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Will Covid stop me in my tracks?

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Minniemouse20

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Hi everyone

Apologises if this has already been bought up recently (I have searched and couldn’t find anything). I am just looking for some advice really, I was all set up to start my own small beauty business renting a room in November and was ready to give my notice in (I have to give 4 weeks) but now we have all these rising cases in covid and local lockdowns happening I’m not sure what to do. I thought about waiting until March instead but recently read that someone in an area of lockdown is still able to work and close contact services are still going ahead. Would I be daft to leave a paid job to finally start my dream if there’s a risk of being closed again? Id imagine I wouldn’t then have any help if that was to happen as I would be newly self employed. I am so desperate to start and finally be in control of my diary and hours and what treatments I want to offer and how 😩 I have been doing this over 20 years now and I’m so ready to go it alone but don’t want to not provide for my family. I hope some of you may be able to help with this. Thank you in advance xx
 
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Dayna123

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Hiya not an answer sorry but I am in the same situation as you! So scary and so uncertain on what to do.
I am part time at my job so I am going to stay there and do my beauty businesses in between until I can find my feet. All the best xxx
 

Minniemouse20

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Thank you Dayna123. Good luck to you too! I’m full time and have considered looking at going part time to do it that way however because of my position i know it wouldn’t be an option in the place I’m working. I just wish I had a crystal ball 🔮 xxx
 

CFBS

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If you are ok to continue working as employed in your current salon then I would say do that.
Most salons / home based / mobile therapists are experiencing a major downturn in client numbers due to covid and these are businesses that have been running for years.
Unless you have substantial savings to live off, stick with the guaranteed pay cheque.

Of course there's no reason why you couldn't start to glean some clients either mobile or coming to your house.
Even in good times it takes up to 3 years to build client base that gives you a good regular income.
 

Trinity

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Most salons / home based / mobile therapists are experiencing a major downturn in client numbers due to covid and these are businesses that have been running for years.
Unless you have substantial savings to live off, stick with the guaranteed pay cheque.
This.

I've avoided answering these types of theeads in an attempt not to be Nagative Nelly but I as my esteemed peer @CFBS has raised the point I'm going to chuck my tuppence worth in too.

I've been a self employed, home based Nail tech for 18 years, I know my business is quiet but hadn't really inspected the details, a little 'head in the sand' mentality I think. The Coronacoaster ride has been intense, and I'm hiding from the fear. However I did some calculations, this September I have had 30% of the bookings in comparison to September 2019 and 2018. I have spent 50% more in September on 'stock' - all PPE - yes some of this will last more than a month but it's indicative of the change in financial burden. My appointments take approx 30% longer to facilitate cleaning. Broadly this equates to earning roughly 25% of the same time in the last 2 years.

I'm not chasing clients to book appointments, I did initially but I know some came out of guilt not because they actually wanted to, and whilst I appreciate their loyalty and support, I'm not comfortable putting my clients in situations they are not comfortable with. I realise I'm in a very fortunate position working from home that I don't have rent or salon bills to pay and I can ride the tide. I do believe clients will come back to previous levels but I don't think it will be this side of Christmas. I initially thought we'd ramp up ready for the festive season but as we're teetering on the brink of a second wave, I think thats unlikely now.

I've been checking out other techs and salons locally, the fact that many of them are offering discounts and even the NSS are empty tells me it's not just me that's suffering.

With all the best will in the world if you're in a secure job with regular pay now is not the time to jump ship. As @CFBS says starting a new business is expensive, save, save and save some more while you can and launch when the world is a little more financially stable. There's nothing stopping you from learning more, get student insurance and practise on willing friends and family, you can never learn too much.
 

CFBS

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This.

I've avoided answering these types of theeads in an attempt not to be Nagative Nelly but I as my esteemed peer @CFBS has raised the point I'm going to chuck my tuppence worth in too.

I've been a self employed, home based Nail tech for 18 years, I know my business is quiet but hadn't really inspected the details, a little 'head in the sand' mentality I think. The Coronacoaster ride has been intense, and I'm hiding from the fear. However I did some calculations, this September I have had 30% of the bookings in comparison to September 2019 and 2018. I have spent 50% more in September on 'stock' - all PPE - yes some of this will last more than a month but it's indicative of the change in financial burden. My appointments take approx 30% longer to facilitate cleaning. Broadly this equates to earning roughly 25% of the same time in the last 2 years.

I'm not chasing clients to book appointments, I did initially but I know some came out of guilt not because they actually wanted to, and whilst I appreciate their loyalty and support, I'm not comfortable putting my clients in situations they are not comfortable with. I realise I'm in a very fortunate position working from home that I don't have rent or salon bills to pay and I can ride the tide. I do believe clients will come back to previous levels but I don't think it will be this side of Christmas. I initially thought we'd ramp up ready for the festive season but as we're teetering on the brink of a second wave, I think thats unlikely now.

I've been checking out other techs and salons locally, the fact that many of them are offering discounts and even the NSS are empty tells me it's not just me that's suffering.

With all the best will in the world if you're in a secure job with regular pay now is not the time to jump ship. As @CFBS says starting a new business is expensive, save, save and save some more while you can and launch when the world is a little more financially stable. There's nothing stopping you from learning more, get student insurance and practise on willing friends and family, you can never learn too much.
Absolutely spot on analysis of our current situation 👍
 

Enchanting Beauty

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I agree with CFBS & Trinity. I am mobile & whilst I have not gone over the figures in fine detail, I estimate I am 50% down on this time last year. It is sort of reassuring that everyone is in the same boat but it is not a encouraging boat to be in.
Whereas I would have clients booking in for Xmas already, they are holding off.
So, I would say, if you can carry on in your for the meantime it would be wise to do so. Try doing some clients on the side if you can to get yourself started.
Good luck on whatever you choose to do.
 

Betty

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I have just logged in to write a similar enquiry - i am literally just about to sign a 5 year lease for my dream salon to open in March 2021- it's large, with five beauty rooms, 2 pedi stations and five seater nail bar with two exits and the client base is high end wealthy - i am not due to take occupation until march next year and so although very conscious of the current situation, i have been working on the basis that confidence in the sector will increase by spring 2021. However, i note that everybody seems to be talking about a dip due now to the second wave and I am left feeling very nervous - it is a very expensive salon in terms of rent and rates, let alone employing a team - it's my life's savings - i am worried that if i don't sign now i will lose the shop as it's beautiful and in a prime area. Thoughts from sage salon geeks please...
 

Tash0088

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I closed my 11 year old salon this year due to covid and I am now working from home and offering mobile treatments. And I am so glad I did. I don't know how I would be coping if I was tied to a rental contract (along with everything else) right now. And as @Trinity mentioned, my overheads are now much less of an issue so my main priority at the moment is paying myself which, due to a longstanding and loyal client base, I am fortunate enough to be able to do. Selfishly, I am relieved that I don't have to worry about staff during this current climate.
Sadly, I've also noticed this week that a couple of barber shops and hairdressers in my local town have closed too. Covid has not been kind to our industry.
 

Trinity

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I have just logged in to write a similar enquiry - i am literally just about to sign a 5 year lease for my dream salon to open in March 2021- it's large, with five beauty rooms, 2 pedi stations and five seater nail bar with two exits and the client base is high end wealthy - i am not due to take occupation until march next year and so although very conscious of the current situation, i have been working on the basis that confidence in the sector will increase by spring 2021. However, i note that everybody seems to be talking about a dip due now to the second wave and I am left feeling very nervous - it is a very expensive salon in terms of rent and rates, let alone employing a team - it's my life's savings - i am worried that if i don't sign now i will lose the shop as it's beautiful and in a prime area. Thoughts from sage salon geeks please...
Only you can decide on what you do with your money, I've already given a unflinching report of where I am as a business, if you apply my situation as worst case scenario, can your new business continue to trade taking 25% of it's equivalent business for this time last year? And for October, November, etc.

I don't have a crystal ball, and confess to being risk adverse, so couldn't talk myself into risking my entire life savings on a business in a sector that is clearly struggling in the post Covid era. The restrictions Boris announced last week are set to be in place for 6 months, whilst they currently apply to socialising if we don't get hold of the second wave we could see wider lockdown restrictions that could affect business. Can you get pandemic business insurance? Can you get rent reduction/pause if we go into tighter restrictions?

Businesses are going bust daily, how could/would this affect the 'high end' business? High Streets are deathly quiet, London is virtually a ghost town, interest rates are being cut daily, are the weathy affected as much?

There are Geeks who believe there are deals to be had on property leases, equipment purchases, etc so they will see the situation differently.

I don't believe anyone can give you a definitive answer either way we've never been in this economic situation before, but I wish you all the best whichever way you decide to go, I do not envy the tough spot you find yourself in.
 

RosieR

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Totally with Trinity on her sound advice. As a solo therapist my work is down by approx 60%. I am really struggling to get more than 3 or 4 clients a day and I am a home salon with 30 years of experience. I am so glad that I have no overheads, it is truly a blessing.

All I have is tons of stock that I want to be rid of.... products that I opened in Jan /feb this year that will soon be out of date. Truly not a problem to what you may be facing... I am referring to you SPACE.

Honestly , I would say don't do it as you are tied in for such a long time. The landlord will be rubbing their hands with glee. Fixed rent for a 5 year period is throwing your money away and I know it probably is not what you want to hear but re think and wait a little longer would be my suggestion.

Surely there will be other spaces to look into later on ? Loads of businesses going bankrupt will give other opportunities for perhaps better deals etc.

I don't know if you are currently solo in your business, I don't know your business set up . Would that be a safer option? Only you know the answer.
 

Louisa.e

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Hi there
It is a dilemma for you but when you really think about it what’s a few months to fulfill your dream. March would probably be a better time to open.
Did you mean you are working in a salon at the moment? If so try to keep clients loyal to you so they come with you.
I had a salon for many years and loved it but sometimes it was tough. I am now home based and love it even more as I have very low overheads.
My advise would be to wait for the right time, try to have a good number of clients to take with you and keep your overheads LOW 🤪 Best of luck.
 

TheDuchess

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I have a high end, award winning beauty salon in the centre of Bath opposite a Hilton Doubletree Hotel, next door to a 33 yr established fine cheese shop which exports around the world and a stone throw from Waitrose. I’ve been open 4 years and had a 6 figure turnover from my previous place to get me off to a good start.

I’m exclusive in Bath for three global skincare brands which are good draws to my business. I’m the only qualified advanced level clinical massage therapist. I’m one of very few places currently offering pregnancy massage.

I've been in Vogue. I was on BBC Points West the day the lifting of restrictions for beauty salons was revoked. I was on BBC Bristol Radio the day it was announced beauty salons could open.
I’m active on social media - not amazingly so, but more than most other salons according to my feed.

I’m taking 30% of my pre-Covid earnings. All my savings are gone and I’ve basically earned nothing all year. I didn’t qualify for any personal support from government because I take dividends from my limited company rather than a salary. I have managed to keep my debt to “just” £10,000. Even my retail has tanked. We’re surviving as a family because my husband is earning and our living expenses have gone down.

I’m leaving as soon as I can persuade my landlord to evict me for non payment of my rent. It’s the only way I can break my lease. Oh and the landlord has charged me £800 to assess the condition of my premises (which is amazing compared to how I took it on) and they want ££££’s for “dilapidations”. I’ve had to pay for professional advice which is to wait to be taken to Court and see what happens! Did I mention that I have to have the electrics inspected and as electrical regulations have changed in the last 5 years, I won’t get my certificate of inspection until I spend another £1000 on “remedial” work. I feel like a fish on a hook! There seems no way out of catastrophic bills every way I look.

I’m optimist about the future. I’m not staying in the high street because my premises are not ideal for my business in the “new normal” and they also weren't future proof for my business. A different vision to mine do well. I’ve been debating relocation out of town for about a year now and I’m just about to open part time in the village where I live.

I want a bit of headspace to focus on rebuilding my retail online and I want better treatment room spaces than I had before as part of my 5 year plan. I’m only working part-time at present because I simply can’t find enough business at the moment but I feel very sure that I’ll be in a good place


I have had to tell my team that I don’t have an employed role for them - as there is no work. They can join
in my journey on a self employed basis if they wish. I can see the opportunities clearly for them, but they have to have the heart for it. I’m not going to try and build a big turnover business again. I’m going to stay simple and modest with a portfolio income from online retail/face to face self employed treatments and I’ll look for some employment or consultancy or teaching work to bring me in additional income stream. No more eggs in one basket for me.

In life you win some and you lose some. It’s a giant game of snakes and ladders. I’ve enjoyed the last 5 years but I don’t have much to show for it. I’m now much more focused on quality of life.

if you want some advice I’d say don’t take on any staff. Try and find a way to set up with just you and don’t plan on paying yourself for 18months. Be very focussed on profit - maybe have a model where you pay a percentage of your profits to charity. It’s a good way to make sure you run at a profit from day one.
 

Trinity

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In life you win some and you lose some. It’s a giant game of snakes and ladders. I’ve enjoyed the last 5 years but I don’t have much to show for it. I’m now much more focused on quality of life.
Bloody hell @TheDuchess I'm devastated for you. I can't even begin to imagine how stressful and heartbreaking this is for you. I've always been impressed and in awe of your business and how you run it (based on your excellent advice and responses on here in a multitude of subjects) so to hear how the situation has ruined your business is horrible, and the hits just keep coming for you.

I don't want to trivialise or sound clichéd but I hope your new focus on quality of life brings you some peace of mind, and I wish you nothing but huge success in your new incarnation. Much love xx
 
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Betty

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Thank you to everybody for sharing your experience and thoughts. TheDuchess - I am so sorry to hear your news - 'success' looks differently for different people - i am sure you will find yours again. The very, very best of luck.
 

House Beauty

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I would really strongly advise now is not the time.

We are all in unknown territory and our job is close contact.

I am not even working.

Handle doing your job as much as you can if you feel safe there until there is more evidence and statistics of close contact services transmission so you can make an informed decision for yourself.

It’s one thing to have a business responsible for your safety but it’s another having to deal with all the Covid secure and then deciding on your own risk assessment. Your life is in your own hands then and not being funny...I am not dying for the sake of someone getting their nails done. It’s up to all of us to make that decision for ourselves.
 

BobSweden

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Unfortunately, I think this situation will last most of next year. Even when and if a vaccine is produced, manufacturing enough can be a problem (COVID test kits do not inspire confidence).

Then, from 01.01.2020, the UK is out of the EU. Deal or no-deal, importing and exporting will get much more complicated, expensive and many predict huge delays and then job losses.

The UK has not yet created a UK version of the EU Cosmetic Products Notification Portal, so how legal / illegal cosmetics will be defined is anyone's guess. What is known, is that brands that want to sell in the UK and EU, will have to register on both systems and have a Responsible Person located in each region. That is double the work and costs, plus in time the UK regulations may change from EU regs, increasing work further. Most likely some UK brands will stop selling in the EU and some EU brands will find it too expensive and onerous to sell in the UK. What the impact is on insurance until there is a UK cosmetics regulation system, is also up in the air.

My advice is to control your costs but invest in the future; new services, higher education, that can increase your reputation and number of income streams. Those that survive, will probably reap the rewards later due to less competition - and that includes fewer brands.
 

Starting out

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Omg how stressful, I’ve just be talking to friends who live in another part of the country, and they where looking for a retails unit and found one just before covid , they Still thinking of taking unit on , they say small retail units getting snapped up, They said they going through a lease and it’s frightening, it’s the cost that can be implied when you hand it back not take it on, they Said it’s so complex
 

Rachel_GGN

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Oh and the landlord has charged me £800 to assess the condition of my premises (which is amazing compared to how I took it on) and they want ££££’s for “dilapidations”.
I’m sorry, but what b&@!£stards. I am so sorry to read this, also everyone else’s losses.

PPE is a huge rise in costs that nobody really wants (clients don’t even like it by the looks, complaining about the costs etc) but we have to have it, it’s also a fairly large investment to make with absolutely no guarantee that sudden and prolonged closure of business will be imposed again.

I’ve been out of the business for a year or so anyway, and was considering a return literally in the past month.. but have decided against it for the foreseeable until the government finally constructs a socially sustainable plan for this thing, which in my eyes they really haven’t done yet.

Shutting things down is their plan at the moment, and I’m not willing to play games with my life and finances simply because the big guns refuse to work with social scientists in getting a decent framework up and running.

I wouldn’t decide for you, you have to make your own choices based on your own risk assessment and consider the possible losses, but I have given you my example and hope it might help.

I really would like to leave this post positively in wishing you all of the very best in whatever way you choose.

Trinity has placed sound advice, I think it’s really important to consider because the examples are so broad. Trinity is posting without overheads and The Duchess with them, both ways it’s not looking good. Sending my biggest love to everyone.
 
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Starting out

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Apparently that can be standard in charges for leases, I’ve just been talking to friends who are at this strange time considering renting a unit, when most people will be looking to get out of there’s

learnt so much in a conversation

for them the landlord is local council which apparently makes them not as slippy as private landlords

but the catch out point is something called dilapidations, they told me it’s standard to have to hand back with a electrical certificate after 5 yr, They have be warned while solicitors robbing bastarxxx, they can save silly charges on when the lease ends, I’m struggling with idea of self employment.
 

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