Our worlds are inside out and upside down. Our businesses, jobs, careers are either on hold or are evolving into something very different from what they were before.There is much talk in the media about when and how our industry will resume. There are also many questions, the answers to which for now remain vague and uncertain. So how can you expect to stay motivated during COVID-19?
HABIC has been working relentlessly on your behalf seeking supports for the Hair and Beauty industry in direct collaboration with Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Minister Humphreys TD. We have done well as an industry. Industry bodies are working together and with government to ensure that we re-open as soon as is safely possible. Until such time, we are at home and we know from our members that it is really difficult to stay motivated and focused.
Your doors may be closed, but there is much to be done as you re-focus and prepare to reopen. Motivation is key, so we’ve compiled HABIC’s Top 10 Tips to stay motivated and focused during COVID-19 as you prepare to Return to Work.
1. Create a Daily Routine
Working from home without clients? Who would have thought…
But it is possible, there is time now to do all those jobs that have been put on the long finger. And now there’s all those new jobs and tasks that are required as we evolve and adapt for this unknown ‘new norm’ that everyone is talking about.
Working from home has been forced upon us, for most of us it is far from our comfort zone. We’re used to the ebb and flow of the salon, having a team physically around you and the banter and engagement with clients. Now – all engagement is either by phone or online with the likes of Zoom.
Creating a daily routine is important not only to stay organised while working from home but also when you need to stay motivated. Even when you are feeling completely helpless and at sea (thanks to these uncharted waters of COVID-19) or you just do not feel like working, you need to have a plan and to stick to it.
Write down all tasks you would like to finish, break them down into daily tasks list so you can tick them off your list day by day. Do not overstretch yourself and your expectations, the setting of the plan must be realistic.
2. Great Dressed for Work!
I’m sure the vast majority of you have found yourself on a Zoom call for a meeting, a catch up with your team/peers/family/friends or for a webinar over the past few weeks. No doubt you’ve heard all the jokes and brags about people getting dressed from the waist up or not bothering at all… Funny as it may be, it is not good for productivity. If you have tasks to do, you will feel more efficient, more confident and in control if you get dressed for work. It doesn’t have to be the salon uniform, but doing your hair, putting on some make up and wearing something other than your trackie bottoms will make a huge impact on your work day. Get dressed, get to work and stay motivated during COVID-19!
3. Set and Maintain Boundaries
You need to be strict with yourself. Set tasks, set a start and end time, set break times and turn on your OOO if that eases the pressure. Yes – Out of Office, still has meaning when working from home. If anything it will send a positive message that you are actively working and that all emails will be replied to – when you are refreshed and back at your desk again. Try not to fall into the walking computer trap of your phone. Just because you are working from home and not in the salon… does not mean that you should be on call 24/7. Do yourself a favour, set time boundaries, you’ll be more efficient and you’ll be happier that you did… (it’s summer time and there’s sunshine and blue skies to be enjoyed).
4. Get Outside
It is impossible to be motivated and fully committed to your work 24/7. You are not a robot. And – at the moment, with all the uncertainty with COVID-19 and the return to work protocols, it is a stressful time.
Fresh air, at least once a day, helps us all to maintain mental and physical health and that is a huge factor that keeps us going. So, while the sun is shining, be sure to take time, get some safe sun on your face and take a break from the worries and stress.
5. Reward Yourself
It’s the kid in us… we love to be rewarded! Set yourself some targets and set yourself a reward when you have ticked the final box! The best thing about it is – you are your own boss, so you can set up a reward system that works for you.
Maybe you will make a deal with yourself that as soon as you finish the week’s work, you get to order a take away from your favourite restaurant or bar (yes, I hear you can order cocktails.)… Maybe this will motivate you to accomplish all your work by Thursday instead of Friday, and then you’ll get a day off – even better!!!
Whatever works for you, the main thing is – you have to find ways to stay motivated during COVID-19, ways to incentivise yourself to get through your task list in preparation for your reopening. You deserve a reward and if a reward does the trick to push you on.. then it’s a win win!
6. Expand Your Team and Make Your LEO Your BFF!
Your Local Enterprise Office (LEO) should become your new bestie! They offer support, advice and access to valuable and lets face it, much needed funding and resources.
Could you do with some marketing advice? – Ask you’re LEO for some Marketing Mentoring, it won’t cost you a penny. Could you do with some financial guidance? – As above, you can request some financial mentoring from your Local Enterprise Office. Professional Mentoring is FREE with no strings attached!
It is time – FINALLY – to start selling your products online? This is the classic long finger task that so many business owners have side-stepped for years. Now is the time – there is financial support available and you have the time now to give this project some focus and attention.
Your LEO is now offering financial assistance of up to €2,500 with 90% funding in the form of their Trading Online Voucher. Find out more about the Trading Online Voucher Scheme and how you can get your business trading online at a fraction of the cost. https://www.localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports/Trading-Online-Voucher-Scheme-/
Get online, get selling, get some cash flow, get your mojo back and stay motivated during COVID-19!
7. Stay in Touch with Your Team
Working from home can be boring… it can be lonely. If you work in the hair and beauty industry, the chances are you are a sociable soul. You thrive on engagement and company. All relationships need to communicate to keep the relationship ‘solid’. This applies equally to your team and your clients. Staying in touch will not only save you from all the boredom and isolation. It will also help to keep you motivated during COVID-19 and tuned in to the job that you will return to.
Staying in touch means that we can support each other when we are feeling low and motivate each other to stay active. For example: Online Training. There is any amount of webinars to join at the moment and many of them are FREE (we just love that word!) It’s important to communicate a positive message to your staff and reassure them that they will be supported. Keep them informed as best you can as you prepare to reopen, this will help to keep them motivated about their jobs and your business.
Clients also appreciate hearing from you, especially your older clients who have been in isolation for weeks and starved of social interaction. Include a call to your clients in your daily tasks, it’ll be good for you and your business but more than anything, it is a nice thing to do and it will make someone’s day! #ReachOutAndConnect
You are not alone! You have your team and you have your clients but for all of them – you are the ‘boss’ and being the boss, especially at the moment, brings a back breaking weight of stress. But you are not alone! There are salon owners the length and breadth of the country who are living the same nightmare – money worries, staff worries, stressed about getting all the new operating systems and protocols in place. Just like you, they are trying to get their heads around all the restrictions and the implications that they will have on their business. What new systems they will have to put in place for when they finally reopen their doors and more than anything – how to stay motivated during COVID-19.
Right now, it’s time for our industry to unite, to support each other and to work collaboratively to find solutions and a roadmap to reopening and to recovery. Follow your industry bodies on social media, sign up for their newsletters and allow them to share industry relevant information directly to your inbox. Converse with your fellow industry peers, read their comments and know that you are not alone. Stay active, stay informed, stay strong.
9. Get a Nip and a Tuck!
Cash flow is non-existent and businesses are stretched beyonds their limits. If you haven’t already done so, set aside some time and look at your outgoings. Consider your utilities, any ongoing outgoings and see where you can cut or reduce the payments. Every penny counts right now.
10. Continue to Communicate… and Fight!
There will be light at the end of this dark and unexpected tunnel. You may not know exactly when you will return to work, but you will get back into your salon. Your customers will return and life will resume some new version of normality. Until that day you will need to communicate with you clients – let them know that you are coming back. And when you know for certain, let them know when you will reopen and how your salon with operate in this new world. How appointments will be made, what conditions you will put in place and expect from your clients when they visit your salon, and what they can expect when they return. Let them know that you are working hard and will continue to do so to provide a safe environment for your staff to work in, and for your clients to visit.
You’ll also need to plan a SALES communication programme – consider promotions that up sell, cross sell, sell, sell, sell… The new reality in our salons may mean less chairs and treatment areas and therefore fewer clients. You will need to find ways to replace reduced revenues.
Take time to create a sales plan. You might even go as far as creating the content for your campaigns and have all ready to roll out when the time comes. Use you time wisely and effectively. Stay focused, stay motivated… you are the boss for good reason. You had a vision, you took the risks and you built up the business, now you have to find your mojo, you have to stay motivated during COVID-19 and fight for your business!
And always remember… you are not alone.