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Personal Services

This playbook provides guidelines for businesses in Greater Des Moines (DSM) offering the following kinds of personal services: hair and nail salons, barbershops, spas, massage therapists, waxing studios, pet grooming and related services and more.

Sample: Small Salon Risk Profile

The sample risk profile has been determined for small salons in DSM. The profile shows frequency, or how many people in a day; duration, or length of typical interaction; and variety, or the number of different people.*

Current Impact

Future Trends

Recommended Practices

Community Partnerships

Additional Resources

Current Impacts

According to SMB Group market research, the personal services industry has been among the hardest hit throughout the COVID-19 crisis, demonstrated by 100% of firms reporting a significant negative impact on their business. When all in-person services are forced to cease, these companies have few alternatives except for retail sales of related products.

Providers Report a Significant
Negative Outlook

>20 Employees Will Be
Hardest Hit

2.5% Decline in Cosmetics
Industry This Year

 

Before reopening, these organizations will likely need to re-engineer spaces to accommodate new requirements, including six feet between work stations, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for technicians and reduced capacity to ten people at a time. Recovery will be challenging and slow while operating below original service levels, and a return to previous industry activity could be years off. Due to the extended closures and reduced capacity of the industry, small or newer businesses may close, lay off employees, or reduce employees to zero-hour contractors with no benefits.

Future Trends

Changing Workforce Needs

Personal services businesses will need to redesign their office spaces to reduce high-touch items (such as testers or magazines) and install protective screens between technicians and clients when possible.

Increased PPE Needs

Personal services technicians will need quality PPE, including, at minimum, masks and gloves when working in direct contact with clients.

Disruption in Supplies and Delivery

Due to ongoing supply chain interruption and delivery delays, certain products may be slow to be restocked. Additionally, maintaining a safe stock of PPE for all technicians will be vital.

Increase in Zero-hours

Due to reduced business capacity, contracted personal service technicians may be forced to shift to zero-hour contracts where work is not guaranteed and there are no employee benefits.

Recommended Practices

Health & Sanitation

  • Conduct a health screening with all employees before their shifts in accordance with the most up to date recommendations from your local public health department.
  • Encourage employees to wear face masks and employ any other PPE in accordance with the most up to date recommendations from your local public health department.
  • PPE products, such as gloves, are single use and must be changed after each client.
  • Wash hands with soap and water as well as any other body part that came into contact with the customer (i.e., forearms or elbows for massage therapists) after each appointment.
  • Frequently disinfect all hard, non-porous surfaces including the reception counter, phones, computers, door handles, etc.
  • Wipe down all soft surfaces (couches, chairs) with water and a clean towel.
  • Thoroughly clean the product area, including all shelving or display cases. Add signage to this area to let clients know it is cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Regularly clean air ducts and filters to improve air quality.
  • Provide hand sanitizer for clients, if not already available. Consider installing touchless water faucets and soap dispensers.
  • Consider requiring customers to wear their own mask while receiving services.

Process & Space Modifications

  • Maintain six feet of distance in the reception area and at each work station.
  • Allow no more than ten people in a business at any time, staff included.
  • Consider adding acrylic shields between technician and client when possible.
  • Discard any open "test" product and discontinue this practice.
  • Consider electronic payment such as Venmo, Zelle, etc. to reduce contact.
  • Remove magazines, books, toys, etc. from reception and waiting areas.

Communication

  • Add signage to service areas to let clients know it is cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Encourage clients to wait in their cars until their appointment start time to reduce waiting area congestion and allow time to properly sanitize between clients.
  • Encourage clients to wear masks when possible, especially for hair and nail services.
  • Develop a client communication plan should you become aware of a COVID-positive visitor in the past 14 days

Community Partnerships

Partnerships with Small Businesses

COVID-19 is changing the frequency in which consumers are able to invest in personal services. Identifying mutually beneficial partnerships with other brands could improve customer loyalty and revenue. For example, Trixie's Day Spa is partnering with Fusion, a local clothing shop, to make Mother's Day Gift Packages and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Similarly, East Village Day Spa has shifted to selling products online and promoting other local products through their retail sales tool.

Supporting Local Families in Need

The Pet Project Midwest, based in Des Moines, works to keep pets with their loving families and out of shelters, even when the family is unable to financially provide for their pets. Due to the financial challenges presented by COVID-19, the Pet Project Midwest is providing families in need with five months of pet food and pet supplies. The Pet Project Midwest also partners with Wesley Meals on Wheels to provide the pet food for the individuals getting food delivered each week.

Additional Resources

Recommended Playbooks

The business function playbooks include takeaways that are specific to professional functions that could be present in any business, regardless of industry.







*We note that these assessments are qualitative and based on expert-led judgment (Johns Hopkins, 2020). Currently, there are not enough detailed data available to enable quantitative risk stratification. Businesses will need to make decisions about re-initiating business activities before there are validated data to know the precise levels of risk.

Legal Disclaimer

The Greater Des Moines Partnership's DSM Forward playbook is not intended to constitute legal advice or provide specific direction. The preparation of a business continuity or preparations plan should be undertaken with the advice and direction of appropriate specialists and personnel, in consideration of the unique circumstances impacting each business. Third-party websites or material linked to or referenced in DSM Forward are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation of The Partnership of that material or its authors.

Last updated: 5/8/2020