Over the years, I’ve had many salon owners come to me who want to improve their business. That’s great!
What’s not so great, is the fact they want this miraculous improvement to happen all by itself, with little or no additional management time invested into their business.
Let me share something important with you…
Achieving growth and change is not a realistic goal if there’s no extra time set aside to work on your business. It’s simply a delicious dream. Purely wishful thinking on the part of salon owners who’re not facing the reality of owning and operating a business.
But, the good news is this – there is plenty of time available to you during the normal working week to work on your business management, and in this article, I’m going to talk about how to easily find the time you need, to run your business effectively – all without forgoing sleep or leisure time.
Let’s start by breaking the whole process down into Bite-Sized Chunks (my favourite way of tackling big tasks).
BSC #1 – Learn how delegate effectively. There’s definitely a skill involved in delegating well. It’s not simply a matter of giving all the work to others to do, sitting back, and enjoying the down-time.
Effective delegation means matching the right people to the right job so that, with a little bit of training and direction, you can be sure of achieving a great outcome.
It takes a little bit of set-up time to get it right, but once you’ve ensured your delegatees have everything they need to be successful, you will see great benefits and more time for yourself.
Your employees can do much more than a facial, manicure or bikini wax.
They came to you loaded with invaluable life experience and skills that you should tap into. Get to know your employee’s other skills, and you may well find that they can take some time-consuming tasks off your hands.
Be sure to arm them with all the information they need and the desired outcomes of their new tasks, and then monitor their work closely for a short while.
Once they have the hang of what you want from them, all you’ll need to do is a regular check-in with them to see how they’re performing.
BSC #2 – When you don’t have the skills to do a great job, consider outsourcing it. If you’re a terrible, boring and lack-lustre writer, but you know your newsletter needs to be done, or your website content needs updating, consider using the services of a professional copywriter.
Not only will she do a faster, more professional job that should get you superior results, but it also frees up your time to work on your business.
There’s sure to be many jobs that you struggle with that, with enough time invested, you do reasonably well, but could that time have been used more wisely working on other aspects of your business that only you can do?
Whether it’s writing your own copy, keeping your own books or managing your own website, consider whether it might be a great investment in freeing up your time to work on something more important to your business.
BSC #3 – Tighten up your client appointment schedule. If you’re still working with clients each day, learn how to tighten up your appointment schedule, and get rid of wasted chunks of time between clients.
15 mins here and 30 mins can add up to a huge amount of time each week, but on their own, they aren’t long enough periods of time to get stuck into something important, so they end up being simply a huge waste of your precious time.
Sure, you may need to leave a little tidy time between clients, but don’t leave any more than absolutely necessary.
Make sure your team members are working effectively to support one another in tidying up treatment rooms and prepping for incoming clients when they’re not busy themselves. This will often eliminate the need for wasted time between clients.
Tip: If you’re working on 15-minute appointment blocks, try moving to 10 mins instead to reduce time wastage.
BSC #4 – Find at least 2 continuous hours per week for management activities. Once you’ve tightened up your appointment schedule, you’re going to find at least another 2 hours a week to devote to management. (4 x 15 minute breaks a day over 5 days ends up being 5 hrs in wasted time.)
The secret to getting loads done is to have a decent-sized block of uninterrupted, continuous time, so that you can focus on what needs to be done.
Trying to write a newsletter in 8 lots of 15-min time slots is most likely not doable, but doing a newsletter in a continuous 2-hour time-slot most definitely is.
Start by looking for the quietest day of your week – there is always one. Once you know when it is, identify the quietest time during that day.
Great, now mark out 2 hours (or more if it’s available to you) to work on business management issues.
This time to work on your business must be protected at all costs. It can’t be given up for a client appointment or some other activity. It’s when you’re working on growing your business such as creating fresh promotions and marketing ideas, delivering team training or a team meeting, reviewing reports, doing one-on-one meetings with your team members or something else, but whatever you use it for must be management based.
By freeing up larger chunks of more useful time, you’ll achieve more during your day, and find you have to take less work home with you; leaving you free to spend quality time with your family and friends. Now that is something worth getting organised for!
BSC #5 – Write down what needs to be achieved. Set aside 15 mins every morning to write your list.
I recommend using a desk diary where you can list down all the jobs that require action.
Once you have your list, place an A, B or C beside each job – this is important. Your A jobs are those that must receive immediate attention and can’t be left – they are URGENT!
Your B jobs are those that are important, but can wait a few days to receive your attention.
And your C jobs are those that you have to attend to, but can wait a week or more to be actioned without any serious consequences.
Once you have done your prioritisation, don’t get tempted to veer away from your list and start doing jobs that are less important (but sometimes easier or quicker), or worse still, not on your list at all.
BSC #6 – Never lose another great idea. With most desk diaries, there is a section in the back where you can jot down notes. This is the perfect place to store your brilliant ideas before they get forgotten.
Loads of great ideas do get forgotten because they aren’t written down, and I’m sure this has happened to you in the past (it’s certainly happened to me).
Keep your diary with you wherever you are, and when a brilliant idea pops into your brain, grab a pen and write it down.
Once done, you’ll never forget a great idea again, and you can refer to your list whenever you’re looking for inspiration.
Remember, your business needs your attention if it’s to thrive and grow.
It’s a lot like establishing a thriving flower garden. Just planting the seeds won’t result in a beautiful garden. You must tend it, nurture it, fertilise it, water it, weed it, and give it your attention regularly.
This is how you achieve a beautiful flower garden, and exactly the same principles apply to your business.