Your salon has been getting busier, and so, you decide it’s time to hire an additional person to reduce the load and, hopefully, generate more revenue.
After much planning and consideration, you find the ‘right’ person and offer them the job.
Things look promising initially, and you breathe a big sigh of relief…and then the problems surface.
As a business owner, chances are you’ve been in this position already, and if you haven’t, then I take my hat off to you for your amazing recruitment skills or sheer good luck.
The fact is, sometimes, no matter how much research you do and how many questions you ask, you’re going to hire a lemon.
But once done, what do you do about it?
Well, naturally, prevention is always better than cure, so although this advice may be a little late for this hire, better recruitment skills might help to avoid a recruitment disaster in the future. One mistake is painful but repeating that same mistake borders on sheer craziness.
But once you’ve hired, there are things that you can do to resolve a difficult situation.
Let’s start by looking at where your new recruit is failing, because there can be two different outcomes, depending on where the problem lies.
Lack of Technical Skills
If lack of skills is the problem, then the problem is actually your fault. A big part of your recruitment process should always be vigorous skills testing.
Yes, you have to pay the prospective employee for their time, but let me be brutally honest with you, this is a cheap investment compared to what it might possibly cost you in lost clients in the future.
It’s not enough for your new recruit to look good on paper – they must be able to follow through with the delivery of the high-quality treatments your clients expect from your salon.
But the good news is that skills can be taught or improved. It may be that your new employee did things differently at her last salon or that she learned a different technique at her college. Either way, if the only problem you have with your new employee is skills-based, then it may be well worth your while to persevere with them and to develop a training program to bring their skills levels up to your standards.
Yes, it will come at a price, but it’s not a lost cause entirely.
No matter how skilled or experienced your new employee is, if she has brought along a bad attitude with her, then you really do have a problem on your hands.
It’s pretty easy to conceal a poor attitude throughout the recruitment process. Most people know how to answer your questions with the words you want to hear, and most past employers don’t want to say bad things about their past employees when you check job references.
But here’s the thing.
You can change skill sets, but it’s almost impossible to change a bad attitude – it seems to come built-in.
These people have a heavy chip on their shoulder about something and they’re determined to make as many people as possible suffer because of it – and that includes you, their co-workers and their clients.
Believe me when I tell you that the longer your persevere with this type of employee, the more you and others will suffer.
Trying to be ‘fair and reasonable’ with these people or trying to ‘understand’ the reason why they are the way they are is akin to bashing your head against a brick wall.
You are not their mother, sister or psychiatrist and it’s not your job to ‘fix’ them and turn their lives around.
What your job as a business owner actually entails is to protect your clients, your other employee’s well-being and, of course, your business and livelihood.
Now what you do from here will depend on how they’ve been hired and from where you operate. You must make sure you are completely within the law before taking another step. Some countries or states allow you to put off a new recruit if they were hired for a trial period and it’s clearly stated in their contact. If that’s not the case, you may need to go through a process of warning letters and meetings to try and resolve the issue.
Either way, ALWAYS adhere completely to your legal requirements, but don’t persevere with bad employee behaviour.
It will cause you untold stress and possibly have a negative financial impact on your business also.
When it comes to recruitment, I always recommend never to hire in haste, no matter how urgently you may need another employee. To do so may result in long-term issues that will affect every part of your business
I’ve got to say, I’m a big fan of making lists!
I have all kinds of lists in my life. Grocery lists, business lists, packing lists, to-do lists and the list goes on!
But seriously, making lists in your business can help you to grow in so many ways. Not only does writing something down generally ensure it doesn’t get forgotten, but it also helps to ensure that others do the things you want them to do, the way you want them to do it.
If you think making lists isn’t a sophisticated business tool, then think about those professions that wouldn’t think of not using a list to ensure a positive outcome.
- Astronauts use a checklist before lift-off. Every dial and every switch has to be in the right place at the right time and what better way to ensure this happens than to have a checklist?
- Pilots use a checklist before take-off just like the astronauts.
- Theatre staff use lists to prepare for surgeries so that everything that goes in comes out again.
Do you see what I’m getting at?
Lists make difficult jobs easier and ensure a much higher rate of success, so let’s look at how a few lists could help you in your business too.
You might also refer to these as treatment protocols, but regardless of what you call them, they are just a glorified list. Like a good menu, this list lays out what has to be included in your treatments. One of the most important outcomes of using a procedure list is consistency.
Consistency in the delivery of your treatments equates to happy clients and this is because every time they return to your salon or spa, they’re going to get the exactly the same inclusions in their treatment as the time before – nothing more and nothing less.
Clients love consistency, even more than they love extras, and when they don’t receive it, they get cranky. So cranky, in fact, that they often leave and go elsewhere. And all because they never received the same treatment, delivered the same way, twice.
Many salons and spas make the big mistake of providing discretionary services. These discretionary services are the little extras that aren’t generally included but are sometimes provided on a whim. And while the client loves receiving these extra bits of pampering at the time, they don’t love it when they don’t get included next time they have the same service. As a matter of fact, they feel quite cheated and that can lead to all kinds of unwanted trouble.
So, to avoid this happening in your business, make a list that employees use when delivering services and make sure that everyone sticks by it. No more and no less at every visit will keep your clients happy and returning.
Delegation is any boss’s best friend. When done well, it can free up many valuable hours each week for more important activities. However, there is definitely a good way and a not-so-good way to delegate to employees.
The not-so-good way is to simply verbally tell your employee what you want them to do. This technique generally results in a disastrous outcome because not enough information is relayed in a written format
For delegation to be effective, employees have to understand clearly what they need to do to get the job done well. This involves, you guessed it, making a list.
By breaking a new job down into bite-sized pieces on a list, employees can generally tackle jobs that they may never have done previously and do it reasonably well. The devil is always in the detail, so make your list as detailed as necessary so that an employee knows exactly what to do to get the job done to your satisfaction.
Time Management List
This is one of my favourite lists. It’s my daily to-do list and when I use it, I get much more of the important stuff done each day instead of pottering about doing the easy jobs that could have waited. It’s human nature to put off doing the hard stuff first, but if you want to fit more of the important stuff into your day, start with a list.
The secret of an effective to-do list is prioritising the items on it so the important jobs get done first. Without this, human nature kicks in and you spend the time being busy but not being effective.
If you’ve ever had to hire a team member, you know that it can be a bit stressful to say the least. If you stuff it up and hire the wrong person, it will definitely impact on your business and so you want to avoid that at all costs.
One way to ensure you hire the right person for the job is to have a recruitment list. This list needs to include all the must-have skills or qualities that the successful applicant must have as well as the desirable skills and qualities that would come as a bonus.
If you make and use a recruitment list, you’re much less likely to get swayed by other factors during the process which could result in employing someone you like instead of someone you need.
I love cleaning lists for salons and spas. A good cleaning list ensures that all the less-than-fun jobs get shared out evenly.
As a previous salon owner, I know how frustrating it is when employees leave at the end of the day and the salon is left dirty or untidy. Particularly when it was left up to me to clean it.
It didn’t take me long to figure out I needed a list that would cover all the cleaning jobs that had to be done before everybody took off for the day.
If you don’t like the idea of having ‘Cleaning Lists’ try calling them ‘Accomplishments Charts’ – they’re really the same thing but with a more positive spin.
All these lists have worked wonders for my sanity over the years. I recommend you try making lists in your business. Not only will you get more of the important jobs done, but you’ll be much less stressed from worrying over the little things that often get forgotten.
I’m often asked this question by salon and spa owners, ‘How can I increase my revenue (turnover)?’ In fact, if staying in business and taking home a decent personal wage are the goals, the question should actually be ‘How can I make more profit in my business without working any harder than I already do?’
Almost every salon or spa owner I’ve met is already a very hard worker who puts in longer hours than nearly all their employees. They’re often the first in to open the doors each day and the ones left to lock up each night.
If this sounds a lot like you, then working harder is not something you should have to do, however working smarter certainly is!
Taking time out of the everyday grind to work on business growth strategies is an activity some salon owners are not that comfortable with.
After all, if they’re working on their business, they have to pay someone else to care for the clients, and that is often a frightening prospect on many levels.
But the truth is that working productively on your business by developing your marketing ideas, planning staff training sessions, investigating new service options, or developing a more streamlined roster, amongst many other things, can actually be the best use of your time.
Yes, you may earn an additional $50 by providing that client service yourself but a well thought out marketing strategy might bring you an additional $5000 instead. It’s really all about using your existing working hours more effectively.
If you’re in the rut of working too many hours in your business rather than spending some quality time working on your business, then read on to discover effective ways to break the cycle of chasing revenue instead of making a profit.
Remember, revenue is just the money that goes into your register and this figure means very little at the end of the day, especially if every dollar is consumed by expenses.
Instead, you need to focus your efforts on is how to keep as big a portion of your revenue as possible, because this becomes your profit (and the only thing that really matters in the long run).
Here are 5 profit-generating strategies that you should implement into your beauty business asap.
Strategy #1 – Start making a profit from your salon services.
This is a no-compromise strategy. Every service you provide must make you some profit, and to ensure this you must first know what each service costs you to provide. Guessing is not good enough.
Forget about what the salon down the road is charging or what your suppliers tell you is the ‘normal average selling price’. These figures are meaningless to your business.
The salon down the road may be slowly going broke because of the way they do business and the supplier has absolutely no idea about what your unique expenses actually are.
So, the only person who can work out a profitable selling price for your services in your business is you.
Consider the labour cost, the product cost and the consumable cost to work out a service cost price. Then, before you decide on a selling price, remember that you also have to cover every other expense your business generates also (rent, utilities, marketing, etc.), and only then can you set a selling price that will ensure you make a profit.
Strategy #2 – Start charging what you’re worth.
Stop attracting those cheap-skate, discount-seeking clients who will never make you a penny in profit. You know the ones I mean. They’re the clients who only materialise when you’re selling something with a discount attached to it.
In business, as in life, we get what we aim for. If you want to attract more profitable clients, stop making every marketing offer into a discount-fest. Find better ways to position yourself by offering value to your clients instead of discounts.
If you’re offering professional services in a professional environment, then you deserve to ask a professional price for them. It’s important that you don’t undervalue yourself if you don’t want your clients to undervalue you.
One of the biggest expenses in any beauty business is undoubtedly the wages. Now, while you definitely need staff to deliver the services to your clients as your business grows, what you don’t need is them standing around for hours on end making cuppas, chatting and dusting the product shelves for the 6th time that week.
So, what should you do if this is happening in your salon? The answer is ‘measure and monitor’. Understanding the productivity of each team member is vital so you can determine how many hours you need them to work on your roster. Things you must monitor as a minimum are:
How many dollars per client they generate,
How many dollars per week they generate,
How many clients per week they service,
How much of the revenue they earn is going back out in their wages? (Hint: If it’s more than 35%, you need to find out why.)
You need to understand all these figures for each staff member and then take appropriate action to reduces excess wages where needed by amending your roster.
If you’re not already doing this, I recommend you start straight away.
Minimising unnecessary wages will often make the difference between taking home a pay packet or not for yourself.
Strategy #4 – Make more money from each salon client.
If you can’t get more clients into your business, then you have to make more money from each client. Easy to say, I know, but not that hard to do when you put your mind to it.
The obvious solution is to have a price increase, especially if you’ve been holding off for far too long because you believe your clients might not want to pay a little more.
The fact is you are in business. You are not a charity!
Your clients also know this but the longer you hold off having a much-needed price increase, the more the clients won’t like it when the time comes.
With this in mind, work out your true costs (see Strategy #1) and set a price for your services that will make you a fair profit.
Regular small price increases are less likely to upset your clients’ budgets than a huge price increase once every couple of years.
Another method to lift the average client spend amount is to up-sell additional services.
So many of your clients would happily purchase more if only they were asked to (nicely of course).
Your clients may be missing out on services they’d thoroughly enjoy and benefit from because no-one has told them about a new and improved service, or an add-on service that would complement the service they’ve booked in for.
Here’s a FACT. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Talk to your clients about the services they might be interested in trying and make a goal to upsell to every client.
And what about selling courses of services. This is always a good idea as it not only provides good value for the client (generally with a bonus service included), but you get a lovely chunk of money up-front that keeps the client returning to you over a set period of time.
Courses rock when it comes to making more profit and you should seriously think about how to maximise your sales using them more often.
Finally, how’s your retailing?
Are you monitoring and measuring it?
Do you have some goals in place?
Something that many salon and spa owners don’t know is that retail sales can offer 2-3 times more profit for the time invested than delivering services.
Learn the art of retailing and teach your staff how to retail as well. This one strategy alone will make a huge and positive impact on your profits.
Every dollar you outlay on unnecessary expenses is a dollar out of your profit (that means less in your holiday fund).
If you haven’t looked at the reports your accountant sends you each year, take a big gulp of something to calm your nerves and go find your last expenses report (I promise you will live through this experience, although you may come away feeling a little traumatised and in need a little nap to fully recover).
Now you have that report in hand, read through your expenses list.
What jumps out at you?
What appears to be way higher than you thought it would be?
Are these expenses ones you can do something about?
Some expenses are a necessity and impossible to budge but others can be culled or reduced without any ill effects to your business.
What expenses are a good investment (like quality coaching and training) and which ones should be minimised?
You’re bound to discover you’re spending way too much money in some areas, and this knowledge will allow you to reduce some of your expenses and therefore increase your profits.
And there we have it. 5 simple but effective strategies that will put more profits into your pocket without working any harder or longer. Be brave and do what’s needed so that you can enjoy your business knowing there’s a payday for you at the end of the week also.
As a business coach, I regularly hear clients tell me that they simply don’t have enough time in each day to do what they need to. Whether it’s staff training, business planning, newsletter writing or something else they really don’t want to do, lack of time always seems to be the reason put forward.
We all have the same amount of time to achieve what we want. Presidents and paupers alike enjoy 24 hours in each day, but what determines their level of success is their ability to use that time in the best way possible.
Here are my top 15 tips to pack more productivity into your spa every day.
Tip 1. Spend the first 15 minutes of every working day planning your day and your time. You may have the urge to jump straight into tasks, but you should resist it. Doing this can lead you into doing the short, but unimportant things, that should wait until the really important things have been accomplished.
Tip 2. Use a diary system. I learned to do this years ago and I still use a diary system today to get things done. It can be a paper diary (my favourite) or an electronic diary – that’s your choice, but once a job is written down, it won’t be forgotten and so you will achieve more of the things you want to achieve. I can pretty much guarantee this one.
Tip 3. Make a to-do list every day (use your diary). Once your list is done it should include all the things you want to achieve that day plus the things left over from the previous day. Prioritise your list so that the most important jobs are the highest priority to ensure you don’t spend all your time doing short but unimportant jobs. This is just another form of procrastination.
Tip 4. Remember the Pareto Principle of 80-20. In terms of your daily jobs, it means that only 20% of the things on your daily list are going to be responsible for achieving 80% of your important results. Make sure you keep this in mind when prioritising your jobs.
Tip 5. Get the most unpleasant stuff out of the way first and foremost. These are the things that you must do but are dreading. It’s called ‘eating that frog’ for a good reason because it’s not something anyone wants to do, but once done, you can get on with your day with a clear mind.
Tip 6. Don’t revisit things twice. Deal with correspondence, emails or other matters when you come upon them. Reading them now and then reading them again in two day’s times has just robbed you of your time. Open it, deal with it and move on.
Tip 7. If you feel tired, have a break. Let your mind rest. You will be far more productive for the rest of the day if you do. If you continue to work on things when your brain is fuzzy, you may need to go back and re-do them later, and that’s simply a waste of your time.
Tip 8. Learn how to say no, nope, nada, not today or not ever if the time used is not beneficial to your goals. People will always try to talk you into taking over some of their workload when they can, but you hold all the power. Smile, say no nicely and walk away.
Tip 9. Delegate. I’m going to say it again – delegate. It’s important. Being the boss does not mean you have to do it all. Your team members have loads of talents apart from doing beauty treatments, so be a clever boss and tap into those extra skills. Whether it’s social media, report generation, team training or display work, find out what your team’s special skills are and use them to add time back into your day.
Tip 10. Stick with one job at a time. Multi-tasking is a fallacy because when you split your attention between jobs it takes you longer to achieve each one. Unless you plan to read a report while drinking a coffee, avoid multitasking altogether.
Tip 11. Write it all down. When you tell yourself “I’ll remember that”, you are telling yourself a big fat lie. When you write it down, it never gets forgotten, so whether it’s just a great idea that has popped into your head, or a job that needs to be done urgently, write it down. I use the blank pages at the back of my diary to record all my ‘pop-in’ ideas and revisit that list regularly. Sometimes I’m amazed by what I read 🙂
Tip 12. Put set time aside each day to deal with the business side of running your salon. Don’t do it in dribs and drabs and don’t be tempted to use your planning time for other things. I like to do this at the beginning of each day when I’m making my to-do list for the day but for you, it may be at another time of day altogether. Look for dead spots that show up regularly in your appointment schedule and put them to good use.
Tip 13. Be aware of wasted time. Whether it’s in your client appointment column or just time spent dilly-dallying, become mentally aware and find something more important to do in that valuable time. (I had a client who used to spend hours each week pulling weeds out of the garden on the footpath outside her clinic, but could never find the time to plan her monthly promotions).
Tip 14. If you need to do things on a regular basis, create a checklist or template to streamline the process. Whether its writing newsletters, client letters or job lists for your team members, template it to save re-doing it next time.
Tip 15. Stop aiming for perfection – it doesn’t exist. Be happy to do your best. Wanting everything to be perfect is a sure-fire way to not get things completed.
And there you have it. My top 15 tips on how to pack more into each day so you don’t have to work longer hours or take work home that will intrude on your family time (or maybe both).
Think about the things you’ve read in this article, and consider how you can implement these ideas into your day.
Maybe you should make a list and prioritise it!
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.
Tip – The 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- the true cost of products used, as well as
- consumables, and
- 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.”