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UKSA TOGETHER - COMMUNICATION & COMMUNITY

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Keep Informed – Useful Links Industry

Keep Informed – Useful Links Financial

Business Planning

Invitation for Innovation

Self-care at Home

 

Dear UK Spa Association Member,

First and foremost, I hope you’re doing well in these unprecedented circumstances. These are very challenging times for the UK spa industry and we will do our utmost to help our members adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. Please remember Spa Line, our dedicated help line, giving our members access to the advice of our expert volunteer board members.

More than 20,000 people working in leisure and hospitality have already been let go since mid February 2020 and its estimated that over 1million jobs are now on the line in the country’s workforce overall. (Source: Metro newspaper). You are certainly no alone in this.

Now is a great time to sensitively highlight the value of your brand, particularly your products and any online services in order to raise awareness for the future. It’s possible that as a result of this current crisis, there will be a reawakening and a consciousness of people, who become much more appreciative of the incredible work you do, as self-care, health and wellbeing become their priority.

We have set up freely accessible links to resources to help you understand the conversations happening around COVID-19, as well as advice and suggestions to keep your mental health in check and to upskill should you choose, whilst staying at home.

KEEP INFORMED - USEFUL LINKS INDUSTRY

BABTAC

If you are a BABTA member you can contact them for advice over at: our for more urgent enquiries on: 01452 623 110.

https://www.babtac.com/blog/2020/03/216-liz-mckeon-tips-to-navigate-coronavirus

HOSPITALITY ACTION

We have been inundated with applications for our COVID-19 Grant. We have closed the scheme for further applications while we process the huge number of applications received to date. As soon as we know whether there is more capacity in the fund we will re-open the grant for applications accordingly. Please bear with us while we process applications and make our first grant payments.

Although the latest correspondence is that the hospitality grant has now closed for processing. Do keep checking the website.

https://www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/media/2140/covid-19-grant-190320-_v9.pdf

https://www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/get-help

HAIRDRESSING & BEAUTY SALON & BARBER TRADE ASSOCIATION

https://www.nhbf.co.uk/coronavirus/

NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF PERSONNEL & DEVELOPMENT

https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/coronavirus/support-materials

FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES

https://www.fsb.org.uk/campaign/covid19.html

UKSA ACTIVE SPA MEMBERS

https://www.ukactive.com/covid-19/

EUROPEAN SPA MAGAZINE

Spa Crisis Management Plan 

https://mailchi.mp/spapublishing/spacrisismanagementplan

POOL CLOSURE GUIDANCE

http://www.palmacademy.co.uk/

 


KEEP INFORMED – USEFUL LINKS FINANCIAL

GOV.UK

https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs

The Chancellor is now under increased pressure to offer better support for the self-employed, especially after his recent announcement that employees will receive 80% of their salaries, capped at £2,500 per month. We are closely monitoring this situation. Further information may be known on Friday (27th March).

TAX (HMRC)

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. You are eligible if you're self-employed. Please note that this is an automatic deferral so you are not required to make an application.

Also, all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. This has recently been up scaled to ensure all firms and individuals have access to this. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, please note the:

HMRC dedicated Tax Helpline: 0800 0159 559

VAT

All VAT registered UK businesses can now defer their VAT payments. You don't need to apply, it's an automatic offer where businesses won't need to make a VAT payment during the period 20th March - 30th June 2020. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

If your employer intends to access the job retention scheme, they should discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker.

JOB PROTECTION SCHEME

Business title, Insider.co.uk has an employment lawyer to explain the detail of Government pledge to pay 80% of employees' wages – see link.

https://www.insider.co.uk/news/coronavirus-job-protection-scheme-your-21746045

What are furloughed workers?

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all employers in the UK will be able to access support to continue paying part of employees’ salaries who would otherwise have been laid off during the ongoing health crisis. Furloughed workers are those whose employers cannot cover staff costs due to coronavirus and as such they have been asked to stop working but have not been made redundant.

If your employer intends to access the job retention scheme, they should discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that you are being kept on your employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off. To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for your employer while you are furloughed, according to gov.uk (Source: Insider.co.uk)

What will you get paid?

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOANS

Newly launched, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) temporarily replaces the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme and will be provided by the British Business Bank through accredited lenders. To apply visit this website and follow the information provided.

How will the Business Interruption Loan Scheme work?

UK-based small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with an annual turnover of less than £45m can apply for an interest-free loan of up to £5m to help them through Covid-19 related difficulties.

The government will provide a grant payment to cover the interest and initial fees for the first 12 months, and will guarantee 80% of the loan amount to give banks and financial companies the confidence to lend.

Under the scheme, which will initially run for six months, businesses will be able to borrow for up to six years. They will be liable to repay the money in full - the guarantee is for the lenders, not the borrowers.

Will all small and medium-sized firms be able to borrow money?

Not necessarily, Firms will have to prove that they are viable businesses which have been trading successfully, but just need extra support to deal with short term difficulties caused by the current disruption. Some firms may not be successful.

The money will be provided by more than 40 lenders who have signed up to the scheme, including High Street banks like Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and NatWest, as well as more specialist finance companies.

Businesses are asked to contact their own bank first (if they are taking part in the scheme) via the company website if possible, and only approach other lenders if they need to.

The British Business Bank, which is running the scheme, told the BBC on 23 March that it expected money to start flowing "this week".

Can self-employed people apply to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme?

Yes, The British Business Bank says self-employed people with an annual turnover of up to £45m can apply under the scheme, as long as they operate through a business bank account, and generate more than 50% of their turnover from trading activity.

This includes sole traders, freelancers, and limited partnerships, operating in all sectors.

The government has already said the UK's five million self-employed people would be allowed to defer self-assessment tax payments, and would benefit from mortgage payment holidays as well as an expansion of welfare support, including universal credit and Local Housing Allowance. (Source: BBC website).

For more visit their site: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

BUSINESS RATES HOLIDAY

Government extends business rates holiday to all hospitality businesses. The government has announced that the business rates holiday is to be extended to all businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector for the next 12 months, to help those struggling with the ongoing Coronavirus.

https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2020/03/17/Government-extends-business-rates-holiday-to-all-hospitality-businesses

MORTGAGE HOLIDAY

Homeowners and landlords can now apply for a three-month mortgage payment holiday by contacting their lender. See the WHICH website:

https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/03/coronavirus-how-to-apply-for-a-three-month-mortgage-payment-holiday/

 

BUSINESS PLANNING

When in times of doubt, you want to have a strategic and solid plan for your business. Listed below are some suggestions to help you to alleviate some of the challenges you may be facing currently, so you can become laser focused and in alignment with your goals and objectives going forward.

SUGGESTED WEBSITE AMENDS AND UPDATES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

With many now working from home and with those in self-isolation, now more than ever, our websites are being viewed under a new lens. Our websites and general online presence is taking centre stage, so take the opportunity during these unprecedented times to improve this presence.

Check Contact Details

With clients and customers staying home, update your contact information, double check Google My Business etc. Make it very easy for customers to contact you during these testing times but also for when you can reopen and think how you might offer any services or advice virtually during this period.

Retail

If you supply goods, create a starter kit with video tutorials. People will have more time on their hands and self-care along with stress management will be a priority. Think about how you can package up your retail services.

Testimonials

Request testimonials/reviews for products/services to add to your site. Sensitively, make contact with clients and ask if they’d be willing to construct a testimonial now for your website. Also add to Tripadvisor and Google My Business.

Refine Low Traffic Pages

Do you log into your website and just any pages that don’t fulfil their potential. Perhaps it advertises stock that won’t be replenished for a period of time. If you are comfortable doing so, go into your site and tidy up pages that you are not utilising to their optimum. Unused or unfinished pages can go against your business when it comes to your site’s SEO ranking. Take this opportunity to update SEO such as page titles, URL’s, meta descriptions, image alt tags, social media images.

Also check dead links: these can be 404 pages or links that don’t lead to the correct place. Use a tool such as: https://www.deadlinkchecker.com/website-dead-link-checker.asp to scan your site and update any links that do not currently function properly.

 

INVITATION FOR INNOVATION

8 Practical steps to help protect your business during Coronavirus pandemic:

Reach out to customers.

Post on social media and keep visibility of your business as high as you can. Be careful of your own media diet however, keep it to ‘just enough’ to be kept informed. Remember all correspondence should be emotionally intelligent, be warm and friendly, reassuring and take the lead.

A big shout out to LVMH, which has already turned around its manufacturing lines at brands like Guerlain, Parfums Christian Dior and Givenchy to mass manufacture hand sanitisers for French hospitals. It’s a little gesture but the kind of thing that gets remembered many years later. (Source: Marketing Week).

Postpone - do not cancel

Create a policy of postponement for now. If you cannot allocate new spa visit dates yet, then just say so and wait. People are actually quite concerned and are supportive of how smaller businesses will ride out this pandemic, so be transparent.

Leverage online services and voucher sales

Are you able to either create an online product (gift voucher) or service? Can you manage your customers using online only communications? If you offer in-person coaching or consultation then switch to online tools such as Zoom or Skype. (See our handy Zoom guide for beginners).

Talk to your team

Your team members might be feeling anxious because of financial concerns as well as health concerns. Those on furlough still want to feel part of the team, feel connected and plan for the future.

Product/Sales Training

Not had a chance to refresh product knowledge for a while with the whole team? Retail sales are going to be key over the coming weeks and months and when things get back to normal to recover lost revenue. Use this time to get the team 100% up to speed on products and even hold retail sales training with your teams. Take the time to refresh on product knowledge, new launches, share techniques and queries.

Remote Skin Consultations

Are you in a position to be able to send ‘at home’ kits out to some who is isolating and talk them through how to use them and what benefit it will give.

Deepen Industry Connections

Connect with other distributors/ brand subsidiaries around the world to share resources, best practice and build relationships. There is a great deal of complementary resources currently. Harness them and take the gift of time, to increase your own self development, industry knowledge to improve your business offering.

Planning

What have you been planning on doing for a while that you’ve not got around to? Treatment menu re-design, new signature treatments, spa redesign, update marketing plan, protocols, SOP’s. These are jobs that need doing . Why not tackle them now and be stronger and more efficient when things start to settle back to normal. Plan your social media content – ask yourself, what customer problem are you trying to solve? If you can answer 52 times, this one question. You’ll have a weekly content in no time!

Take advantage of Government support

The UK government appears to be putting in measures to support businesses. Please inform yourself how you can benefit from this. Don’t wait for information and help to trickle down to you, actively seek it and organise your best plan of action.

Review expenses immediately

Ask yourself, what can we do differently now and afterwards. What new system and processes can you implement. What are the opportunities for new practice going forward.

Negotiate rent breaks and supplier terms

Now is the time to start talking to your landlord about a temporary rent reduction. Landlords would rather have reduced or postponed rent for a short time than no rental income. At the same time, negotiate with suppliers about more favourable terms or a temporary pause.

Finally, take good care of your own health and wellbeing at this challenging time, including your emotional and mental wellbeing. Seek time in each day to meditate, practise yoga or read a book.

 

SELF CARE AT HOME

Plan your week! Make it varied, Monday – Friday or whatever your working week would look like. We still need to achieve a change of pace and create that Friday/weekend feeling. Create routine, regardless of what’s going on out there. Time Management in particular is more critical than ever before.

One clever and added value initiative that has caught the imagination of the spa industry are the Instagram Lives that Espa are currently putting out at 12pm noon each day. Promoted as a Live Treatment Menu, they offer everything from relaxation to wellbeing tips, learn how to keep your mind and body active.

Simply follow them over on Instagram and check out their daily ‘stories’ (access for 24 hours).

https://www.instagram.com/espaskincare/

This too shall pass.

We're in this together.

Adam Chatterley

UK Spa Association, Chairman