SPRING INTO ACTION
Spring is in the air and there’s no better time to make your business bloom. Not sure where to start? VITALITY’s seven-point plan will leave you feeing inspired and ready for a spruce up…
1. BUFF UP YOUR BUSINESS.
Every business benefits from an annual review. If you don’t do one, start now. Spring is an even better time of year than New Year. Tax returns are complete and you’ve settled into the year which makes it the perfect season to assess if you’re making the most of your time, skills and the opportunities available to you.
Start by analysing the past year and what has worked for you and your business and what hasn’t. Ask yourself what you can do better, ditch the things that have been jarring and consider taking a fresh approach to your to-do list.
Why not review your opening times? Consider opening earlier to catch the early worms, or closing later to attract the night owls. Or introduce a loyalty card scheme, you could offer a free treatment or blow-dry to clients to keep them coming back time and again.
Do clients keep requesting treatments or services you don’t offer? Consider adding them to your menu.
It can help to look at your salon or business as if you were your own client. Sit where a client would sit and look at the salon through their eyes and you’ll often spot something that needs changing.
2. DUST OFF YOUR WEB.
Your website is your shop window to the world and often the first point of contact with a prospective client. How long is it since you last updated it? Are any links broken? Is your price list current, contact details easy to find, and is it easy to navigate? More and more people are searching the web on their phones, so check if your website mobile friendly too - if not you could be missing out on attracting new clients. And check your competitor’s websites and see what they’re doing differently to you.
It’s also worth looking into ways of improving your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as well. These are things like Keywords that Google uses to rank how useful your website is to consumers searching for specific terms like ‘hair treatment’, ‘special offers’ and ‘hair cuts’.
The same rules apply to social media. If you’ve not set up a Facebook page or an Instagram account, now is the time. With a little effort you can make a big impact. Just make sure you update it regularly or it could do you more harm than good.
Also think about how you use the web to run your business. What about using a cloud system so you can access your documents anywhere and on any device? It makes it easier to manage your business anytime, anywhere and protects your files from being wiped giving you storage, security and flexibility.
Finally, take time to organise your inbox. Use folders to sort your emails into things that need sorting now, things that can wait, and archive the rest. Unsubscribe from automated emails you no longer want or need to minimise clutter.
3. ORGANISE YOUR EQUIPMENT.
It’s always wise carrying out Portable Appliance testing (PAT) on your electrical equipment. Although there’s no legal requirement to do this annually, any electrical equipment that has the potential for injury should always be maintained in a safe condition and the more use it gets, the more often it should be checked. If it’s past it’s peak, upgrade or replace it – you’ll reap the rewards in the long run.
As well as electrical equipment look to the little things. Check hairbrushes, nail files and towels are all in ship shape. Clients and customers notice when these things slip and it might prompt them to look elsewhere.
Be mindful that hair and beauty is a fast paced industry so if you’ve been using the same products for a long time, block out some time to investigate what’s new on the market. Are there alternative brands you should be speaking to? What products are your clients talking about? You might find something more effective just from asking regulars a few questions.
Finally, check use by dates on all the products you do use and get rid of old stock. Replenish it with this season’s new trendsetting colours and products.
4. SORT OUT YOUR STAFF.
Your staff are your business’s ambassadors, the face of your salon, and the client’s point of reference. Keep them motivated with regular reviews – this is a great time of year to begin a seasonal debriefing. It will provide the perfect opportunity to acknowledge their good work. Also think about incentives. If you don’t already, consider giving them targets to meet and rewards when they do. Look at refreshing their skills and your own and check out the latest training courses to update them.
Alongside your clients, staff are invaluable at giving a different perspective on the business and may have ideas what you could do to improve both salon and service. Hold brainstorming sessions with them to aid teambuilding and make them feel more involved.
With such an important role, it’s equally important that you evaluate whether they are working for you. Are you getting value for money? Are they a good fit with the team? If not, don’t be afraid to make changes.
5. POLISH YOUR BUSINESS PLAN.
A business plan is for life, not just for starting a business. You might have made one when you launched your business, but have you looked at it since? Ask yourself if your ideas changed? Have your goals altered? Your ambitions grown? Update your business plan to fit your new aims and ends, and research new possibilities. Don’t be afraid of changing your business plan if it no longer works for you.
6. SCRUB DOWN THE SALON.
Yes, actually scrub your salon. The number one concern for most clients is that a salon is clean, hygienic and safe but the hair and beauty industry can be a dirty business. So it’s time to literally spring clean. Even in the cleanest of salons there are areas that need an extra TLC now and again, nooks and crannies that get forgotten, areas overlooked and underused so get scrubbing.
Are you merchandising your products in the best way? Is there enough room at the work stations for your staff’s tools and your clients phone, drink and magazine? Decluttering not only frees up space but increases your ability to focus.
7. NEW SEASON MAKEOVER.
When was the last time you changed the look of your salon? If you don’t have the budget for a full redecoration, a splash of paint in a contemporary colour will give your salon a quick refresh and change how it looks instantly. Even new cushions, art work, or fresh flowers can create a different feel.
Rearranging salon furniture increases energy, efficiency and effectiveness so how about moving it around to make your salon feel fresh and new, particularly to your regular clients. Play at being your own guest again and sit in the reception area to see if it’s warm and inviting. And don’t forget to replace those tired, old magazines with the latest issue – small tweaks, huge impact!