Monday, September 28, 2009

Your Leadership Edge - Knowing Yourself

How well do you know yourself?

A good sense of self is the foundation for the construction of life, and for being a stable Salon & Spa leader. Yet a strong sense of self is not about selfishness, or self-absorption. A sense of self recognizes not only one's strength, but one's weaknesses. The objective isn't to "be yourself." The challenge is to "be your best self." That requires recognizing and eliminating or improving your vices and weaknesses.

"Before I seek to change or motivate others I must first learn to change and motivate myself. I must first become the change I wish to see in others."

In our rushed and busy life we often neglect taking the time out to strengthen our personal leadership practice. How often do you take time out to focus on the development of yourself and take the time to reflect on the personal impact that you’re making on your employees and customers. AND, the consequences of not strengthening your personal leadership?
Whether you think you know yourself well or not, it’s very helpful to use various techniques and resources to self assess where you are at as a leader, what style you have and what skills or capabilities you need to put priority attention to for improvement.

There are hundreds of surveys available online, or in books, that you can take to help evaluate your Leadership Edge.

Click Here to take survey

Monday, September 21, 2009

To The (Wo)Men Who Will Settle For Nothing Less Than Building a Great Salon or Spa - 7 Essential Keys Needed

1. Leadership: First of all, you need to be a good leader. Great leaders raise the aspirations of their followers; they make people more confident, energetic and enthusiastic. People, who are motivated by great leaders, dream big, make sacrifices and achieve miracles.

“Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” — Peter F. Drucker

2. Vision: You have to create a grand, noble vision which elevates the energy, enthusiasm and self-esteem of everyone in the company while ensuring that everybody sees a benefit in following the vision. This is something that only the leader can do. Only the leader can think about the future and plan for the future each day.

3. Mission: You must have a clear articulated mission of how your company is going to reach its vision. Without this you are sail boat drifting in the wind.

4. Shared Values: A great Salon or Spa practices an enduring value system, and follows the finest system of accountability. Without this, your business can get itself into real trouble.

5. Benchmarking: Your Salon or Spa has to benchmark itself in key areas including service & retail sales, customer service, new customers, client retention and client frequency.

6. Measuring To Improve: A great Salon or Spa continuously measures and improves the following attributes: technical service, customer service, retail sales, new customer acquisition, client retention, and client frequency.

Ana Loiselle, Milady Salon & Spa Business Coach

Thursday, September 17, 2009

10 Hot Skills to Empower Your Salon or Spa Employees

First, ask yourself...
Would you like to be able to empower your employees to be more productive and make decisions on their own?

From superior customer service to a healthy bottom line, empowered Salon & Spa employees will make your business stronger and more successful. The following 10 skills will help you make sure your employees feel empowered:

1.Create an Inspiring Vision & Shared Values - Your Vision & Values are key tactical assets as the foundation of your business. A strong sense of motivation results from a person adopting the values and beliefs of a group. When people have made these values and beliefs their own, they become the source of their own motivation.

2. Lead by Example - There is no point in demanding high standards of you staff but failing to exhibit them yourself. Demonstrate your own skills of teamwork, pro-activity and generosity and others will follow your example.

3. Train, Train and Train - Invest in your employees’ knowledge, skills, and ability. Failure to train is shortsighted. Training will not only enable your employees to handle the work but also contribute to increased self-esteem, which will make employees more comfortable with greater responsibility.

4. Empower - The three general rules for empowering your employees, is appreciation, approval, and attention. Voice your thanks and gratitude to them on every occasion. Praise them for every accomplishment. And pay close attention to them when they talk and want to interact with you. These three behaviors alone will make you a master of human interaction and will greatly empower the people around you

5. Communicate Openly - Ongoing communication is vital so you and your employees are always in sync. Whether it's an upcoming company expansion, installation of new equipment or the introduction of a new product, don't hold back information which will keep everyone informed. People on the job want to be in the know. You must make sure they get the story.

6. Listen - Active listening assures the other party you understand him or her. It is a necessary part of any exchange if you hope to motivate others. Active listening involves feeding back the information you have been given along with the feelings that have been expressed. Not only is it a clarifying act, it shows empathy.

7. Involve Everyone, Use Team Approach - One of the best ways to generate enthusiasm and job satisfaction is to get people to actively participate in creating new goals/projects. The project is usually kicked off by the forming of a committee which sets a goal and takes steps to reach it. The most interesting and attention-getting goals are: reviewing and updating performance standards, increasing retail sale, improving customer relations and arranging employee activities and parties.

8. Coach, Bring Out The Best In Your People - Empowerment alone is not enough. You must train and coach your people to enhance their learning ability and performance. Coaching is the key to unlocking the potential of your people, your organization, and yourself. It increases your effectiveness as a leader. As a coach, you must help your people grow and achieve more by inspiring them, asking effective questions and providing feedback.

9. Encourage Group Decisions - Solicit opinions and ideas. Ask employees to suggest better ways to do jobs and solve problems.

10. Monitor Progress, But Don’t Micromanage - Recognize employees who do a good job. Do this with verbal or written acknowledgement or give rewards. Avoid micromanaging and show confidence in your staff members’ abilities to perform their jobs well.

Ana Loiselle - Business Coach/Trainer

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Who Else Wants To Make Money Not Working Behind The Chair? Part II

In Part I of “Who Else Wants To Make Money Not Working Behind The Chair?” by Ana Loiselle you were introduced to the idea of how to work ON your business. Now, I’m going to take it a step further and give you the how to’s.

If you are a salon owner or a spa owner ask yourself this: How many days each week do you work in your business? Of those days how many of them are you working either behind the chair or in your treatment room with customers? As a business coach for salon and spa owners I see that typically most salon and spa owners work 4 to 5 days each week with customers and account for between 38-45% of their salon or spa’s total sales!

If you are in this scenario right now that means that your business owns you, you don’t own it!

As a salon or spa owner you have to be able to change this trend. You have to be able to dedicate at least two days each week to work on your business as a salon or spa owner instead of being a busy technician.

Here is how to get started:

Analyze your current sales. Come up with what you average each day. For example, if you average $150 a day working 5 days a week you would be bringing in $750 a week, you would need to grow your overall weekly sales by $150 which would bring your sales to $900 a week. However, once you consistently average this you can take one day less and invest it in your business which would then have you bringing in $750 in four days instead of 5 days. This means you have to track your sales and work on your consultation systems increasing add on sales and retail to make this happen. It takes discipline and if you follow through you can make this happen in 30-60 days. As a coach I support salon and spa owners I work with to do this in that time period.

Create your business day schedule. Make a list of all of your tasks that you have to do once a day, once a week and once a month. You can then put them into a set schedule on your business day to maximize your effectiveness.

Move around your business appointments to support your business day. Reschedule distributor visits, team meetings, education, interviewing, one-on-one’s etc to all happen on this day when you can focus your energies to them and you are fresh, relaxed and not rushed.

Be disciplined and follow your schedule. Most salon or spa owners I support through this transition struggle initially with following their set schedule, allowing their team to interrupt them or putting out emergencies or fires. You may even find that you have a natural pull to want to do this because you have been doing this for so long it is what you know. STOP!!! Honor your schedule. On your business day you have to be accessible to your business, not the reactions of others. This will take you retraining your team and yourself so people understand that you spending time as a salon or spa owner working on the business is crucial to the future path!

In closing, take a day or two, make it happen over the next 4-6 months and your business growth and personal growth will astound you! You will feel and be a powerful salon or spa owner!

Steve Gomez, Business Coach/Trainer

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The 10 Quickest Ways To Financial Freedom For Your Salon or Spa

Are you up to your eyeballs in debt?
Do you wonder what your budgets are or should be?
Are you consumed with the thought of….will there be enough money at the end of the month?
Are you living paycheck to paycheck?
Do you want to be financially FREE?

If you answered yes to any of these questions and are ready to do what it takes to get to financial freedom then read on!

Often times we set goals for how we want our businesses to grow and how much money we want the business to produce. Ultimately, unless we are financially responsible in all areas we will not obtain the resources to have the successes we so desire. One begets the other.

Over 70% of all salons in our industry are not profitable! What this tells me is that 70% of all people in our industry are not financially free. The first step to financial freedom is to take responsibility for the fact that you caused the circumstance you are in. The second step is to set parameters. Before you can do that you have to first know where you stand financially.

1) Get committed to financial freedom
2) Get your financial house in order
3) Cancel unnecessary credit cards
4) Pay yourself first! (Invest something! Even if its 3% of income or $5 a day start somewhere!)
5) Consolidate debt
6) Chuck it up! Each month pay as much as you can to reduce debt!
7) Track it! For the next 30 days write down everything you spend your money on.
8) Begin the 24-hour wait game. If you want something now, force yourself to wait 24 hours before you purchase. 9 times out of 10 you’ll wake up and realize that you don’t really need it! This helps to eliminate unnecessary purchases.
9) Reward yourself when you hit milestones!
10) If you need help, get it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Who Else Wants To Make Money Not Working Behind The Chair? Part I

I Do!!

When I first opened up my salon and spa I knew I wanted to own a business that 1)made me money!!! 2) I didn't have to work everyday at and 3) would provide jobs for other people. Well, knowing I wanted it and knowing how to make all that happen were two different things. At some point I realized I was consumed by the business –and maybe the possibility of losing it. This fear compounded by the fact that I had to do every important thing myself, because I didn't have the necessary infrastructure, was driving me to the point of exhaustion.

If this is where you are – you need to change the way you’re looking at your world. You don’t own a business – you own a job!

Then I was introduced to the concept of working “on your business, not in it.” It belongs to Michael Gerber, who wrote about it in his best-selling book The E-Myth Revisited. I’ll touch on the concept here, but I strongly suggest you read the book -you’ll never look at your business the same again!

The ultimate goal of working ON your salon or spa should be to have it function as well as possible without you. In other words, it’s an investment! If you do, you will own something that is valuable to someone else and you the have the option to sell it. If all you own is a job, don’t expect people to line up at your door to buy it.

Your objective should be:

1) To get your salon or spa to the point where it is NOT dependent on you!
2) Develop your employees to do things without your involvement.
3) Figure out how to give your customers what they want, without having to go through you.
4) Have your employees take care of the day-to-day tasks, freeing you to focus on the more strategic issues.
5) Build a model for your business that ensures things get done right at the first point of contact.

Getting your salon or spa to this point is not going to happen overnight; it takes a conscious, sustained effort and time. But, I am here to tell you I did it!!!! I put the concepts into place and grew my business in the dream I had for it and I was ULTIMATELY able to sell it for a nice profit!! Woo-Hoo

YOU CAN DO IT TOO! If you want to make it happen you have to put the processes in place to support it. - Stay tuned for more!!

Ana Loiselle, Milady Business Coach & Trainer