5 Steps to Sustain Business During a Crisis

A crisis can happen at any moment and for any reason. One moment, happily running a business, managing the everyday challenges, and seemingly out of nowhere unexpected and uncharted waters can arise. A crisis is when there is a significant disruption to the normal balance of running a business. They can range from environmental factors, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, to senseless crime, like mass shootings or terrorist attacks.

 

Most recently,  the COVID-19 crisis impacts everybody – especially the most vulnerable. Stay-at-home orders have been issued nationwide, which directly has an impact on day-to-day operations and includes the added strain due to school closures and travel restrictions. Businesses and lives have been taken out of balance; to borrow a term from biology, we are no longer in homeostasis.

 

How do skin care professionals as the primary leaders in the spa business identify ways to bring balance back and begin to add value to clients? When a crisis hits there are several ways to react, all of which are valid, but not without consequence. Anger, fear, and feeling paralyzed are all normal reactions to rapid uncontrollable change, but how can we lead through the new environment and ensure that business survives and thrives for years to come? There are five key steps to sustain a business through a crisis.

 

DIAGNOSE

Just as an emergency room physician will immediately run through a checklist and battery of tests to determine the extent and location of the damage; skin care professionals need to run a checklist to identify what areas of their businesses are suffering.

 

Firstly, identify the impact of the crisis on the spa. How does it change cashflow? Do expenses go up or down? For example, the stay at home order means the service revenue is zero until clients can be seen again. Knowing this, by averaging out last years’ service revenue per month, the professional will be able to estimate the lost revenue while the stay-at-home orders are in place. If service revenue is zero, what other areas of revenue can potentially increase to offset the loss?

 

Retail revenue is a great way to help cashflow while services are unavailable or uncertain. How can a professional increase retail revenues? Shipping products, gift-cards, memberships, pre-paid services, and virtual parties are all ways to increase revenue when live services are unavailable. Learning a new skill like virtual consultations is an excellent way to keep in contact with clients, gain new clients, and build revenue.

 

TRIAGE

Once the location and extent of the damage is diagnosed, the next step is to rank which area needs the most attention. For example, personal and employee safety should always be at the top of the list. Once employees are safe, then assign the most hours to tasks that will help solve the problem due to the crisis.

 

If service revenue has been reduced, then alternative ways to increase revenue have now become the priority. Allocating more hours per day to the tasks that will increase retail revenue should be the priority. Naturally, prioritize these activities to tasks like doing laundry at the spa because this task is not directly related to the spa’s most important need – cashflow. The triage step should only take a few hours and once completed, document the ranked priorities and come up with a plan.

 

PLAN

This is the least attractive step, but vital. By documenting priorities, it gives the professional a way through the crisis. It allows the professional and their business to have hope and record their challenges. It gives a sense of empowerment because there is now  direction. When a crisis hits, the roadmap is taken away and replaced with confusion and fear. A professional’s plans gives them a compass that can  navigate the days ahead.

 

Now is also a  great time to update policy and procedures. Some spas may currently have old ways of doing things that are no longer relevant. For example, “I only do consultations in person.” This is a great policy when a professional can see clients, but if this is no longer an option, maybe it is time to revisit some old policies. When updating a policy, make sure to document it and use it as a roadmap for a future crisis.

 

EXECUTE

Executing a plan is where the real work begins and is the crucial step between success and failure. The planning process allows identification of which tasks need to be completed and by whom. Identifying deliverables and by what dates are the keys to execution. Once the dates and deliverables are established, this allows the spa to hold team members and themselves self-accountable.

 

Example: “I’m going to call 10 clients per day to see if they would like to try my new virtual consultation and receive a complimentary gift for trying my new service.” Each day set aside time to call each client and carve out the time on the calendar for those future consultations. Once 10 clients were called, the daily objective has been achieved; if not accomplished, then identify the gaps during the next step.

 

REASSESS

In a crisis, regular activities are taken out of balance. By implementing the five steps above, professionals are taking back control, but are the activities they are doing effective? Are spa owners treating the areas of the business diagnosed as most important or did they possibly miss something?

 

If reduced revenue was the prognosis then after a couple weeks, the spa owner will see that their retail revenues are maintaining or increasing due to the actions taken above. If not, are there other things to be done that could help accomplish the goals identified in step one? This needs to be done weekly to see if anything new needs to be diagnosed.

 

Crises are not new and there will be more. And, while no one can predict when and how they will occur, by following the five steps above professionals will be better prepared to serve their clients and sustain their businesses for years to come

Vitamin C and the Coronavirus: Prevention and Treatment Options Nobody Is Talking About

In the time of the Coronavirus, people want to do all they can to protect themselves.


A simple but effective strategy? Taking vitamin C. Here are four insights to know about using vitamin C to stay healthy.

With coronavirus cases increasing by the day, everyone is focused on prevention, from washing hands, wiping down groceries when returning from the store, and staying indoors while practicing social distancing. Consider adding vitamin C therapy as a preventative measure. Whether you are showing symptoms of a viral infection or just want to protect yourself, taking vitamin C should be high on the list of things to do. This is a simple way to keep your immune system operating at its best. In the meantime, here are some things to know about using vitamin C to treat or prevent COVID-19.

 

Vitamin C has long been used to aid in viruses and respiratory problems. Frederick R. Klenner, a pioneer in vitamin C research for infections, used high doses of vitamin C for many problems such as measles, mumps, shingles, mononucleosis, arthritis, and various other infections. Klenner felt he could cure just about any infection with massive doses of intravenous vitamin C. At one point during the height of the polio epidemic in the late 1940s, Klenner cured 60 out of the 60 polio cases that he treated. All fully recovered with no post-viral sequelae.

 

Vitamin C is already being used to treat some coronavirus patients, but the dosage needs to be increased. Viral pneumonia is one of the most serious problems associated with the coronavirus. Using intravenous vitamin C, Klenner would quickly cure these types of cases. China is now doing a study to test the effect of intravenous vitamin C on patients who are afflicted. However, they probably will not see a beneficial outcome. Klenner warned that practitioners did not get his results because they did not use high enough dosages. For a severe case, Klenner would use approximately 350 milligrams every four hours. This dose would be about 25 grams for a 150-pound person. In the current study conducted in China, they are using 12 grams twice a day for seven days. In contrast, Klenner would continue to use his high dosage until the patient was better and then slowly reduce the amount over time to prevent relapse.

 

You can help protect yourself by taking vitamin C orally. My recommendation is to start with two to three grams, three to four times per day, and to titrate up or down as needed. The usual oral form of vitamin C is sodium ascorbate taken as a pill or powder. Even better are the newer liposomal forms of vitamin C that allow for a higher rate of absorption. Keep in mind that taking a lot of oral vitamin C can cause loose stools. The best way to determine the proper oral dose of vitamin C is to take enough to cause loose stools and then titrate down on the amount of the dosage until you have normal stools. One thing you will notice is that when your immune system is challenged, you will be able to go to a much higher oral dose of vitamin C before bowel tolerance is reached.

 

Intravenous vitamin C might be the best option to power up the immune system. IV-therapy bypasses the digestive process and delivers 100% of the vitamin C to cells. Once the IV infusion begins, the vitamin C and other nutrients are instantly circulated into the bloodstream and then readily absorbed by cells.

 

You should do everything in your power to protect yourself and your family from Coronavirus. Vitamin C therapy can be another useful tool in your prevention or treatment toolbox.

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Nurturing Clients During the Crisis

Nurturing client relationships is more important now than ever due to the  COVID-19 crisis. To maintain these relationships, skin care professionals must find a meaningful and unique way to foster these connections and keep their clients captivated. This is easier said than done but do not worry, there are new ways to connect to clients virtually. The million-dollar question every aesthetician is asking is, How can we ensure our client’s continued progress when we cannot physically treat them in the spa?

 

The number one thing aestheticians need to be concerned about during this time away from their clients is making sure they are not falling off the wagon and picking up bad skin care habits. During these hard times, it may be difficult to sell to clients due to the fear of being pushy or insensitive.  This mindset should not stop a skin care professional from servicing clients to their full ability. If clients are not purchasing products from the spa,  rest assured, they are getting it somewhere else. If skin care professionals are not giving their professional recommendations to clients, then they are doing them a disservice and leading them to a third-party seller such as Amazon. The sales of skin care on Amazon is six times higher than usual due to COVID-19. Clients are still spending money on luxury items, such as skin care, because it appeals to their emotions and makes them feel good. As most skin care professionals already know, skin care is a feel-good service, and luckily everyone is trying to find something to make them happy and spark joy during this stressful time.

 

Another impactful practice a skin care professional can utilize during their time away from work is to educate clients and help them instill good skin care habits from home. This is the perfect time to hone in on one’s expertise and teach clients about all of the products and treatments the spa offers. There are so many ways to utilize social media to stay connected with clients and keep them captivated. Consider conducting a fun Q&A skin care quiz on Instagram Stories or creating a live video to interact with clients and bring brand awareness.

 

Fostering client relations during this time is essential and can create a stronger bond. Skin care professionals should not hesitate to check in or reach out to their clients. Showing clients they are cared about more than just as a client speaks volumes. The most important thing to do as skin care providers is to make clients feel loved and cared for during this time of uncertainty.

How Americans Are Taking Care of Themselves During Quarantine

Often used as a recruitment tool, remote work is a perk that many employees cherish. But, when it becomes a day-to-day reality, as it has in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, how do employees cope?

 

Advanced Dermatology surveyed 1,451 employees who are currently working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. Many respondents say they are keeping up with their daily routines, but others are letting them fall to the wayside.

 

  • 20% admit to brushing their teeth less than normal
  • 33% say they are showering and doing laundry less often
  • 54% are becoming concerned about potential weight gain during quarantine
  • 61% say they are doing their hair less
  • 19 % are regularly wearing makeup

 

It is inevitable that with the sudden change comes a bevy of disrupted habits and routines in employees’ work lives. As workdays take on new forms, it is only natural that change extends to personal lives as well, including hygiene and beauty habits.

 

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Wrinkles: Is Botox the Best Option?

Most people think that when wrinkles appear, they need Botox to fix it. They typically think it’s their only solution! Botox relaxes the muscles from moving that are causing the wrinkle, but this is just a temporary fix. Botox is a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin that is produced by the bacterium clostridium. Botulinum blocks nerve activity in the muscles. Simply put, it is a brain toxin that paralyzes the injected muscle. Botox does come with risks, so individuals should always research before making any decision.

 

HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVES

For clients looking for a natural alternative, microneedling is a great choice. Microneedling works with the body to treat fine lines and wrinkles by creating a microtrauma to the skin. The body then creates collagen to heal that trauma. When collagen repairs skin, it is repairs wrinkles as well.

 

Homecare products that contain passionflower can be useful, since it is a toxin-free muscle relaxer. Peptides that stimulate collagen and work on repairing the wrinkles caused by muscle contractions are also helpful.

 

By combining microneedling and impressive homecare products, professionals can offer clients a go-to service to achieve younger-looking skin, while getting to the root cause of wrinkles.

Spa Promotions 101

Monthly promotions are a great way to create consistent sales. Promotions create excitement and who doesn’t love a deal? Platforms such as Groupon were built on that premise. Promotions can be service or product motivated, or both. Consistency is the key. Create a promotion for every month with a short script to train staff. Create signage at the point of check out and other traffic points, such as the waiting area and bathrooms. Broadcast the promotion socially to encourage sharing and through e-mail.

 

A promotion can consist of a discount, buy one get one offer, gift with service purchase, gift with referral, or even create a client appreciation calendar.

 

Create social rewards for clients that give the business a word of mouth endorsement. Offer a discount on their next service or a product gift on their next visit when they post a review or share a promotion on social media.

 

CLIENT APPRECIATION WEEK

During slow times, host a client appreciation week with a daily deal for every day that week. This is a great way to reward loyal clients and a great way to get busy. Offers might include:

  • Monday: De-Stress Express Facial – a free neck and décolleté massage with any facial.
  • Tuesday: Sensational Skin Gifts – schedule a facial treatment to be entered in a drawing for a special spa gift.
  • Wednesday: Two-for-One Day – book an appointment with a friend and receive two services for the price of one.
  • Thursday: Be Gifted – purchase any gift card valued at $100 and receive a second gift card valued at $25 for free.
  • Friday: Peel Party – ask clients to host six of their friends to receive a peel at a special price and reward the host or hostess with a free peel.
  • Saturday: Get Gorgeous – complimentary makeup makeovers.

 

REVIEWS

Reviews are also considered user generated content. People love to see recommendations and advice from existing clients before making a purchase themselves. What others say about the spa is more credible than anything the spa can say about itself. When possible, post pictures, as “before and after” pictures will sell a promotion. Make a list of every feature, benefit, and fact about the spa’s services, then collect and use testimonials that specifically address each claim. Focus on the tangible outcomes that clients are interested in, like reducing their fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, clearing their skin, or just looking radiant at an event or party.

 

Applying the above ideas, spas can use promotions on a regular basis to boost their bottom line and get clients to the spa.

The Dos and Don’ts of Botox Parties

Botox parties are a great way to bring in revenue, introduce patients to new products and treatments, build marketing, and brand a business with new and existing clientele. It can be a festive event, where clients can bring their friends and colleagues to enjoy refreshments, socialize, and indulge in aesthetic treatments and products.

 

Before hosting a Botox party, it is essential to make sure the proper legal documentation regarding rules and regulations is in order. Botox parties are currently legal in most states, except Nevada. Still, it is prudent to be aware of all legalities when considering an event.

 

For a successful Botox party, ensure coverage for an off-site event. Check local ordinances regarding alcohol permits and have the appropriate personnel on-site for the event. A doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant must examine the patients before treatment plans can be set. A registered nurse must adhere to the scope of licensing and cannot practice medicine. Only a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant can establish the physician and patient relationship and create a treatment plan. Monitor and limit alcohol consumption, as it is not strictly legal to have patients sign consent forms while drinking. Have patients sign consent forms before they indulge in drinking alcohol.

 

Be mindful of privacy laws. All patients have a right to privacy. Guests will be having fun, as it is a lighthearted atmosphere, and they may take pictures at the event and post them on social media. Obtain privacy releases and an authorization to use guests’ pictures to make sure the spa is not breaching their privacy.

 

Offer other services in addition to Botox, such as massage, makeup, to consultations on products, and hairstyling.

 

Serve food that is fun. Use beauty-themed designed cookies or cupcakes to look like beauty products like lipstick, compacts, or eyelashes. Cucumber or fruit infused water is always a refreshing spa treat, too.

 

Botox parties can be a memorable experience for patients and a lucrative venture for a spa business. Ensure all proper legal documentation is in place, as to remain completely compliant, and let the beautifying comme

Beauty Through the Ages

Beauty rituals have existed for thousands of years around the world. And, throughout history, the ideal beauty look has changed drastically. From the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Geishas in Japan and to modern times, we have seen it all – bronze skin, pale porcelain skin, tanning oil, sunscreen, thick and bold prominent eyebrows, pencil-thin eyebrows… the list goes on. Every culture around the world has established beauty rituals that have heavily influenced what is done today. Let’s take a look at the beautiful evolution of beauty.

 

MAKEUP THROUGH THE AGES

Makeup enhances facial features and masks imperfections, creating the illusion of symmetry, proportion, flawless skin, and even youth. The ancient Greeks and Romans started it all with crushed mulberries and wine mixed with clay, olive oil, or beeswax to create lipstick and cheek stains. For the Romans’, pale skin was a sign of the upper class and was the most important feature of Roman beauty. In Egypt, lip color was made with purple and red dyes from seaweed and iodine and has it is even been reported that Cleopatra used lipstick made from ground carmine beetles.

 

The Egyptians also started the eyeliner trend to adorn their eyes. Kohl, a lead mineral, was used to draw thick, black lines, giving the eyes an almond shape. It represented wealth and class, shielded the eyes from the sun, and was considered holy because it was a way to ward off the evil eye. It was the inspiration for the modern-day cat eye look. In Japan, it was the striking makeup of the Geishas that turned heads. They used lipstick made from crushed safflower petals to paint their eyebrows and lips and rice powder for the face.

 

BEAUTY IN THE 20th AND 21st CENTURY

History shows that standards of beauty are constantly changing. Fast forward to the 20th Century and two of history’s most famous beauty icons and rivals are Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. Their combative relationship spawned some famous cosmetic breakthroughs including waterproof mascara and the iconic red lipstick. Max Factor, founder of the cosmetics giant Max Factor & Company, famously said, “You are not born glamorous, glamour is created.”

 

The nearly 100-year obsession with tanning began in 1920 when Coco Chanel, fashion icon, popularized the idea of tanning, and the sun started to represent pleasure and relaxation as well as health. Once tans became popular, sunburn was inevitable and, in 1938, the search began for a product that would allow burn-free tanning. Soon, self-tanning products were invented in 1950.

 

Today, in the 21st century, it is all about great skin and looking decades younger than one’s actual age by making sure skin is hydrated and exfoliated. It is all about glowing, natural skin, perfecting the no-makeup look. Women and even men around the world are better educated when it comes to maintaining their skin’s health and preserving youth. Consumers are paying more attention to the basics, like wearing sunscreen, getting enough sleep, drinking water, eating balanced meals and scheduling routine facials.

 

It is clear that current-day beauty trends date back to ancient times. History’s methods still continue to influence and inspire the industry thousands of years later. But, as any makeup artist will say, in order to have flawless coverage, the key is healthy skin

Nature’s Pharmacy: Stocking Up on Barrier Protecting Foods

Did you know you can eat your way to better sun protection by adding certain photoprotective foods into your daily nutrition plan? Many foods contain important nutrients and vitamins that can strengthen the body’s immune system and provide a shield of protection from the inside out, as they fight off free radicals and quash inflammation, which can damage skin. Several factors that build the skin’s sun shield from within are choosing foods rich in powerful antioxidants with heavy hydrating capabilities, providing omega-3s to keep the lipid barrier strong, and understanding how one’s own “skin clock” works.

 

DAMAGE IN AND OUT

It is well known that prolonged sun exposure may damage the body’s collagen and elastin content by creating cell damage, causing oxidative stress and inflammation. These stressors stemming from overexposure to ultraviolet rays can initiate many cell deteriorating processes within multiple layers of the skin, resulting in compromised cellular integrity, keratin degradation, and transepidermal water loss (TEWL). The damaging results may be displayed by the skin appearing dehydrated, saggy, and sprinkled with hyperpigmentation. Most people’s bodies do have some sort of natural sun protectant factor provided systematically; and, of course, using a high-quality topical sunscreen daily to combat UVA and UVB rays is an extremely important skin health strategy.

 

BUILDING A SKIN ARMY

A double punch of strength can be added to the body’s skin barrier by not only using the correct topical protection, but by also eating foods packed with nutrition (antioxidants, carotenoids, polyphenols, essentials fatty acids, and beta-glucan) to aid in battling ultraviolet damage. Eating those superfoods is very important to the body’s sun defense system. Steer clear of midnight snacks and, instead grab a morning bowl of oatmeal (free radical scavengers) sprinkled with fresh blueberries (powerful antioxidants) and walnuts (omega-3 essential fatty acids), accompanied by a side of whole grain toast (beta-glucans) topped with pumpkin butter (beta carotene) and a nice warm cup of green tea (beneficial polyphenols) to boost internal skin cell protection. Simple smoothies also make it easy to get a daily dose of those highly nutritious, sun-protective foods. Place ingredients in a blender (one cup of green tea, three ice cubes, one small carrot, one cup of blueberries, one cup of watermelon, half a cup of spinach, and one tablespoon of lemon juice), blend until smooth, and enjoy knowing the internal sun protective reserves are being built up for future use.

 

DELICIOUS AND EDIBLE SUN PROTECTION

Fill the grocery cart with superfoods boasting bright colors, confidently knowing they will provide natural antioxidants to help build up protective skin reserves from the inside out. Here are a few common foods that offer internal sun protectant factor boosters: watermelon, cucumber, berries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, colored peppers, leafy greens, carrots, grapes, pomegranates, fatty fish, flaxseeds, nuts, and cocoa. Make it fun, mix it up, and use nature’s pharmacy to create delicious meals to help eat your way to better sun protection and gorgeous skin from within.

 

2019 Alissa de Jongh

 

 

Alissa de Jongh, ND, is a board-certified naturopathic doctor, CIDESCO Diplomat, and founder of Glace’ Skin Therapy. She was recognized by the American Naturopathic Medical Association with the 2018 Higher Achievement Award. In 2014, she joined Houston Community College as a professor of facial aesthetics in the consumer arts and sciences department, teaching and preparing student aestheticians for careers in the medical and luxury spa industry. Dr. de Jongh, along with her husband Dr. David de Jongh, DDS, has a private practice, integrative wellness and dental spa concept in Houston, Texas. Together, they treat patients from a whole body perspective, looking for the root cause of the issue, starting with a dental exam, then, moving into a naturopathic consultation which offers many options to create an individualized plan for optimal health, using lasers, along with her line of wellness products from Glace’ and other natural health modalities. drdejongh.com

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