By Kathy Hosler
Libby and Carol each owned successful salons that had been in business for over 10 years. They had large client bases and were consistently booked year round. Life was good. Then, COVID-19 happened.
The states Libby and Carol were in ordered all nonessential businesses to cease operations. Pet grooming was deemed to be nonessential, so both salons had to close. Libby put a closed sign on her door. In addition, she posted the closure on her website and on her Facebook page. Then she contacted each of her clients to cancel their upcoming appointments, and to assure them that she would reschedule them as soon as possible.
Carol put a closed sign on her door and then went home to sulk. How dare the government tell her that she could not operate her business? It’s just not fair! She didn’t bother to notify her clients because it is all over the news that businesses had to close. They will know not to come.
Well, some of Carol’s clients did come. They found Carol’s building was locked, and no one answered the phone.
Throughout the shutdown, all Carol did was complain about how unfair it was that she had to close. She always had a plentiful income, but Carol spent her money as fast as she made it. She had very little in savings, and soon her utility payments were due but Carol didn’t have the money to pay them.
Libby’s business was closed as well, but she handled the situation in a completely different manner. Her health and safety, and that of her employees and clients were uppermost in her mind. She didn’t panic or pout. And, instead of worrying 24/7, Libby chose to view the shutdown as an opportunity.
While she was closed, Libby did some remodeling of her salon, she sent out her blades and scissors to be sharpened, and had maintenance done on her dryers and other equipment. Libby used her time wisely. She researched and applied for government programs that she qualified for as a result of the pandemic.
Libby learned new skills when she took advantage of many educational programs that were offered online, some of them at no cost. She kept in touch with other groomers in her area and across the nation through social media. That helped her stay on top of any new developments. She joined the Quarantine Cuisine for Groomers group on Facebook where they shared pictures and recipes of kitchen successes and failures. Libby really enjoyed the fellowship, and had fun trying some of the recipes which took her mind off of all the craziness around her.
Libby also kept in touch with her clients. She sent out email blasts and newsletters. She let them know that she was thinking about them and their pets, and even posted some video tutorials on her website to show them how to brush and care for their pets until her salon could reopen.
When she was allowed to resume grooming, Libby was fully prepared. She had participated in a webinar about how to get your business ready to reopen, had all her disinfecting and sanitizing protocols in place, and followed all the national, state and county guidelines. She also made a video for her clients about drop–off and pick–up procedures, and texted and emailed the information to them. She planned to feature creative promotions like spa treatments, add–on services and retail specials to help her recoup some of the income that was lost during the shutdown.
What was Carol doing during the shutdown? She spent her days sleeping in, binge watching television shows and playing on her phone. And of course, she was still complaining. Oh, poor me. I have all these bills to pay and no money coming in. It’s not fair. Well no, it wasn’t fair…not for Carol, not for Libby, not for any of us. But, Carol was doing nothing to mitigate her situation or to help herself.
When Carol’s salon got the green light to reopen, she went in and switched the sign from closed to open. Then she waited for the phone to ring. She had not made any preparations to keep herself, her employees or clients safe. Again she complained. Why isn’t anyone calling me? I am open again.
Carol’s customers never heard from her during the shutdown. Many felt that they were unimportant to her and some had already found new groomers. Those who did return found that Carol was not taking any kind of precautions to protect them or the wellbeing of their precious pets. Eventually, Carol closed the doors of her salon permanently.
Because of her actions during the pandemic, Libby’s business is booming. She kept in touch with her clients during the COVID–19 crisis, and the bonds she had with them were strengthened because of her care and concern. She also prepared herself and her salon to meet all the requirements needed to operate safely.
The world as we knew it may never be the same. But, preparing for difficult times has a huge impact on how you weather the storm. In this time of great uncertainty, you need to take control.
Do you have a plan? ✂️