Posted on April 17, 2020
Sola Salon Studios
The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced the majority of our Sola locations to close, leaving customers scrambling to rebook appointments. While none of us can control the government mandates and when they will lift, what we can control is how we prepare to open the salon back up with full books. Your clients will be eager to visit you when they come out of their COVID-hiding - make sure they know how to re-book efficiently and well in advance! Check out these awesome tips from the Faces of Sola and get ready to open your studio #SolaStrong.
Don’t Wait to Start Rebooking Clients
There are a lot of conflicting feelings around whether it’s important to begin re-booking now or wait until we have clearer expectations around when government mandates will lift. Our recommendation is to start re-booking your clients now! Better to have to reschedule a week or two if the government shutdown goes longer than expected than open up with zero clients booked.
“Is it a lot of work to keep re-booking? It is...but right now we are all at home and this gives us the opportunity to reach out and see how our clients are doing, allowing them to keep us top of mind. By re-scheduling their appointment, we are also giving them hope. This is giving them that light at the end of the tunnel and something that they can look forward to! I think we all agree we need a lot of that right now.” – Ashley White
“My clients feel more comfortable knowing they have an appointment booked, rather than waiting to book when we re-open. Ask your clients what is best for them. When you reach out to cancel their appointment, or re-book them, first ask what they would rather do.” – Ashley Sciulli
Whether you’re communicating about your sanitation practices or when your books will open back up, more communication is definitely better right now. Stay in touch with your clients via email, text and social media, reminding them that they are top of mind.
“Prior to the shutdown, I was communicating policies and procedures via email. I also use email to communicate about all appointments being rescheduled. I will continue communicating with my clients via email post-social distancing.” – Steven Wren
“I have personally reached out to all of my clients through text message and have provided updates about my studio closure via text as well.” – Ashley White
“I will be creating videos that they will receive by email and/or text, mainly for new clients that communicate what to expect and where to go once they enter the building. During the quarantine, I am revamping everything: referral cards, review requests, and welcome kits, too. During this time, I have been communicating with my clients via email and text.” – Carlisha Duffey
“I have been reaching out to my clients every time our governor makes a new announcement. I like calling them; I think it’s more personable. Yes, it takes a lot of time to sit there and call everyone, but people appreciate you taking the time to call. Make sure you ask how they're holding up, and ask if they're healthy. Reassure your clients you are staying home and will be healthy for the reopening. Don't sound scared or worried, be the happy uplifting spirit everyone needs right now.” – Ashley Sciulli
Lean into Technology
Re-booking, when you’re using a paper book, can be seriously time-consuming! Text messages and voicemails can be inundating. Lean into technology and use tools like email and mass text messaging to get the word out more efficiently and allow customers to book on their time with online booking. If you’ve always wanted to make the switch to technology but have never had time, now is the perfect time to test out a new tool like SolaGenius.
“I requested that my clients visit my online booking site with SolaGenius and schedule appointments starting in May. My clients find online booking so easy to use. Every single one of them went on and booked their May appointment. It was such a relief!” – Ashley White
“Stress to your clients that they can book their own appointment on SolaGenius. It will take some work off your back! The app is made to help you, take advantage of it. If your clients are not used to booking online, do a How-To Video on Social Media - show them how to book an appointment.” – Ashley Sciulli
“I use GlossUp, a feature through SolaGenius, to communicate. That’s how I’ve kept in contact with my guys this whole time! It has literally saved me so much time. I’m able to text my 300+ clients all at once! And the cool thing is, they can still text me or call me. But through that one text, I’m able to reach my whole community within minutes!” – Brittany Athey
Supercharge Your Schedule
Hairdressers and beauty professionals are going to be in HIGH demand when salons re-open! In order to take care of all of your clients, it might be a good idea to add an extra day or a few hours here and there to your schedule. Don’t overwhelm yourself, but a quick boost to your schedule also means a little extra cash flow after this extended downtime.
“I went through my schedule before this last round of cancellations and made sure to open up some availability in May. This included having some longer days than what I normally work and I opened up some of my regularly scheduled 'off' days. When doing this, I thought about what my schedule from reopening would look like 4 weeks out, 6 weeks out and 8 weeks out. I wanted to make sure that I keep that first month pretty even for the time being.” – Ashley White
“I typically work 3 days a week (Tues, Thurs, Saturday). I decided to add Sundays as well after my salon re-opens.” – Amanda Fagan
“I’ll be changing my hours upon re-opening until I get all of my customers back on track.” – Carlisha Duffey
“I will open my salon an extra day a week to help with the demand.” – Diana Antes
“The first week we are able to open, I will be adding extra days and hours. I am preparing now by ordering extra product and having it sent to my house. I will make sure to bring food with me for those long days, and will dress comfortably!” – Ashley Sciulli
If you are considering adding extra days and hours to your schedule, it’s so important to create boundaries as well that will keep you healthy and stable through the rush. If you need to block personal time to take breaks, do it! If you feel your schedule is already full enough, don’t feel the need to add time. The most important thing to take care of during re-opening is YOU.
“A boundary I’m setting in all of this is that I have taken the time to look through my upcoming schedule and lengthen and add as many days as I can without compromising my limits. My mental and physical health and my time with my family shouldn't be sacrificed at this time of trying to serve everyone else. In the first month of re-opening, I’m primarily looking and focusing on my clients that had to be rescheduled in March and April; I want them to be able to get in first. Setting priorities and boundaries in all of this is not a bad thing. We shouldn't sacrifice our health and well-being for the sake of our clients, we need to have balance in all of this.” – Ashley White
“I worked Sundays for 7 years straight early in my career. I feel like I earned the right to have them to myself! My clients know Sundays are for my family (and football when in season!l) so while I am adding some select Sundays to my schedule, I will maintain that boundary by only booking appointments through me and not through my booking website.” – Ashley Lantz
“Upon re-opening, I am closing my books to new clients until I can take care of everyone who had to reschedule previously. I will not be double booking for the time being. I will make sure to eat and have a break during processing times or between clients as much as possible. I am confident that there will be a high demand for salons, but I am a one-woman show. I also struggle with anxiety on a normal basis and will not expect that to change. In fact, I think tensions will be high when reopening because of the extra precaution of keeping things sanitary, staying healthy, and coming back after all the loss and devastation that we have all experienced. So although it will be tempting to make more money with the demand, I will not overwork myself to burn-out and continue to put my needs, and especially self-care at the forefront of every decision I make for my business and life.” – Amanda Fagan