Diana Beaufort of Reds Hairdressing says that the time for strong leadership is now, “Your team need to know that you have their backs, both emotionally and financially. You need to have a business continuity and risk management plan so you can focus on what you can control.” In New Zealand, the lockdown period started March 26th for a minimum of 4 weeks, so we still don’t know when everything will be back to normal, Diana feels it’s important to be honest and realistic when communicating with your team and your clients at this time.
Here are Diana’s tips on how she’s working with her team and communicating with her clients during New Zealand’s lockdown:
Our future business success depends on our people. Putting clear communication channels in place and staying in touch is vital.
- I applied for the wage subsidy and received it before the lockdown, so my team are being paid 80% of their wage for 12 weeks. Note: Employment law still stands so ensure you have a wage variation agreement in place.
- We have a full team meeting via Zoom 3 times per week, as well as management meetings with my salon coordinator and team leader 3 times per week.
- We all catch up for happy hour ‘Quarantinis’ on Friday afternoons.
- We have a Facebook group and messenger thread.
- We all participate in a minimum of 2 hours online education per day, both paid and free offerings. This can be hairdressing techniques, podcasts, Facebook live, business workshops etc. There are so many great resources at the moment, and we all want to be smarter after this!
- I also encourage everyone to take care of their mental wellbeing through mindfulness, mediation techniques and regular exercise.
Your clients need to know you haven’t abandoned them, so it’s important to keep connected.
- We have compiled client lists to ensure we touch base with everyone who has current bookings in the system.
- We are calling all our clients to personally touch base with them and they really appreciate knowing we haven’t abandoned them.
- I am doing bulk email updates through Kitomba’s Mailchimp integration.
- We’ve updated our messages so all clients receive a Covid-19 message instead of an appointment reminder.
- We’ve created targeted lists to market to different groups using Kitomba’s Campaign Marketing. For example, a list of all clients with future bookings after the lockdown period hopefully ends.
- We have used out top client lists to ensure our VIP clients have first dibs on sought after appointments.
- I’ve turned off other inappropriate marketing lists such as ‘We haven’t seen you for a while’ messages.
- We update our social media pages with a minimum of 2 posts per day, and the team are reaching out to clients via their own hair pages where possible and appropriate.
Diana added that in addition to keeping connected to your team and your clients, communication with other business owners and experts is essential right now.
“I think it’s time to reach out to other leaders, not just in the hair industry, to share advice, ideas and resources. Communication with your peers is vital. Everyone wants to help and we are all just figuring this out.
I personally feel the hair industry has a really good chance to bounce back quickly so we need to be ready to take advantage of that.”
For more advice, assistance and tools that can help you at this time, visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre.