Three Ways Top Beauty and Wellness Brands Are Weathering COVID-19: Learnings for Your Business
By Yancy Olson
Whether your brand has one location or hundreds, the coronavirus pandemic has made it hard to be a salon, spa, or wellness business right now. Recently, many brands have had to close once again. If your business is open now, you're operating at a very limited capacity and facing challenges keeping both your team and clients safe and comfortable. After months of battering from COVID-19, it’s difficult to stay positive. We recently heard from three leaders in the wellness and beauty industries, who can relate—and shared how they've helped their brands through COVID-19 so far.
1. Finley’s Barber Shop is making sure clients see how seriously the brand is taking COVID-19
This pandemic has scared consumers. They want to know they're going to be safe at your business. Scott Finley, President of Finley's Barber Shop, knows that customer service is an important part of that. His brand let receptionists work from home, creating a call center. The best part? The level of customer service has improved significantly. Being away from a busy barbershop has meant these employees can spend much more time answering questions clients have about COVID-19 precautions. They can assure clients staff are wearing masks and there's proper social distancing. Clients are able to hear, first-hand, how Finley's Barber Shop is taking the right precautions to keep them safe.
The addition of the call center means that the front desk staff who are coming into the barbershops' locations are then able to devote more time to cleaning. "All they're doing is cleaning, doing laundry, and sweeping hair," Scott shared. "If somebody walks out of a bathroom, they're in there. We've had so much great response with that from our customers. They're leaving reviews on that."
The takeaway: It's vital that salons, spas, and wellness businesses continue to emphasize and advertise the efforts they're making to keep clients safe.
2. Elements Massage and THE TEN SPOT® are fostering supportive and collaborative cultures
COVID-19 tested industries. When THE TEN SPOT® first came up against COVID-19 in March, the collaborative culture of the brand helped it get through a very trying time. Twice a week the brand held COVID town halls with franchise partners, collectively making decisions. Kristen Gale, Creator and CEO, told us, "One of our core values (pre COVID) was 'Be in it together.' It was incredible to see how we all really lived that value. Together, we planned our re-opening strategy in terms of operations and marketing. We made some smart moves that had us come out of it quite well. We didn’t close a single bar, and some bars hardly saw a dip in sales after reopening.” THE TEN SPOT® has stayed strong—and is even adding locations.
After months of hard work for likely lower-than-usual reward, franchisees and staff alike are feeling defeated. Having the opportunity to support mental health has been a positive shift at Elements Massage since the pandemic. Carisa Findley, Senior Director of Operations and Training, said, "One of the things that I've really enjoyed seeing, and that we've done at Elements Massage, is really invest resources in the mental health of our franchise owners, managers, and their teams. Up until 2020, that wasn't something that businesses really invested in. In my role in training, we've shifted from 'here's how you sell', 'here's how you market,' 'here's the operational procedures' to 'here's what meditation is,' 'here's how you reduce your stress and your anxiety.'" Elements Massage is ensuring that, throughout the brand, people have the tools they need.
The takeaway: Investing in your culture and your employees is crucial to retention and even growth.
3. Everybody’s taking it one day at a time
With regulations changing so quickly, it's impossible to plan. Gale shared how difficult it had been for the brand to navigate different iterations of government regulations. Things had been changing day by day, hour by hour. "What we just spent three hours telling you we were going to do, throw to the garbage. We're starting from scratch."
COVID-19 is a steep learning curve that beauty and wellness brands are still climbing. Finley confessed, "We're still figuring it out. It's a day-to-day thing." He's been looking to his team to help him determine what needs to change when. "One thing I've done with my staff is really open a doorway for them to say, 'Look, please communicate with us. Tell us what's working. Tell us what's not working. What are your clients saying?' I want to hear as much feedback as I can get because I do not know at all."
Finley stressed that it's been a reminder for him to be humble and to get out of the entitlement game. Now he's getting back to the core of the business and focusing on his staff and clients. He's telling his team, "You've got to keep in mind: avalanches are made from snowflakes. And we're back in the business of collecting snowflakes."
The takeaway: It’s tough out there, and it’s important to not feel too tied to long-term plans. Staying humble and flexible is key.