A few months ago as I started to write this article, things were normal. The year started out pretty great. I think most of us had high hopes for a super expansive year. Then, COVID-19 hit and we all were instructed into quarantine real quick! Not just locally but globally. We were all feeling similar feelings: fear and uncertainty.
I had to shut down business temporarily, actually with the nature of my business I am still unable to see clients. After ten long, tough weeks of being sheltered at home, we are now able to start getting out of our homes and cautiously start back to work.
The world HAS changed forever. But never fear, because I know that we will rebound from this. Yes, it’s a slow process for all of us in the spa industry to regain strength but there’s always a way to make it as a small business owner. Here’s two words I have for you to think about. These words are for yourself and your business: Transform. Create.
As I have been home not able to see or connect physically with my clients, I am branching out and transforming into the virtual world to stay connected. I have been learning the new technologies and started creating a new sense of community online as well. Since we are starting to re-open slowly, our re-connection will slowly start to come back together, but it’s important to be aware of staying active online to provide a backup for ourselves should this happen again.
No one predicted how earth shattering this was going to be for all of us, but now we can learn from this experience and be better business owners. We can provide a great in-person service, and now we have an opportunity to have a virtual presence to reach a larger audience.
Let me go back to when I first started my business back in 2007, it was just before the crash of 2008. I had been working several years at a spa when I started to build my own out call massage business. After a while of working for a spa and for myself, it became overwhelming. I didn’t really have a set plan at that point, but I knew I needed to make a change. So, I quit the spa to go solo. It was a scary and stressful time, but in my heart, I knew it was the right decision.
Thinking back I didn’t have a clue. It definitely was a slow and steady build at first, especially with the crash of the housing market. Working strictly on client referrals and hoping that all the clients I worked with were confident to spend their money on the finer things in life, like massage therapy.
Fast forward five years, I met up with a friend for coffee. She went on to tell me about classes and workshops she was hosting and told me I should be doing the same. I thought about it for a split second and came back with a hard "no." But, she kept encouraging me and giving me advice on finding mentors and networking groups to check out. About a year later, I mustered up the courage and went to my first Toastmasters meeting. That was the day I decided to overcome a huge fear of mine; speaking publicly. Since that night, I have learned to love public speaking and started forward thinking. I started speaking and promoting myself as a speaker. Now speaking has become a great additional income.
The point of all of this is you need to be creative and transform yourself and your business to foolproof your stability and income. There’s been rumors of another wave of shutdown in the winter, so why wait till then to start taking action. The time is now!
Create a backup plan and start making some passive income. What will you do to change? My suggestion is to look at alternatives to your in-person spa services. What else can you provide your clients with to support them when you cannot connect with them physically? Put your heads together with like-minded entrepreneurs to come up with some cool gift ideas, sell products, host workshops and virtual summits. Do the work now and it will pay off big time later. Ready? Set. Go!