The Coronavirus continues to rage. It's likely that the effects of the COVID outbreak will be hitting industries for decades to come. When the Spanish Flu hit in 1918 in the middle of World War I, it took years for any sort of financial recovery, and that was even without the economic depression. To prepare for that, we're looking at the likely impact of the COVID epidemic on various industries, continuing today with the cosmetics world after all of this. Much like our post about Education after COVID, we will talk about the wider consequences of the virus as well as those specific to the fashion world in particular. People will always need cosmetics. How can you prepare yourself for that time?
We've gone through this before in a few other posts, but there are a handful of things that you can keep in mind for the whole of recovery from this crisis. First, make sure that you have the funds that you need to stay afloat and pay your employees. It is still very tough to find the proper help from the government but check with the SBA and SCORE for assistance. Second, if and when you do reopen you will need to make sure that your customers know that you are open. If they do not, no one will know to find you. Finally, prepare for volatility. This is a very strange time, especially when it comes to employees. You won't want to be caught behind the eight-ball if everything goes pear-shaped once again.
Every industry faces its own specific issues and financial stresses. The cosmetics world certainly will as well. First, we will look at two massive problems that will likely face all sorts of fashion and makeup and cosmetics businesses after COVID has passed. Then we will talk about our solutions you can put into place.
Two of the main points of issue that we want to point out are about face-to-face sales, and about changes to how people will need to look for the future. First, it's going to be much more difficult to sell to people in person. COVID made touching and face-to-face contact (a need for cosmetics often) a different issue, and that probably won't change after stores reopen. Will people want to try makeup at a store, where others are touching and using the same makeup? It's pretty similar in the fashion industry as well. And will they be able to come into the stores in person to buy? It's hard to predict right now. Second, the kinds of desires that people have for their own looks have changed. Does hair and makeup and beauty mean the same when people will telecommute? And how can you get rid of your inventory if that is the case? Thankfully, we have some ideas.
Let's start with the issues of sales. It's hard to sell a service or product when you don't have any in-person means of doing so. How can you check if someone is wearing the right color? What about returns? Can people try makeup on? If this is the case, prepare for new ways to have people look for modeling. Maybe it involves a different policy or a new way to sell in-person versus online. Prepare to change with the times. Work with businesses in similar fields as well, because they will likely be facing many of the same issues. Next, there are ways to prepare for this new world. Sales online won't be easy, no matter what. But everyone is in the same boat. Cater to that. If you sell through Zoom, you can demonstrate looks in that way. Heck, it's possible you can display more looks if you have the right technology. You have the power to change your industry. After how much has changed due to COVID, the cosmetics industry might be feeling pain.
Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkedIn profile