Action Plan for Spa Owners Facing Difficult Times

by | Mar 25, 2020

As Covid-19 cases rise, business owners are doing something they never imagined, closing their doors and laying off staff. Not all business owners are affected equally, but those in the service industry are thrust into the worst-case scenario. I am a nurse practitioner and own a medical spa in Boise, Idaho with 11 employees. As we have all seen by the news, every state is handling the situation differently, and Idaho has severely lagged with policy and shutdowns. I had some early insight into the severity of the situation as I was a nurse practitioner during H1N1, a veteran ICU nurse, and a frontline provider against Cholera in Haiti. As a medical professional, I felt it necessary to close my spa last week, and I would like to share some pearls.


1. Immediate actions

a. Remain calm, compassionate, and have a proactive conversation with your staff. Inform them of the situation and reassure them you are doing your very best to gather all information before making rash decisions such as lay-offs. Reassure that you will keep them in the loop of all potential decisions, and if possible, that you will talk to each one in the next few days to discuss their specific needs. This is especially important for employees who rely on their health insurance.
b. Inform clients of the closure. Post it on your website, voicemail, Constant Contact, FB, Instagram. Promote that your company is taking leadership to protect staff and clients. Provide a phone number for questions and complications.
c. Call each patient that is on the books for the next 4 weeks to reschedule into May. This is better than canceling, and if you open sooner, you can move them up in the schedule. Offer to do follow-ups via Facetime/Skype/Zoom.
d. Before leaving the clinic, wipe all counters and surfaces with antimicrobial wipes. Lock up all sensitive materials and products and consider taking them home. De-activated access to the building by all staff except select management. Tell staff to take all essential personal items as they will not be allowed back into the clinic for an unknown time.
e. Please consider donating masks, gloves, wipes to your local hospital.

2. Choose your key decision-makers

a. This would probably be your bookkeeper and office manager.
b. Set up a Skype meeting to look at spreadsheets, staff, and logistics.

3. Review your balance sheet

a. Make a 4,8, 12, and 16-week projection for cash flow with no income.
b. Run several scenarios such as paying staff their hourly wage for x amount of time, paying only the key employees, paying partial salaries, and furloughing staff.
c. Look at every single line item/bill and call the vendor to discuss changing the terms.

4. Preserve cash flow at all costs 

a. Apply for lines of credit
b. Allergan, Merz, and Galderma are offering more time with their terms
c. AMEX is offering more time with its terms
d. Call and set up the extended terms, don’t skip payments or assume longer terms have been granted
e. Contact your landlord and see if you can pay decreased monthly rent

5. Work on projects 

a. Maximize your home office
b. Write blogs, journal articles, abstracts


6. Find other routes of income

a. Discount online pre-sales for your most popular items that are not too expensive, but make people feel better.

1. Botox
2. Lip filler
3. Skincare products – offer free shipping now
4. Offer Skype consultations


Above all, remain a medical professional and uphold the highest standard of care. Do not succumb to risky behavior such as performing procedures at patient’s homes. This too shall pass, and while things may not look the same after the pandemic, you will still own your craft, and we can all rebuild together.