How is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting your spray tanning business?
With so many variables in how you operate (some of you are location-based businesses, others are mobile spray tanners, and some of our customers are a hybrid mix of both), we’re sharing some general recommendations on moving forward during this time of rapidly developing news and events related to COVID-19.
How Artesian Tan is handling your shipments during COVID-19
On our end, we are taking every possible step to ensure that your orders are protected:
- All surfaces on which orders are prepared are routinely disinfected.
- All personnel who handle products and the packing and distribution of shipments wear gloves. There are no reported cases of COVID-19 among our workforce.
- We’re staying up to date as news of the spread of coronavirus develops and are adopting best practices as needed. Headquartered in Ohio, we are following all recommendations of our national, state and local authorities.
- We’re making ourselves available to answer your questions and address your concerns. Call us at (419) 386-2387 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, here are some suggestions for your business.
Focus on prevention and promotion
Clean hands save lives.
There is no catch-all, silver bullet method of eliminating the risk of acquiring any illness, but good hand hygiene (proper hand washing) is still the best way to protect yourself and others according to most health authorities.
To start, share this World Health Organization infographic on handwashing and implement its contents among your team. Learn more about healthy hand washing habits you can incorporate into your business year round.
More prevention strategies:
- If it can be touched -- clean it! Frequently disinfect all common workspaces, waiting areas, restrooms, floors, chair arms and backs, doorknobs, telephones and employee smartphones, credit card machines/cash registers/point of sale units, thermostats, security alarm boxes, retail products and fixtures and other surfaces. Be vigilant -- keep records of how often areas are cleaned and post them for the public.
- Provide gloves for all employees to wear. Employees should avoid touching their faces with or without gloves on at all times and should wash their hands before putting on gloves and after taking them off.
- Masks mean washing hands three times: Spray tanning employees who wear face masks or dust masks during application should wash their hands 1) before putting on a face mask; 2) before taking off a face mask; and3)after properly disposing of it.
- Restrict access to work environments to employees only. Clean and seal off any rooms that are not needed or used regularly. This limits the area of exposure to germs.
- Stay stocked up on hand soap and hand sanitizer. Make hand sanitizer available for employees and customers, but still encourage and enforce proper hand washing with soap and water.
- Employees who feel sick must stay home. It’s just not worth the risk for anyone to be on site who is ill in any capacity or from any illness. Employees who are unwell (this includes you!) should not only be allowed to stay home without penalty, they should be encouraged to not report for duty.
- Communicate changes and updates to your team. Create a group text or a private Facebook group for staff, or schedule a daily Free Conference Call or Zoom video meeting to keep your employees in the loop.
Communicate how your business is dealing with COVID-19. Your customers will want to know how you are handling coronavirus -- be proactive in telling them about the steps you are taking to protect them.
Update your website and social media with public statements.
If you are changing your hours of operation or your services menu, be sure to update your website, social media channels and your listing on Google My Business, which has a page of tips for businesses affected by COVID-19.
You can also check out Facebook’s resource for communicating with the public about coronavirus.
It might also be a good idea to include your prevention methods into customer interactions. Write a brief “script” for staff to share with customers on how they prepared for the customer’s arrival by disinfecting the space and engaging in proper hand washing.
Social distancing and spray tanning
“Social distancing” is a term you have probably heard on news reports and seen in social feeds quite a bit lately -- but what does it mean?
Social distancing is a recommended practice to decrease close contact between people in an effort to slow the spread of illness.
- For salons and other location-based businesses, try to avoid creating situations in which multiple customers and employees are together in the same space. Change your scheduling times to keep the number of people present at a minimum.
- In waiting areas, place chairs at least six feet apart and encourage customers to only enter your facility at their scheduled time.
- Spray tanning is usually a two-person process: the customer and the employee. While most public health notices advise against large gatherings of more than 100 people, guidelines for smaller gatherings advise keeping people at least six feet apart.
- That, of course, can be difficult with some spray tanning technologies and application systems. Use your best judgment when deciding how to proceed.
- Keep in mind that COVID-19 can be spread by individuals who do not show any signs or symptoms. Always err on the side of caution, good health and common sense.
Which brings us to our next point: Even if you stay on course, your customers might not.
Don’t penalize customers for canceling
This time of year, many of your clients usually want a spray tan in preparation for travel somewhere warm. But 2020 isn’t like any previous year on record.
From restricted travel to Europe to public health concerns to altered work and school schedules, you will have customers whose travel plans were canceled, voluntarily or involuntarily. Google Trends even shows that searches for the term “coronavirus appointment cancel” and “coronavirus spray tan” have increased sharply.
Be compassionate and understanding. Relax any cancellation policies you have that result in an automatic charge. Talk with your customers and be respectful and responsive of what they are experiencing.
Although you may have a decrease in appointments (and revenue) in the short term, providing professional and practical service can build customer loyalty and pay off in the long run.
In addition, be sure to encourage customers who are not feeling well (for any reason) to cancel and reschedule when they are feeling better.
Get information on the coronavirus from credible sources
It’s important to stay up to date on public policy and on the latest developments on COVID-19 in your community as well as across the country and around the world.
Be sure to get updates from authorities that are familiar with your region and can provide detailed, expert insight into coronavirus.
If you are based in the United States:
We suggest you find your state health department’s coronavirus news center. Some states have multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19, some states have emerging cases, and some report no cases at this time. Your state health department can provide the most relevant information to your specific service footprint.
Closer to home, your local health department at the county or city level will be advising businesses and other organizations on recommended and required practices for safer operations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates its Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) hub with information for businesses and households.
Check out the CDC’s Share Facts About COVID-19 page for resources and ideas for updating your own website and social media channels.
If you are based outside of the United States:
Tune into the World Health Organization’s feed of updates on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as they happen.
You can also select your region at the top of the Who.Int website for more localized, relevant news and content.