The 5 critical priorities for salons to focus on right now
It’s that last sprint to the end of the year. But how do we end off a year that has been unprecedented and completely thrown us off our tracks and strategies?
It is during times like this that owners and managers start panicking, and literally just surviving each day. The more organised and planned you are, the better the output. So, let’s look at five critical priorities that each salon/ spa owner and manager should concentrate on.
1. Know and measure your numbers daily
This means that every morning your first task to complete is your Daily Business Analysis sheet – going through the numbers before you do anything else.
Some of the numbers you should know daily include: number of clients through the door on that day; services revenue; retail revenue; retail ratio; average docket value per client; vouchers sold; unsold hours; training hours; promotions sold.
There is power in information and especially this type of information gives you a holistic overview of the day before and what the focus for the following day or days should be, when you measure where you are according to the goals/ targets set.
2. Engage with your staff like never before
The reality is that we are dealing with a mentally fragile workforce. It is difficult to know exactly what is going in each of your staff members' minds, so besides implementing a simple wellness programme, as a manager you need to focus on three key areas with your team.
These are daily huddles, daily revenue planners and incentives and competitions, whether daily or weekly or monthly.
The more focus, attention, love and direction you give your team, the better their output. Consistency is crucial here; there is no point implementing this routine and then one day is missed here and there, as that gives mixed messages to staff, which does not result in efficiency.
3. Invest in growth
Yes – now is the right time to invest in growth, but in the right way. The growth you invest in at the moment needs to generate revenue, so I’m not referring to investing in a salon/spa makeover with new interiors and gorgeous light fittings. That can wait.
Clients want two things: results and an experience. Invest in something where those two outcomes are the main outcomes and your investment will fly.
An example of such an investment is a new brand with treatments that create memories for clients, not just efficacy, but actual memories and experiences.
I encourage local support right now to help local brands survive and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Look beyond the product itself too, look into marketing support, training, incentive partnering for your staff and ensure the brand resonates with your business.
There are some aesthetic-like treatments that are trending hugely right now that are entry level and can be done by a therapist without doctor supervision, such as dermaplaning, microneedling, and certain types of skin peeling.
The latest technology that is making massive consumer noise right now is hydro-dermabrasion, with instant results and zero downtime. Investigate investing in these technologies, as this is what clients want and the investment is relatively low with excellent profit and quick return on investment.
4. Ask your clients what they want
When did you last send out a survey? I am sure your last survey was about hygiene and sanitation protocols and to hear what services your clients most needed when coming out of lockdown.
Well, it’s time to survey again and the title of the survey is: ‘Investing in growth – we value your opinion’.
Here are a few tips: don’t ask clients what they want because you will get hundreds of different opinions. You, as the owner, should first allocate spend to the investment, then present the options that fall within that category of spend and decide as a team which ones are the top three.
Only then do you put the survey out to your clients, asking which of the three they would most be interested in and, in that way, you get a streamlined decision.
Create two or three permanent packages to cater for your ‘maintenance’ clients and ask them what they think about those packages, as you may find that this encourages them to buy a monthly package.
5. What do your online efforts look like?
Have your online efforts slowed down? If yes, that is because you as the owner or manager have allowed them to slow down.
I want to take you back to the first lockdown, to the time when you would do anything to get revenue and many of you did pivot your businesses, doing online orders and deliveries to clients and setting up an online shop.
Consumer behaviours are shifting, and we have another 12 to 18 months of this ahead of us as the world changes and economies recover.
One consumer behaviour to have shifted already (and will continue to do so) is online buying. So, will you get a piece of that online revenue? The decision is yours. Don’t relax your online efforts, in fact if you are in a growth mindset, you will put huge energy here as this is a revenue stream that does not need the skill of the therapist, stylist or nail technician, but rather just needs to offer a great shopping experience with efficient convenience.
As we begin to emerge out of this crisis, the ability of the manager to focus on what is critical and not get caught up in the daily little bits of time-wasters is more important than ever, as this will determine how quickly your business recovers.
Based in South Africa, Marisa Dimitriadis is the founder of The Spa Consultants and co-founder of The Spa Professionals Guild, a training network for the industry. Contct her at firstname.lastname@example.org