In March of this year when our sales dropped 90% I would never have imagined the challenges of COVID would still be present 7 months later.

After 30+ years of owning my own Business, I’m aware of everyday challenges and hitting them head on. However, there is no Business class, there is no Book which could have prepared me nor my Business for the challenge continuity.

I don’t know if I expected this whole thing would “just pass”, or if I was just ignorant to the chain of command which consist in our every day lives.

In either case, life is not as we knew it. There is a new norm. And, the affects of Covid will be felt for years to come. Not just in our health concerns, in our daily lives as well.

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I realized this past week, I may be the Taylor Swift of the beauty industry. LOL

I seem to write my blogs based on experiences of my own. People I have met and things I have seen.

I get it now. Taylor Swift has the fan base she has, because they can all relate to her experiences. They have been there, done it or possibly going through it at this very moment.

When I write my blogs, I hope you can relate and I want you to know…you are not alone. We are all in this COVID journey together. We are all fighting that daily challenge. The challenge which never lets up.

Reading the Sunday newspaper this morning, I was reminded it isn’t just the Beauty Industry…it’s every Business….everywhere.

It’s the exercise establishments which can’t get equipment because production in China has been shut down for so long, the supply chain is broken.

It’s the exterminating business who can’t sell their products because the components they need for bottles, which come from China are not available.

It’s the furniture Companies which have a lead time of 10-12 weeks because they are short staffed.

It’s the Department stores whose shelves are bare due to their supply chains becoming unlinked.

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I am encouraged though, by the perseverance many of these Business owners have. How their creative minds have helped them survive. How they adapted to the challenges and “adjusted fire” because of the situation.

What I see however, in our own industry is complacency setting in. I see many of our Salons relaxing on sterilization procedures and booking procedures. I see topics changing from quality care to quantity care.

I worry this COVID challenge has gone on so long, we are forgetting. We are forgetting the importance of not only safety, we are forgetting to slow down. Slow down to smell the roses.

What my Distribution is dealing with on a daily basis is heartbreaking.

  • Our delivery Companies aren’t guaranteeing deliveries and charging nickel and dime fees for everything from incorrect suite #’s to mis-classifications. Not to mention the ever growing increase in basic shipping cost.
  • Our delivery drivers aren’t going the extra mile needed to ensure a package delivery.
  • Our Mfg’s supply chain has been so unlinked, we literally don’t know from one day to the next what we will receive or what may not be available.
  • Price increases are now starting to take effect. We are preparing for some serious changes heading into 2021.
  • Patience is running thin with Mfg’s and clients

I’m not sharing this with you because I want you to feel sorry for me. Centre For Beauty has been truly blessed because of our venue already being aligned with PPE products. We have been blessed because we have received so many referrals. I personally have been blessed because I have had the chance to physically speak with clients whom in the past never had the time to do so.

I’m sharing this with you because as a Business owner, whether Business is good or bad, we can never EVER get complacent. We have to constantly prepare for the worst and hope for the best. We can never take our Business for granted.

Shortly after COVID attacked, we offered a retail site to our clients in an effort to generate a new revenue stream of income. We had an overwhelming response and I felt great with the orders my Salons were receiving. It’s come to a halt.

Our sales of PPE products were knocked out of the park. Not any more.

We were getting hundreds of request for virtual classes. Those request have dwindled.

My point is…COVID is still here. 

We can’t get complacent because we are allowed to “attempt” to get back to more normalcy in our lives.

The Beauty Industry is still at risk. We have to stay committed to the extreme practices we brought forth 7 months ago. Practices which by the way, should already have been in existance.

I challenge you to answer the following questions…..honestly!

  • Do you allow 15 minutes between clients for a thorough and proper cleaning?
  • Do you follow the Mfg’s directions on proper disinfection contact time?
  • Do you and your clients still wear mask?
  • Do you clean your common areas on a daily basis….or, are you back to “whenever I have time”?
  • Are you still practicing the 6 foot rule?

Whether or not your State has lifted some of the restrictions because of COVID…..we in this industry should not.

We also have to ask ourselves….are we prepared for another crisis?

Many I spoke with and have seen have suffered greatly in their Business financially. It has truly been heart breaking if and I were in the millionaire club, I would help each and every one of them.

I know many who have left the field. I know many who have downsized. I know many who have just closed their doors. And….I still know many that haven’t returned to work yet.

However, I don’t know many who have developed their contingency plan for future disaster.

I am blessed to have a husband and even more blessed that we had already began a contingency plan for our future. However, when my Business dropped 90% in 1 month….I was scared. I honestly did not know if what I had planned for would be enough.

My Business mind automatically kicked in and I changed my purchasing habits, I became creative for my clients to help in any way could and I cut back where I necessary. And, I took advantage of as much Government assistance was allowed.

However, in going through what I went through (what we all went through), I immediately began beefing up my emergency fund. There is one thing about me…..if I don’t like a situation I’m in…..I will NEVER let it happen again. For me, with COVID….I never EVER want to be that vulnerable again.

So I ask you to answer THESE questions honestly….

  • Are you still managing your expenditures carefully?
  • Have you started a contingency plan if you didn’t have one and/or stepping it up?
  • If you did have one, have you reviewed it and made adjustments accordingly.

Being in Business is not a game. Whether you are a big Business, a small Business or you work on your own….YOU being out of Business will affect more people than you realize.

As the title of this blog states. “Our challenges have not stopped”. We are still knee deep in COVID life and we have to do all we can to not become complacent.

As we discussed in the early days of COVID…

Following proper protocol

Following proper procedures

Going over and above the call of duty

Being diligent in all we do

Being safe

All these and more should still be our ultimate goal. Not just for the safety of ourselves and our clients….for the safety of our Industry.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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