Updated: Nov 20, 2020
How to Solve Beauty and Wellness Industry Challenges in the COVID-19 Era
Stay-at-home orders changed the global beauty and wellness industry almost instantly. Salons, barbershops, hair stylists, trainers, and many others find themselves unable to work because of the implementation of social distancing guidelines.
Some independent contractors are unable to work because working in this industry does not classify their business as an essential service. That means they cannot help clients even if they only see one customer at a time.
The beauty industry has an estimated global value of $532 billion. There will be a time when everyone can get back to work, but it will be with some changes. Social distancing is going to remain part of our society to prevent future COVID-19 transmissions, which means we need a new way to do business.
Freelancers Are the Backbone of the Beauty and Wellness Industry
Salons and spas are an essential part of the U.S. economy, responsible for about 10% of the global revenues in beauty and wellness each year.
Even as the gig economy and freelancing opportunities rise, this industry was already powered by independent contractors. About 10% of the U.S. workforce involves self-employment, and another 20% of workers get hired by people who operate a business in that manner.
Over 50% of the workers in the beauty and wellness industry have their employment classified as self-employment in some countries. Barbers, hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists all have higher rates of independent contracting when compared to the general workforce.
Social distancing may be necessary until 2022. That means everyone must find an approach that meets the health needs of clients while staying in business.
How Is Your Business Fighting COVID-19?
If you own a business or work as an independent contractor in the beauty and wellness space, then you have likely made changes to how you work with customers already.
You can promote these changes as a way to market your services right now. How you clean and sanitize your equipment, wear N95 masks, and use protective gloves are all ways to communicate to people that you take their health seriously.
The most significant change that will happen because of social distancing is the need to wait somewhere other than an entryway, lobby, or service area. Every service provider in the industry needs a way to schedule reservations without forcing people to be in crowded areas.
Independent contractors need a method to communicate with clients that includes payment for services rendered to avoid hand-to-hand currency transfers.
All of these actions can happen online with mobile devices. These actions won’t let you get back to work if your job isn’t essential, but it can get you ready for the future.
If your work in beauty and wellness does receive classification as an essential service, then you need tools to help your customers feel safe.
Going Digital Can Help You to Manage the New Normal
Business websites for salons, barbershops, and spas already lack essential information. Phorest Salon Software found that only 25% of industry-related service providers had a map of their location on a contact page, with 38% not even displaying their operating hours prominently.
If you need to adapt to social distancing guidelines to stay operational, then that means booking and paying for appointments through that website.
Only 54% of the industry’s appointments happen during regular business hours anyway, which is why those who have this capability already have a competitive edge.
Using an app that can handle all of your needs through a single platform is much easier than juggling multiple systems to meet the demands that COVID-19 places on society today.
Apps give you opportunities that aren’t available on other platforms. If a customer books an appointment with you, then they have a guaranteed time. You can have them wait safely in their car if they arrive early or you’re running a little late.
Having app-based information as an independent contractor or freelancer enables you to compete with larger businesses in your community. You can avoid the headache of payment processing issues with this service without losing the opportunity to earn tips.
Customers get to see all of the services you provide at a glance, and it enables you to provide unique offers that can entice people for a visit.
Instead of spending time responding to calls or texts, you can be working to earn more because you modernized your business structure.
COVID-19 may require the beauty and wellness industry to take an innovative approach to customer care, but we have the tools available to create successful results. Now is the perfect time to implement the changes that can lead to a profitable future.