Offsetting the Burden:
How to Cope with the Coronavirus in Your Shop
We’re going to start this piece off with the best advice we can give any barber in a time like this—take a big, deep breath.
We’re not trying to sugarcoat anything or pretend that meditative breathing is going to change the way of the world, but we promise, one slow, deep breath can help, and we encourage you to do so.
But trust us, that’s not the only sage advice we’re offering you for this crazy time in our world.
Look, it’s no secret that COVID-19 is on everyone’s minds. As a barber, you’ve likely had to either close down your shop or have lost a substantial amount of business if you haven’t. As a human, you’re probably just feeling entirely overwhelmed, stressed, and worried about the impact of it all.
The reality of how your business is doing might seem pretty scary right now—that’s something we understand. We’re actually right there with you. And while we hope that offering you assurance that we’re all in this together is helpful, we know that’s not going to help pay your bills.
But these ideas might.
We’re a community and we’re here for you, which means we’re going to be spitballing some of our best ideas your barbershop can implement to help offset the burden of the pandemic. Of course, we want you to take note that every idea we’re putting out there has a focus on maintaining what’s best for public health and safety.
So, here are few helpful, no-contact ways that you can potentially cushion the COVID-19 blow.
Offer No-Contact Delivery on Retail Products to Your Customers
Just because people can’t come into your barbershop doesn’t mean they’re not going to need haircare products. The world might be a little chaotic right now, but your clients still need to wash and care for their luscious locks, and there are plenty of ways for you to help them do that.
We encourage you to set up an online or over-the-phone ordering service for retail products that you can deliver to your clients without any contact (we repeat, this should be a no-contact deliver).
How? Set up an online payment system, process orders with your clients through technology, don’t take cash, and work out no-contact delivery details with your clients (like dropping off their products in their mailbox, leaving them on their porch, etc.).
You can still be there for your clients without, you know, literally being there for your clients. And that might provide you with a little extra cash flow to help tide you over while this pandemic is prevalent.
Start Offering Online Tutorials & “Master Classes”
You’re a skilled individual and it’s more than likely your clients know that—now it’s time to share that with the world. Take this time to dive into your social media and your digital marketing platforms and set up online tutorials for your loyal customers (and anyone on the internet, honestly).
Through these videos, you can offer exceptional content to your clients—some free and perhaps some for a small fee. You can talk about styling strategies, do Q&As, showcase techniques, and teach simple-but-awesome ways to style hair (you know, without giving away all of your secrets).
Consider offering tiers of content—some simple, free tutorials and then some masterclass level videos for a small fee. It might not be the most profitable way to make money, but anything helps, and we can bet your clients would be thrilled to see you online!
Continue Your Education
There’s no time like now to set yourself up for the future! Consider investing in some continued education (there are plenty of FREE options out there, just do a little research) so you can learn new skills, potentially get new certifications, and reap the benefits of new offerings one day soon!
Offer Deals & Discounts on Potential Future Bookings
If you can offer future bookings at a discounted price, we encourage you to do that. Once all of this does eventually pass, your clients are going to need their hair taken care of. With this option, though, we encourage you to only invest in this if you’re willing to be flexible.
Unfortunately, none of us knows how long this is going to last—so be prepared for things to change!
Get Help if You Need It
There’s no shame in needing help right now (or ever, honestly, but you get the point). Currently, we’re all dealing with something we’ve never quite dealt with before—and when we say we, we mean more than just barbershops, we’re talking about the entire world.
This is new territory for all of us, so if you’re hurting, don’t feel like you’ve failed—just ask for help. If your shop has been shut down and you’re truly not able to shoulder the intense burden, that’s okay.
Right now, the US Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest, federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses (like your barbershop). These loans can truly help in your time of need, and if you’re struggling, we whole-heartedly encourage you to (at the very least) see what your options are.
For information on how to apply, contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the end of the day, we’re all going to get through this—but the interim is scary, and we don’t blame you if you’re feeling overwhelmed. More than anything, we want you to know that your community is with you all the way, backing you, encouraging you, and rooting for you.
We’re all in this together—as barbers and as human—and even though things feel heavy right now, this won’t be the way of the world forever.
If you have any other helpful, safe, and responsible ways for your barbering community to offset the burden of the pandemic, we encourage you to share it in the comments. We want to hear from you—shout out your safe and responsible ideas for barbers (that of course, won’t jeopardize the best interest of the public’s health).
We can’t wait to hear your ideas!