back to work
Barron’s and MarketWatch regularly check in with entrepreneurs across the US facing the challenges of reviving their businesses amid the Covid-19 crisis.
- lark salon
- Owner: Sarah Turak
- position: Omaha, Nebraska
- employee: 7 before the virus.10 currently
- Status: open, not required
Two months into her Omaha Salon reopening, Sarah Turak is adapting to her new normal and eyeing the opportunities created by the disruption caused by the coronavirus.
when Barons When I first spoke with Turack, she laid off seven staff members after closing Lark Salon in March. At the time, Turack worried that customers and staff would be hesitant to return, given the close proximity between stylists and clients. A loan through her Paycheck Protection Program, part of the Cares Act passed to help businesses, households and small businesses weather the pandemic, will allow her to rehire staff and reopen in early May. was helpful.
Since reopening, most of Turack’s regular customers have returned for haircuts, color treatments and other services. Some of those holdouts are elderly or immunocompromised clients and a minority are healthcare workers who are dealing with Covid-19 patients and limiting public interactions. Her special-occasion business, which she occupies, still lags behind her previous endeavors, but Turack is seeing more brides these days as people try to get back to normal life.
Turack says July 1st is her new January 1st. She has set her aggressive growth targets in hopes of recouping her lost earnings in the first half of this year. “You don’t have to give up this year,” she says. “We’re trying to get back to neutrality compared to last year,” she says, though she recognizes that targets may be higher, especially due to capacity limitations.
Precautions pay off
But at the same time, Lark is receiving more inquiries from new customers than ever before. That’s a 50% increase from this time last year. This is due to the way Turack has carefully reopened its business. Some competitors have taken a looser approach, but employee and customer masks are non-negotiable. We have masks on hand and offer to cancel reservations free of charge for those who refuse to wear masks.
Turack began screening potential new customers by phone to make sure they weren’t traveling from areas more severely affected by the pandemic or caring for sick family members. This approach has made it more comfortable for customers and stylists to come to the store, she says. to the salon.
Behind the scenes of the cautious reopening of Lark Salon
Lark Salon has been adding staff since reopening with funding from the Federal Paycheck Protection Program. Here, Guest Experience Manager Chase Vanderveen (left) recently trained new hires at the reception desk of a salon in Omaha, Nebraska.
Photo by Walker Pickering
She’s dealing with an increase in job applications and wants to hire six new stylists (she hired three more after getting a PPP loan in April). In doing so, she hopes to increase diversity among her staff and customers.Virtual her trainingHer increased options will allow her to reduce the cost of face-to-face training, which is often accompanied by travel. Easier onboarding of new stylists.
“Some of these changes are for the better and are permanent,” Turack says. She already feels that stylists and clients alike are getting used to post-Corona hair care. say.
This is the final installment. Read the first entry in Lark Salon’s Back to Business Diary.
write destination Lisa Beilfuss: email@example.com