Is your spa or massage center REALLY ready to reopen yet? There’s so much to take into account when you’re considering reopening in ‘the new normal’ – so here are a few practical tips on how to get your post-COVID spa or massage business ready to go as soon as possible.
We know that that there will be a slow return to business for many of us. While the lines for hair salons might have be around the block – let’s face it, people were even protesting for their right to get their hair cut – people will be naturally more hesitant about visiting a spa or massage center where there is more physical touch involved. For this reason, across the country, people are making changes for their clients’ comfort and safety as well as their team’s.
Think about reviewing your own policies to take into account the situation we’ve all been in: more lenient cancellation policies, a request for clients to stay home if they have symptoms or are ill in general, and stronger hygiene practices. You’ll also need to keep in touch with clients about times and services, let them book new appointments easily and decide how you are going to handle discounts and offers to entice people back.
If you usually have a strict cancellation policy, it’s worth adding a caveat for clients’ illness. If a client cancels a service due to illness, you could consider waiving the cancellation fee and just rebooking the service for when they are feeling better. There’s always the possibility that a client might be trying it on, but most clients are honest and will appreciate the fact that you care about their health. This also protects your staff from illness so it’s a win-win.
Get Your Hygiene Practices in Order
Getting your hygiene and sanitation procedures up to scratch is a vital pre-opening project, not only so that clients feel safer returning but also because it will protect you. There are different regulations in different states, so check out the situation where you are before you commit to anything. For great advice on what you need to do pre-opening, there is a comprehensive list available here:
Some of the best practices you’ll need to consider when you open include:
- Adding signage reminding people to wash their hands
- Frequent cleaning of hands and surfaces
- Providing hand sanitizer
When it comes to PPE, the Center for Disease Control advises:
The types of personal protective equipment used by spa staff may differ based on the guidelines and regulations in place in your city, state, region or country. Always follow the laws and regulations under which your spa operates.
The list below is comprised of PPE that may be most useful for spa staff:
- Cloth face coverings (facemasks); do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker (N95, surgical masks, etc.)
- Disposable gloves (for sanitation purposes AND during treatments if mandated by law, spa policy or guest request)
- Disposable gowns (for sanitation purposes)
- Protective eyewear (for sanitation purposes)
There are several helpful guides on the Global Wellness Institute page that will take you through every step of the process of getting your premises up to scratch with hygiene regulations. Think about what you are going to do with clients’ belongings when they are in your care, too. Did you know that phones are one of the most bacteria-ridden devices people own? They will be bringing them to your premises; it’s unlikely that they will be using them for while enjoying a massage or spa treatment, but in the unlikely situation that they need to use their cell phone while in your care, you could consider providing Clorox or similar disinfectant wipe dispensers to clients pre-treatment.
Make It Clear That You’re Open and Available; and When
Before you reopen, it’s worth carefully reviewing any blocked-out time in your calendar to make sure that it still applies. Those cancelled training courses and trade events – delete them and get clients booked in ASAP.
The calendar audit also applies to any longstanding client appointments and any other appointments that have been made over the phone or by email, make sure they are booked into your online calendar and nobody gets missed. Double bookings are not what you need at the moment!
Check That Your Service List Is Up to Date and Works for You
Now’s the time to make sure that all your services are up to date – and that includes the price list. Add in any extras you’ve decided to offer while you’ve been re-evaluating your offering. Think about what’s not been working for you; take it off if it doesn’t make you money and make more of the services that are doing well, or at least are still in demand post-virus. Now isn’t the time to be experimenting, it’s the time to be making the most of your most popular services and getting your business back on its feet.
To Discount or Not to Discount?
We’ve all seen the businesses that are desperately discounting to drive more clients through the doors as soon as they open up. The problem is that everyone is doing it which tends to devalue their service. You might take a different approach and decide that freezing discounts and adding value instead works better for you? It depends on individual spas or massage centers, their areas and client base. Maybe a tentative off-peak discount would be the best of both worlds, just to fill in quiet spots? Look at who wants to book and how your busy times are shaping up and don’t just rush to knock your prices down across the board.
Good luck with the new normal!