Enterprise Advice: Strategies to Overcome Staffing, Supply Chain, and Inflation Challenges
Every week, there seems to be a new headline about the state of the economy, with one news outlet painting a different picture than the next. We’ve emerged from a pandemic only to be faced with more uncertainty.
On the bright side, the wellness industry is very much on the rebound—essential in the minds of consumers. According to a recent Mindbody survey, over 60% of Brits say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since the pandemic began and nearly 65% say wellness is more important than other leisure expenses.
Our industry has the grit to overcome obstacles, too. (Remember March 2020?) In fact, many wellness enterprises continue to expand despite staffing challenges, supply constraints, and inflation. Here’s how.
Challenge: Staff acquisition and retention
Staffing issues are nothing new, but nearly 90% of wellness brands say difficulty with hiring and retention has worsened or persisted since the beginning of this year. This is challenging for both corporate teams and individual locations.
What industry experts suggest:
- Get clear on roles. Now is the perfect time to redefine and retrain your team, both at the corporate and location level. Revisit your org chart and evaluate responsibilities. Work with location owners to determine their staffing needs, too. Day-to-day roles may simply need to shift to focus on making a greater impact with your current headcount. On the other hand, you may be able to outsource or automate some responsibilities. Smart tech like Messenger[ai] helps brands including The Lash Lounge and Shred415 increase staff efficiency and modernise their customer experience.
- Outline owner and employee personas. Create or revisit personas for each role, including location owners, managers, service providers, and front-desk staff. Do this at corporate before helping owners recruit for their own locations.
- Find talent within your community. When recruiting, start with those who love your brand most: existing clients. Post job and expansion opportunities across your locations and share them on social media.
- Get creative with recruiting. Beyond traditional job boards, consider ways you can source talent in unexpected ways. For example, PAINT Nail Bar partners with local women's shelters to find service providers. The brand pays women to go to nail tech school and offers them jobs after completing their courses. To retain these new techs, PAINT treats them to regular massages and facials.
- Take a more personal approach to retention. Today’s employees are motivated in different ways—it’s not just about the dollar. When it comes to retaining top talent across your organisation, Mindbody Certified Consultant and business strategist Stephanie Breaux Bradley says, “It’s all about support and the people.” Show up in a more personal way for your team (especially location owners) and provide them with the individualised support they crave. Take time to learn things like their growth goals, preferred form of communication, language of appreciation, kids' names, and maybe even their coffee order.
- Be flexible with employee benefits. In this environment, Chief Soul Officer of Good Soul Hunting, Emma Barry, reiterates the need for flexibility. “Right now, if [employees] want flexibility, they want more flexibility,” she says. This might include flexible schedules and paid time off, ongoing work from home opportunities, and wellness benefits. “[Organisations] are expected to be competitive in offering wellness and mental health support. There's a lot more space there now and people aren't scared to ask for more,” Barry adds.
Challenge: Supply chain issues
The pandemic continues to shock supply chains, which negatively impacts all industries—wellness included. One recent study found that over 80% of businesses claim supply chain issues have worsened or stayed the same since January 2022.
What industry experts suggest:
- Plan as far ahead as possible. Like many other brands, supply chain constraints have slowed openings for D1 Training. “We've overcome these challenges by breaking down the process to ensure we order supplies well in advance,” says CEO and Founder Will Bartholomew. “Also, we’ve looked at everything that requires us to operate to ensure it is a must-have not just a like-to-have.”
- Improve relationships with key suppliers. Right now, the stronger the relationship the better. In the event of a disruption, you’ll be more likely to get preference.
- Network with like-minded businesses. Talk to other wellness businesses about their own reliable sources for inventory and equipment. The Mindbody One community is a great place to start.
Nearly three-quarters of business owners are concerned about the impact of rising interest rates on their business, and 67% reported raising their prices due to inflation. Still, your enterprise can thrive amid the inflation surge.
What industry experts suggest:
- Get strategic about reducing costs. Take a hard look at your operations and any initiatives that aren’t central to your brand. If something isn't essential to a core, revenue-generating product or service, nix it for now.
- Leverage under-used space. Whether it's your corporate office(s) or individual locations, find ways to be more efficient with the space and equipment you have. Do you have large waiting areas that can be better utilised? Childcare rooms that could be turned into something more profitable? Every square foot makes a difference.
- Double-down on retention. Encourage your team to offer add-ons, upgrades, and higher-tier memberships to existing clients. It’s easier and less expensive to increase the average ticket than it is to attract and convert a brand-new customer.
- Consider alternatives to traditional loans. With interest rates on the rise, getting funding isn’t as simple as it once was. Help your location owners access the working capital they need with alternative solutions.
- Be transparent. Transparency builds trust and loyalty. Don’t keep location owners in the dark about the status of your organisation, finances included. When everyone’s on the same page, you can work together to move your brand forward.
There may not be a simple fix for today’s disruptors, but these tips can certainly help. Staffing shortages, supply chain issues, inflation—none of these challenges is insurmountable. The bottom line: Get strategic and stay flexible. You’ve got what it takes to drive toward your goals.
Mindbody B2B Market Survey, June 2022.
Mindbody Consumer Wellness & Attitudes Survey, 2022.