I don’t want to talk too soon when I say, I think we have seen the back of the Covid-19 pandemic. The media is now saying that Omicron has been classed as a common cold, most people are now vaccinated and the best news for us is that people are going back to work!

What a crazy ride it has been. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that two hard years have passed and we can see the sun again. But here is what happened for us and how we managed to hold on through this tough time.

March 2020, we were starting our new financial year strong. We had completed two large MEED events with virtual reality. We had bookings in our calendar taking us to May and everything looked good. But then we saw events being cancelled, the smallest events got cancelled and when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown, I thought “Great! I need this break!” but little did I know. After the first three weeks, it was still looking alright, then the next two weeks were added and during lockdown level 4, it was downright illegal to deliver a pedicure. Nevertheless, I printed out a permit and started to deliver treatments; bikini waxes were mostly in demand, lockdown took its toll on everyone.

The first thing that we needed as a business was to shrink our expenses down as much as possible, I had just signed a new lease for our office and our landlord was holding me to it. I found a new tenant to take over from me and I was able to move the office home. Our Regus office in Cape Town was not as forgiving.

Our market was gone. Who could have imagined a virus that would make gathering in large groups and touching people impossible? We focussed on the individual, although this has never been our target market, we needed something to keep us going, something to keep our staff working and so we pushed on and continued trying to get bookings.

We found that our staff were nervous to work, and we were nervous of them using public transport. Especially if they stayed with elderly family, we didn’t want to risk them getting sick and we didn’t want to be the business that gave anyone Covid-19. We have always had a big team and now we were spending hours trying to get one therapist to do a small booking, it was exhausting. We asked the team to reapply and let us know if they wanted to work during this time. We reduced the team from 30 therapists in Joburg to 6 and in Cape Town from 10 to 3.  Durban stayed the same as we work with a sub-contractor in the area.

When we did this our company culture changed.  The therapists who stayed through this time are the same team that have been with us for years. This is now our core team and this means that they get more regular work and they are generally more engaged as a result. Giving them a sense of status has helped them to feel more secure in their roles and shown a boost in confidence that we could not have planned.

Over the last two years, we have had to cut all the fat and bring the running costs of the company down dramatically but we have managed to do that and we decided not to market during this time. I remember sending out a mailer and just feeling like it was not relevant to the market at all. I felt like we were spamming people and so decided to lay low until the times changed again. We reacted to any requests that came in and had a few events here and there that carried us. 2021 was a better finanical year in terms of profit than 2020 and we can see that as things open up, so our services are in demand once again.

We appreciate the support of all of our clients, big and small. We have always embraced small business and this experience has taught us that dripping taps make puddles.

Getting back into offices is a very exciting concept for us at the moment and we are really looking forward to delighting our clients with our amazing massages, once again.