen seamlessly.
Still, we can provide you with some general, must-heed advice for reopening—no matter where your salon is located. Before you open your doors, circle back with this checklist to make sure everything is A-OK and ready to go.
Mental Health Check-In
Yeah, this is first on the list. It’s that important. If you’re in no place to reopen your salon or shop because you’re not taking care of your mental health, you might as well keep the doors shut. And we’re not saying that sarcastically. We genuinely mean that if you’re not prioritizing your mental health right now—during one of the most chaotic, scariest, most uncertain periods of time ever—then you might not be ready to dive back into opening your salon just yet.
Make sure you’re tackling your mental health head-on, prioritizing yourself, getting help, and staying healthy—that’s the best first step to any checklist (in our opinion, anyway).
Understanding & Implementing Local Gov Regulations
Like we said, every town, city, and state is handling this a little differently, so you need to know what your local government is implementing as must-follow regulations. We can’t say all that much more on this but know that this should be a priority before you begin the reopening process.
Make Sure Your Insurance Is Good to Go
You’re just opening back up after a crushing pandemic—now is the time to make sure your protection is on-point and perfect. Check-in with your reps at Beauty Insurance Plus, or explore our cosmetology insurance and policy options from an insurance team who understands the beauty pro industry like no other company out there!
Implement New Policies & Regulations
Before you reopen is the perfect time to evaluate your current policies, identify what needs changing, update your rules, and get your staff and clients briefed ASAP. The last thing you want to do is try to implement a bunch of new, ever-changing rules while you’re in the process of reopening. Instituting these policies beforehand can make a huge difference in the success of your relaunch.
It’s like your local government has a guideline for this, but we recommend taking a good hard look at your max occupancy limit and cutting that down to a number that leaves plenty of room for people to maintain social distance. This will look different for everyone, of course, but all salons and shops are different sizes and shops.
But we recommend providing ample space for everyone, spacing out seating, and keeping a good 6 feet of distance between clients when possible.
Nix Waiting Areas
We know, we know—you’ve spent a lot of time (and probably money) on creating a space in your shop where clients don’t mind waiting, but for now, you’re likely going to have to kick waiting clients out of your space. Come up with some kind of efficient notification system so that waiting clients will know when it’s OK for them to come into the salon.
Wear Masks & Appropriate PPE (And Have Your Clients Wear Them, Too)
Ask your staff to wear appropriate PPE (masks, gloves, etc.), and if you feel obliged, ask your clients to do so as well. If it’s possible, have masks and gloves available for your clients, plenty of hand soap in the bathrooms, and hand sanitizer on deck.
Be Firm on Social Distancing
It can be so hard to maintain 6 feet of distance when you’re finally seeing your regulars again—that urge to reach out and hug them is probably super strong. But, we encourage you to maintain 6 feet of distance, move your seating to appropriate distances, and leave plenty of space in the salon for people to move freely about without touching.
Create Non-Negotiable Cleaning Policy & Implement a Firm Schedule
This one is incredibly important. So incredibly important in fact, we have an entire section devoted to it later on in our guide. Without diving into too many details on how to clean and when to clean (don’t worry, you’ll get all the info you need soon enough), we’ll just say this—it’s not enough to just clean your space anymore, you need to sanitize regularly and thoroughly.
The best thing you can do for your salon is to create a non-negotiable cleaning policy that everyone must abide by. Have meetings to go over sanitation, post the policy around your salon, and regularly check-in to make sure your staff is doing their part to slow or stop the spread of any possible germs or diseases.
Staff Round-Up & Briefing
With all these new changes, regulations, and rules that you’re implementing, it’s so important to ensure that your staff is up-to-speed. Often, staff members make mistakes not because they don’t care, but because they don’t feel prepared, educated enough, or in-the-know enough to do things correctly.
Have regular check-ins with your staff, talk about proper procedure, and be sure their questions are being answered. Just like great beauty pro training never ends, this type of training needs to be consistent and continuous, too.
Morale Boosters & Encouragement Tips
Fostering a positive environment is going to be an important piece of the reopening puzzle. Why? Because even though it seems easy, it’s possible this might be the most difficult part of the entire process. Be a pillar of support for your staff. Make your clients feel safe.
Create a positive environment so that everyone who walks into your shop feels (and knows) you’re doing everything you need to do to ensure they’re healthy, safe, and taken care of.
Let’s Talk Sanitation: Everything You Need to Know About
With all the uncertainty going on the world, we can promise you that one thing has been firmly established as a surety—it’s not enough to just keep a clean salon, shop, or spa anymore, now it needs to be sparkling and sanitized.
It’s up to you to update your cleaning schedule and policy in order to combat, slow, or kill the spread of the coronavirus. But that’s so much easier said than done—where exactly do you start?
We’re laying out a few must-know details about sanitizing your salon, shop, and spa in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.
First: Know the Difference Between Clean, Sanitize, and Disinfect
Before we can even begin talking about the steps you need to take to reopen, let’s clear the air—cleaning and sanitizing and disinfecting are all different. They do different things, but you need each piece of the puzzle to create a clean, effective space. So, let’s have a little vocab lesson.
Cleaning means you’re removing dirt, grime, and germs. Disinfecting is the process of killing germs on surfaces and objects. Sanitizing is the process of lowering the number of germs on surfaces and objects.
This is where the cleaning part comes in. Clean your salon, spa, or shop thoroughly when no clients are in. We’re talkin’ about the most thorough spring cleaning you’ve ever done, but like, times ten. Get rid of grime, dirt, and germs.
Get your staff on board, too, just make sure they’re equipped with the proper PPE. If possible, hire a cleaning company to come in and help, too—this isn’t necessary, but it’s helpful for those who don’t declare cleaning as their forte.
You’ve cleaned? Great! Now comes the fun part—disinfecting and sanitizing. Use EPA registered disinfectants to sanitize every square inch of your space (with a special focus on the high-traffic areas!).
Try to tackle this with a headstrong determination and get used to the process—remember, this might be the first time you’re doing it, but it certainly won’t be the last.
Now that you know what you’re doing and how to do it, set up a regular routine for thoroughly disinfecting the objects and surfaces in your shop. Even though we might hate tall the extra work, it’s crucial for keeping your clients and staff safe.
Set up a regular, non-negotiable cleaning policy and schedule in order to maintain those high standards you’ve set!
To Raise Prices or to Not Raise Prices—That’s the Question
This is a toughie, but it has to be talked about.
It’s no secret to anyone that you’re taking on a lot more responsibility now that you’re able to reopen. It’s not just about keeping a clean space, offering great services, and providing top-notch customer service, now the pressure of sanitizing, disinfecting, and providing a sterile-as-possible environment is landing squarely on your shoulders, too.
Not to mention that you’ve likely been out of commission and away from your business for several weeks (or several months).
So, raising prices is perfectly justified.
That being said, your clients are just now getting back to “normal.” They’ve been waiting for you to open for months and many of them are likely also dealing with their own financial struggles, too. So, raising your prices might feel a little shady, right?
Both of these thoughts are valid.
Ultimately, you need to decide what your spa, salon, or shop needs to survive and turn a profit in these chaotic times. If you’re feeling stuck, ask yourself questions like:
- Does my business actually need this right now? And be honest—it genuinely might.
- Do I feel comfortable raising my prices because of COVID? No judgment—just think about it.
- How will my customers react to this?
- What does my staff think about this—because their opinions matter!
- What’s the data say? Really evaluate if there’s a cash crisis. Are you seeing a substantial cut in your revenue because you’re seeing limited clientele?
How to Raise Prices Without Scaring Away Your Regulars
If you’ve decided that raising your prices is the way you need to go, we’ve got good news—there are plenty of ways you can raise your prices without losing your regular clients.
Before we dive into a few price raising strategies you can take, we’re going to give you the best advice we can offer when it comes to pricing—be as honest and transparent with your clients as possible.
When you treat your clients with respect and communicate with them directly and honestly by letting them know when prices are going up, why they’re going up, and what they can expect, they’re not going to feel like you’re pulling the wool over their eyes. Raising prices can be tough, but the more open you are about it, the better.
Consider a Small COVID-19 Fee
You’re taking on a lot of new responsibilities, which means that your time is a lot more valuable. If you want to charge a small fee for the new obligations that have been tacked on to your job, go for it! A small fee can cover the time you spend sanitizing and cleaning, can cover the cost of the new tools you need to do your job (PPE and sanitizer, etc.), and can help you turn a profit during a chaotic time.
Cut Out the Services That Don’t Serve You
This isn’t exactly raising prices, but it is cutting your expenses, and that’s always a helpful tool when you’re hoping to increase your profits. If you have specific services that aren’t making money (i.e., kids’ haircuts, extensions, etc.), consider cutting those services for now.
Implement a Modest, Blanket Increase
If you’re #TeamRaisePrices, then this option might be the best for you. A small, modest increase to all of your services, can help to increase your prices without shocking your clients. Try a modest increase like $10-$15 per service so you’re making more money across the board without throwing a huge, unexpected cost at your clients.
Coming out of the coronavirus shutdown might not feel easy or normal, but we promise, it is doable. And at BIP, we’re committed to helping you navigate it as easily, painlessly, and seamlessly as possible. Now’s the time to check-in on our insurance, now’s the time to get with the program on sanitation, and now’s the time to be a resource for your staff and your clients.
You got this, beauty pros—we believe in you!