Beyond Skin Care thrives through lockdown learning

Beyond Skin Clinic, a Belfast City Centre skincare clinic, has adapted to new ways of doing business with the help of mentoring support from SERC resulting in a 75% spike in new customers.

Beyond Skin Clinic co-founder Jennie Wallace started the business four years ago with her business partner Gillian Rossborough, but with their customers on lockdown, shutters pulled down on their premises and their staff on furlough, they wondered how it would be possible for their business to survive.

But amid all these challenges, the business took advantage of digital mentoring support offered by SERC in finding ways to forge ahead.

40-year-old Fiona Barr, an aesthetics therapist at Beyond Skin returned from furlough to avail of digital training from SERC. A self-described tech illiterate, Fiona was apprehensive at first. She said, ‘SERC offered six hours of training and it was brilliant to have been taught the basics of using Zoom to deliver online client consultations and top tips for going live on Facebook and Instagram. I’m a fast learner but I was a little nervous at the first live broadcast as I’m usually treating clients on a one-to-one basis. No amount of rehearsal can really prepare you for broadcasting to the world.

‘I’m been overwhelmed by the response. Many clients are concerned about stress breakouts, changes in their skin due to diet or rosacea also known as the curse of the Celts as a result of the particularly sunnier weather. In recent weeks we’ve experienced a huge growth in our online footprint as a result of our new online consultations and tutorials. Instagram engagement has risen 127% and 149% on Facebook. Our new digital focus has really boosted our online sales too’.

Beyond Skin co-founder Jennie Wallace said, ‘We decided to bring back one of our senior aesthetic therapists from furlough offering Fiona the opportunity to upskill and train in digital consultations and facial demonstrations. We invested a small amount in an iPad and a tripod and are so pleased Fiona has embraced a new way of working and discovered a hidden talent as a social media star.

‘Lockdown has created a huge range of challenges for our business and has changed the economic landscape which we are trying to survive in. But it is important to remember that just as there are real challenges, there are also fantastic opportunities. Our business continues to thrive with our loyal client base. New customers are accounting for 75% of online consultations and we hope to expand our digital offering into the future’.

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