Wow! What a whirlwind this has been. We have been going through all the feels. One day, we are working and feeling secure. And the next, we are scrambling and living in total uncertainty.
From applying to loans and grants to trying to figure out who qualifies for what, it can really become exhausting. And so it is very important to process all of this and live in your feelings for a bit, but you also have to remember that planning ahead for the future of your business is important.
With that in mind, I wanted to lay out a 3-step strategy that will help you create a sense of security when you are given the green light to open.
Step 1. Work on your mindset
First things first. This is very important in order for you to make the best decisions for your business.
If you are unclear and foggy and not feeling confident right now, it’s likely not the best time to make big decisions. I say take a break. Take a step back and hit the reset button. Because of the trauma we have been through, it is important you to work through all of that first. Feel it and then pick up and pull out that resilient leader that lives inside of you.
Once you’ve taken a break and gathered your thoughts, start to create a plan of action for right now and for what’s coming — reopening. This will include some clear next steps. It will include a strategy on how you communicate with your clients. It will also include your financial outlook.
The point is: Don’t stand still. This is where fear lives. Move forward. Think ahead. Start to write lists of things you want to check off day-by-day. This will help you cut through the noise. In terms of communicating with your guests, try to stay in touch with them at least once a week. You can use the email marketing campaigns right through Schedulicity to help create the perfect campaign.
Step 2. Start scheduling
One of the most common questions I’ve heard since the shutdown is: How should I reschedule my appointments, and how should I schedule my team?
My recommendation when it comes to your clients’ appointments is to do nothing right now. I know, sounds crazy, right?
But hear me out: You have a tentative open date. It most likely will change. If you start moving your entire book of clients, and then you find out you are pushed back two more weeks, guess what? You have to move your entire book a second time. That’s valuable energy you could spend on something else.
Once you get the green light to open and you have all the rules and regulations from your state, then you can start calling all of your clients and start moving them. My suggestion for how to moving them is to start with the day after you closed, e.g. You closed March 18th, so your next business day would have been March 19th. I would start calling all of those clients from that day and offer to move them. Then move on to March 20th and so on and so forth.
This is a fair way to schedule your clients because these are the clients who already had appointments in the order they self-selected. Is this going to be time-consuming? 100 percent. But it will at least give you a bit of a strategy and some organization when moving your clients.
Step 3. Get straight on your pricing.
Another hot topic: Should you increase your prices? In my opinion, I would not. I don’t feel it’s the right time to increase prices when many people have been laid off from their jobs.
People do not like to change to begin with. So if you have to change the way they schedule, then change the process of how they see you (masks, gloves, etc.), and then you raise your prices, too? It can be a little much. Change is good in small doses. People receive it better that way.
Now, if you already had a price increase in place and already shared it with your clients and made the announcement — yes, I would follow through on it. But I would still change the timing, pushing it back at least a month or two until things settle down after you get back in business.
Another question I get a lot is: Should I charge my usual full price? Should you charge for extra color being used? Yes! If Judy hasn’t touched up her roots in 4 months, she is most likely going to need more color and product. You should absolutely charge for that extra bowl of color, that new full set of lashes, whatever it might be.
Think of it like this: If Judy went away to Florida for four or five months, and she never touched up her color in between, wouldn’t you charge her for extra color being used when she came back? Of course, you would. Don’t let fear dictate how you make decisions for your business. You got this.