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Making it Through the COVID-19 Shutdown

Many, if not all of you are out of work right now. Worldwide, our industry is almost entirely at a standstill. The financial toll this is going to take on businesses is excruciating. And while the stimulus plan was just passed here in the US and similar plans are in place in other countries, and there is some financial relief coming, many businesses are still facing uncertainty. So how do you make it through all this mess right now? How does your business survive this kind of thing? Let’s discuss…

This shutdown is affecting everyone in one way or another. There’s so much uncertainty right now, it’s crazy.

Will you be able to reopen?


Can you pay the bills in the meantime?

Should you look for another job now?

Should you consider a career change?

How hurt will the entire industry be after this?

Will clients even come for concern over their health?

Will clients be too financially strained themselves to come as soon as you reopen?

The uncertainty in all of this is probably the most frustrating. If there was a definite end in sight, something that would give us a way to develop a concrete plan of action, I think we’d all be feeling a little better. I completely understand your fears and anxiety around your business right now. And you may be thinking “Hey Savanna, you don’t understand. You have an online business and can keep working.” I’ve received that exact email a few times now. But guess what…this business relies on massage therapists being in business. If you all shut down, I shut down. That’s the reality of it for me as well. So yes, I really do understand. I made it through the 2008 crash and the next few years without huge losses, but this is a whole different story. And while I can hang on for a while with no revenue, just like any other business, that can’t last long.

So for now, while we’re all in this boat of uncertainty together, let’s make the most of it. I don’t want to paint some fake rosy picture for you, but we can look at the harsh reality, sink our teeth into the bad hand we’ve been dealt, and still push forward.

First and foremost, I think it’s important to take some time to feel whatever it is you feel. To decompress, and sort through the emotional and mental impact this is taking.

Then, it’s time to evaluate your options. Since we really don’t know when this will end, it’s time for YOU to put some end date on it – or at least an end date on certain plans. How long can you realistically hold out. Meaning, how many weeks or months are you able to cut back anything unnecessary, keep paying the bills, or defer payments, and be able to reopen as soon as this blows over? How many weeks or months is simply too long and you’ll need to completely shut things down? Putting your own timeline on this will not only give you a little sense of control, which I think we all kind of need right now, but it gives you a deadline of when you’ll need to move on into the next phase – whatever that may look like – instead of wallowing in all the what ifs for however long.

Now, create a plan around when you can reopen, if that was to be possible within your timeline. And then create a plan around what you’ll do if this goes on longer than you’re able to withstand and you can’t reopen. I know you may not want to think about the latter, but it really is better to have a plan in place and not have to use it, than to be taken by surprise and unprepared.

So, for your plan to reopen, let’s look at some improvements to make and ways to use this time wisely…

Get your finances in order.

Schedule out all your marketing for the year.

Plan your specials and promotions.

Rearrange and redecorate your office.

Create a referral program.

Create a review acquisition strategy.

Write out scripts and practice for answering the phone, making appointments, upselling, and rebooking.

Create new hands-off revenue streams that align with your brand.

Research new product lines to add into your retail.

There’s all kinds of things you can be doing right now to push your business forward when all this is over.

And for your plan if you don’t reopen, let’s look at some questions to ask yourself…

Will you try to find an employee position somewhere?

Will it be inside or outside the industry?

Will you try to open again after a certain amount of time as an employee?

How much money will you need to put aside to try again?

What will you do differently the next time?

Use this time that you have now to put things down on paper, and start getting the wheels in motion for this next chapter in life and in business – whatever that will look like for you. For some of you, this may just be a speed bump and you’ll go right back to the way things were before. For others, this may be a wakeup call that there are changes you’d like to make; big and small.

While this is a time of uncertainty, it’s also a great time to not only evaluate the situation, but reevaluate what you’ve been doing and what you really want going forward.

Savanna Bell LMT

Hey there! I'm a massage therapist, educator, writer, and business pro helping massage therapists around the world build successful businesses. My goal is to give you everything you need to start, run, and grow a profitable massage practice that supports a life you love, all without the headaches I went through learning how to do it myself.

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