Back to Practice—Business Practices & Marketing Readiness

Business Practices & Marketing Readiness Checklist

Preparing your clients for the realities of your new practice will help keep you both safe by setting expectations up front. Use the time you are closed to update cancellation policies, waiting room layouts, booking programs, and language changes for your website and materials. Inform clients of all new policies and changes to existing policies.

Communicating with Clients

  • Consider how you will put clients at ease when you reopen, explaining any reopening plans, new protocols, and new policies. Once finalized, add it to your website, prepare client emails, and create social media posts with similar messaging.
  • Share an overview of your sanitation protocols with clients.
  • Create a client education document about personal responsibility and mitigation efforts.
  • Cancellation policies and booking language should be adapted and updated on forms, website pages, and booking platforms. Here is some sample language:
    • New Cancellation Policy sample language:
      Amid the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19, we have modified our cancellation policy to offer greater flexibility to all our clients. We hope this will alleviate any stress and hesitation you have about an upcoming appointment. If you need to reschedule for whatever reason, and especially if you are not feeling well, we understand and request for you to please contact us as soon as possible to reschedule. To further support you, there will be no penalties for cancellations.
    • New Booking Policy sample language: 
      Due to COVID-19, we are temporarily limiting the number of daily appointments. The health and safety of our clients and staff is very important to us. For this reason, walk-in appointments will not be accepted and clients who are not currently receiving a service will be asked to step out in order to control the number of people within the salon/spa/clinic. If you are experiencing a fever, cough, or sore throat, please reschedule your appointment for when you are no longer symptomatic. If you have been to a COVID-19-impacted area or have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19, we ask that you please reschedule your appointment for 14 days past the date of contact. Please note, we are requesting that clients wear face coverings when they arrive for their appointments.
  • Watch this ABMP video with pathology expert Ruth Werner on how to do effective intake interviews.

Business Changes

  • Revise your hours as appropriate to accommodate changes to your pre- and post-session protocols, as well as to eliminate the overlap of clients in your space. Leave 30 minutes between clients for hygiene and room sanitation protocols as well as personal re-set time, and stagger start times so no client arrivals or departures overlap. That time could be reduced if a cleaning crew was employed to help turn rooms.
  • Consider a touchless pay system. If not possible, clean touch pad after each transaction with vendor-approved cleaning solutions. Move away from accepting cash and check for payments; if your tips typically come in cash, leave discrete envelopes in the treatment room or at the front desk for clients to deposit tips into. Therapists should not touch their cash until the end of day, and only when gloved and able to handle properly.
  • Revise Health Intake and other related client forms as necessary. (See additional information in the “Pre-Session Interaction” section.)
  • Populations that are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 may have stricter and extended shelter-in-place recommendations. This includes clients who are 65 years and older, and those with conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and suppressed immune systems.
    • Here is sample language if you have clients in these at-risk categories that need to wait a little longer before returning to see you: In accordance with extended shelter-in-place recommendations to protect our more vulnerable populations, I am not working with clients with compromised immune systems, clients aged 65 or above, or clients in other elevated at-risk categories at this time.

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