While running your own business, you often get to control many aspects of what you do. This could potentially include setting your own schedule, building your own clientele, finding your unique market, and more. However, there are also factors that you can’t control. For example, if the market has a decline or there is a lapse in clients being able to come to you for service, you could feel the financial burden very quickly. So what do you do in those times? Look no further because we have some ways that might help you continue to bring in income when you can’t see your clients face-to-face.
Offer Promotions or Gift Cards
When you are not able to see clients and provide hair services to them, it is hard to bring in a steady income. During slower times, it is important to find a different way to bring in cash. Some ways to do this include offering a buy-now-use-later type promotion or selling gift cards.
If you are not worried about future cash flow and are looking for more immediate income, now could be a great time to consider offering promotions. This could include offering a free haircut with the purchase of a color service or buy 5 haircuts and get one half off.
Besides bringing in cash to your business immediately, gift cards can also ensure that you will see your clients again allowing you to increase their loyalty to you.
Gift cards can also bring in new customers. A client can give a gift card to a friend and now you have a potential new client. Or you can offer a deal on gift card purchases and increase your chances of a new client coming in for your services. For example, if you are promoting gift card purchases to increase immediate cash flow, you could offer a deal to buy $50 in gift cards and receive a $10 gift card. Another option is to offer a discount on gift cards like purchase a $50 gift card for $40.
Not currently offering gift cards? Not a problem! There are a variety of ways to offer gift cards. You can use electronic, paper, or plastic cards. And if your POS currently does not have the capability to create, sell, or accept gift cards visit Merchant Maverick to see a list of systems that do.
Increase Your Client Interactions
While your clients are away, it is important to stay in front of them. Soon they will be ready to start getting their haircut, coloring their hair, and having someone do their hair for them. Once that time comes, make sure they still think of you! You are a service provider and often a listening ear. Your clients will miss you like you miss them, and staying in front of them is important. Here are some of the best ways to maintain your client interactions when you can’t see them face-to-face
Use Social Media
You’re probably already using social media to promote your services. However, now is a great time to reevaluate your social media messaging. Take the time to post personal messages. Show your clients that you understand this is not an easy time, that you miss being able to see them, and who you are as a person.
Social media can also be used to promote your gift cards and other ways you are trying to earn income during this time.
Remember that your clients are looking for answers now too! Share tips and tricks on how they can get by until they are able to see you again.
Ask for Reviews
While asking for referrals brings a more immediate impact, it is hard to see results from that when you aren’t able to see clients. You can, however, ask for reviews from your trusted clients. Positive reviews on social media sites, Google, and Yelp will position you for when you can take new clients again.
Improve Your Skills with Self-Development and Trainings
Do you ever get so wrapped into your business you miss out on accomplishing some of your goals that you had set? Now is the time to complete them! Just because you are not able to work your normal schedule, it doesn’t mean that you need to completely slow down.
Your self-development time could include working on new skills in your specific industry or some self-care time to prepare for your re-opening.
Once you are allowed to re-open from the COVID-19 pandemic, more than likely your clients will care about the cleanliness of your studio more than ever. Barbicide is offering a free certification on their cleaning products, including the ability to immediately print your certification.
Look Into Small Business Loans
While it is hard to have to look for help, the government has worked on ways to prevent small business from closing permanently due to COVID-19. There are small business loans and funding options available. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidelines to help you navigate applying for loans and best practices for working. While all of this may not directly and immediately apply to you and your business, we hope that this helps you prepare for your reopening.
Prepare for the Future
One of the best things you can do during a slow time is to start preparing for the future. The tips and tricks listed above should help guide you in how to set yourself up for success. However, there are a few other ways you can prepare in case of a future emergency/downtime:
- Protect you and your business from risks: Did you know that if a client tripped over a cord in your salon and was injured, you might be financially responsible for those injuries? Or if you had a theft or fire, you could have to cover the equipment replacement costs yourself. There are many potential risks like these that you might face while working as a hairstylist. Take the time and proper precautions necessary to financially protect your business. A BBI policy could protect you from these risks and protect the financial security of your business. Check out our policy today for coverage in as little as 10 minutes.
- Work with an accountant: If you are using a small business accountant to do your bookkeeping and/or taxes, work with them to evaluate your cash flow. Knowing how your business fluctuates will help you prepare in case of slower times.
We understand that slow times can be very challenging, but if you are willing to make a few adjustments you can continue to run your business. Some of these adjustments including offering promotions, increasing your client interactions, and preparing for your business’ future can be implemented into your business plan now. We hope these tips will help your business thrive now and in the future.
By Andi Uderjohn
Andi is a Marketing Communication Specialist for BBI.
Andi has her degree in Marketing from the University of Utah. She has written content in a variety of industries including insurance, financial services, and for general contractors. When Andi is not working, you can find her watching sports (Go Duke!), taking a spin class, or binge watching Criminal Minds… again.