COVID-19: How to Manage Your Spa Business Continuity in an Uncontrollable Situation

COVID-19: How to Manage Your Spa Business Continuity in an Uncontrollable Situation

advice covid-19 leadership Mar 17, 2020

Spa owners, today I want to touch on the essentiality of critical thinking-- especially in times of crisis, like what we are currently seeing with COVID-19.

As a spa owner-turned-spa business coach based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, I have seen many fellow spa owners both here in Canada and across the globe posting their COVID-19 related concerns in my free spa owners-only Facebook group: spas in COVID-19 affected areas are already experiencing cancellations and government mandated spa closures and, as such, spa owners are worrying about the impact to their livelihoods. 

In times of financial and/or emotional crisis, it’s easy to shift into panic, which triggers our reactive brain rather than our critical thinking brain. Panicking notches up our cortisol levels and, in turn, perpetuates unclear thinking and poor decision-making.

Amidst times of crisis such as our current COVID-19 outbreak, we need strong spa business owners to act as leaders not just within our industry, but for our staff, families, and communities. 

How Business Continuity Planning Can Save Your Spa Business in Times of Crisis

While most spa owners have not conducted any business continuity planning (which, in its most basic form, is having savings to draw from in times of financial turbulence) doing so is absolutely vital: there may be times in your life when, as a business owner, there is no other course of action except to ride out the loss of business and keep you, your team, and your clients safe. This may require relying on savings for a period of time.

My recommendations for spa owners looking to draft a business continuity plan?

  • Create a Spa Health Policy and Protocol: if you haven’t already, write a protocol for how to communicate crisis-related information to clients via email and social media.

  • Draft a Client Form: procure a required form that clients fill out before they come into the spa as both an extra layer of caution and a way to inform clients that your spa is taking the crisis seriously. This form is an example of how to do a contagion-related form right.

  • Remove Cancellation Fees: alert clients that you will be removing cancellation fees so that you don’t put your staff or your clients at risk of contagion.

  • Focus Less on Finances: while easier said than done, respecting and following crisis protocols is what will bolster community help and fast-track our economy’s recovery time.

  • Pause All Major Promotions: in order to save money, seek other ways to serve your clients (for example, via reliable and transparent communication) rather than running large promotions for your spa business.

  • Consider Virtual Skin Consultations: as spa business owners, thinking outside the box is crucial, especially during times like this COVID-10 outbreak. A great option is to offer clients virtual skin consultations via Skype or Zoom. 


Questions to Ask Yourself as a Spa Business Owner During COVID-19 (and Potential Future Times of Crisis)

Whether it’s a crisis like COVID-19 or financial turbulence due to client retention difficulties, practicing preparedness and having a business continuity plan are key for peace of mind as a spa business owner. To practice preparedness, questions you can ask yourself include:

  • How much money do I need to live on during a crisis or turbulent event? How long?: this question can guide you towards determining how much you should be putting into savings.

  • What is expected of my team during an event?: asking yourself this can help you generate a protocol for your spa business’s staff.

  • Who is on my “skeleton crew”? What kind of work can I give them if clients are cancelling?: while a difficult question, having a plan of how to pare down your team is necessary and what procedures you will still be offering is important for business continuity.

As a former spa business owner, I know your struggle: please contact me if you are seeking an extra pair of eyes to review your business continuity plan. 

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