The worries, fears, and getting back to normal by Tina Bell 

Once Boris announced we would be opening on the 12th of April, my life has been like a whirlwind. Before I knew it, opening day was here. Now as of writing this it is only Tuesday 13th, and I can already see what a busy and back-breaking week this is going to be! I am already cramming in as many clients as possible, even though I promised myself I would not do this. I never learn.

After each lockdown, I find it harder to get back into the swing of working again. This time I have found it extra hard. All week I have been haunted with anxiety and worry about returning. I guess it is the unknown. Will we ever get back to how busy we were before all of this started? We went from being a six days a week salon with a waiting list to now only being able to fill up the back part of the week.

I had to have a think about how I was going to approach the return and what I could do to make sure we did everything possible for maximum profit. We have stopped the use of the online booking system for now, which allows me to control the booking myself, ensuring we have the maximum number of appointments with no big gaps that could be filled. I started at the Saturday, which is always our busiest day, and filled the days backwards.

I also posted an announcement for all clients to let them know that they require a skin test as it has been over 3 months since their last appointment. Not only this, but if clients have had COVID or their COVID jab, they are not allowed to get any tinting done for 14 days after, as it is unclear on the effect this could have on their body.

I made sure to post pictures of my Halo Create unit to show clients the new foils and products. I find this gets them excited as they know there are things they haven’t seen before or had on their nails. I find letting the staff have a few treatments too as they are a walking advertisement and the best people to show it off!

Giving myself some time throughout the days to check emails is also extremely important. This helps to keep stress levels down. I know my arthritis and RSI will flare up after being back at work, so I need to take time to care for myself, rest and take medication if it is needed. Luckily, all my staff are very supportive, and we all look after one another.

Trying to keep clients coming through the door even after the first week back is also hugely important. My team and I had a staff meeting to put together some amazing offers – we have called them ‘Life after Lockdown Pamper Sessions’. They include some amazing treatment plans at a very discounted and affordable price. We have made sure to include treatments that require upkeep- this is where you will make your money back! Once the client has had the first initial pamper, nine out of ten times she will book back in and maintain the service. Then, you have a new, regular client.

We have recently introduced a loyalty scheme and a bring a friend for a free treatment offer. We must remember that the COVID vaccine wasn’t a thing during the last two lockdowns, and now that it is, people will start to get more confident with leaving the house. Although this is more offers than we would usually put together, we need to remember it is just for now. I am a strong believer that we will slowly start to pick up and get back to the salon we once were.

Even though my anxiety can creep in, I make sure to start upbeat and positive for the staff. The last thing they want is to be furloughed again, so we all have one common goal. Putting in a little target for the staff is a great idea too; there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition!

I wish you all the luck in the world in getting your salon back to pre-COVID times. I’m always here to help you if I can.

For any questions or queries regarding Pure Nails products and salon life, please contact nailtechsupport@purenails.co