Estheticians are in mourning. Some were forced and others chose to put their skincare practices on hiatus. The repercussions from COVID-19 have personal and professional influences and managing both can be overwhelming, to say the least. Let's look at some practical steps you can take when you must choose 'intermission' for your business.
Reach Out to Your Clients
Your clients need to hear from you. You have established relationships with them. Some of them view you as a close friend. You've been their confidante and they need to know what's going on with your business. You can also use the check-in time to make sure they are safe and staying healthy. Social media is a great option for this, but you will retain more clients when you return if you reach out personally with a phone call or text message.
Communicate with Your Landlord
If you are in a cash poor position, you need to be up front with your landlord as soon as possible. If you don't have the money, you don't have the money. It can be an awkward conversation but let your landlord know you are willing to be creative. Perhaps the landlord can take your initial deposit as a rent payment. Perhaps your rent can be deferred and added to the end of your lease.
Communicate with Your Insurance
Your insurance company may have lower rates for your business insurance, your car insurance and even your professional liability insurance if you are not working. Save that money.
Communicate with Your Creditors
If you have purchased or leased equipment and you are unable to make those payments, you need to contact your creditors and have an honest conversation. Your creditors don't want to repossess your equipment. Come up with some creative solutions. Perhaps your payments can be deferred for six months. Perhaps you can pay the interest only. Perhaps you can refinance and lower your payments but extend the time of your contract. You don't know unless you reach out before your creditors are hounding you. Get the name of one contact person in the company and call them regularly with a status update on your financial position. Companies will be more favorable to your situation if you are proactive.
Forward Your Mail
Use usps.com to have your business mail forwarded. You don't want to be out picking up your mail if you are required to shelter-in-place and you don't want to miss any important mail that is coming from your state board or other professional organizations.
Review Your Expenses
Really put your expenses under a microscope. Go through your bank statements and eliminate any expenses that are nice but not necessary. That water delivery? That monthly gym membership? Your subscription services? You can always cancel and resume the services when you are back up and running.
Communicate with Your Accountant, Bookkeeper or CPA
Talk to the people who are helping you with your books. Make sure they know you are not actively working right now. Find out if there are details you should be tracking right now so you can be better prepared for the next tax season. If you are paying quarterly taxes, get advice on how to manage that.
Look for Financial Resources
Besides the federal grant and loan money that is being made available for small businesses, there could be additional resources through your state, your county, or your city. Civic and professional organizations are offering funds. Take the time to research and apply. Even if the chances are slim, you need to make every effort to get financial assistance whereever you can.
Social Media Diet
You may need to increase your social media postings to stay on the top of your clients' mindset. Your clients need to hear positive messages right now. But consider a break from the steady sensationalism on television and other news sources. These create anxiety and are not uplifting or hopeful. Find a trusted resource and ignore the rest.
Plan Your Return/Don't Let Your Dream Die
Keep your dream alive! Start planning now for your reopening! Get things in order so when the social distancing regulations shift or change, you can adapt. Begin planning for stricter sanitation requirement and, longer room turn around times. Plan a grand celebration for the reopening of your skincare facility. You passion for your profession will rise and carry you through. Hang onto your dreams.