Believe it or not, the Roaring 20s are here again! It’s not just another new year; it’s the beginning of a new decade. What better time to set the goals that will really launch your business into the future. Creating goals can help you set the direction and keep you on the right path throughout the year.
TIPS FOR SETTING GOALS
Set SMART Goals
Growing your salon business is a long game. That means it’s important to take the time to establish a strategy for experiencing long-term success Your strategy should be made up of a series of goals or achievable steps toward reaching your vision. Think of them as the checkpoints in a race.
By mapping your goals, you’ll be able to check in with your plan and track progress.
Consider the acronym SMART:
You should know where you are aiming, when to achieve it by, and how you will get there.
Keep Your Eye on the Finish Line
Remember that three-legged race you ran on field day? If you and your race partner didn’t establish a plan, you likely fell flat on your faces. It’s an apt metaphor. Each of your goals is a separate participant in the three-legged race to business success. So, consider how they will work together rather than separately.
Aiming for a 10% increase in every area of your business from client retention and pre-booking rates to frequency of visit and average ticket price might seem like a good set of goals. But is that realistic? You will spread yourself too thin trying to achieve growth in every area and fall short in all of your goals.
Instead, start with a couple high-priority objectives. Achieve those first then set your aim on new targets.
CATEGORIZE YOUR GOALS
Grow revenue. Cut costs. Increase profit. Sure, these are the objectives we all want to attain, but they are too vague. Instead, identify at least one key performance indicator (KPI) that will show real growth.
Instead of aiming to “increase revenue,” strive to increase each sales transaction by 5%.
But remember, focus on just a couple achievable goals, not everything all at once. For example, maybe you’ll build your brand and attract 10 new repeat clients in the first quarter. In the second quarter, you take your branding campaign to the next level by launching a loyalty program.
Marketing efforts are notoriously difficult to measure the direct impact an advertising campaign has on the bottom line. As nebulous as it may seem, increasing the recognition and recall of your salon or spa is very important. To do that, coming up with a consistent marketing plan you won’t abandon in a few weeks it so important. The secret to the brand awareness game is consistency.
Brand awareness is useless without also establishing your company reputation. Only through a positive reputation will you build client loyalty and increase referrals. Brand reputation is a little easier to track in the day of customer-generated reviews on platforms like Google Business, Yelp and Facebook. Don’t forget you can also gauge satisfaction the old fashioned way of asking for feedback or collecting surveys.
When setting your goals, resist the urge to focus too much on the number of newsletter subscribers or social media followers you generate. While an increase in these metrics is a good thing, they do not necessarily translate into more customers. Quality is more important than quantity. In other words, it’s better to have 5 loyal clients than have 10 single-visit customers.
Your business will only be as strong as your weakest team member. Their technical skills, the way they treat your guests, their passion—these attributes affect how successful your salon & spa will be. In order to realize growth in client satisfaction, customer retention, employee morale, and revenue, you must invest in your staff.
Providing regular feedback is one way to develop your salon and spa team. Establishing an expectation of and sticking to quarterly employee evaluations makes a huge difference in an employee’s sense of personal responsibility to the company. He or she knows you’re paying attention and taking notes.
We know what you’re thinking; employee turnover is a real concern for most salons & spas. That’s all the more reason not to rush your hiring process. Even if you’re not currently looking to hire, it’s a good idea to have formal job descriptions and interview questions written. This enables you to collect applications on an ongoing basis and build a pipeline of candidates for when a spot becomes available.
Investing in your team means valuing continuing education. There are multiple ways you can encourage your stylists’ growth. Send your team to conferences or, if you can, invite educators to your salon for workshop opportunities. If this simply isn’t in your budget, consider giving your stylists extra paid time off when they attend trade shows on their own dime.
There’s more to running a business than finances, branding, and employees. After all, your salon or spa is an extension of who you are as a person. So, what does your business value? Is 2020 the year to become more environmentally friendly, participate in an apprenticeship program, network with complementary businesses, or get involved in a local charity?
It’s a matter of asking yourself: What do I personally value most? Finding balance between work and “life” is a struggle for most people and even more so for entrepreneurs. Aligning your business goals with your personal value system is an important part of striking that balance.
As you do with the other practical areas of your business, you can establish achievable value-based goals. For example, devote one day each month towards a charitable cause or work one less evening each week to spend it with your kids. By quantifying these goals, it’s more likely you’ll remember the softer side of business ownership.
Help Yourself Meet Your Goals
However you structure your business goals in 2020 and the decade beyond, remember to make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Timely. Speaking of smart, you can take a lot of the guesswork out of measuring your achievement by finding the right software to help increase efficiency and measure productivity. The more support you establish for yourself, the easier it is to achieve your objectives.
Have a great year!