What have you learned from the past year?
“The importance of technology to our business. We created a virtual reception to minimise contact within the spas and ensure social distancing was possible. We also moved a lot of our processes online and changed our client journey. For example, we had our reception teams doing virtual pre-treatment consultations and developed digital consultations cards for clients to complete at home.
“We also did a lot of digital engagement, pre-appointment, about what to expect in the spa and how it may have changed since the client last came in, with regards to PPE and social distancing. It’s been a game-changer for us, and it’s taught us that we need to make better use of technology in the day-to-day running of the business going forward.”
What did you change in terms of cost-management?
“Cash is king in business. When you’re running the business day-to-day, things tend to creep along and you rarely have the time to look at costs. When we went into the first lockdown, we looked at utilities, water, IT, card companies – every supplier we used. We then went down the list and identified where we could make savings and thought about how we could work more efficiently, and cut them from there.”
What qualities does it take to be a successful businessperson?
“Don’t give up. Make sure you have a strong business strategy of where you want to be and write it down on paper. Don’t just think, ‘I want to have an amazing salon’, because everyone wants an amazing salon. Instead, think about what defines amazing for you? If you’ve got a measured plan then it is much easier to move towards it, even if it’s something that’s quite ‘out-there’.”
What do you think the spa and beauty market will look like this time next year?
“One of the great things that has happened throughout the coronavirus pandemic has been that, as an industry, we’ve come together and demonstrated to Government our importance in the UK economy as a whole. The Government has listened and we’ve now got better representation for our industry, which will help put more effective policies in place to support and grow businesses in the future.
“Coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone is going to be thinking about their health and wellness; our industry plays so well into that space so I think we’ll be thriving.”
What are your plans; have they changed because of the past year?
“We haven’t slowed down. We opened two locations last year, but unfortunately also had to close two. We’ve got another two in the pipeline though that we would have opened in January or February of 2021, had we been able to. They will probably open soon after lockdown, so we will be up to 17.”