We learned recently from a few of our determined beauty salon members affected by the mandated closure that a closed shop-front doesn’t mean you’re out of the game completely. 

This week’s case study subjects James Vivian Dermal Therapies and Vaia Beauty are living proof that your business – and sustainability goals – can still progress!

James Vivian

Preparing the Salon & Staff:
Generally, new systems are implemented with time to appropriately strategise and refine, however, Covid-19 has forced us to move our business to a strictly online offering – without warning!                   

From a personal perspective, the drive to ensure we make it through this period, and to ensure my team have roles to return to, provide me with purpose and hope.

New Processes to Connect with Clients:
Just because our doors are physically closed doesn’t mean that we stop thinking about our clients all day, or that our clients lose their skin ambitions.

  • Whilst we appreciate the change in priorities for many, for new and existing clients still wishing to ensure their skin is maintained during this period, we have introduced virtual skin consultations. 
  • We are offering complimentary bathroom spring cleans for new and existing clients who wish to discard unused, expired and inappropriate skincare and to focus on skincare they own that is suitable or to fill in any gaps with new skincare that will better target their concerns.
  • We created a free online store using Shopify – it took us 2-days. We love it and so do our clients.
  • We are running a 14-day isolation skin challenge on Instagram for new and existing clients who wish to join me on my morning and evening routine. I am sharing my tips for caring for your skin at home and I am inviting guests to share their routines as well as useful information beyond skincare, such as naturopathy, working from home advice, dermatological advice and hair and makeup. 
  • Lastly, we have done our best to package at-home versions of our treatments for clients to perform in their own bathroom. Clients have loved having the opportunity to recreate the in-clinic experience at home and to continue receiving an element of self-care that they look forward to when visiting us at James Vivian.

Staying Informed:
I’ve really leaned on Employsure throughout this process to help determine what is in my staff’s best interest and the clinic’s best interest.

Words of Advice:
Every business is very different, and every client and their needs are different. Knowing that we weren’t going to be able to physically put our hands on our client’s faces, we knew the next best thing would be making sure that they have all the skincare they need.

When this all first hit you couldn’t help but empathise with how this was going to affect everyone around us. For us, it was about making sure that we were connecting with our clients, providing information, support and advice on their skin that they could use at home that didn’t require them to outlay any money. We weren’t trying to ram anything down anyone’s throats and the feedback we’ve had from that has been really overwhelming. By continuing this mentality, we make decisions based on our clients’ best interests.

Sustainability Commitment:
We’re still selling a lot of skin care so we looked at the impact of these mail orders; we went from the Australia Post Express Bag to the Better Packaging Co. bags, and Ranpack to protect the products. No plastic is being used in the packaging and Australia Post also does Carbon Neutral delivery, which is great.

This situation has also given us some time to look at the waste that we haven’t been able to divert to biodegradable or recyclable materials, so we’ve spoken to suppliers and been able to work on our sustainability.

Vaia Pappas

Preparing the Salon & Staff:
We all performed the infection control training that was made available by the Australian Government Department of Health before the clinic closed, so when we can return, we’ll be opening with the necessary knowledge and practices in place.

New Processes to Connect with Clients:
Going from complete face-to-face to complete virtual has been a huge transition for us and our clients. Some changes we have made to help us all stay connected are:

  • Moving our products onto the website as opposed to the shelves
  • Opening the clinic for retail purchases only for a couple of hours on select days
  • Offering Zoom and phone consultations
  • Promoting product demos and teaching our guests how to care for their skin and health via social media tutorials

Words of Advice:

  • Stay connected to your clients so they know that you still care about them! Simple, but easy to forget when we’re all experiencing these strange times.
  • Maximise your socials and Mailchimp
  • A simple phone call or email is personal and always appreciated

Sustainability Commitment:
We try to be diligent at home with recycling and also encourage our clients to the same during this time. Reducing waste is extra important when we’re adding so much single-use to our lives with the pandemic, especially things like paper and food wrappings etc.

Marlo Johnston

Preparing the Salon & Staff:

  • I reached out to my suppliers and made sure that some of them could give me a line of credit and also to work out any DIY kits we could introduce to promote on our website. 
  • I added these to our website and sent emails promoting them to clients – some of them didn’t even know that we already had an online shop! 
  • We offered home-delivered products and free postage, then discovered the post was too slow so I put Jobkeeper to good use and opened 2 hours each day just for product collections.
  • I discovered Zoom! We use it for team meetings and product knowledge training so our brains don’t dry up

New Processes to Connect with Clients

  • Social Media and updating product purchasing options on my website
  • Emailing clients to keep them updated and on any promotions
  • Phoning clients directly. We do this everyday and all day, plus we began our annual Skin Boot Camp early to give us a purpose for each call and conduct sales over the phone 

Staying Informed:
I get emails every day from companies just like Sustainable Salons. I have also reached out to other salon owners to stay updated; it’s been really nice and keeps us closer as an industry. Plus my suppliers have been amazing!

Words of Advice:
If we don’t contact our clients then another salon will! This is the time that some clients may be looking elsewhere so keep them engaged. Make a list of your team’s top 50 clients each and start calling them; they sometimes just love the chat because they are lonely or bored, but it makes them feel part of something. 

Plus, 75% of these calls result in a product sale. When my team calls, they update any info on email addresses, home addresses and make sure they are following us on social media and adding them to our contact list to make an appointment when we reopen. Our social media followers have grown quicker than usual because of this!

Sustainability Commitment:
I’ve been taking all of the paper packaging from my deliveries home to light the fire!