Note: During the COVID-19 crisis, everyone’s circumstances are different. The recently announced government JobKeeper subsidy doesn’t apply to everyone, and advice should be sought from the Australian Tax Office and other government sources.
With the announcement of the governments JobKeeper stimulus package, there may be a feeling that we can finally ‘move forward’ and start planning for the return of the beauty and aesthetics industry. But what is the best action for you, your business and your staff right now?
After all, we are currently experiencing some incredibly restrictive rules that prohibit movement, and motivating your team may be an issue. Then there are children at home, regulations that seem to be updated on a daily basis and an economy – as one pundit diplomatically put it – a state of flux.
There are some steps to consider over the next few days and weeks:
Get Certain, and Increase Your Communication
If you think you are feeling insecure at the moment, then your staff are experiencing it ten times more. While we, as business owners, can use the news and online information channels as evaluation tools, employees have to wait for the actions of their managers. Just because the government offers something, doesn’t mean it’s going to be used.
Get onto the government websites and benchmark your business and employees against the criteria. It seems that full-time and permanent part-time employees will be eligible for the fortnightly payment, and businesses that have experienced a 30% loss in revenue due to the crisis will likewise be eligible. Payments are made to the business, and then paid to the employees. Of course, you should look at the terms and details before moving forward.
Next, get your team on a video call and explain the situation in broad terms. Perhaps something like, “as I understand it, the situation is that the government subsidy will affect us…” If it is your intention to keep people on the books (or get them back on the books, as is allowed under the subsidy) then it might be the appropriate time to tell them that. If you have a few casual employees with under 12 months service who are therefore not eligible, it may be more appropriate to have these conversations one-on-one.
The more people know, the more they can digests the information and begin to think proactively.
Come up with a Plan
While treatments, obviously, cannot proceed as normal, there are other things that your business can be doing to prepare it for the inevitable return of the beauty and aesthetics industry. If you have a few full-time employees, they will soon be remunerated by your business and this could be a great time to get them more involved, and put strategies in place to start the post-crisis season with a roar.
- Start to think about your relaunch business plan (your competitors may not do this, and this could be a chance to grow your client base.)
- Redo your business and marketing plan for the year with your staff. A few things have changed, and your tactics need to as well.
- Think about what treatments will be popular after the crisis has ended.
- Do online training with your team.
- Conduct brainstorming sessions – get your staff involved with the decisions that happen in the clinic. Ask questions like “what will our industry look like after this is finished?” You may come up with some incredible ideas.
There are a huge amount of things you can do while the business is closed, that will put you on the front foot when you open again. Remember, most businesses won’t bother to be this proactive and it has the potential to give you a powerful competitive advantage.
We dearly hope that this new subsidy puts you in a position where you can solidify the medium-term future of your business and offer your staff some sense of financial certainty. Also, keep in mind that any efforts you make now will pay off once this is over and our industry is thriving again.