What is the future for small beauty and wellness businesses in 2021

By Isla Knight, founder of JustUWellness

The wellness industry has faced at least as many challenges as other industries during Covid-19, if not more. And, it’s been hard for consumers, too; people have had to forgo the treatments they used to undertake regularly in order to feel, well… well.

However, most wellness/beauty providers have adapted in three main ways: they have become more flexible, more technology driven, and more hygienic. All of this is positive. And the industry will need to continue to embrace these adaptations to move forward and thrive. No wonder trends of being a Body shop at home consultant are on the rise.

ADAPTABLE AND FLEXIBLE

Users are still eager to access beauty and wellness services and, if anything, they are keener than ever as everyone is feeling the stress of the last year.

This means that as providers we need to be flexible.

Already, physios and osteopaths, for example, have been able to offer advice over the phone, video and via email to help clients keep fit and mobile. Counselling has also adapted offering remote sessions. It can even be done via text for people who do not want to be overheard by other household members. Beauticians have offered online tutorials, personal trainers have trained over Zoom.

When we finally head into a post-Covid world, I believe this flexibility is one of the things that will help these businesses prosper. Clients will continue to want and expect the flexibility they have become accustomed to and providers are aware that being adaptable is important.  

EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY

Online communication and working together will continue post-Covid to the benefit of consumers and practitioners alike.

You can now provide group workouts via Zoom, as a counsellor you can speak to clients on video call, beauty therapists can provide one-to-one advice on things like maintaining your hair extensions, grooming your own brows and looking after skin.

Of course, many consumers will be desperate to go back to their favourite salon, class or therapist as we emerge from the end of the Covid tunnel but think of the opportunities of continuing to offer online wellness support as well.

Research and booking will also be more technology driven. People will rely on reviews more than word-of-mouth and will use the internet or apps to book a variety of treatment quickly and easily. As a provider, if you don’t already have a digital booking system, now is the time to invest in one. These systems help save time and money for both therapists and consumers, making everyone’s life easier.

HYGEINE AS A PRIORITY

Even when the vaccine has been fully implemented, I believe that people will continue to be far more conscious of hygiene.

Where treatments are happening in-person – which, of course, many really do have to – hygiene will stay at the top of the agenda.

Wellness providers will definitely need to have hygiene and social distancing as a priority, even following widespread vaccination, as values have shifted and people are going to be naturally more cautious. This, in turn, will provide peace of mind for customers who are currently keeping their distance and keeping contact to a minimum.

Customers will expect to see hygiene standards raised and therapists will have to rise to the occasion with clear labelling and policies to show how they are maintaining hygiene. After all, we are all now hyper-aware of the importance of looking after each other!

FUTURE SUPPORT AND INVESTMENT

So far, the Government has not really looked at support for wellness. Regardless, I believe the industry will survive, and thrive. In part this will be because it will be supported by investment. Investors see the value of the industry. They will understand that consumers are seeing wellness as an essential service, not just a treat to indulge in when they have free time. Indeed, I believe the industry is going to see a massive boom, post-Covid and investors will be keen to be involved.

Overall, wellness has a very bright future ahead. People are more aware than ever that they need to look after themselves and they are going to be making the most of the new look wellness industry to make them feel good.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Isla Knight is the founder of JustUWellness. JustU is a booking service, accessed online or via the JustU App, that gives you the power to book a wide range of wellness treatments with the click of a button. JustU links users with professional salons and lifestyle providers.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JustUWellness2019    

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