How To Prepare Your Barbershop For A Shutdown

Preparing Your Barbershop: 

What to Do If COVID-19 Mandates Another State Shutdown

This year has been fraught with challenges, changes, and just plain terrible circumstances.

We’re not in the business of feeling sorry for ourselves, but we are in the business of being realistic and transparent—and honestly, you guys, this year has been a lot.

This pandemic has been anything but easy and it’s been anything but fair. Even as some aspects of our lives return to normal, other parts seem to shift even further away from what our notion of normal was. One of those factors is our businesses.

As barbers, we’ve been hit incredibly hard by this pandemic. Our shops shut down. They opened again to masked faces, occupancy limits, and lots of distance. We invite a set number of clients into our salon—and no more than that set number. We wash our hands until they hurt. We spray disinfectant on every surface every few minutes. We kick our clients out ASAP when we’ve finished their service.

Our normalcy, our steady incomes, our passions have all been affected.

And now, we face the potential of things shutting down all over again.

The pandemic is—truly—unpredictable.

And while we can’t provide you with any certainty on what’s going to happen with this pandemic, we can provide you with something important—the outline of a plan for how to prepare for the potential another shutdown.

So, that’s what we’re here to do.

Remember, everyone’s evaluation plan is going to look different because everyone’s situation is going to look different. Take these guidelines as inspiration, but don’t feel stuck to them—they’re not stringent, they’re just suggestions.

We want to see you succeed despite this pandemic—we believe in you.

Now's The Time To Budget (And Stick to It)

We get that this might sound sort of trite—especially since you’ve probably been sticking to a pretty lean budget since this whole pandemic broke out. But if you can trim it further, now’s the time to do so. Do a full evaluation of your budget while you’re still open and see what you can cut, where you can skim, and what you can do to save even more.

You might have to raise prices. You might have to cut services. You might have to minimize your product selection.

Host meetings with your staff and get their input—they can bring a lot to the table that you might not have thought of yet.

This isn’t going to be easy. And it’s certainly not going to feel good. But we can promise that if you’re able to further minimize your operating costs while you’re still open, you’ll be a little more comfortable if you are forced to shut down again.

Move What You Can Online 

Your value, your service, your customer appreciation, your products—whatever you can start moving online, do so now. 

Clearly, you can’t move your actual barbershop services online—but if you can transition to virtual platforms, you can try to boost sales and profits through these avenues now. Then, if a shutdown does happen, you won’t have to deal with such a substantial transition during an already tough time.

Try adding in live tutorials, Q & As, masterclasses, how-to guides, product information, buying guides, and more.

Don’t forget about online client connection, either—moving these strategies to a virtual space can be beneficial if you do end up having to shut down again.

Give Yourself & Your Staff the Care You All Deserve

Now isn’t the time to panic or stress (even if that seems improbable). Now is the time to give yourself some grace, to take deep breaths, and to focus on self and staff care. Be a leader for your staff and a leader for yourself—take charge but don’t run yourself ragged trying to hunt down answers.

Try to figure out how to find some peace in the midst of the pandemic by focusing on self-care, mental health, and being a resource for your staff.

Stay In-the-Know On Government Resources

Don’t let intimidation and stress keep you in the dark when it comes to getting help. Know when to ask for it and how to get it—especially when it comes to the government help you are owed.

Look into the CARES Act and look into loans and grants from the Small Business Administration, too. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help if you need it—we’re all struggling during this time.

Know You’re Not Alone

Listen, we get how empty and lame it sounds when we tell you things like we’re all in this together. And it’s OK if it does feel or sound that way, but the reality of the situation is that we are all in this together. You are not alone in this—even if it feels that way (a lot). 

We’re in this situation with you, your fellow barbers are in this situation with you, and the entire world is in this situation with you. We’re all doing our very best to keep up—just like you are.

Lean on your friends and your family (figuratively speaking, we’re trying to keep up with the social distancing guidelines, right?). Talk to a counselor. Don’t be afraid to prioritize your mental health.

Do what you need to do in order to make yourself realize that you’re not dealing with this by yourself—because friend, we’re all here with you.

Drop some love in our reply section below to leave a comment for your barbering community. We all could use a little encouragement, attention, and fellowship right now. Have tips for how to handle the shutdown? Even better.

Share those, too. It’s all about leaning on the community right now—we’ve all got this together.

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