With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting so many of us, it can feel like a scary time for aesthetic businesses. With doors to clinics closing, this is, understandably, a worrying prospect for both business owners and employees alike. However, there are several things you can do during this uncertain time to help strengthen your business for when it reopens. I spoke to Sharon Bennett, Chair of the BACN, who had some great advice on what aesthetic practitioners can be doing while their clinics are closed.
Spend time educating yourself
This is an amazing opportunity for us to really focus on further educating ourselves, which is something that many of us don’t generally have much time to do. Spending your time learning something new and getting a few online courses under your belt will be so valuable.
For example, you could do a short skin course that could really furnish you with more knowledge and new skills for when you reopen, or perhaps an online mentorship module, which several universities offer. These are written modules that generally take a term but which can be completed much sooner if you have time on your hands.
To help out nurses in this time, the BACN is in the process of working with our partners to set up some online education resources for our members, which will include live webinars, Q&A sessions, educational videos and more.
You can also take a look at TED Talks for information on some incredible topics, as well as checking out manufacturers’ websites for educational resources.
Support each other
Keeping each other supported is so vital in times like this, and it’s reassuring to hear from others who are going through similar issues and to see how they are coping. There are so many Facebook groups and online forums out there that allow aesthetic practitioners to stay connected. You could even arrange to get together on video calls so that you can see each other to talk through ideas, issues and more, as well as just generally feel a bit more connected.
Sort your revalidation papers
If you’re a nurse, you need to prove to the NMC that you are constantly learning, so getting your revalidation papers up to date and filed to the NMC is a great use of your time, showing proof of all the conferences you’ve attended, the magazines you’ve subscribed to and read, the peer groups you’ve been to and the online courses you’ve done.
Being part of a member of a recognised group is also beneficial - especially the BACN, which the NMC loves as we are their go-to group and organisation for advice and guidance. They like people working together and connecting with others.
Get your online presence up to date
This is an ideal time to update your website content, as many people will be using this time to research treatments and clinics. Make sure your treatment and clinic info is all correct and up to date, and create interesting blogs that offer readers something valuable. These could be cheery articles, ‘Did you know’-based articles, or top tips.
Even though you’re closed, life still goes on. Informative posts. People will want to use their time to read and research, so, staying on top of your social media will also be crucial. Keep your business at the forefront of people’s minds by creating insightful, fun and educational posts and videos. When you reopen or pick up again, people will be more likely to contact you. It’s also a good way to keep patients up to date with the COVID-19 situation and explain why or when you will be closing and reopening.
Get your paperwork in order
Sorting through your documentation can feel like such a chore but, actually, this is such a good opportunity to get it sorted. What does this mean? Well, it could be a case of going paperless if you’re still not online. Or you could take a deeper look at your consent forms and your protocols, and look at ensuring they are updated so you’re ready to go once you reopen.
Look after your finances
For those of you who have your own clinics, take a look at what Government support you’re entitled to. You can stay updated and find out more here.
If you feel particularly vulnerable when it comes to your financial situation, you could also take a look at ‘rent relief’. Most landlords will be understanding, as they won’t want to lose you, and a lot offer about 3 months of relief.
Put things on hold where you can if they are set to cost you a lot of money, and look at payment plans just to try to reduce the amount you have going out while you have little to nothing coming in.
Also, look at things you can do online - such as selling skincare products that you can deliver yourself, or doing FaceTime consultations and follow-ups.
This is a difficult time, but we will come through it stronger. We all just need to be a bit more inventive and think outside the box.