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Personal interaction is rapidly becoming a limited resource while we work to keep our distance and slow the spread of COVID-19. Staying away from friends and family is one thing, but physical touch is baked into beauty and wellness. When touch is critical to your business, what do you do?
You may be worried about the impact that COVID-19 is having on the businesses you love. Some may be reducing their hours or decreasing what services they provide. Others may be shutting their doors to the public, either as a precaution or to comply with city or state directives. As many of your favorite small businesses struggle to survive, they’re getting creative. Here’s what they may be doing to ensure they’re waiting for you on the other side.
If they sell something you buy, their online store may still be open for business. Familiar products, like that amazing massage oil, shampoo, or essential oil, can help you bring their good vibes home. Some businesses are even offering free shipping, curbside pickup, or delivery. Tenoverten, a nail salon based in New York, saw online sales double in the last few days. What better way to offer your support!
Just because the business may need to close doesn’t mean the good work has to stop. While these businesses are planning for their relaunch, they may be asking for your help to spread the word. We’ve seen salons set up review campaigns, gathering testimonials to use when they can open again. You can leave them a review on the Mindbody app or send them an uplifting note about what their business means to you by finding them online.
If your favorite business remains open, you can bet they’re taking careful consideration of sanitation and how and when they’re touching their customers. Some states are restricting which services can be offered right now. Check with the business to see what they may have available.
If a business offers a limited amount of services already, they may be reducing availability. Adding more time between appointments, for example, allows for in-depth cleaning. Don’t be afraid to ask what precautions they’re taking.
If you have an appointment already scheduled, or you’re worried that plans may change, expect greater flexibility. Many businesses are no longer charging cancellation fees, so you can cancel without penalty if you aren’t feeling well. Others will allow you to reschedule for down the road when things improve.
In times of crisis, we’re all trying to put people first. You may find fewer staff members available, and that’s a good thing. Whether someone isn’t feeling well or needs some self-care of their own, that’s what best for them and for you.
You may notice extra effort being put into sanitation, too. Mylkbar, a nail salon with two locations in Charleston, SC, and Nashville, TN, is putting cleanliness front and center for their clients. The salon uses autoclaves to sterilize tools, offers hand sanitizer to customers, and provides transparency into its cleaning schedule via social media. (They clean each day at open and close, as well as a professional deep clean once a week.)
Staying in touch has never felt more important. While family and friends are always front and center, expect to see businesses stretching their communication muscles. They don’t want you to forget about them! Say hi on social media, reply to their newsletter, and consider using video to connect for 1:1 appointments or consultations. They can still offer the advice they’d give in-person, online.
Remember, we are getting through this together, and together we will emerge stronger. To show your local studios support during this time, please visit them on Mindbody.io or in the Mindbody app and find your favorite classes or one you've always wanted to try. Also, tag them on social media, along with @Mindbody, and we will support in any way we can.
Times are strange right now, as you all know. We’ve all heard the phrase “new normal” about a million times already, and all the while, things are still changing every day. If you asked me a few months ago what I’d be writing about right now, I would never have guessed I’d be interviewing someone about what it’s like to get a haircut.
Nonetheless, we’re all doing our best to band together and help each other out right now. You may have noticed salons and spas offering messages of support, video tutorials for DIY beauty, and now, waitlists and announcements of reopening their doors. But as we all know, this isn’t the “old normal” anymore, and there will be changes.
Here’s what you can expect to be different when you finally head back into the salon or spa:
As salons and spas begin to reopen, they’ll likely have to make changes due to new social distancing requirements. When you enter the space, you’ll probably see a complete rearrangement. Stations will be separated by at least six feet, and some might even be removed to allow for more space. Salons that don’t have that much space to spare are putting in temporary walls or partitions.
On top of that, there may be fewer appointments scheduled at the same time (and definitely no walk-ins) to limit the number of people in the building. Say goodbye to waiting rooms and lobbies—you’ll likely be asked to wait outside or in your car until the exact start time of your appointment to prevent too many people crowding the front.
In addition to their increase in space, salons and spas will likely up their cleaning standards and procedures. We surveyed active consumers on the Mindbody app and learned that among the many changes beauty and wellness businesses can make upon reopening, following rigorous sanitization guidelines is the most important. You’ll probably see social posts or confirmation emails that outline new cleaning protocols, and you may notice some signage hanging around the building to reassure that the areas have been disinfected. Employees, and even guests, will be wearing masks and/or gloves, and you may even get a spritz of hand sanitizer at the door. According to Salon 124 Group, getting these supplies is turning out to be one of the largest obstacles for reopening.
In between each appointment, they’ll thoroughly disinfect the area before the next client arrives. Not only that, but each time you move to a new station (like from shampoo to haircut), they may also wipe down the station as soon as you get up to make sure it’s clean for the next guest.
After a good haircut, we all want to check ourselves out. And now that we’re all more cautious of germs and bacteria, we also want to literally check ourselves out at the end of our appointments. Out of the various fitness, beauty, and wellness businesses on our platform, consumers feel most comfortable returning to hair salons, and 62.7% said hair cutting, coloring, styling, barbering, or blow-drying would be the first beauty service they book once restrictions are lifted. An extra, important layer of comfort can be added in the form of contactless payments.
Many salons and spas will likely be incorporating some sort of contactless checkout process to limit touch points. They may end up taking your payment information at check-in via text and removing the front desk, so you don’t have to interact with another person face-to-face.
All-in-all, you can expect changes—and lots of them. Whether it’s increased retail offerings, curbside pickups, virtual consultations, at-home appointments, or video tutorials, many salons and spas are getting creative with how they offer support to their clients. Above all, they want to help us feel beautiful, confident, and somewhat normal during this time—and for that, we’re so thankful.
Want to hear about a real salon experience firsthand? One of our own got her hair done at a reopened salon in Georgia—here’s how it went.
Are you a salon owner yourself? Check out the Reboot Kit for Salons, Spas, & Wellness Businesses for extensive info and advice on how to prepare for reopening.