19
Mar

COVID-19: running a beauty business through a pandemic

It’s okay to admit that these will be challenging times. None of us have done this before, so it’s okay to talk about it if you’re feeling a little uneasy - but it’s very important to remember there ARE systems to support us and we do not have to feel alone. 

That’s the one benefit of our industry during times of trouble: we’re a community, and as a community we will stay strong and support each other in the best ways we know how.

Here at TGB, we’re no experts in dealing with a pandemic, but we know a thing or two about running a business and teaching great hygiene methods, so we’ve spent time collating what we DO know into one place in the hope it will help #TeamTGB. ‘Cause if there’s one thing we know for sure: nail techs are like teabags, throw them into hot water and they will find a way to come out stronger...

WHAT WE CAN DO TO STAY SAFE:

  • DO follow government information: this includes self-isolating and closing our businesses only if it is recommended for us to do so. (Or if you feel this is best) Whilst this is a big decision, it’s important to remember that health is a luxury more valuable than all else, so you must focus on you and do the best you can to look after you, everybody is different and that’s okay! 
  • DO increase your hygiene: whilst we all know that we put a huge priority on hygiene in our salons (it’s a huge part of what we teach at TGB Academy, so we know our stuff here), now is the time to push that to the max. If you’re choosing to stay open, then it’s important to ensure hands are washed for 20 seconds upon arrival, dried with disposable tissue and then sanitized using alcohol gel. This ritual should also be completed by yourself when sitting down with and finishing with a client. 

From the moment hands are washed, it’s important mobile phones, bank cards and cash are not touched and you should also ask your client to rewash their hands if they touch their face. If possible, it’s a good idea to go cashless during this period and encourage clients to use contactless or Apple pay, and even if paying using contactless methods, the card register or iPad/computer should be disinfected in between payments.

As always, wear protective gloves and a dust mask, changing gloves in between clients, and disinfecting all tools and surfaces. A great tip from TGB Brand Ambassador @jessmaynard was to remove the base from your TGB Light the way lamp and replace this with disposable couch roll, changing in between clients. Don’t forget to sanitize your lamp!

We also recommend disinfecting door handles, intercom systems and toilet chains regularly, and if your client does cough or sneeze, absorb your desire to death stare (we know it’s hard!) and instead kindly ask them to rewash their hands (and do the same yourself!) 

  • DO contact your clients and let them know you’re still open. Many clients may assume you are shut which may cause no-shows. We’ve created a handy-graphic pack to use either way to let your customers know, here. For peace of mind, it’s also important to let them know the extra-measures you’re taking for their safety, and to ask customers to cancel appointments if they show any symptoms or have visited any affected areas. We suggest waiving cancellation-fees to ensure customers do not try and visit even if they feel sick. 
  • We know it sucks, but do not hug, kiss or shake hands with your customers. Try and stay 1metre away where possible and do not make skin contact unless you are wearing gloves and both parties have sanitized.

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR OUR BUSINESS:

This is an unprecedented time for all of us business owners, we have worked so hard to create our livelihoods, but many of us didn’t consider a global tragedy like this, luckily - there are support systems in place that mean we don’t have to. As a business owner, your government and local authorities should do everything in their power to help you out. 

  • DO contact the HMRC helpline and confirm your business tax rates have been removed if you have not received confirmation of this. Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will pay no business rates for 2020/2021, so this should apply to you!
  • DO contact your mortgage company and ask for a mortgage holiday, should you need to close due to COVID-19.
  • DO find out if your insurance covers you for pandemics, if it does - your insurance company should cover you for some eventualities caused by COVID-19. Do be prepared that not all insurance policies will have cover for this, you’ll need to check your policy.
  • DO contact your local authority to see if you are eligible for a supportive cash grant. There are grants of up to £25,000 available. This is what the government’s new £330bn  business budget is for and everybody is in the same boat, so don’t let your pride interfere with you asking - this is YOUR livelihood.
  • DO contact HMRC to see if you can defer corporation, income, VAT and PAYE/NIC taxes paid by your business. These can be delayed upon application to HMRC under the “Time to Pay” service and HMRC will be more sympathetic to those suffering from COVID-19 conditions. The contact number is 0800 0159 559.

IDEAS TO KEEP MOTIVATED:

  • DO call up your nail tech or salon owner friends. We’re all in the same boat and now is the time to make the most of our community. Share ideas to fundraise, for using self-isolation to improve skills and just take comfort in talking to someone who understands. We’re in this together and as a member of #TeamTGB, we want all of you to know you’re not alone and you will always have a family who understands and supports your every step. 
  • DO use the time to practice new nail art and photography skills. Read up on social media techniques or master a new social media platform (like TikTok), quiet periods are a great chance to strengthen your skill set and give you a stronger USP when business is back to normal. 
  • DO join community groups (like our Facebook group here), log on for Instagram lives and keep looking at inspiration. This time can be used to come back on a strong suit with a whole set of new initiatives and skills!
  • DO enjoy our blog posts, we’ll continue to update these as much as possible so we can all continue to learn and be inspired during this period! 

IDEAS TO EARN AN INCOME:

DO brainstorm some initiatives to gain support from your customers if you are forced to close. You could offer:

RETAIL

  • Sell soak off sets (with safe step-by-step instructions) for clients who can’t make it to removal appointments.
  • Retail nail polish (like Peacci) to people who will still want to keep up their nail care during self-isolation. Customers can also use this on holidays or for touch-ups the rest of the year, so it’s a great product to retail now that people may be hesitant to have their nails done professionally.
    Pro-tip : You could offer mini manicure tips via IG Live and then retail the Peacci products used. This way, your clients buy products they feel confident to use at home, with your on-going application support via DM - so that they are reminded of your expertise! Peacci now has next-day delivery, so, if you don’t have retail stock already you can start selling today (and ship stock from the next working day) and let customers know via newsletters that you have nail polish for sale to match their favourite gel colours.
  • You could create press-on sets, so that even when people are away from the salon (be it self-isolation, a long-haul holiday or a special event) they have an amazing set of nails that they can reuse!
  • If you love painting nail art, why not try customising accessories to sell on marketplaces such as Facebook, Ebay, Etsy or Depop?

SOME OTHER IDEAS:

  • Lifetime discounts of 10% to people who purchase bulk appointments for future use (for example, a chunk of 6 gel manicures).
  • Raffle-off some retail products from your salon, with raffle tickets costing £2 (or more/less depending on the prize).
  • Extend the expiry dates on treatment vouchers that could be sold as mother’s day presents or birthday gifts for people celebrating in self-isolation. People will still want a nice treat to look forward to when this is over. 
  • Maybe you could run a competition to win free nail appointments for a year where tickets cost £2 to enter for pre-existing customers and £4 to enter for new customers? 
  • You could also offer chargeable nail-art masterclasses online to your followers, home-users (with regular Peacci polish) and fellow nail techs (with gel).
    There are lots of ideas to be had but it is important to consider cash-flow and ensure upon return to business, you won’t lose out on too many sales as a result of gifting or vouchers sold during business closures. For an easy way to do this, we recommend spending some self-isolation time creating a cash-flow chart - there are some great simple templates on Google. 

Most importantly look out for one another and where you can, stay home. We understand that it’s a luxury to self-isolate, but we’re hoping that as a community we can share skills, a listening ear and advice to help where we can. We’re all in this together and with our passion, there’s no doubt each and everyone of us is in this for the long run. For updates on TGB, Peacci or TGB Academy’s Covid-19 policy, please email contact@thegelbottle.com.

Disclaimer: information provided is correct as of time of publication. This information may change and actions needed to be taken may change accordingly and from business to business. TGB will do our best to update our customers on this situation, but we are not experts in healthcare, business or financial matters. We do not know the specifics of your business or situation and we maintain respect for this at all times. Official government advice should be followed as a priority over all other information as at all times. All information is opinion only and not explicit advice from The GelBottle Inc. or its subsidiaries.