Forced shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic have struck small salon, spa and gym owners a major blow. But finally, cities around the country are lifting the restrictions on these industries.

With close personal contact such a key aspect of these businesses, reopening—and staying open—requires careful thought and planning. Start by asking your customers what procedures and safeguards they’d like to see when you reopen and talking to your employees about their concerns.

Should you open your doors as soon as restrictions for spas, salons and gyms are lifted in your area?

That’s a choice that only you can make. As you assess your options, take federal, state and local health authority guidelines, as well as your industry’s licensing organizations, into account. Rushing to reopen too quickly or without the proper safeguards in place can lead to your business being shut down all over again.

When developing your reopening plan, think about these factors:

  • How does your business model need to change to stay competitive?
  • What level of sales do you need to break even and when you can expect to become profitable again?
  • Where can you get the financing you may need to retrofit or adapt your location?
  • How can you provide a safe environment for every client visiting your business?
  • Do your employees need any accommodations to return to work?
  • How can you make customers feel comfortable getting their hair cut, having a massage or joining a fitness class?
  • How should you market your reopening to build awareness and demand?

SCORE’s checklist for reopening your spa, salon or gym covers all the relevant factors you’ll have to consider when creating your reopening plan; it also includes several resources for additional guidance.

Reopening your spa, salon or gym after coronavirus shutdowns is one thing; staying open is another. Getting advice from a mentor can help ensure your plan has staying power. Contact a SCORE mentor online or in your community for free consulting and support.

manicure nail salon wearing masks