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Resiliency in daunting times: Surviving and thriving in a bad economy by partnering up with your employees

Article-Resiliency in daunting times: Surviving and thriving in a bad economy by partnering up with your employees

Resiliency in daunting times: Surviving and thriving in a bad economy by partnering up with your employees

Are you anxious about the survival of your aesthetic practice? Watching the news and seeing this pandemic hit our communities brings about high emotions filled with anxiety and fear for all business owners and employees alike. But don’t let this state of mind drive your business decisions.

As a small business owner and having owned multiple businesses like medical spas and wellness clinics, I have seen firsthand how a recession can negatively impact a business. Allowing fear to control you will paralyze you from making thoughtful decisions about your business. You become reactive and emotional, which often leads to many bad business decisions and ultimately to the fatal end of your business. Here is the good news. There are many ways your business can survive and thrive during this economic crisis.

Looking at the numbers is a good place to start and there are no emotions in numbers. As we have seen recently, there are many furloughs and layoffs happening as a result of this pandemic. 

Medical offices are service businesses, so your largest monthly expense is your human resources. During the recession in 2008, I agonized over how I would take care of my employees and how much I needed to cover and protect my “nut”. Looking back on that experience, I learned how important it is to remove yourself emotionally from that responsibility. 

I know that might sound cold-hearted and cruel, but as they say, “it’s business”. Mitigating this difficulty requires leadership and leadership means communicating with your employees. Being transparent with your employees about your gross revenue numbers is a good thing. Don’t be reluctant to take on this task. You would be surprised at how many of your employees already see the drop in appointments and are talking about it amongst themselves. 

After having those discussions, ask your employees who among them would be open to working fewer hours and who cannot. I know that sounds like a bold move, and their answers may be that they all need the hours, but you would be surprised as to how often members of your team step up and declare the need to spend more time with family or suggests another employee who needs more hours in order to feed their family.

I was fortunate to have strong team players in my business, so our communication was very open. However, if that is not the case in your practice or medical spa, I recommend distinguishing your core team or “star” employees from your extraneous employees. I suggest that your star employees then explain to the others that cutting hours or coming in on an appointment basis is going to be the best policy going forward. Obviously, this is not easy because we look at our small business as extended family. But if you fail to resolve this, your doors will be closed, and your “family” will be gone.

It is your business. You are the leader. Your ability to lead without fear, anxiety and over emotional decision-making is your key to survival in difficult times. Focus on the numbers, be transparent, and communicate clearly. You can get through this. 

Over the coming days and weeks I will share other vital cost cutting measures, as well as very successful guerilla marketing campaigns that were extremely effective for me during the recession in 2008. You can find this information on my blog page: 

About the author

Lisa Marie Wark, CEO

Ms. Wark has established herself as one of the leading business and marketing consultants in the health/wellness and beauty industry. She has over 15 years of experience in business development, operations and marketing for various medical facilities, i.e., Century Wellness Clinic, an integrative medical and wellness facility, Growing Young, an age-management treatment center, Cancer Screening and Treatment of Nevada, a conventional cancer treatment center, and numerous cosmetic medical practices. Ms. Wark has an M.B.A. from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a bachelor’s in International Relations from Willamette University. She is a founding member of the International Medical Spa Association and a member of the International SPA Association.

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