Salons during COVID-19: 9 creative yet simple reopening ideas from gyms, restaurants & stores you need to try out!
This pandemic has been a major turning point for the entire world. Whether it’s the economy, our day-to-day lives, or even how we socially exist with people around us – everything has seen a major change.
This has made us cautious in every little thing we do and has been mentally taxing for ourselves and the people around us.
And, trust us, our best bet is finding the bright side.
Every other small-mid business has also suffered a hit because of COVID-19 but many have managed to come up with creative ideas to sustain themselves during the pandemic.
With social distancing and keeping clean being the only surefire ways to prevent COVID-19, businesses have started finding creative solutions to follow guidelines and keep their customers coming as they reopen.
And in this blog we’ll be talking about the 8 different businesses in different industries are doing that you can apply in your salon as well. Read on!
1. Power up social distancing – Install plastic barriers
Gyms and restaurants and several other businesses have started using transparent plastic barriers and table-top barriers as an add on to their social distancing efforts.
These barriers are made up of plexiglass polycarbonate plastics that serve 3 important functions – limit the spread of infected water droplets, ensure safe distancing even when people are not following the rules, and limit relying on masks at all times.
What can you do?
Salons can install such barriers in between each workstation. The partitions can be free-standing or mounted to the ceiling, according to your needs.
Whereas, table-top barriers can be installed for stations that require clients to sit in front of your staff – Manicure and pedicure stations and Nail work stations.
Supercolor Digital is a company providing solutions for businesses to power their social distancing efforts – They have custom-made barriers that can be installed wherever the need be.
Now, even if you’re blow-drying, these barriers will stop the germs from travelling further!
This can be a big-step in marketing yourself as it shows that your salon is a safe space for your clients to be in.
2. Make your products accessible to your clients
Supermarket chain Albertsons has responded to the situation by stocking all their shelves with necessary products and keeping cart wipes and sanitizer stations at key points throughout the store so that it’s easily accessible for visitors to fetch them.
What can you do?
The idea here is to make products accessible to your clients when they visit your salon.
You can also stock your products in shelves in front of the front-desk or near the exit for them to choose the products they want to buy on-the-go.
Product shelves are high-touch zones and customers usually check information before buying anything. You can avoid this from happening by putting up product details on the shelves. Now, they can be informed without risking an infection!
3. Set up an everyday cleaning routine
Gold’s Gym has come up with a dedicated cleaning routine in their gym to keep microbes and germs at bay.
With an array of new rules in the gym, such as working at a strict 25% occupancy, the management have also set an “intermission time” from 1PM to 2PM everyday to restock their cleaning supplies and do thorough sanitation of the gym.
During this time, new entry is restricted however members present in the gym can finish their workouts.
What can you do?
Salons can consider following the same procedure and keep a dedicated time-slot during their work hours, specifically for deep-cleaning their surfaces and equipment.
To avoid any accidental booking for that hour, you can block that hour from your calendar and manage your bookings accordingly. Make this seamless by using an appointment scheduling software like Appointy.
To make this fun, you can set up a task-force in your salon and assign each staff member with different responsibilities.
Give them fancy names like “Cleaning Queen” “Corona Warrior” “Hygiene Champion”. This will jazz up a regular routine such as this and make your employees feel included and welcomed.
You can promote your cleaning routine on your social media too. Talk about your fun task force and their peppy names. A happy way to connect with your audience!
4. Not sharing is caring! – Digital & single-use menus
According to guidelines set out by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, it has now become a norm for medical clinics, and dentists to remove all kinds of reading material such as magazines and newspapers from the premises as an attempt to avoid spreading germs by repetitive use.
Restaurants, on the other hand, have responded by providing single-use menus to their diners for the same concern.
What can you do?
You, too, should consider doing away with physical service menus altogether. They can be a breeding ground for Coronavirus and may contribute in spreading COVID-19 further.
You can, however, consider switching your catalogues and service menu online. Providing your customers an online option to access what you offer can be a great way to replace in-store paper usage.
You can use Appointy to manage your service offerings where you give your clients the flexibility to see and choose their service before they come in! How convenient is that!
5. Experiment with your protective gear
Wondering how to get creative with old mundane protective gear? A restaurant in Brussels, Belgium gave an innovative twist to their PPE after they decided to print images of faces of the waiter and waitresses on the masks they are wearing.
This was an attempt to create normalcy in their surroundings and make their guests feel more comfortable and inclusive as they prepared to reopen their restaurant.
What can you do?
Expressions communicate everything! Your clients might not see the attitude and emotion you’re receiving them with since a major part of your face might now stay concealed.
But we know you want to welcome them with an ear-to-ear smile!
Greet your clients with a variation of your own protective gear. You can print faces of your staff members on their masks or get creative with your face shields. Put affirmative and positive messages on your face shield or wear it like a note on you.
You can even ask your employees to pitch in their creativity too and train them to be more welcoming to clients they see.
This will not only lift the spirits of your clients but also your employees and reinforce a feeling of belongingness and warmth in them.
6. Get your clients to trust you
Having an opinion from an expert in a field is undoubtedly a credible feedback one can apply in their business.
For example, Milk + Honey Spa had their salon’s protocols run through by an infectious disease expert.
“We learned flushing toilets potentially aerosols water droplets that often will take three minutes to drop to the ground where they’re essentially not really going to spread to people’s eyes, nose or mouth”, says Shon Bayer, CEO of the company, as reported to KVUE news
“That’s going to influence us to put a timer of some kind before somebody can use the restroom again.”
This is how some businesses have made sure their hygiene protocols are top-notch as they start to service clients again.
What can you do?
You can consider doing the same for your salon. This will not only make you stand out from the crowd, but also make sure that your salon indeed is safe for you and people around you.
Alternatively, you can also try seeking opinion from your own pool of clients who have the right expertise. They can be doctors, disease control specialists, or even a nurse.
They can not only help you audit your current guidelines, but also suggest more effective ones to ensure overall safety. As subject matter experts, their opinion would be valued more by your clients.
You can put up videos of them reviewing your service taking note of the efforts you’ve put in giving them safe and hygienic services. You can also put up an in-salon video with them showing your salon’s good hygiene standards.
This will be a good way to snowball your salon’s credibility during Covid-19.
7. Get pro-active on social media
Many stores have started selling their offerings and care packages in the form of DIY kits for their customers online, and have done a great job in promoting it online.
Meanwhile, gyms and fitness centres that have shifted online are using social media to publish schedules for their live online classes and even streaming them on Instagram live sometimes.
The idea is to keep their members engaged and help them relax and mitigate their worries and overall just have fun through the lockdown.
The way you communicate and engage with customers can play a vital role in getting them back at your salon post reopening. You can also explore many channels other than Instagram to communicate with your clients as you reopen your salon. Check out our guide to effective salon communication for salon owners during Covid-19 here to learn more.
What can you do?
You can create salon DIY Kits for your clients too. And you can promote these DIY care kits (skin care, nail care, and more) on your social media.
Moreover, you can create your version of online classes/tutorials for your salon too!
You can help them practice self-care with different tips and hold sessions showing them how they use your DIY kits to their benefit.
You can also inform them about your upcoming sessions by creating Instagram posts.
This will let your clients know that you care about their well-being even in these tough times.
8. Make friends, help each other!
Metro Bis, a restaurant in Connecticut, is promoting their offerings by partnering up with a local grocery store to sell prepared meals. This helped them make up for the loss of business in their restaurant.
The idea here is to pair-up with another business in your vicinity, which can help you boost your salon’s engagement and reach out to more customers in your area. You are sure to see more new faces in your store!
What you can do?
You can reach out and connect with other similar businesses and cross-promote each other’s offerings.
You can again use social media to your advantage by doing account takeovers! You can even promote each other’s content or hold a contest together.
This can be new and exciting for your clientele and also introduce you to a much larger pool of customers from the other business. And help you attract customers with different points of view and perspectives. The idea is to engage more people in a fun and creative way.
The more the merrier (Metaphorically, of course! And otherwise, with social distancing).
9. Serve all, leave none – Look out for your high-risk customers
Not all clients you service have equal immunity against catching infections. People with disabilities and compromised immune systems might find it harder to deal with illnesses.
Keeping this in mind, a lot of major grocery stores have started to dedicate specific time in the day to service their high-risk clients.
Grocery stores like Aldi, Costco, Food Bazaar to name a few, have set time-slots where they aim to cater to only vulnerable customers.
What can you do?
Just like grocery store visitors, some of your clients may suffer from underlying or chronic conditions that can put them at high-risk for contracting COVID-19.
To keep these customers safe, you can set a day apart from your week’s regular schedule when you just service your high-risk clients.
For example, you can come up with a “High-Risk Monday” or a “High-Risk Friday” dedicated just for them.
This way you can segregate them from your regular clients and ensure their safety. This shows that you care about them and are aware of different client needs.
Spread your word around. Let them know of the extra mile you’re going for them. Your other clients will also notice and appreciate your considerate decision. Always a good time to be kind!
In conclusion, let your creativity flow!
We’re in this together and we will need to look for a silver lining to adapt to this change that seems to last forever.
We all have gone through this together and we need to find hope, happiness, and humour if we want to get back to our regular selves again. Be more empathetic and know that an optimistic view to this situation can really work out for your salon!
With businesses coming up with different ways to normalise their operations, it’s a great time for you to use these different innovative ways to help your salon business grow. Think out of the box.
Because different stands out. And it sure gets the attention.
If you have seen any new ideas around you or are already using any in your salon, let us know!
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium business face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
We love a good talk!