Planning to Reopen Once Lockdown Ends
So the National Hair & Beauty Federation have released a statement saying salons are unlikely to be able to resume business any time soon. While for many small businesses this will be a huge blow financially but of course safety must come first for all. Our blog this week looks at some suggestions of the ways you can begin planning to reopen to ensure safety is met so that you feel prepared for when the time comes…
Use of face coverings
The government are saying that use of face masks should be avoided to ensure supplies are available for frontline medical workers in the fight against COVID, but face coverings such as home crafted fabric masks may be one suggestion for use by therapists (and even clients where possible). Many small craft businesses are offering these for sale inexpensively online so it may be worth investing in a small supply to allow you to wash them daily and have a fresh one each day (or more often if you’re handy at crafting your own). It is recommended to wash all clothing, including face coverings at 60 degrees and take care with hand hygiene once removed to avoid coming into possible contact with the virus from the outer side of the mask. For treatments involving close contact like lash extensions or facial waxing consider use of a facial shield to cover eyes, nose and mouth or have both client and therapist wear a facial covering over the nose and mouth at least.
Limiting numbers of people in the salon at any one time
Perhaps having staff on staggered start, end and break times to minimise number of people in the salon at any one time or even having staff work alternate shifts altogether so that should one team need to self-isolate for any suspected COVID symptoms, you still have a team available to man the salon and keep appointments. Also having only one client with each therapist at a time, so possibly removing salon waiting areas and having a gap between each client to allow them to leave and for you to clean thoroughly before the next client arrives. Or having all contact made by phone so to book appointments and any would-be walk ins advised to contact you by phone to gain access to the salon.
Thorough cleaning regime
Minimising use of communal areas where possible like taking out waiting areas, staff eating areas (have staff leave the salon to take breaks/eat where possible), removing the reception desk to avoid staff gathering. Ensuring toilets are cleaned regularly throughout the day using gloves, antibacterial wipes that state they are effectively on corona virus or bleach. Encourage ventilation by leaving windows open in the salon and communal areas like toilets where possible. Clean all work areas after every client and avoid sharing tools between therapists such as products or pens to reduce risks.
Have clients wash their hands thoroughly on arrival and also following treatment, with therapist to do the same (as you would always anyway!). Provide suitable hand soaps and ideally paper based disposable towels to avoid cross infection risks of hand towels or blowing around germs with hand dryers. Hairdressers overseas that have opened have been advised to avoid use of hairdryers for this reason, you may like to consider this with other fan systems such as for nail extension fans and look at how best to ventilate your salon to minimise risk. Ensure all towels and any gowns or covers used for clients are clean for every client and washed after use at 60 degrees. Have a laundry bin with a foot pedal operated lid to minimise contact during the day. Do not allow any client who is displaying potential symptoms of the virus to receive treatments, nor should any therapist be working for 7 days minimum (or up to 14 days if they are self-isolating as a family).
Check your insurance
In these unprecendented times, insurers have not yet issued any statements about what would be covered or any exclusions or additional requirements as yet. That said, once you begin offering treatments again, do check with your insurer for any updates to their policies and clauses to ensure you are meeting all requirements for your cover.
Look at COVID information training options
Many companies and beauty industry bodies are offering courses related to infection prevention and control in light of the COVID outbreak. These include The Guild who are offering a free course to Guild members and also Barbicide who are offering additional training in hygiene and safety. While in lockdown, now is a great time to invest in some CPD (continuing professional development).
Begin planning what will be your hook to get clients bursting through your doors
Now is also a great time to look critically at your business and see where improvements can be made in other ways. Perhaps update your website, social media or price list. Maybe consider a new image for your salon, therapists or company logo? Or what about offering some exciting new treatments to extend your offering? There has never been a better time to learn what will soon be in-demand treatments such as gel polish, nail extensions, tanning, waxing and lash extensions. We have two learning options that can be completed fully from home including our Online Courses and our Virtual Academy training options. Both routes are accredited allowing you to gain insurance and add these services to what you do to begin taking bookings for late summer, ready for once you can open again. Also think about possible offers and promotions to give you something new to shout about and get in touch with your existing clients. See how they are getting on, see if they need any advice maintaining previous treatments such as nail extensions or to help care for their lashes or nails while you are closed. You might like to consider selling gift vouchers for treatments at promotional rates for those who book a course of treatments or so forth, to help bring in a steady stream of income while you are currently closed too.