Are You Putting on Your Own Oxygen Mask First?

Are You Putting on Your Own Oxygen Mask First?

In this article, I want to delve into why many salon and spa owners struggle to become successful.

After all, the majority have the required technical skills, offer amazing customer service, and love what they do, so why aren’t they financially successful?

It also begs these questions,

Why aren’t they taking home a decent wage for themselves each week?

Why are they constantly living on the edge of burn-out, and

Why aren’t they getting all they deserve from their efforts?

All great questions, right?

You might have even asked yourself the very same questions once or twice.

Well, I’ve given it a great deal of thought, and I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the major issues holding them back from getting the outcome they really want is their unwillingness to put their own needs before others.

Many salon and spa owners feel guilty and selfish if they put their own business needs first, so instead, they spend their lives putting everyone else’s needs first.

Don’t get me wrong – that’s a very selfless and generous way to live, however, in business, all it will give you is burn-out.

Here’s an interesting analogy. If you’ve ever taken a plane flight, there’s a part of the safety demonstration where the stewardess drops down the oxygen mask and says, ‘Put your own oxygen mask on first, so you can then help others’.

Wow. Such simplicity, and yet, so important.

You need to look after your own needs first, and only then, are you in a position to help those around you. If you don’t, and pass out from lack of oxygen, then you can’t help anyone else.

So, by putting your own needs first, you are not being selfish or greedy. In fact, you are ensuring that you are able to look after the needs of others because you put yourself in a position to do so.

The same holds true when you’re in business. If you don’t look after your own business needs first, then you’ll never be able to look after those who depend on you.

Too often, I’ve coached salon and spa owners on how to improve their business, and too often I’ve have hit a brick wall because the sensible and practical things I asked them to do (put their business first), hit some pretty solid resistance.

At first, I struggled to understand why they couldn’t see that their resistance to do what was necessary for their business was hurting both themselves and other people who were dependant on the business.

I knew that if they would just do as I asked, they would see a great improvements, which would lessen their stress, decrease the likelihood of burnout, and keep them in their business for the long-term.

But, for some salon owners, they simply couldn’t come to grips with putting on their own oxygen mask first!

One important example of this revolves around service pricing. When I’ve told clients that it’s time to have a fair price increase (which was many years overdue), they felt that they simply couldn’t do it.

The reasons given ranged from, ‘But I can’t ask my long-term clients to pay more for their services than they did 7 years ago, when they first came to my salon’, to, ‘But if I increase my prices, all my clients will leave’, or ‘I feel greedy asking for more money’.

Clearly the clients were getting their oxygen masks first, but what was going to be the consequences of that for the business?

The fact is, it’s not greedy to ask your clients to pay a fair price for what they receive. Yes, there will always be clients who huff and puff and try to blow the house down, but in reality, they are in the tiny minority.

If these clients choose to move on, rather than pay you a fair price for your services, it’s probably a blessing for your business.

These are not the kind of clients who are going to help you grow a happy, healthy, sustainable business that will provide for your family, keep your staff employed and fulfil your dreams of owning your own business.

Other examples that come to mind are when clients are disrespectful of salon policies and there are no consequences.

This eventually leads to loads of no-shows, late cancellations and late arrivals.

When there are no consequences to poor behaviour by a client, that behaviour tends to worsen, rather than improve.

And of course, employee behaviour falls into the same category.

Changing client appointments without permission to suit their own schedules, not making any effort to reach realistic sales targets, taking time off during busy salon periods, enticing clients to come to their home salons and so much more.

All these behaviours escalate when the business owner does nothing to put the needs of her business first and enforce employment conditions.

When salon owners don’t put the needs of their business first, it will inevitably impact on many other people surrounding them also.

So, here’s what I tell my coaching clients now, when they choose not to put their business needs first…

~ When you refuse to increase your prices to a fair level, eventually your expenses will grow too big to be covered by your revenue. Overheads continue to increase and so does the cost of running your business.

~ When your employees and clients are making your life a misery, you will hit burn-out at a rapid rate.

~ When the day comes that you can no longer keep your doors open, or when you no longer want to keep your doors open, the following will happen:

  •  Your employees will be without a job. They will struggle to pay their own expenses until they can find other employment. They will go without because they no longer have a secure job working for you.
  • Your clients will feel disappointed for a minute or two, then get on the internet and find another salon to go to, where they will gladly pay the price for their services that you were too frightened to ask for.
  • Your suppliers will suffer because they have lost an important cog that keeps their business running profitably.
  • Your dreams will shatter. You will no longer have your own business to run the way you want to.

So, if looking after others is something you want to be able to continue to do in the future, be sure to put your own oxygen mask on first!

Are You Running a Beauty Business or Simply Indulging in a Hobby?

Are You Running a Beauty Business or Simply Indulging in a Hobby?

Warning: This article may make you feel a bit uncomfortable! If you’re okay with that, keep reading.

Truthfully, how are you spending your 9 – 5s? Are you working on the management of your business; monitoring your figures, developing strategic plans for growth, training your teams, discovering ways to reduce unnecessary expenses, improving client acquisition and retention, creating your unique-point-of-difference,


Are you doing lash tints, brow shapes and bikini waxes all day long with no time left over for businessy-type stuff?

Here’s the thing, you can do a little of both and still run a fairly successful business.

I did this in my last salon, and it delivered a fairly good return, but, if I’d spent more time on the management and less time on delivering client services, I’d have had a great business.

I only wish someone had told me then, what I’m telling you now. The more time you spend working on your business instead of in your business, the more successful you will be.

Out there, in the cyber-zone, you see a lot of feel-good graphics that tell you that to be successful, you only need to be good at what you do. Well, unless this means being good at business management, then you’re being lied to.

You may be the best facialist, waxer, brow designer or hairdresser in the city, but that is no guarantee of financial success.

If your idea of success is to have clients tell you how wonderful and how talented you are, then you’re probably achieving that already. Unfortunately, ‘wonderful’ and ‘talented’ doesn’t pay the mortgage; but money does.

For some reason, many of those who operate beauty businesses are not comfortable with the concept of making money. It feels dirty and slimy, and not at all attractive.

But, here’s the absolute truth of the matter – if your business can’t generate enough money to way wages, rent, general expenses AND still leave enough for you to make a decent living, then you are running a hobby business.

You are not a serious business owner because you are not doing all you can to be financial solvent.

Let me clear up this common misconception. Making money is not a dirty or slimy thing to do. It’s a beautiful thing, as long as it’s done with honesty and integrity.

And here’s why…

~ Money is what pays your employee’s wages each week, allowing them to do what they love and sustain their own families.

~ Money is what pays your suppliers for their goods allowing them to grow their businesses, supply your much-needed products and become more financially secure.

~ Money is what allows you to keep your business doors open, so you and your team can deliver your wonderful services to the clients who rely on you to do so.

~ And finally, money is what allows you provide a better life for yourself and your family.

So, as you can see, making money is a very positive and worthwhile thing to do – it’s what makes the world keep spinning, and as long as you do it with honesty and integrity, you need not stress ever again over the fact that it’s okay to make money.

Now that we’ve cleared up this success-blocking thought, it’s really time to get more serious about doing business the right way.


Here’s how I suggest you start:

#1. Stop telling yourself that you’re the only person who can do anything properly in your business. Instead, learn the art of good delegation, so you can free yourself from the mundane jobs in your life, and invest that time into running your business in a business-savvy way.

#2. Stop taking on every new client who walks in the door when you have perfectly good employees who can look after them instead. (They must be good, after all, you employed them.) If you’re worried that your employees are going to steal your clients when they leave, you may as well sack them all today, and just go back to being a solo-operator.

#3. Stop making excuses as to why you ‘can’t’ do what you know needs to be done, and start to find reasons why you ‘must’ do what is necessary to be more successful. Time to pull up those big-girl (or boy) panties and face the reality of being a business person.

#4. Treat being in business seriously. Devote at least part of your day to management only tasks that are results-oriented. (The bigger the part, the better). Stop weeding the gardens out the front, stop checking your social media every 5 minutes, stop dilly-dallying with time-wasting activities that will get you nowhere, and instead create a daily plan, and then work your list until everything that is important to your business growth gets done.

#5. Set some clear, measurable and achievable short-term goals for your business. Write them down and revisit them daily to keep you on-track. Once you’ve achieved them, create some more.

#6. Become a time-management terminator. Use your time wisely. You’ll never get back wasted time, so make every business minute count, so you don’t have to eat into your leisure/family time.

#7. Become a first-class communicator. Talk to your team on a regular basis, be transparent, ask for input. You’ll be surprised at how much knowledge they can offer you from digging into their past experiences. Get them involved in growing your business.

#8. Learn how to be business-minded. Invest in your business skills and not just your treatment skills. They will continue to improve your business permanently.

So, are you a real business or just really a hobby? Is it time to get serious about making real money and stop worrying about the future? It all comes down to you, your mind-set and, most importantly, the actions you take.


Why Some People Thrive and Others Fail in the Beauty Business (or Any Business)

Why Some People Thrive and Others Fail in the Beauty Business (or Any Business)

It often seems that some people appear to have the magic touch when it being comes to being successful.

Everything they do just seems to be the right thing, at the right time – nohting ever seems to go wrong.

Or maybe that’s all an illusion……

[clickToTweet tweet=”The truth is that successful people do things differently from those who try and fail continuously.” quote=”The truth is that successful people do things differently from those who try and fail continuously.” theme=”style3″]

Success is not magical; it’s about making the right decisions, based on the right information, and taking the required action – most of the time.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what sets apart the successful business owners so that you can also implement their winning strategies in your business.

Successful people surround themselves with new ideas.

If you haven’t been investing in your professional business development, then you’ve stopped providing yourself with the opportunity to learn new and better business ideas and strategies.

It may be more fun, but it’s not enough to just attend training that teaches you about new products or services.  These are important, but you mustn’t neglect information that teaches you how to run a more successful business and make a profit.

Those business owners who take the time to read quality business books, undertake business-related courses, or work with a business coach will be constantly exposed to fresh ideas and motivation.

And without a constant stream of fresh ideas, you generally end up doing things the same old way you’ve done them for years – successful or not.  This is not the recipe for success.   Times change, information changes and opportunities come and go.

If you have cut yourself off from fresh and vital information, growth will come to a screaming halt.

Successful people implement the great ideas they learn.

In a room full of learners, there are only a tiny minority who will go away and actually implement the great ideas they‘ve been exposed to.  These people are the Doers.

They don’t waste their money on attending conferences, buying books, doing seminars or getting business coaches and then do nothing with the information they’ve received.  They don’t constantly whinge or make excuses as to why ‘they can’t get things done‘, ‘they don’t have enough time‘ or stating ‘it won’t work in my salon‘ before they’ve even given it a go.

Instead, Doers understand that in every bit of business training they receive, there is at least one gem of information.  With this in mind, they immediately pull apart the information they’ve received to find the business gems that they know will improve their business.

Find the gems, make the plans and take action.

Successful people learn from their mistakes.

Yes, successful people do make mistakes.  Just like you and me, they don’t get it right 100% of the time.

However, the successful person can identify a mistake quickly.  How do they know? Well, they closely monitor their outcomes and, because of this, they quickly learn if they’ve had a great success, a moderate improvement or an outright failure.  And this knowledge means they don’t keep repeating their mistakes and suffering the same undesirable consequences.

To grow your business requires trying new things and with that will come the odd bad decision – other wise known as a mistake.

Learn from your mistakes but don’t stop trying new things.

Successful people regularly monitor their numbers.

This is one of the most important things that should be done in any business.  However, in the beauty business, it’s often one of the most neglected.  Knowing, and more importantly, understanding your numbers, means you will see problems heading your way before disaster happens.

As a business coach, I encourage my clients to take time out to actually read and understand the extremely valuable reports their software programs can generate.  These reports can often pinpoint problems with staff productivity, rostering, retail and service sales, client attraction and retention plus so much more.

So, if you’re in the habit of using your computer software simply as a point-of-sale system and a way to send appointment reminders, it’s time to jump in and discover just how much valuable information you can access.  It’s all at your fingertips and available with just a few button presses.

Knowledge is power and knowing your figures gives you a great deal of power.

Successful people understand the difference between revenue and profit.

This is a truly powerful and important point.  Many salon owners are led to believe (by would-be gurus) that increasing revenue (sales) will automatically increase profits.

This is often not the case.

To give you an example, if a salon chooses to drop the price of their facials from $90 to $45 (50% discount), they’re most likely going to generate lots of additioanl revenue.  New and old clients will surface to enjoy tyour fantastic low-priced facials.

Revenue will inevitably increase as clients arrive and depart the salon in droves.  The only problem is that the extremely popular $45 facial actually costs $55  in product, consumables and labour to deliver.

What this means is that every single facial delivered is actually increasing your expenses and not generating more profit for your business.  These extra facial sales could end up costing you a ton of money.

The only way around this is to upsell lots of additional full-priced services (good luck doing that with a client who is only interested in a discount treatment in the first place) or sell lots of retail (ditto).

So the lesson to take from this is that before you jump in and discount your services, in an attempt to increase your revenue (get more sales), be absolutely sure that there is sufficient profit in each sale to help you cover your many other expenses and stay in business.

Naturally, there are numerous other actions that successful people take every day, however the ones discussed in this article are, in my opinion, some of the most important.  These are the mistakes I see struggling salon and spa owners make most often and consequently suffer from the outcomes.

So, if you’d like your new year to be wildly more successful that your past years, think about the points discussed and how you can start to implement more success strategies in your business.  It really is all up to you!

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”

— Jim Rohn

6 Simple Steps to Conquer Overwhelm

6 Simple Steps to Conquer Overwhelm

We all feel overwhelmed at times. Too many things to do and not enough time to do them in.

The real problem with overwhelm is that when it strikes, it tends to bring you to a complete stop. You just don’t know what action to take next, and so you take no action at all and therefore nothing is achieved.
But there are some simple steps you can take to conquer overwhelm and it’s easier than you may think.

Step 1. De-clutter your environment.

If you are constantly surrounded by clutter you can quickly end up with brain fog. All that ‘stuff’ surrounding you can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed. Take some time to de-clutter your work area.
Sort through all the bits surrounding you but try to handle things only once if possible. Whether it’s a piece of paper or an email, read it and either take action, delegate it to someone else to deal with, or hit the delete button (or toss it in the rubbish) and get it out of your mind once and for all.
See, you’re feeling better already!

Step 2. Get a pen and paper and make a list of what needs to be done.

Don’t worry about what’s more or less important at this stage, just get it out of your head and onto paper. I guarantee you that this one action alone will take the pressure off and allow you to start thinking more clearly.
Once it’s on paper, you can’t forget about it and that’s liberating in itself.

Step 3. Break your big list up into 3 individual lists.

Grab some blank paper and draw up 3 columns.  Head them:
Urgent – Jobs that absolutely have to be done immediately or all hell will break loose.
Important – Jobs that need to be done pretty soon but can wait another day or two.
Not So Important – These are the jobs you’d like to get done at some time, but nothing major will happen if it’s not done in the next couple of weeks.
Once this is done, you have created a prioritised list and now you’re absolutely clear about what needs to be done first. Don’t give into the temptation to do those easy-peasy jobs that are in your Important and Not So Important lists – they can wait.
Stick with the items in your Urgent List and don’t get side-tracked.

Step 4. Evaluate your Urgent List for jobs that can be delegated.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re the only person in the world capable of doing what’s on your list but that’s just your ego getting in the way of working more efficiently.
It’s generally much quicker to spend 10 minutes explaining what’s required than an hour doing the job yourself.
Put aside the ego and ask for help.  You are not the only person who can achieve great results!

Step 5. Take action on your Urgent Jobs.

Before you get stuck in, set yourself a realistic time frame to get each of the jobs done.  Write your expected finish date down beside each job so you can keep yourself accountable for getting things finished.
If necessary you can break each Urgent Job into smaller chunks and give yourself a to-do-by date for each of those segments.
Breaking big jobs down into smaller chunks takes away the fear of tackling a huge job!

Step 6. Re-evaluate your list each day. This is essential to stay on top of things.

Keep in mind that your lists are fluid.  There are your lists so you can move things around from list to list as things change.  You’re almost definitely going to find that some items will need to be moved into a different list at some point. Important items might have become Urgent or Not So Important items may not need doing any more.
Just get into the regular habit of spending a few minutes at the start of each day re-prioritising your items so you’re always working on the Urgent items first.
If you manage to complete all your Urgent items, move onto your Important items and start to delegate or take action on these.
And that’s it. I will guarantee that if you use this technique to de-clutter your mind and priortise your to-do list you’ll feel that overwhelm slide right away.
Oh, and don’t forget to put a lovely black line through each item as it’s completed. That’s almost the best part!

13 Powerful Strategies to Kick-Start Your Spa in the New Year

13 Powerful Strategies to Kick-Start Your Spa in the New Year

At the beginning of each year, most of us make a mighty dollop of personal New Year’s resolutions; get thinner, get fitter, stop smoking, drink less, or maybe it’s all of these and a few more for good measure.

However, when you own a business, you often need to extend those resolutions to include new and better strategies to help you to achieve a happier, more profitable and less stressful beauty business also.

At first, the thought of making loads of changes may seem a little daunting but I have a great kick-start list to help you get underway.

List-making is one of the best ways to get those thoughts and ideas that have been simmering away for some time out of your head and onto paper.   Once it’s written down, you’re halfway to getting it done.

 Out with the old strategies that don’t work and in with fresh ideas to help your business grow.

Start with a list.

To get your list underway and actioned, here’s what I suggest you do.

1. Grab a big sheet of paper and your favourite coloured pens or textas (colours make it so much more fun and motivating).

2. Write down all those things that you’ve been dilly-dallying over for ages but never got around to doing. Keep going until it’s all down on paper. It doesn’t matter what order your list is in at this point.

3. Next, go down your list and decide on the importance of each item and place a number beside it. The most *important job is #1 of course. Keep going until everything on your list is numbered.  Now you have an action list.

TipThe most *important job should be the one that is going to have the biggest positive impact on your salon’s profitability.  Don’t be tempted to start with the easy stuff unless it’s also the most important.

  1. Give the 3 most important items on your list a completion date. This will hold you accountable to get things done in a reasonable amount of time. Make sure you’re realistic about this so you don’t lose motivation if it’s not completed by the due date.

Once you’ve done your first 3 jobs, come back to your list and repeat the process.

  1. Find people to help you get the jobs on your list done. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Write their names down beside the jobs they can help complete.


And there you have it.  A realistic and actionable list of important strategies to drive your business to the next level of productivity and profits.

Now, let’s look at those 13 tried and tested strategies I’m putting forward that might need to be included on your list also.


Strategies to Increase Spa Revenue

Strategy #1.  Commit to setting some realistic business goals.

Goal setting is easy to do and delivers great results when you know how to do it, but don’t set yourself or your team members up for failure by creating goals that are impossible to achieve.

Unrealistic goals come about when we expect to achieve too much, too quickly, and when that doesn’t work out we give up and nothing changes.

Instead, try looking for the small improvements you can make in your salon or spa.

Just a tiny 5% increase in all of the following could produce a massive result –

  • New clients.
  • Client retention.
  • Service pricing.
  • Up-selling.
  • Re-booking.
  • Reduction of no-shows.
  • Expense reduction

…among other things.

Remember to record your achievements so you can measure your successes and tweak the things that aren’t working as well as you want.

Suppliers will often provide an estimate of how much a service should cost you to deliver, but employees are notorious for using double (or more) the product quantity recommended and flushing the leftovers down the drain.  This can double your product costs and therefore reduce your profits. 

Strategy #2.  Stop guessing your cost price and start calculating it instead.

When calculating your service costs, take into account:

  1. the true cost of products used, as well as
  2. consumables, and
  3. labour costs

Armed with this information, you’ll know which services are generating good profits (and which ones aren’t).

For those services that aren’t making you enough profit, it might be time to consider either replacing them with ones less costly to deliver or increasing their price.


Strategy #3.  Promote the services that make you money.

This seems like a no-brainer and yet many salons and spas still promote their slowest selling, low-profit services in the hope of selling more. Why?  This strategy simply doesn’t work, so if you’ve been doing this, stop right now.

Instead, look for the services you offer that generate the highest profits.  Don’t guess what these are.  Make sure you’ve done the calculations to back up your choices (see Strategy #2).


Strategy #4.  Increase service prices

If you haven’t had a price increase for your services in 12 months or more, you’re due to have one …right now!

Costs are going up all around you and every time you absorb these costs without passing them on, you’re depleting your profits.

The best way to increase your prices is gradually throughout the year.  Segment your menu items and put up one segment at a time.  This way clients who enjoy multiple services from various segments are less likely to feel a huge impact when it comes time to pay for her treatments.


Strategy for Better Time Management in the Spa

If ‘time is money’ then the more your delegate, the more money you can make.

Strategy #5.  Delegate as much as you can, as often as you can.

Why is it that most business owners are guilty of believing that they’re the only ones who can do a job well?

If this sounds like you, it might be time to discover the art of effective delegation, and then find ways to use it in your business to free up your extremely valuable time.

To begin the delegation process, look for the strengths that each individual team member brings to your business and delegate work to those people who are capable of doing the job well.

You may have a computer savvy team member who could be handling your newsletters or social media for you or someone who could be presenting at your local networking events.

And what about training new team members?  Do you have a super salesperson who could deliver sales training or a fantastic therapist who could undertake some of the skills training required?

Most people have more than a single talent, so why not tap into those additional talents that your team members have and get them working for you.

Now, I’m not suggesting you just throw someone into a new role without any training; that would be a recipe for disaster.

Instead, match the person to the role carefully, train them well and explain clearly what you want the outcome to be.

Follow up with them until you’re sure that they understand what is required and know how to achieve it, but don’t stifle their creative instincts along the way.  They may actually be better at certain jobs than you are, so let them use their own creativity to achieve the desired results.

Once you’ve made this initial investment of your time to train someone, you’ll not only free up your valuable time for the more important role of business planning, but you’ll also give your team members the opportunity to grow professionally and personally as well.


Strategies for Client Attraction in the Spa

Strategy #6.  Develop more low-cost client attraction strategies.

New clients don’t just magically appear on your doorstep (bet you knew that already), so consider having a brainstorming session with your team about how you’re going to gain new, more profitable clients.

Your team can be invaluable in bringing new ideas to the table, especially if they’ve worked in other salons who’ve excelled in this area of their business.

Many client attraction strategies don’t cost you an arm and a leg.  Why not try an active referral program where your existing clients are encouraged (and rewarded) to introduce their friends to your salon or a cross promotion with another business who has the kind of clients you’d like to attract?

Put on your thinking cap and come up with inexpensive and innovative ways to get new people through your door.


Strategy #7.  Start networking in your local area.

Is it time for you to leave the nest and meet new people?  The majority of your core clients will live within a 5-km radius of your salon or spa, so local networking is a valuable marketing strategy.

Every community has groups and associations that are looking for guest speakers, so tap into this opportunity by offer free educational talk and demonstrations about the services you offer.

To impress your attendees, remember to:

  • Keep your actual presentation free of any sales pitch.
  • Deliver worthwhile and relevant information to your audience.
  • Include a demonstration.
  • Provide a special offer for your audience at the end of your talk, and make sure you take along lots of business cards to give out also.

This is a fantastic opportunity to start a relationship with potential clients.  Once people meet you and trust you, you’ll have overcome the fear of the unknown that may have been keeping them away from your salon.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask your clients what local groups they belong to and take the necessary steps to put yourself in front of your local community.  These people are the ones who are most likely to become your loyal clients.


Strategy for Client Retention in the Spa

Strategy #8.  Introduce a loyalty program.

What are you currently doing to ensure that once you have a new client you keep them?

Long gone are the days of client loyalty when you simply expected your clients to return to you without even considering other service providers.

Today, there is a multitude of other salons or spas all trying to lure your clients away, and so it’s your job to ensure that they’re happy and don’t want to explore other options.

Naturally, everything begins with a first-class treatment coupled with outstanding customer service and great value.  But once you’re sure you have all that in place, a loyalty program is a great way to reward clients for returning to you instead of going elsewhere.

Don’t be too stingy with your rewards either.  A good loyal and repeat client is a valuable asset to your business, so treat them as such.


Strategy to Stay Current in the Spa

Strategy #9.  Update, repair and replace.

If it’s broken, inferior or tatty, get rid of it!  If you have team members that also fall into any of these categories, the advice remains the same.

You simply can’t deliver first class services if you’re working with terrible staff, run down equipment, inferior product or outdated procedures.

Take time out to do a full salon audit and make a list of the changes you need to implement that will get your salon back on track and on equal footing with your competitors.  As well as reviewing your services, also assess the physical appearance of your salon by looking at it through the eyes of your prospective clients.

Is it time for a freshen-up, some new signage, a fresh coat of paint, replacement linen or even some new cushions in your reception area? These are all low-cost ways to enhance your salon and make it more appealing to both existing clients and passers-by.


Strategy for a Better Work-Life Balance

If you are the business and you fall apart, what happens then?

Strategy #10.  Plan a holiday and save your sanity.

Yes, that’s right; I’m recommending that you plan your next holiday and then plan the one after that as well.

Too often, major burnout of salon owners occurs because they fail to look after themselves, fearing the total collapse of their business if they were to take a few days off.

If your business really can’t manage without you for more than a few days at a time, then open your diary and plan a minimum of four small breaks with your family over the next twelve months.

Try and get away for at least four or five days at a time when you can.  You’ll be amazed at how much clearer you can think when you have had a rest and time away from your salon.

If you don’t think this is possible, revisit the section of this article that talks about delegation.


Strategies for Better Business Results in the Spa

Strategy #11.  Spend more time working on, rather than in, your business.

This is often the biggest mistake many salon owners make in their business.

Start by blocking out four continuous hours per week so you can fully review your business performance.  You can use this time to find innovative ways to attract more clients, keep existing clients, develop profitable promotions, review salon services, undertake marketing activities and much more.

You might even want to spend part of this time brainstorming ideas with your team about ways to increase sales and reduce expenses.  The greater the time invested, the better the results you can expect.  But use your time wisely and don’t get sidetracked by unimportant time-wasting tasks.

Throw away the excuse “I don’t have enough time” (remember the delegation strategy?).  It’s important to your ongoing financial success that you find the time needed to invest in business planning.


Strategy #12.  Create new and innovative services for your salon.

What do your clients want from you that they’re going to your competitors to get?

Perform a client survey, research your local competitors, ask your team what the clients are requesting and then take action.

Don’t lose your clients to your competitors because you’re not staying up to date with what your market wants from your business.

Once you have the new services in place, make sure to let your clients know that they’re available because you can’t sell a secret.


Strategy #13.  Invest in professional help.

The right help in your business is an investment, not an expense.

No-one can be an expert in all things.  If you try to do it all, your business will suffer and so will you.

Take advantage of the myriad of service providers who can help you keep your business on track.  If you have a great accountant, see them regularly to monitor the performance of your business and keep it on course.

If you hate doing your books, consider a barter deal with a good bookkeeper to help you out.

Another option is to bring in an experienced and knowledgeable business coach who will work beside you to help you achieve the goals that you have set for yourself.

Getting the right help in your business is an investment and not an expense.  It’s far better to avoid the pitfalls of business up front than to try and climb out of the debt pit later.

And finally, keep in mind this famous quote by Henry Ford –

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”



Say Goodbye To Useless Stress in Your Spa

Say Goodbye To Useless Stress in Your Spa

,Stress is one of those things that every salon and spa owner is going to feel at some time or another.

Let’s face it, with so many challenges to meet head on every day, there are going to be times when you feel out of control and let stress slip right into your head space.

But not all stress is bad stress.

I believe there are two types of stress you will encounter.

There may be more kinds according to a psychologist or psychiatrist, but for me, I think of it in terms of Negative Stress and Positive Stress.


Let’s take a look at ‘Negative Stress’ first…

This is the kind of stress you get when you begin to worry about the “what ifs“.

You know how it goes – ‘What if there’s a cyclone, and all my clients cancel their appointments?‘, or ‘What if all my staff decide to walk out on me on the same day?‘, or even ‘What if my new client doesn’t like my makeup?’

While these kinds of fears may feel valid for many people, they induce stress if you dwell on them.

These are things that you can’t do a damn thing about.

They could happen but the truth is that there’s a very high probability that they won’t happen.

And this is why this kind of stress falls squarely under the heading of Negative Stress.

Stressing over things like this is not only harmful to your sense of positivity, but it has a negative impact on your physical well-being also.

It can paralyse you like a deer in headlights, and stop you in your tracks.  And for this reason, it’s the kind of stress that you can definitely do without.

So, when you find yourself stressing over things that in all likelihood will never happen, you need to have a mental conversation with yourself about the likelihood of these things actually ever occurring.

When I feel these kinds of useless, negative thoughts creeping into my brain, my conversation with myself goes something like this, “Pam, you are being silly.  You’re worrying over something you know is practically guaranteed to never happen.  And if it does, you can deal with it then.  So stop thinking about it right now and instead think about something that’s going to be more productive

Now the words may change a little each time, but the important thing is that I acknowledge that this is a useless worry and that to dwell on it means I’m taking time and energy away from doing something that can be more productive.

It produces unwanted and unhealthy stress that achieves less than nothing.

And the great thing is that the more often you practice this kind of positive self-talk, the better you get at it, and the quicker you turn your thoughts into something more useful to you.

Before long, you’ll be able to squash those negative, useless stressors before they take hold and ruin your day.


Now, how about that ‘Positive Stress’ I mentioned…

Well just as useless stress is brought on by focusing on things that might happen, useful stress is based on what is actually happening.

It comes from what’s going on around you right now that’s ringing alarm bells in your head to alert you to the fact that things could be better.

You might get this kind of stress when you notice your client numbers or revenue have slipped, or when your team members aren’t doing a great job.

This is what I call Positive Stress.

Useful because you can do something about it.

These feelings of stress are telling you that you need to take some action to improve the situation before it gets out of hand.

It’s your little flag drop that says, ‘get started now if you want to win this race‘.

It’s created from your reality, and action is what will eliminate it by fixing the problem.


So the next time you feel stressed, ask yourself this question, ‘Is this Negative Stress or Positive Stress I’m feeling?‘.

If it’s Useless Stress, immediately have that mental conversation with yourself and be strong enough to change the destructive self-talk before it has a chance to take hold.

Simply let it go!

On the other hand, if it’s Positive Stress, give yourself a hearty pat on the back for being alert enough to pick up on a real, fixable problem, and turn that stressful feeling into an action plan to resolve the issue once and for all.

Before long, you’ll be able to do away with those feelings of Negative Stress and to take control.

From today forward, turn all your stress into the positive motivator it can be.

Stay happy, healthy and profitable.