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Must-have guide: Preparing to close your salon temporarily

Must-have guide: Preparing to close your salon temporarily

If you are facing the prospect of temporarily closing your doors, first of all remember that you are definitely not alone. Many salons and barbers are finding that the current COVID-19 pandemic is forcing them to take a temporary closure, and for most cases, it will mean the eventual re-opening when current pressures ease.  

We’re here to help you get through this! Your business, is our business. It’s going to be a really tough time for many people, but there are a few things that you can do now, to make your eventual re-opening much easier. 

Notify all your clients

Whether they have bookings or not, letting everyone know via SMS or email that you are temporarily closing will mean you can keep in touch with clients while you’re closed, and you don’t lose any of those valuable relationships.  

Check out our Communication Kit for some helpful templates to use when notifying your clients via SMS or email. 

Prepare your team 

It’s important to understand your obligations as an employer at a time like this, and communicate openly with your team about the closure and what it will mean for them.  

The Australian Government has announced a number of different economic relief measures that are designed to help pay wages of your staff and apprentices through this time – check out this article we wrote that explains them 

While the salon is closed, try and communicate every day with your staff and reassure them that you have a plan in place. Hear their concerns and try and formulate a strategy that has everyone’s best interests in mind. Another option that many businesses are implementing is to reduce trading hours to reduce wage costs. This could be an option for salons to take before closing. 

Alternative business 

Consider ways to drive business or marketing while you’re closed. Could you sell retail products that you have in stock through Facebook Marketplace? Make sure you’re using your social media channels to stay in touch and provide updates. Consider using IGTV (Instagram’s platform for longer videos) or YouTube to create tutorials for your customers – after all, a lot of them are likely to have a lot more time on their hands too! 

Increase online revenue 

If you have an online store or offer online gift cards, now is the time to remind your clients of it. It will help drive revenue for your business even while clients can’t visit your salon. Online gift cards also ensure future business with the immediate benefit of revenue. If you don’t have online gift-cards set up – stay tuned! We’re working on some information just for you.  

Make the most of the Shortcuts community

Reach out to local peers and other salon owners through our Shorties Facebook Group. This is a valuable source of industry knowledge and connection to others in your position. We are also posting any new Resource Hub articles and useful templates that we create in this group.   

Keep an eye out in the coming days, as we’ve got lots of content planned for things to do while your salon is closed! 

Prepare your systems to close your doors

It’s important to make sure that when you’re looking at closing for a period, you remember to make the right adjustments to your systems so that clients can’t make bookings during this time.

We’ve been getting a lot of calls to our Helpdesk, so we thought we’d collate the common questions (and answers!) here. If you have more specific questions, remember our Helpdesk is running 24/7 as usual! 

I am closing my business for the next 2 weeks, how do I cancel upcoming bookings and make a note of who they are, so that I can contact them once I re-open?

It’s important to make sure you cancel any upcoming bookings before you close. When you do, you should make sure you are marking the cancellation so that you can easily pull a list of those cancellations and communicate with the clients 

Check out the video called Cancellation Lists we made to show you the easiest way to do this. 

And what should I do with Online Bookings while I’m closed?  What affect will this have on Google Reserve? 

The first step is to remove your employees’ availability. This will reflect on Google Reserve as there will be no availability of appointments, so no one will be able to make bookings.  

(Setup menu > Employees > select Employee > uncheck “available for online booking”) 

Once you re-open, reverse the setting back to “Available for Online Bookings”.  If you are anticipating re-opening after a set period (for example 2 weeks) you can adjust the roster/schedule for the next two weeks to an un-bookable roster type per employee.  

Check out the video called How To Disable Online Bookings and SMS Confirmations we made to show you the easiest way to do this. 

What about Google My Business?

This is a great question, and one that we were wondering. So we reached out to the expert – Naomi Cribb, our in-house Google Partnerships Manager.

“This is a super important one to remember, and there’s a number of ways Google can help. Firstly, I think it’s important to look at this closure as temporary and not goodbye. We can close the business profile entirely, and reopen it like you would your doors – however I think there are some alternatives right now that may keep you in (virtual) business a little while longer,” said Naomi.

“Reach out to me by email (click here) or phone (click to call) and we can workshop a tailor-made strategy to help your business during this time.”

Here are some simple tips from Naomi to close your Google My Business page yourself:

  1. Log into your Google My Business account
  2. Click on “Info” on the left hand side of the page
  3. Click “Close this business on Google” and then choose “Mark as temporarily closed” (you can undo this at any time)

If you need any help or advice, remember to reach out to Naomi by either phone or email.

I am reducing the number of staff scheduled to work in the business, how do I stop them getting Online Bookings?  

If you are reducing the number of staff or hours being worked, you want to ensure no bookings are coming in while that employee isn’t at work. The best way to do this is to remove the employee’s online availability.  

(Setup menu > Employees > select Employee > uncheck “available for online booking”) 

We recommend you do this, rather than changing available hours or entering in rosters as it is a semi-permanent, scalable solution that can go on for as long or as short as the situation requires. It will stop bookings being made whilst still showing the regular available hours online for when your salon does reopen. 

Check out the video called How To Disable Online Bookings and SMS Confirmations we made to show you the easiest way to do this. 

Should I be turning off my computer while we are temporarily closed?

We recommend that if possible, you take your computer home and ensure the computer is connected to both power and the internet (make sure this is via an internet cable, not just WiFi). This will allow you to still access the system in the event that any access to power or internet in your salon is compromised. Please get in touch with Helpdesk if you’re unsure of how you can make this happen.

If you are leaving your computer in the salon and wish to access the Cloud Appointment Book to edit/move appointments from home, then it’s advised to leave your computer on. If the computer is turned off, then you will be able to view the Cloud Appointment book from home but won’t be able to make changes. 

Can I still send out Shortcuts Marketing campaigns when my computer is turned off?

Yes, you can still send out Marketing campaigns, however if you are doing target marketing you will need to access your client list in Fusion, or you can use the “message all” feature in Shortcuts Marketing.  Watch our “How To Videos” to learn how 

What marketing campaigns should I switch off? 

We recommend deactivating the ‘We miss you’ campaign particularly if there is an offer included in the email.  

Remember, our Helpdesk is here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – get in touch by calling 1300 667 374.

During this uncertain and scary time, stay connected, stay kind and stay safe. We will do our best to keep you updated and aware.