I’m hearing many of you saying it’s hard out there but at the same time, you’re not changing what you do.
I’m going to tell you a story and I want you to decide how familiar it sounds to you. In any way.
You have a therapist that’s been with you for 5 years. She’s been loyal and a good employee all this time. She’s been through a lot with you; from other employee problems, to competition opening up around the corner. Yes, you value her.
You’ve also invested much in her. From product training to other industry related workshops to investing your own time through in-house training and so much more. You may have even flown her to the Beauty Expo or some other beauty-related field trip. All expenses paid.
Now at some point she wants more. She wants to be manager. She’s been with you for so long and she thinks she deserves it. You think it through for a while and you come to the conclusion that you agree. So you promote her. And….. you give her more money.
Sometime later, out of nowhere…..she resigns.
You don’t know the ‘real’ reason why she resigned and the truth is, it doesn’t matter because no matter what the reason is, once an employee has made up her mind to leave, she’s gone. Checked out. Rarely will you be able to change her mind (that’s if you want to). You find yourself feeling disillusioned, ‘used’ and despondent.
After everything you’ve done for her!
You feel you can’t get a break as you’ve just finished dealing with the last employee problem or client complaint. And now you’re seriously understaffed. You feel like you have no choice but to go back into the treatment room, doing about 50 hours plus on the floor. You’re servicing not only your loyal clients but hers as well. And you can’t even pass them on to another therapist or even a new therapist for fear the loyal clients won’t be happy enough and leave.
And this merry-go-round you’ve ridden before (perhaps a number of times before) starts up again.
Long hours. Working ON your business will just have to wait. You’re hardly ever home and family/socialising time…what’s that?
Whilst all this is happening, a huge realisation comes to you. She wasn’t even that productive anyway! Her productivity was at about $80/hour (you need it to be at least $120/hour), her retail was very low, as was her rebooking. You paid her more to be manager and now you realise you couldn’t even afford it as her productivity barely covered her wage and the cost of products she used and sold.
And SHE was managing your business? SHE was the one the rest of the team were supposed to follow?
Any of this resonating with you? No doubt it is.
Let’s get something really clear. Amongst many other things, a manager needs to be primarily concerned with, is securing high, consistent productivity. She’s supposed to notice when a member of her team is not performing to the standards and expectations and she’s supposed to be the one who addresses such concerns through training and tracking progress. She’s supposed to lead by example. Do you honestly think that a manager who is not regarded productive herself is in a position to lead a team to higher productivity? At best, she will lead the team to be as mediocre as she is. All the while YOU’RE bringing in the big dollars, balancing the ‘lack’.
And you know this scenario is not just limited to managers don’t you? Maybe some or all of your therapists are not performing to the level is required.
This is not the way it was supposed to be. This is not what you envisaged when you decided to take that big leap of faith, invested so much of your savings and got into such debt when you opened your own business.
Whether you acknowledged it or not, when you decided to open up your own business, you inadvertently made a career change – from beauty therapist to businesswoman. Right? Why otherwise would you have done it? Surely you wanted more than you were already getting when you were an employee, whether it be more money, more time or both.
So let’s talk about what an entrepreneur does or is supposed to do. An entrepreneur runs a business to profitability. She works ON her business and makes sure that productivity is high, so that the initial financial investment and time sacrifices she made were all worthwhile. But that doesn’t happen to all beauty-therapists-turned-salon-owners, does it?
Why? Because the focus is all wrong. Problems and fears take over your every thought and action and you just can’t seem to get off the merry-go-round.
But I want to tell you that you can. How? By changing your focus, your mindset and how you operate. You need to go back to your original ‘why’. Why did you open your own business? Whatever YOUR ‘why’ was, it will somehow undoubtedly relate to lifestyle; having more time and financial freedom. But what happened instead? You have less money, you’ve never worked as hard and as long for it, and time, let alone freedom completely, eludes you.
Do you know what an entrepreneur is? An entrepreneur is defined as ‘a person who sets up a business, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit’. THAT’S YOU! You’re an entrepreneur…except you’re still hoping! It’s time to say it’s enough. Enough of ‘hoping’ and more ‘happening’, don’t you think?
Now is the time to change your focus, your mindset and the way you operate. You have to say ‘Now is my time!’
In our industry, this decade is one of both conflicting challenges and opportunities. On one hand it’s never been harder to make it, whilst at the same time so many opportunities if taken and ‘worked’, highlight great commercial opportunity.
On one hand, there is greater competition. Not the salon down the road. That’s the least of your worries. That’s very yesterday. Today, you have to deal with the internet, both retail (that’s cheap skincare sites) and treatment (others prostituting their treatments online or coupon sites). Today, you have to deal with the proliferation of specialist nail salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, massage salons, permanent hair removal salons. All doing what you do, but cheaper. And if this wasn’t enough, the cosmetic doctors have also entered the market with their in-house skin services.
Your piece of the pie is getting smaller and smaller.
Ok so those are the challenges. How about the opportunities? NOW you have cosmeceuticals and amazing equipment that transforms clients’ skin. With today’s skincare technology, you can take 10 years from someone’s face or you can effectively clear acne completely. You can even address pitted scarring to just name a few of the amazing things you can do. And this is what women and men are willing to pay for. Change in their skin. Results in their skin. Looking younger. Looking clearer. Looking fabulous.
Now if that isn’t enough, how about information technology? With what we have available in terms of social media, communication through websites, blogs, emails, promoting and ‘working’ your business has never been easier or more affordable. Your business can be so much more visible, reach so many more people for little if any at all, cost. No longer do you have to invest in that expensive Yellow Pages ad, or the local paper ad or local letter box dropping or all of the money you used to spend on promoting your business.
Personally, I think the opportunities far outweigh the challenges.
The question now is…are you dealing with your challenges intelligently and taking full advantage of your opportunities?
To do so, you have tap into the entrepreneur/businesswoman in you. It’s not as hard as you may think. Deciding to go from employee to employer was the first step. That took courage, determination and ambition. Now you just must take it up another level.
In most cases, becoming an entrepreneur in the beauty industry will be a two-stage transition. First you need to effectively move yourself from being a hands-on therapist to a full-time manager where you manage and lead your team (and your business) daily to strong productivity, high profitability and a salon with a reputation for having results-driven and passionate therapists who deliver extraordinary service and remarkable results, consistently.
How do you do that? In one word. DUPLICATE. If you are a productive therapist who fully services her clients, retails to them, rebooks them and follows them up to receive great skin outcomes, you need to duplicate what you do so well. You need to train your therapists to be as good as you and even better than you! Think of this for a minute. If you are so good that you produce $1,000 a day, that’s $5,000 a week over a 5-day week. Right? What if you didn’t work hands on for a single hour and spent your days running your business like an entrepreneur and training 5 therapists to produce $1,000 day? That would make it 5 therapists x $1,000 a day x 5 days which will now bring you $25,000 a week instead of your original $5,000. What if you had 10 therapists? You’d be bringing $50,000 a week. Now doesn’t that sound a little cleverer?
Train ‘you’ in to your therapists. Instead of doing the treatments on clients, spend your time training your therapists to do exactly what you do. Let THEM feel your hands, your passion and learn to mimic what you do. THAT IS WHAT YOUR TIME SHOULD BE SPENT ON. It can be done, and it has been done by many.
And I don’t want you to think about investing so much time in your therapists and they leave you. Think instead, what if you don’t spend so much time in your therapists and they stay? Way worse. Leaving is a fact of life. But you want whoever is with you to be an extraordinary producer for as long as possible. And that won’t happen unless you train them to be extraordinary. Better an extraordinary therapist for one year, than a mediocre, unproductive therapist for 5 years. Makes sense?
Business-wise, you’re going to DUPLICATE effective business practices. You’re going to systemise your business. Everything in your business needs to be systemised and it all needs to be documented in your Policies and Procedures Manual. Not only does it serve as your salon bible of how to do things but it serves as an accountability and measuring tool to use with your team. You should have a policies and procedures manual in your staff room with ragged pages from being used so often.
You need to learn the business principles of strong leadership and productivity. You need to stop investing in unproductive people and start investing in your own education which will lead to investing in PRODUCTIVE people.
Once you’ve learned how to be an effective, productive and profitable manager, you’ll be able to train THAT in to another person who will be given the tools and skillsets required to effectively manage your business on a day-to-day basis. And YOU, will be the entrepreneur who spends her time, working ON her business solely strategically, looking at growth opportunities and actually enjoying the lifestyle, time and money that you deserve.
The lifestyle you intended right from the beginning.
Things have to change. You know that. And for things to change you need to learn. You need to be hungry for knowledge which will feed your hunger for success and financial security and financial freedom.
Make the decision that now is your time!
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