Building a business during a regular social climate is hard enough, but building a business during a pandemic is even harder. The struggles can be so draining and you could feel like your drowning. This country has never seen a pandemic of this magnitude, so no one really knows how to react. There's some tips and tricks that I learned while building my practice in the time of COVID. These were ways I was able to survive, pay bills, and still take home a paycheck.
What COVID feels like to a New Business Owner
There is a feeling you experience during COVID. Your body, mind, and soul become completely rewired. You are on constant alert. Your plans don't matter because you don't know what's coming next. It feels like the world is shutting down. It's the feeling of your life collapsing, and it's not pleasant. I'm sure every business owner felt the same sense of the unknown. Those of us in the beauty industry were hit HARD. We come in direct contact with our clients. We are their stylist, esty besty, therapist, you name it, that is the hat we wear when we see each client. COVID put a stop to our industry and made it out like our industry was clueless to sanitation and client safety. Survival was our only option and we weren't going down without a fight
Fear Of Closure Because Of COVID
Once we were shut down, reality kicked in and that reality meant possible permanent closure of my practice. In my mind, that was not an option. Closure to me said I failed, said I wasn't big enough in the beginning to make sure I was covered for a situation like this one. BUT...no one saw this coming. Everything about our world had changed in an instant and I wasn't going to let it win. I was forced to look outside the box. What "side gigs" could i create that would supplement the income that wasn't coming in with face-to-face treatments in my practice. Well, I had skincare sitting on my shelves going bad and collecting dust, so I grabbed all my inventory, created sample sizes and clever packaging. There's when the LAYERS Facial-in-a-box was developed. While putting together different themed boxes, Maskne and N-95 skin issues raised their evil heads. I researched all these new skin concerns and developed the N-95 Box. It contained cleansing oil, Hyaluronic serum, Mandelic Serum, Moisturizer, Vaseline, Anti-Chafe pads. Those boxes were so much of a bestseller that I couldn't keep them in stock. SO...first side-gig saved the day.
Side-Gigs are the way to go. After the Facials-In-a-Box were so successful, I went into creating a tshirt line that helps those in the beauty industry show off their BadAssery with fabulously awesome TShirt Esty Merchandise. Who would have thought that ONE statement would explode. That statement being "BadAss (insert beauty pro title)". Never thought The TShirt Esty would become a cult classic within the beauty world. I'm so grateful to all of those BadAss Pros that support it. The TShirt Esty is still running strong with new designs coming out each month.
Now that I can pay bills and have a tiny paycheck I'm totally fried. My brain can only go in one direction at a time. Having 3 streams of income made for longer nights and even longer days.
How to keep your sanity while building a business during COVID
The first thing you need to do is keep your family and friends at the top of your mind and get help when you need it. When I felt like I was drowning and not making rent, I wanted so badly to reach out to other pros and ask for advice, but how could do that when we were all in the same boat. This is where your friends and family can come in handy. They can be your sounding board when you're confused or a shoulder to cry on when your worst fear is knocking on your door.
Make sure to take care of yourself. Self-care is not selfish. Meditation and yoga helped calm my mind and soul. I was able to find some fabulous apps that had super easy guided meditation or yoga on the go. I had no shame in doing yoga during my long breaks in between clients in the middle of my treatment room.
Find your way to relax, breathe, and release all that binds to you. This day in time no one has the answers, because this world has evolved into something completely NEW and UNKNOWN.
I'm here to say that no one knows how to react when the world comes to a standstill. There are going to be some hard days. Life is not going to be fair, but you need to take those hard days in stride and stand your ground. Find a Side-Gig that fits within your business and run with it. Research all that is new, to include the new issues that are arising. Find a way to correct that that need. Be proactive in finding ways to help and keep yourself sane. We preach Self-Care, so basically practice what you preach. AND...most of all, Don't ever forget to ask for help when/if you need it. This world needs your smile, talent, and beautiful existence.