As we look forward to getting back to work at our spas and salons, it's important to think about what that will look like in light of closings due to the pandemic.

We've been thrust into a contactless society, so how will that translate to the up-close-and-personal relationships that we have with our clients in our spas when we reopen? How will we keep staff and clients safe? How can we instill trust and thrive once again?

1. Clients will look to you for clear and concise information and updates.

Take the time now to sit down and brainstorm ways that you will communicate your reopening and what you will say. Clients will be looking to you to take the lead and provide the step by step guidelines for returning to your spa.

Expect to compose several emails, social media posts and create a new outgoing phone message at the very least. Text message communication is another efficient way to reach out, if that's something you do.

Think of it as a very exciting relaunch or reopening but with very clear guidelines and procedures. You can't wait for clients to walk in your door to share your new post-pandemic policies, they must have a clear understanding before walking through the door.

2. Physical distancing will prevail.

Most of the experts are saying that even when we do slowly reopen businesses that social distancing standards must remain intact. This will have many implications for an industry that is based on very close contact. Obviously, we will need to follow all state and CDC guidelines, but you can also get really creative with how we manage groups of people in the spa.

First, we will need to think about how we will conduct business. You may need to eliminate walk-in business and add signs outside to address these concerns. Your lobby or waiting area will need to have seating that is appropriately spaced out, and you may want to eliminate normal communal items like brochures, magazines, water pitchers and snacks.

In order to perform treatments, masks, gloves and other personal protective gear may be needed. Take some time to look at your spa menu. Are there items that you will eliminate? Will you add other services or products in their place?

3. Sanitation will be on display.

Everyone around the world has been schooled in the proper 20-second hand washing routine, so you better believe your clients will be making sure that you're doing that! Moreover, staff must remember to cough and sneeze into their elbow and immediately wash or sanitize their hands.

The future of spas will be sanitation on full display with complete transparency. You will need to ensure clients know, both verbally and visually, that hands are washed, surfaces are cleaned and basically everything that you or they come in contact with has been disinfected.

There will be no such thing as "overdoing it" when it comes to sanitation. You may want to think about how you can mitigate excessive cash handling and credit card processing by handling those transactions on the phone or online.

Keep separate containers for clean pens and used pens, for signing credit card slips. You may want to spend time retraining staff or appointing a new staff member to manage sanitation procedures in your facility. Clients will be asking you what steps you are taking to keep them safe, so make sure you are able to answer all of their questions.

4. Virtual services and e-commerce will still serve clients well.

Plan for a percentage of your clients to avoid returning to your spa in the beginning stages of reopening. Some will simply wait a while but still seek out products, consults, and support virtually because they will be wary about close contact with others.

Plan on shooting some videos that you can send via email or post on social media that show your newly open spa and all the new precautions you're taking and any promotions you're having. If you have not started virtual consultations and/or e-commerce to enable product sales, now is the time. Clients who are more comfortable with these modalities will go elsewhere if you do not offer them.

5. Homecare will be essential.

As we have seen, all of us have gone months without laser treatments, facials, injectables or elective surgeries, but the one thing that we did have was our homecare and skincare product routines to maintain our skin.

Let this be an important lesson: facilitating and promoting the sales of skincare products will be the key to lasting relationships and achieving results with our clients, no matter what is happening in the world.

Ask yourselves: am I setting up extensive homecare recommendations for my clients? Do we sell any tools or devices that clients can use at home? Can we promote self-care tutorials to guide clients at home with their skincare practices? Homecare will be the new and critical sector of your retail sales income so be sure to get creative about what you offer.

Follow these five tips as you look forward to reopening your spa or medical spa. We are all looking forward to the next era in spa operations and I am sure that it will require us to commit to open and clear communication, physical distancing, serious sanitation, virtual services and e-commerce and creative strategies for promoting homecare. Start planning and brainstorming now so, when the time comes, you can enjoy running your business successfully once again.