How To Keep Cash Flowing During Lockdown
For salon owners, I know only too well that the real pain point from our lockdown situation is stepping away from what we are truly passionate about doing…
Running our salons.
Our salons are our babies and we love them. Shutting those doors caused many a tear to flow.
And when the doors re-open, there WILL be a queue of clients waiting!
That’s hugely exciting and we shall all do a victory dance when we fling our doors open once again.
But, that won’t pay our bills now, will it?
As business owners, we went into this game to do something we love, whilst making a good living.
Correct? And we were doing that too, right?
And then THIS has to go and happen, and it ruins everything.
And we find ourselves, in our homes, wondering what the fudge just happened – and how we went from back-to-back nail appointments, fully booked massage columns, and balayaging 6 clients per day – to trying to work out how we are going to install a padlock on the fridge and wondering if opening a third bottle of gin that week is ‘too much’ (it probably is, put it back in the cupboard).
Here is the thing.
We are hands on people. Our job has always been to work with people, face to face.
We treat, we touch, we style.
We release pain, we change how people look and feel. Our jobs are to create magic, in person.
And now, we can’t be ‘in person’, which means we can’t generate money or business, right?
I am here to share with you some simple and easy to implement ideas, that will help you keep things ticking away during lockdown that will –
- Help you bring in some money
- Help you stay in touch with clients
- Help you to secure future business
- Help you to find new clients
And guess what… I’m sharing it all, right here, for free!
Well, because our job is to help our clients (salon and hair and beauty business owners) to build their dream business, and their dream life.
And we do it well, every day.
And whilst you *may* not be a client of ours yet – if we can help you get through this lockdown (which I know we can) then maybe, when you’re ready, you will become a client, because you know that we know our stuff.
So that’s why.
I have collated some brilliant ideas that YOU can use to generate some money.
So grab your best ‘girl boss’ mug, fill it with
vodka …coffee and get that laptop open girl.
I’m going to teach you how to be an online beauty business legend.
#1 – Be Limited Edition
Imagine Christian Louboutin sitting in his French beach house, in lockdown and saying to his team, “As soon as our shops re-open, knock 50% off all the shoes!“
Won’t happen, will it?
Because Chris knows that as soon as they re-open, they’ll have a queue of people round the block, desperate to buy a pair of shoes from one of his stores. This is despite his shoes being desperately uncomfortable (trust me on this if you haven’t tried them) and the price tag being more that some people’s monthly mortgage payment.
In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was taking pre-orders of his next limited edition shoe at an inflated price.
So, why does he do that?
Because he knows people will pay any amount for something they really want.
And people REALLY WANT his shoes.
Now, I want you to think about what your client’s really want.
And then I want to you to look at yourself. French beach house or not. And think to yourself, “If I have something that people will desperately want (which you do) why would I sell it cheaper than what it was before?“
You wouldn’t, would you?
What’s important to remember here is that this has never happened before.
Never has your client based been forced to grow out roots, go without nails, go without tinted brows, go unmassaged for any period of time, with no control over that decision. Have they?
There is going to be a stampede of rather frantic women knocking your door down as SOON as you reopen.
So, if even a part of you is thinking, “I can’t charge more for anything because when I tried before it didn’t work” then girl, you got to change that message.
Because that previous experience is not this current experience.
Things are different.
And you need to tap into that.
If my nail tech called me up right now and said, “Hollie, I’m reopening on XXX and I have only ten nail slots that week available, and you can pre-book one now for £35”, when she usually charges £25, what do you think I’d say?
I’d say, “TAKE MY MONEY!“
Because paying extra gives me a premium experience. It guarantees I will get my nails done as soon as she reopens and I won’t have to wait ad fight with others for a slot.
Is that worth me paying more for? Hell yeah!
And it will be worth it to some of your clients too.
That first few weeks of opening will be manic – because most of us women here in lockdown cannot do treatments to themselves like you can.
Waxing top to bottom, facials, nails, peels, massages, roots, hair treatments… I mean the list goes on and on.
And the people that offer those treatments – like you – have an extremely rare opportunity to ‘pre-sell’ them at a premium rate.
See where I am going here?
We all saw someone selling loo roll for £8 on eBay a roll when all this kicked off. Not the most ethical of steps, granted, but all they were actually doing was supplying a demand.
They realised they had something other people wanted and were willing to pay a premium price for. And that’s simply what business is. It’s a method of supplying something people want.
It is basic economics.
As when there is more demand than supply – because when you have more clients wanting spaces than spaces which are available, something happens…
You can charge more.
Actually, not you CAN charge more. You SHOULD. You MUST. You WILL!
Those first spots will be in high demand!
How To Do It
1. Work out your ‘re-open’ availability…
- Will you increase your operational hours?
- Will you increase your man power?
- Will there be restrictions on the number of clients you’re allowed on your premises?
- Work out your first week or reopen schedule so you can accurately presell spaces (as best you can, allowing for future legislation and regulations)
2. Create your ‘re-opening premium prices’…
- Decide how much to increase your standard prices by for your premium re-opening week. I would recommend 25%.
- Create a mini price list to reflect it – you can easily build something simple using Canva for free
- Ensure your clients are aware of the premium pricing in advance to avoid issues
3. Share your ‘re-opening premium prices’…
- Release your prices and availability via Facebook, Instagram, email, in your business window, via telephone, WhatsApp, MMS, Messenger – however you normally communicate with your tribe
- Remember these special VIP spots will be in demand!
4. Reserve the spaces and take a deposit
- If you’re not comfortable taking full price, take a deposit.
- Either prioritise your most important VIP guests or do it on a first come, first served basis
- Book time slots for the week of re-opening, once known, or simply sell a limited number then book them all in when the dates are known
#2 – Voucher Magic
Do you think that £242, 768 is a reasonable sum of money?
Well, that’s what I generated in voucher sales for my business when I owned my day spa.
Not to be sniffed at, right?
It was a HUGE amount of income for the business, and was partly responsible for keeping us busy through those quieter months of January to March because we leveraged the Christmas market to sell ahead.
So, I feel I do have some experience in this matter, and can say with some authority that selling vouchers in advance flat out works.
And if my own testimonial isn’t enough, I could tell you at least 250 salons have followed the program we created to help them sell significant amounts too.
And now, I’m going to tell you and then show you, why and how you can do it yourself.
So, the big ‘discounted voucher sales companies’ (you know who I mean, I don’t need to name names) are successful for two reasons;
- They sell things at a huge discount
- They make it extremely easy for people to buy from them
Now assuming we definitely want to avoid reason number one, let’s look at number two.
Let’s make it extremely easy for people to buy from YOU.
Online vouchers can help to bring in an income, stay at the front of people’s minds, attract new business and secure future business. All the things we need to do right now!
When we originally started selling vouchers, we did it because we wanted to use December to sell vouchers that people could utilise in the first quarter of the year.
We can replicate that formula now!
We can use lockdown, to sell vouchers ready for when we open. Providing an income and a steady stream of clients into us, in advance.
If you are worried about the technology around creating something like this, don’t worry! We got ya!
We use a great software that’s simple to use, to sell vouchers online – with or without a website!
Not only is it an extremely low priced technology for what it does (I’m talking less than £10 a month) but we also have negotiated 10% off for you too.
This is the exact software we used for 6 years in our business and recommend to all of our clients.
The software allows you to create and sell bespoke vouchers with your own process, Ts and Cs, images and so on – you receive 100% of the income from your voucher shop – all you pay to the software company is the monthly fee for as long as you use it (plus a fee to PayPal or whoever you use to process the payment).
If you do have software integrated in to your booking system, you can use that too of course.
Provided you have some form of client base that are reachable via an email list, Facebook followers, Insta followers, WhatsApp group or similar, you can absolute tap into this quickly and effectively.
Imagine your clients sitting at home…
They’re bored, they’re scrolling and they are looking forward to coming out of lockdown – to a time when they can head out to bars and restaurants, get back to work – and of course, get back to feeling like themselves with the help of you.
So imagine, as they scroll through Facebook, or check their emails, they see a perfect ‘Lockdown Locks’ or ‘Rejuvenation Pamper’ package available to buy.
This gives them the perfect combination of treatments, all wrapped up in a one-of-a-kind package and they can buy a voucher for it right from their sofa, there and then.
How good would that be?
Because selling vouchers can be a gold mine for your business.
The software we recommend makes it easy – but you can use an alternative – heads up though – we don’t know any others so, if you are looking for guidance, this is the only one that our Salonology community is familiar with (and no, we don’t own it, but we do work with the developer so we can get you a good deal).
We highly recommend everyone jumps on the band wagon with this one!
#3 – Become a Digital Guru
Thank goodness for the internet!
Because of this rather incredible invention, we are able to appear in the homes of all of our current and potential clients at the click of a button.
And not only does technology allow them to see us – it allows us to see them.
Back before technology, a pandemic like this would have left us high and dry with very little communication tools available to us. (Telegram, anyone?)
We are extremely lucky that most people reading this will have access to some form of digital communication visually – whether that’s through Facetime, WhatsApp videos, Zoom calls, or Facebook – the list goes on.
And this is a super simple way for you to continue being the bad ass expert that you are.
Your clients – current and new – are at home, possibly feeling stressed, tired, bored and ungroomed. Just imagine the potential ways in which you can help them.
Imagine you get a phone call from a new client saying, “my hair is dry and ruined, I need help!” Or, “my skin is a mess, I need to get it sorted“.
I am positive you’d offer them a consultation or treatment to help them with their dilemma, correct?
Now I want you to imagine hundreds of those clients, all feeling like that – because people are right now and they have no where to turn. No one to help them.
It’s all vey well hairdressers saying, “don’t buy box dye” and waxers saying, “don’t pluck” – but what the general public needs right now, are solutions, not restrictions.
How can YOU help THEM?
We all know every client is different.
We all know needs vary from person to person.
So, how can you go and help those tired and stressed people?
An online consultation.
It is SO simple, yet so effective. And yet barely anyone is doing it.
I sit on the databases of countless salons and clinics and nail bars. Yet only ONE business – the hairdressers I go to – has reached out to ask if they can help whilst in lockdown.
And its so easy to do!
Put it out to your clients, let them book a space and go online through the best media for you – and chat to them!
Find out their issues and solve them!
Now you’re probably wondering how this makes you money.
You have three options here –
- Charge for a consultation and offer high quality advice and a written follow up
- Offer a free consultation and offer retail solutions
It’s totally up to you and will be somewhat defined by your market.
Will some people pay?
Damn skippy they will!
People are MISSING their experts – because that is what you are! An expert, right? So, share your knowledge and help them.
By seeing your client, you can identity skin or hair issues, make recommendations of lifestyle changes, diagnose reasons for changes in skin for instance – whatever your speciality is – now is the time to push it.
And of course, that will put you in a perfect position to sell some products.
Which nicely leads us on to our next section…
#4 – Be The Retail Queen (or King)
One of our community members put a post on her Facebook stating that she had some retail going spare – and sold more than £800 overnight.
Pretty good, eh?
With rules and restrictions in place, your client is finding it harder to source the right products for them in lockdown.
People are wary of Amazon beauty products – there is too much counterfeit stuff for sale. The department stores are closed.
So, who can they turn to? You know who. You.
Not only is there already a relationship there, they trust you and want to support you.
At the end of this, they will NEED you.
Some salons, sadly, won’t survive this.
They will just give up and never re-open. It’s terribly sad. But it will happen.
I do not want you to be one of them.
Because, on the other side of this, lies a very very abundant business for you.
Your clients want you to make it through too. They like you, they care about you and they need you to come out of this the other side. Because soon, they are going to need you more than they’ve ever needed you!
So this is a prime opportunity.
I have seen multiple posts from salon owners just reaching out to their followers and fans and selling out of retail items within hours.
Gel removal kits, hair root sprays, hair masks, pedi in a box, skincare, tan in a bottle, scrubs… I mean, it’s an endless list.
What retail do you have that you can be selling?
Here are some simple ways to sell it –
- Through Facebook posts – lives, videos, posts and pictures
- Through blogs
- Via Instagram
- To your email database
- Using your premises window as a display with contact details
- Through an online shop (if you have one on your site)
- Write a blog about an amazing product and share it everywhere
- Do a video showing how to use a product
- Do a before and after with a product
- Post a tutorial with a product
These are literally a handful of ideas – but all are worth a try!
Seriously, your clients may need exactly what you’ve got in your retail bounty right now – but if you don’t put it out here, they simply won’t know!
People respond to people so be fun in your videos, don’t be afraid to mess up – no one minds – and use it show off your personality.
Great videos might attract new clients as well as lots of sales!
#5 – Be An Expert – Sell Your Knowledge
I now this section will cause the most resistance.
I can almost hear your voices now…
“Little me? I am not an expert! I cant sell my info!”
Well, you absolutely can.
And millions of people do!
When you have knowledge people want, you can share it. That’s all a non-fiction book is. Or any training course you take.
It’s exactly what we do here at Salonology.
We built a multi award winning spa from scratch, with no knowledge or help.
We made it extremely profitable. We built it to run itself. And then we sold it for a handsome sum of money.
I don’t say that to brag I say it because it’s true – and if I can do it, anyone can do it.
And I’m willing to help others by teaching them what I know.
But I don’t do it for free – much like you don’t do treatments for free.
Because it’s a skill I have. I have a natural flair for business and I can help people that don’t.
So, for you – you have a natural flair for what you do – and you can help people who don’t.
If you’re the queen of brows, don’t you think that lots of people would love to learn how to do their brows whilst in lockdown? Well you can teach them.
Or if you can teach people how to properly stretch and massage tight muscles whilst unable to visit you – don’t you think they’d need that?
Well, its not that complicated…
- Pick a subject
Pick one thing you can teach really well to begin with – think of what your clients really need right now – as they will be the most likely to buy it from you.
- Create a tutorial
This can be a video, a written guide, a selection of videos – whatever you’re most comfortable with.
- Sell it
Price it – and put it up for sale! Most websites allow you to sell videos or PDF documents. Or companies such as Teachable let you create courses very easily for a small fee. Or upload it to Udemy or similar – they do all the work and you get paid!
Phew, we covered a lot of ground!
Hopefully these have given you some great ideas on how to bring in some extra cash during lockdown.
It’s important to remember that you have a unique skill set, a client base, knowledge and possibly stock – all these things are extremely useful to those unable to leave their homes right now.
Which, currently, is everyone.
Consider also that once you re-open, you’ll be stronger financially, will have probably created loads of new clients and will be ready to go and filled with ideas to boost you on your way – just imagine combining all your online success with your business moving forward!
That’s how we grow!
* Please be aware of your own personal circumstances and working allowances during this time. This is a general guide written for everyone in our wonderful industry, however, it’s your responsibility to work out if legally you can work or not right now and this will vary depending on where you are based and the way your business is set up legally. If unsure, please seek independent legal advice from a specialist. You might want to have a read of this, too.
So, what now?
If you enjoyed that then we think you’ll love our upcoming free online training, Generating Cash During Lockdown: What To Do and What Not To Do.
It’s taking place on our Salonology Facebook page on Wednesday 22nd April at 10am. There’s a Facebook event set up here. Click that and the good people of Facebook will set you a notification when we go live.
You might also want to join our our Salon Owner Lockdown Challenge Facebook group here (with daily challenges and free support to help you navigate through this madness) or even checkout our special Salon Lockdown Masterplan bundles here.
Stay safe, and look after yourself and your family.
We will get through this, and brighter times are coming.
Hollie Power is a salon mentor and cheerleader and is the founder of salon community Salonology with marketing geek husband Ryan. Previously Hollie grew her own day spa and salon business from the ground up, taking it from an empty room to a multiple award winning business which was one of the most revered in the area. Now she helps other salon owners to replicate her success and helps them to create the business of their own dreams.