How to Generate Additional Salon Profit with Add-on Sales

Fact – Most spas are missing out on profitable sales every single day.


Depending on the size of your salon or spa business, you could be missing out on anywhere between $20k to $100K per year from add-on sales that never happen; the serum with the facial, the brow tint with the lash tint, or the gel upgrade with the pedicure. Simple add-on sales that are simply being ignored.

So why does this happen?

In my experience, there are 5 major reasons why spas are missing out on this substantial additional revenue.
1. Therapists or receptionists miss their opportunity to offer something extra during the booking process.
2. There’s not enough time to provide something extra during the service.
3. There is no formal expectation by management that spa therapists will offer an add-on or up-sell to their clients, and therefore, no motivation to do so.
4. Formal training is not provided on how to up-sell naturally.
5. Spa therapists are not confident or comfortable with the process of recommending something extra to their clients.

Let’s take a closer look at these 5 fail points and discover how they can be handled to produce better results.


1. Missed Opportunities

The ideal time to offer clients an additional service/s is, without a doubt, during the booking process. Not only is the existing client’s service history at your fingertips to quickly review for possible add-ons she may have previously had, but if an additional service is added to the booking at this point, it will eliminate the need to squeeze something extra into the allocated appointment time on the day.

For new clients, or where no service history is available, a relevant extra services list, kept at the reception, can be referred to quickly for suitable up-sells. This list can easily be generated through brainstorming with your team members.


2. Lack of Time

Lack of available time can be a real problem if the additional service takes extra time and could cause the therapist to run late for her next client. When this happens, the best up-sell is one that will replace an existing component of the treatment, or be very quick to deliver.

A few strategies that come to mind are:
• Serums applied during the facial to enhance results
• Up-graded masks that will take the place of regular masks
• Gel polish instead of regular polish
• Brow tints while lash tints develop
• Hand peel while the face peel activates

Depending on the services your spa offers, there are loads of various up-sells that can be included when time is tight.

Always look for opportunities to up-ell to a more premium service that requires no additional time.


3. Goal Setting

Not setting individual sales goals for team members means no accountability is in place, and this results in a lack of motivation to offer additional services or up-sells.

Make time at the beginning of each day to spend a few minutes with your team members to review their clients for the day and discuss beneficial up-sells for each.

Set a daily goal for each therapist based on the number of clients she has booked in her column and follow up at the end of each day to see if she has met her goals. If she has, congratulate her on her performance, and if not, discuss strategies she could have used to reach her goals.

The important points here are to set goals, create accountability, review performance, and provide encouragement and support.


4. Team Training

Your team members need to know not only what is expected of them but also how to achieve it. Keep in mind that training on any topic is not a ‘do-it-once-and-hope-it-sticks’ activity. It needs to be provided regularly and reinforced constantly to keep it front of mind.

The best and most successful training methods are those that are inclusive and fun for the trainee. Training that includes ideas and input from your team members will always have the best outcome.

To facilitate this, ask all team members to contribute suggestions and solutions to every training topic instead of sitting back and turning off while the team leader does all the talking.

Make training a team effort and you will be rewarded with a higher level of participation.


 5. Changing the Employee Mindset

I’m yet to meet a spa therapist who loves to sell (unless of course they are the business owner). Selling often feels uncomfortable for therapists and they see the whole process as outside of their real job of providing services and pampering clients. Basically, therapists want to nurture their clients and don’t see selling as part of that process.

The way to overcome this is to change their mindset from selling being just about grabbing some extra money from their clients, to selling as a way to benefit their clients and help them achieve a better, faster outcome.

Good selling in a spa environment is always about strengthening the relationship with the client. It should result in a better solution for their problem. Bad selling happens when a client is pushed to purchase something that won’t benefit her and therefore damages the relationship.

Make certain your team members understand that you only want them to do what will strengthen their relationship with their clients and not the reverse. This will help your team members feel more positive about suggesting extra services or items to their clients, and they will be less resistant to the idea of making beneficial recommendations.

When a client achieves a better, faster solution to their problem they will be grateful.


Client Awareness

It’s always a good business strategy to ensure your clients are aware of the additional services you have available for them, as this awareness will help when it comes to suggesting something they may not have tried previously.

Don’t fall into the trap of assuming your clients are fully aware of all your spa has to offer, as few actually are this aware.

One way to create additional awareness is to add your service extras to your Service Menu, grouped with the services they complement. Upgrades such as serums, masks or LED therapy can all be grouped within the Facial and Skin Treatment categories so that clients can easily see what else is appropriate and available to them.

Apply this concept to all your extra options where room permits.


The Best Time to Suggest and Up-sell

The last thing you want your therapists to do is chat all the way through a relaxation-based service and leave the client feeling annoyed and deprived of their special relaxation time. This means you need to be strategic about choosing the best time to introduce the idea of a little something extra.

So, when should it be done?

The ideal time, in most cases, is either during or just after the consultation phase of the treatment, but before the main body of the treatment begins. The therapist should have completed her examination of the treatment area and asked the client questions about her problems and expectations.

If your therapists are not providing pre-treatment consultations, they are depriving themselves of a great deal of important information that will help them to not only deliver a much better service, but also make useful recommendations for extras.


How to Up-sell in the Treatment Room

Once the consultation is complete, make yourself easily seen by the client. If she is already on the treatment couch, then come around to the side and bring yourself down to her level by sitting on a stool.

Place yourself in a position where the clients can see and interact freely with you to reduce any feeling of intimidation.

As you make your suggestions, phrase them in a way that highlights the benefits they will receive relative to the problem they are trying to solve. If your suggestions don’t relate to fixing problems the client believes are important, she simply won’t be interested and a quick ‘no thanks’ will follow.

Here’s an example:
The client has expressed issues around her recurring acne breakouts. She is booked in for a deep cleansing treatment but nothing else.

After consultation, the therapist determines that a suitable serum applied under an infusion mask will reliably provide much better results for the client.

The conversation would go along the lines of, “Sara, it’s great that you’ve booked in the for Deep Cleanse Treatment today. That will definitely get you started on your journey to clearer skin. I’d also like to suggest we apply a healing serum and infusion mask also to give you even better results from your treatment. Are you okay with that? The extra serum and mask will be $20 but the results will be worth it.”
Note: I always recommend you provide your clients with full disclosure on the additional cost to avoid any problems when it comes time to pay for their service. Surprises at the register are never a good idea!

If you have a Client Service Agreement document in place, be sure to add the relevant details outlining additional costs for extra services here also.



If you follow the guidelines in this article, it won’t be long before you see a real improvement in your revenue. If you’re offering performance bonuses, your team will also see worthwhile benefits. This means that your spa, your therapists and your clients will all benefit from this sales strategy.

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 – nothing ever seems to go wrong.

Or maybe that’s all an illusion……

The truth is that successful people do things differently from those who try and fail continuously.

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 additional revenue.  New and old clients will surface to enjoy your 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 up-sell 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

How to Get a Positive Headstart on Your New Year

As you’re reading this article, you’re probably thinking, ‘I don’t have time to think about the new year yet. I’m barely able to think about tomorrow, it’s just sooo busy’.

Unfortunately, that ‘busy-ness’ won’t last for long, but thinking about and planning for what’s going to happen months from now is what separates successful salon owners from those who struggle during the quiet times.

January and February can be very challenging months in the beauty business. They can feel incredibly busy, especially if you’ve sold truckloads of Gift Vouchers before Christmas. The only problem with this is, most people who redeem Vouchers don’t spend much extra, if anything, and this can mean a very poor trading period when it comes to money in the bank.

Unfortunately, whether you are making money or not, rent, wages and all the other normal business bills still have to be paid, and this is why it’s absolutely essential to think about, and plan for, making money in the early months of the new year.


Salon and Spa Marketing Ideas to Get You Through the Slump

So, what can you do to increase your cash flow for January and February in your salon or spa? Here are a few ideas to consider.

Have a Salon Membership Drive.

Membership sales can give your cash flow a much-needed boost as clients are required to pay a lump sum up front to enjoy the long-term benefits a membership program can bring.

To make the most of membership packages you’ll need to offer services that are popular with your clients (to generate interest) and are also based on value-adding rather than discounting, so as not to damage your services pricing integrity.

To generate interest from your clients, use the two good old marketing strategies of ‘scarcity’ and ‘urgency’ by making it available for January and February ONLY.  You also want to cap the number of packages you sell.  Once clients realise it’s a very limited offer, they’ll be more inclined to jump in and make the purchase.

Consider a few different Membership levels to hit different price points.


Promote your Prepaid Treatment Programs and Packages

Prepaid Treatment Programs and Packages are a little similar to memberships, but can be done a couple of different ways.

1.  Prepaid Treatment Programs that are designed to produce a definite outcome (think anti-aging/clear skin, pigmentation reduction, etc).  These programs are comprised of a varied selection of treatments that are designed to generate the best possible outcome for a particular skin condition.

The great benefit of these types of Treatment Programs is they introduce a variety of services and modalities to your clients.

Avoid the urge to discount your primary services, and instead, value-add to build out the value of the program.

As an example, if you are offering anti-aging or clear skin programs, you could include several LED treatments at no charge within the program.  This increases the value of the program without adding any real strain on your product or wages cost.

2. Prepaid Treatment Packages consisting of several (generally between 6-10) of the same treatment is also a great way to get a quick cash injection and for the client to get great value.

Packages of IPL/Laser with a bonus treatment area included at no extra charge, or Packages of Facials with free upgrades or bonuses are typical of what you can offer.

Be sure to package up your most popular services and create a value-add deal that your clients will find impossible to resist.


Have a Retail Sale

Too much stock sitting on your shelves after Christmas simply soaks up your money, which in turn, prevents you from investing in fresh seasonal stock which will turn over more rapidly and make you more profit.

An excess retail product sale is an easy way to shed excess stock purchased for Christmas and get back your financial investment.

Unlike services, you can occasionally discount retail stock without it hurting your business. With this in mind, consider having  either a straight percentage off the retail price on selected slow sellers (how big a % off will depend on the markup you’re enjoying) , or bundling a slow selling item with a top seller and selling for the price of the top seller only, or just a little more – almost like a gift with purchase.


Offer Clients a Salon Voucher as a Christmas Gift to be used in January or February

It’s nice to say ‘thank you‘ to your clients at Christmas and what better way than with a salon voucher.

When deciding what value to give, consider the amount the client has spent with you over the past year and base your gift amount on that.  Obviously clients who spend large amounts in your salon or spa regularly, deserve to receive more than the client who has the odd brow shape or lash tint.

Also, the idea is for the client to spend additional money when they redeem their voucher, so make it clear what the voucher is redeemable against.  As an example, if you give a $30 voucher to a client, you might want to stipulate that it can only be used on services valued at $90 or higher.

Most importantly the voucher must have a clear expiry date.  I suggest around the end of February to maximise your promotion.  When you give these vouchers to your clients, point this out so there are no issues around clients trying to redeem them after that date.

Make the voucher fully transferable to another person (this might introduce a new client to your salon) but don’t allow it to be used against retail purchases.

Once you’ve decided ‘what’ you want to offer to your clients, you need to decide how to get your marketing message to them.  Consider the following ways:

  • Add the information to your website
  • Have signage and hand-out information available in-salon
  • Send an email to your clients outlining your special offers
  • Include the information in your December Newsletter
  • Include the information in your January Newsletter (and get it out early in the month)
  • Be sure to include the information about your special offers in a team-meeting and ask your team members to talk to all their clients about what’s on offer.


Running a successful business always involves looking forward and planning in advance. This is especially true for those cash-strapped months after Christmas.  It’s not too late to plan for a healthy start to the new year if you start working on your promotions now.


What To Do When Your New Recruit Really Sucks

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.

Bad Attitude

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

How to Create Quality Videos for Your Salon in Just a Few Minutes

Videos are now the BIG thing for social media.  They get more views, more shares and more comments so, given all that,  it’s probably a good idea to be using them.
The problem in the past has been that it’s been too time consuming and required a bit of a learning curve, and well honestly, who’s got time for that?!?
But I think I’ve found the perfect solution…
I’ve been using the free version of this resource for a while now, and it’s just getting better and better.  It’s fantastic for creating videos to share with your clients on social media and it’s super-easy to learn how to use.
Check out a couple of the videos I’ve created with Lumen5 so far.

and this one…

If you think these videos are a great idea (like I do), then head over to and try it out for yourself.
You’ll be making eye-catching videos for your business in no time at all!

6 Easy Ways to Grow Your Salon or Spa Business

It’s not good enough to just go from day to day making a basic living from your salon or spa.  Each day should be taking you a little closer to the business you dreamed of having, but that doesn’t happen by accident.

As the saying goes… ‘If you’re not prepared to change what your doing, don’t expect anything else to change’.

Having said that, you don’t need to make the process any more difficult than it needs to be.  Good, productive and profitable changes can often be achieved in the simplest of ways.  You don’t need to be an expert in ‘everything business’ to steadily increase your business growth and profits.

In this article, we’ll take a look at 6 easy ways to make worthwhile changes to your beauty business that will result in positive growth.

Get Your Team Excited About Retail Sales.

Let me tell you, this has to be one of the fastest way to add great profits to your bottom line.  Extra profits means you can invest in more equipment, better training, staff incentives, updated decor, more retail stock and a host of other great things that are most likely on your wish list.

For the same amount of time invested, retail sales will return 3 – 4 times more profit than delivering most services.  That’s pretty amazing don’t you agree?

To increase retail sales and get your team motivated, you need to ensure:

a. Team members are all using the product your stock.

b. Team members all have a sales target to work towards.

c. Team members have the training and knowledge they need to talk to clients about the product benefits.

d. The salon has the right product in sufficient quantities to generate sales.

Have a Marketing Plan

If you want new clients to find you and existing clients to stay loyal to you, then you absolutely must have some kind of marketing plan.  It’s doesn’t need to be flash or fancy, but it does need to be written down and applied consistently.

You may well have the best treatments, delivered by the best staff members, at the best prices, but if no-one knows about any of it, then you won’t sell anything.  It’s not good enough just to be great at what you do – no matter how many times you may see this said on social media!

You not only need to be great at what you do, but you must make sure people know about it.  After all, you can’t sell a secret.

Reward Client Loyalty

There is almost nothing as important to your business as retaining the loyalty of your clients.  After working with a truck-load of salons, I’ve realised that in nearly every instance, organic growth  was pretty great, however the reason the businesses weren’t growing was poor client retention.

These days, your clients have a ton of salons and spas to choose from.  Organic loyalty is pretty much dead in the water.  So, to keep your clients returning, you need to dangle the proverbial carrot in the form of a loyalty reward.  It will provide that extra incentive for your clients to return to your business to collect their reward points rather than trying out the salon or spa down the road.

Create a Benefits-Based Service Menu

When you think about it, the first thing many prospective clients come across is your Service Menu.  They usually head straight to your menu to find out what you offer and how much you charge.

If your menu is constructed poorly, the client will only focus on the price of your services and that’s not how you want to be judged.  Instead of the price, you want your clients to focus on the benefits they’ll receive if they have your treatments.

There are other factors with your printed menu that need to be considered also.  Colours, print size, font, categories and layout are all important to ensure easy readability for your readers.

A well-constructed Service Menu will help you sell services to your prospects and clients without you even being present!

Work Towards Attracting Only Premium Clients

Do you ever feel like the clients who come to your salon or spa are exactly the opposite of the clients you really want to work with?  Believe me, you are not alone.  Most salon or spa owners will say that they want to attract a certain type of clients (big spender, loyal, refers others) but instead seem to always attract clients who are looking for a bargain, won’t purchase retail and never re-book.

The truth is that in most instances, the salon’s own marketing is to blame for this.  The wrong clients walk through your salon doors because inadvertently you are asking them to.  But the good news is that you can turn that around and become much better at attracting the premium clients instead.

This can make a massive impact on your business.  Imagine finding clients who value your work, pay your prices happily and buy the retail products you recommend.  Now that would make going to work each day pure bliss!

Increase Your Service Prices

Be honest!  How long has it been since you’ve put up your prices?  If it’s been over 12 months then you are due to have a price increase right now.

If you continue to hold off, eventually your profit will dwindle due to increasing expenses, and this means less for you.

A small regular price increase, while not being heartily welcomed with open arms by your clients, is expected and accepted.  The problem occurs when all those small price increases are held off resulting in a massive price increase all at once.

And there you have it.  6 simple and straightforward ways to grow your salon or spa business.  Why not get started on implementing them straight away?

Get More Done With Less Stress – Make a List

Get More Done With Less Stress – Make a List

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.

Procedure List

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 List

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.

Recruitment List

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.

Cleaning List

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.

Making the Most of Your Retail Sales

Today’s salon, spa or clinic has changed dramatically from 30 years ago.


Back then, a beauty biz could turn a healthy profit just from supplying services alone. As a matter of fact, retail was often considered the cream on the cake rather than an integral part of the profit formula.

How things have changed! In today’s world of IPL, LED, Laser, Microdermabrasion, Microcurrent, RF Therapy, Ultrasound and Specialised Facial Equipment just to name a popular few, it’s a much more expensive proposition to equip a salon, spa or clinic than ever before.

The need to produce more revenue to feed hungry equipment leases is greater than ever, and so, every square inch of your premises has to be devoted to making more money; and that includes your retail shelves.

To experience the best retail success, there are a few tips I can share with you to give your retail sales a welcome boost.

Choosing the Right Products

No matter how amazing a retail range may be, if the price point is too high or too low for your clients, you’ll struggle to sell products.

One way to assess this is to look at the price point of your services. Are you at the high or low end of the price range for the services you provide?

Chances are that wherever your service prices sit on the scale of inexpensive through to top-of-the-range, that’s where your retail products also need to be.

Looking Serious about Retailing

I know it’s the norm these days to have more than one retail range however, if this means that you have a few of this and a couple of that on your retail shelves, then this isn’t the best strategy for your business.

Before a client buys retail from your salon or spa, she needs to know that you have total confidence in it.

A few scattered products sourced from multiples ranges does not reassure your clients that you have confidence in the products you sell.

Rather than continuing on with this strategy, look at who your core clients are (the 20% that generate 80% of your sales) and what they are purchasing from you (or what they want to purchase from you). Then go out and find a range of products that’s a perfect fit for this segment’s needs.

Stop trying to be all things to all people. It diminishes your business when you do this.

Be confident in your business niche and which clients you are a good fit for and then cater for them wholeheartedly.

Creating a Retail Display

Plopping products on shelves and hoping they will sell themselves is optimistic at best. You need to give them a helping hand to increase sales.

1. Put your best sellers at eye-level.  Eye level is buy level.
2. Price your products in a visible location. If you have to hide the price then you are selling the wrong products.
3. Group your products together so that clients can find products that are perfect for their skin type or condition.
4. Never have complete gaps in your retail display. You can’t sell what you don’t have.
5. Always keep testers on hand for your most popular products. Client love to try before they buy.

Getting your Team Members Motivated to Sell

No-one is going to be enthusiastic when selling if they don’t believe in the product – especially therapists. To overcome this, ensure your team members are personally using the retail range you keep in stock.

When they start working for you, organise a package of testers or samples for them to use at home. The last thing you want is to have them raving to your clients about the products they use from the last salon they worked in.

Use retail as productivity rewards and always allow them to buy at your cost.

Devote time at every team meeting to refresh your team on one or two products from your product range. It’s easy to forget the benefits of every product you stock.

Encourage your team to give each other treatments using your products. Let them feel what the clients feel so they can talk more enthusiastically about the benefits your products deliver.

Product Prescriptions and Promotions

Many suppliers provide salons and spas with product prescription pads to use with clients. If you have them, use them. They are invaluable for making a written recommendation for clients who may not be able to purchase all the products required on the day of the service.

Also, stay up to date with promotional material available from your supplier. Take advantage of their promotional packs and special offers which are often provided at a better-than-normal price. This is a great way to introduce clients to your product range without resorting to useless samples.

If you’re using salon posters, be sure to remove them the minute they begin to look faded or tatty. This doesn’t send a good message to your clients.


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!

Why Retail Sales Can Make or Break Your Salon or Spa

The fairy tale version of owning a salon or spa is that you learn your trade, start your own business, deliver outstanding treatments and gain a large and loyal clientele that will make you both rich and fulfilled.  This is the happy-ever-after version!

The truth, however, is that you learn your trade, start your own business, deliver outstanding treatments and struggle constantly to pay your bills, take home a wage for yourself and make any kind of profit to re-invest into your business.

Things used to be sooo much easier!

The internet and social media didn’t exist and you didn’t have to contend with other salons competing energetically for your clients. On top of this, the beauty industry has also undergone a pretty intense revolution in the past 15 or so years with the introduction of more potent (and more expensive) products along with high-tech equipment now needed to deliver the level of results clients expect to get.  In other words, everything just costs more; and so more revenue needs to be generated to cover those higher costs.

All in all, the fairy tale version is done and dusted and newer, better strategies are now needed to generate more revenue and hopefully bigger profits that will help you to thrive and grow in your business.


And that’s where retail sales stride into the profit equation.


When you sell a service you are, in fact, selling your time.  But time is finite and so it’s important to understand that retailing can actually return 2-3+ times more profit (depending on the markup of your salon or spa retail range) for the same amount of time invested in producing a sale.

Both services and retail have a base cost but the important difference is in the time it takes to generate the sale. As an example, if you provide services for an hour and earn $75, you would make around $37.50 (average) in gross profit. However, if you sell a skincare product for $75 (with 100% markup) you would also make $37.50 in gross profit.

The difference, of course, is the time taken to generate the same amount of profit – 1 hour to deliver services vs 10-15 mins to sell a retail product.

These figures will vary a little from salon to salon due to the cost of labour and products as well as retail mark-ups, but there is absolutely no doubt that retailing is a far superior way to generate gross profits.

So now that you’re convinced you to need to sell more retail, what happens next? Here’s an overview of points to consider.

Recruitment – If retail sales are important to your long-term success (and they are), hire people who are not only good technically but who also have a proven sales record. Many therapists and stylists hate to sell. They are simply not comfortable with the process for a variety of personal reasons, so make sure that you focus on the retail capabilities of your new hires during the recruitment phase.  You will struggle big-time to convert someone who hates selling into even a mediocre retailer.

Training – No-one can sell something they know nothing about. Make sure your team members know your product ranges inside and out. Also, ensure they use these products personally as team members generally sell more successfully if they truly believe in the products they’re selling.

Targets – We all work better when we work towards a target. Keep your sales targets realistic and achievable and help team members to improve the skills they need to achieve them. Once they reach their targets, reward them appropriately.

Product Range – No matter how fantastic a product range is, if it’s too expensive or too cheap for your clients, you will find it hard to sell. Also, look for a range of products that offers your salon or spa a 100% markup and is not readily available online.


In summary, retailing should never be treated lightly in your business as it can literally make or break your business financially. Remember, the profits from retailing can far outweigh the profits from providing services and so it deserves your full attention and planning.