Preparing For Your Return to the Shop:
What You Need to Know
Guys, this is not a drill—it’s finally happening.
The shop doors are finally going to be able to legally open again and we can return to work to do what we love best—being badass barbers. The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, but we’re finally able to return to work and a semblance of normalcy.
Of course, this return to the shop isn’t going to be easy, and it’s probably not going to be seamless. Things aren’t just returning to normal like nothing ever happened. Sure, we can open our doors—and we’ll be glad to do it—but we can’t just swing open the front, flip on the open sign, and go back to normal.
We need to open safely and do everything in our power to protect ourselves, our employees, and our clients.
Not sure how? That’s OK. That’s what we’re here for.
We wrote up a little guide here that we think can help you with some parts of the process—you know, mental wellness, financial burdens, and how to work with your employees.
Now, we’re talking strictly about how to watch your sanitation, limit exposure, and do everything you can to stop the spread of the virus to the best of your ability within your shop.
Wear Masks & Other PPE—And Make Your Clients Wear Them, Too
Don’t misinterpret us—we don’t think you should stockpile masks and medical supply products that you don’t need. But we do think that you should wear masks, supply them for your employees (if possible), and encourage your clients to wear them, too (if it’s possible, try to supply them for your clients as well).
A mask isn’t going to make you 100 percent invincible. No mask can promise that.
But it can limit the potential of you being exposed to the virus and limit the potential of you exposing someone else to the virus. We think that’s worth it.
Set an Occupancy Limit
It’s so tempting to book as many people as humanly possible when things start opening up—especially since for the last few weeks (maybe months) you haven’t been seeing your normal, steady income. But, if you really want to responsibly open and limit exposure, you need to consider setting an occupancy limit (even if it’s not required in your state or county).
Try to set up an occupancy limit that allows for plenty of room for social distancing and doesn’t make your shop feel crowded.
Obviously, this number is going to vary for everyone based on the size of our shop, but make sure whatever number you choose, it’s in an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Nix Those Waiting Room Areas
You probably take a lot of pride in customer experience, and part of that experience is creating a shop aesthetic they really don’t mind waiting in. But for now, we suggest keeping people out of your shop when they’re waiting for their turn to come in.
Set up a system where your clients call in when they arrive—then, let them know if they’re good to come in and get started or if you’re not quite ready for them.
Our best advice is to keep as many people out of the salon as possible—so, if you have people waiting, it’s best they stay outside, in their cars, or somewhere else.
Don’t Waver on Social Distancing
We’re not trying to tell you what to believe or how to live your life, but from a business perspective, we have to recommend that you stay firm on social distancing. The virus is highly contagious and is spread through person-to-person contact—both through direct spread (like coughing, breathing, sneezing), and fomite spread (by touching infected surfaces), so the more space you can put between people, the better.
As hard as it might be, don’t hug your clients—even those regulars you have missed so dearly. Set up your shop so there’s plenty of space and try to keep windows and doors open (if possible) to let air flow in and out. You can still love on your clients and employees—just, you know, from a distance.
Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
This one’s pretty obvious so we’ll keep it short and sweet. You already know how to clean, sanitize, and disinfect everything—and you likely already do this before and after every client anyway. But we suggest getting super serious about sanitizing every tool, every surface, every piece of equipment, and everything clients touch several times a day.
Want to really show your clients that you’re serious about this? Get your employees—and yourself—recertified in sanitizing and disinfecting procedures and share this information with your clients. Trust us, they’ll be glad to hear that you’ve taken the initiative to really focus on health and wellness in this capacity.
Ready to return to your shop? Can’t wait to see your favorite clients again? We totally understand.
If you have questions about how to return to your shop safely, drop them in the comment section. Have some tips for your fellow barbering pros? Drop those, too!
Remember, friends, we got this! This virus won’t be a worry forever, but while times are tough, leaning on each other (figuratively, of course), is the best thing we can do to support one another.