How to reopen your beauty salon after Covid-19 lockdown
At the time of writing, we are in coronavirus lockdown, living in a strange new world where we’re all communicating via WhatsApp, Zoom and some other dark, self-deleting messaging apps because we can’t even email as we are all furloughed.
Furloughed…a word now so familiar yet just a few weeks ago I’d never heard of it. But then just a few weeks ago the world was a very different place. Watching Newsnight, I heard a business owner say it had taken him 10 years to build his business and 10 hours to close it down. My philosophy remains positive: 27 years to build a business, 27 hours to pause it and 27 days to reset, reboot and recalibrate it – because that’s what I’m using this time to do.
How to make a plan of action
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”, sang John Lennon in Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy). Never has this been so true. The world, the workplace, was fast-paced and crazed. Social media was culpable for creating and worsening mental illness – making people constantly feel their life wasn’t as successful or exciting as somebody else’s.
There was never enough time to properly live because there was so much to do – exercise had to be fitted into jam-packed days, in which people accomplished more than their ancestors did in a week. But did they? Really?
Coronavirus has changed that. The world’s stopped. Now’s the time to take stock, breathe and get creative. Creativity needs brain space and time to reflect. But when do we usually get the chance?
I’ve spent the entire lockdown so far rewriting, reworking and re-energising my human resources (HR) system. Every owner of a small business has had to get to grips with huge amounts of employment legislation during this crisis – keeping staff informed during an ever-evolving scenario (thank heavens for NHBF). But the silent hours in between are the perfect time to conduct a bit of housekeeping.
Implementing the changes
There’s never been an opportunity like this to redefine your rules and regulations to restart the business when the time comes. So far, I’ve updated our terms and conditions of employment, staff handbook, and policies and procedures. I’ve spring-cleaned the way we operate so we can come back slicker.
Having the time to properly look at what we want from the people we work with is a rare luxury and having the headspace to navigate it in such a focused way is rarer still. Lots of positives will come out of this crisis. Employers will find out who their “troops” are; who’s got their back. Employees will find out who their bosses really are too; whether they were strong and decisive leaders in a time of uncertainty. People will be taking stock of their lives and making big changes to their careers and aspirations.
Those who are happy will value their jobs and workplaces more than ever. Those who aren’t will move on. Customers will value us. We’ll value them (as if we didn’t before?). We’ll learn to appreciate more. Let’s be thankful we get the chance.
Hellen Ward is managing director of Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa in London, one of the most profitable independent salons in the UK. She is beauty ambassador for the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF).