Katie Barnes
Katie Barnes

Coronavirus: 7 ideas to help your business survive tough times

By Katie Barnes | 18 March 2020 | Expert Advice, Feature

Katie Barnes Nails

As nail technicians and beauty therapists, our customer appointments rely on face-to-face contact for us to perform our services and earn income. We are all aware of the impending detrimental effects that the current global pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) may have on our nail and beauty businesses.

Now is the time to start planning and put contingencies in place in the event of social distancing measures and the inevitable decrease of customers. If you ignore rapidly changing circumstances, your business is unlikely to survive.

While we rely on contact to bring us income, we need to think outside of the box and consider ways we can utilise our tech skills and keep the cash flow ticking over until we can trade as usual.

  1. How to keep your customers’ nails looking good

In distressing times, people still want and need to feel good. The ‘lipstick effect’ is a prime example. While your clients or potential new customers may not be able to access your nail business for nail appointments directly, they will still want to wear their usual nail designs to make them feel good.

Offer a custom design press-ons service: your customers can customise the nail art or colour they desire and you can create press-ons and mail these out to customers. As well as providing your customers with a temporary and alternative solution to their nail appointments, it allows the tech to keep their hand in their trade. A great side business to consider long term.

Another alternative is to customise other objects such as shoes; wine glasses; hair accessories etc using your nail art skills like one stroke techniques or add bling to items with crystals.

2. Online sales

Do you already have an online store? Think about how you can utilise this to maximise profits without the need for face-to-face contact. If you retail products, you can offer these online for your customers to purchase. Contemplating offering the press-on or decorated item service? Then add these to your website, as well as third party retailers. Consider offering subscription boxes e.g. your top three colours of the month, which can bring regular monthly income.

If clients are unable to attend their nail appointments for the foreseeable future, it is important to encourage them to take as much care of their nails as possible at home. While we don’t want to endorse the use of professional products at home, there are many home user friendly products. This could be soak off removal kits to remove their enhancements at home if they miss an appointment, care kits including nail files; buffers; hand creams, cuticle oils or nail polishes.

3. Block advanced bookings & vouchers

Encourage customers to book and pay for their future appointments ahead. Offer a discount to boost this. e.g. book 5 appointments for the price of 4. This payment could even be spread over several months. This will provide you with some cash flow through a period of no appointments. Urge customers and locals to purchase gift vouchers. Advise purchasers that these pre-payments will help the businesses they love continue. It can be good practice to extend expiry dates on these to incentivise purchases.

4. YouTube

Do you love creating nail art videos and sharing your skills with others? Now can be a good time to go online and create a channel. There is potential to earn revenue from this.

5. Children’s workshops

With the possibility of schools closing for a period of time in the UK, and many countries already enforcing this, although they will be home schooled, they will become easily bored. Consider offering mini online nail art; skin care and interactive workshops to keep your customer and friends and families children entertained while earning some cash.

6. Utilise the additional time

We all have sizeable jobs that often get neglected, so this can be a good use of time to plan for the year ahead. Get ahead of these such as having a clear out; planning marketing; tax return; accounts. Consider your biggest profit making periods – focus on how you can make the most of these to boost your profits back up.

This can be a great time to learn or perfect a particular technical or business skill. There are many online workshops and courses which can be worked through from home.

7. Financial support

Where possible, start saving money and reducing unnecessary spending now. A place to concentrate spending is hygiene & safety practices to help prevent the spread of this and all other infections.

Check your insurance policy wording. Many standard policies may not include any protection if your business suffers due to an epidemic outbreak, regardless of circumstance. Consider taking out income protection if your policy does not already cover this.

Click here to find out more about financial support from government.

Whilst we all hope not to experience times of crisis out of our control such as a recession; act of god or epidemic: planning for these eventualities and being ready for them is paramount for a business to survive.

I would love to hear about your ideas for maintaining your business through this. Join me on social media @katiebarnesnailartist.

Love Katie B x