The beauty services industry is being forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic, forcing hundreds more people out of work and into Centrelink queues in Ballarat.
One Ballarat business owner says she will use the closure period to develop an improved operating model for her beauty service, that heightens health and safety practices and applies learnings from the current crisis.
Jasmine Beauty Therapy owner Wendy Spicer made the decision to shut her Ballarat and Daylesford salon on Monday, the day before the Prime Minister announced the operation of beauty services would be banned indefinitely.
I think we need to learn from this and come out the other side with a better model and a more current process.Wendy Spicer, Jasmine Beauty Therapy
She said she made the decision based on her duty of care to her staff and clients.
"It was difficult to be able to buy protective equipment for ourselves and our clients," she said.
"Thankfully, as of last night the government did make that decision to officially close beauty salons.
"We work so closely with our clients. For us it was the right decision to make. But we thought the government would have called it sooner for us - that was our frustration - because it is a big decision for us to make financially."
All beauty services will be closed indefinitely as of midnight on Wednesday.
Ms Spicer said she felt for her staff who were now working to secure support from Centrelink.
As a business owner, she said she felt grateful to have savings to fall back on as there were limited options to continue running the business, other than growing her online store that sells beauty products.
Ms Spicer said she would use her time during the closure to develop an improved operating model for her business.
"We will open as soon as we are allowed to. I would like to get my staff back in the door. But the way we have been running will be completely different when we re-open," she said.
"We will be developing a new model while we are closed so we can deliver the best possible service to everybody.
"I think we need to learn from this and come out the other side with a better model and a more current process.
"Even though we are good with hygiene, we think we will learn a lot from the coronavirus as to better ways of managing our treatments."
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Ms Spicer said it was early stages in the process, but she would consider changing the time frame of services, would ensure there were not too many people in the salon at one time, would look at addressing the emotional needs of her clients and ensuring accessible costs.
She said some other changes would include asking all therapists to wear masks and offer them to clients, having hand sanitiser on offer at all times and creating a policy on rescheduling future appointments as soon as clients become unwell.
"Because we work closely with women, we are listening to their needs," she said.
"I think this will be a difficult thing for everybody and we will look at that when we come back. I think a lot of our clients will find it difficult to afford beauty services on the other side of this.
"I want to be better than what I was before. This closure means I have time to look at what I can provide for my clients."
Molly Hales, sole operator and owner of Molly's Beauty, said it was devastating to shut the business she had been working so hard to build during the past two years, but she was fully supportive of the Prime Minister's announcement.
"I want to support staying at home to combat this virus. I would rather put that before my business. I think it is a big thing and we really need to take it seriously," she said.
"I am in limbo at the moment and taking each day as it comes. I don't know how long this is going to go for. I can apply for government grant so will have to try to get through to that and work out what I am eligible for.
"I don't know what to do really at this stage, this is just day one of closure."
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