Do You Always Have a Good Friday?

Are You Having a GoodFriday_…Or sometimes does your entire week literally fall apart, messed up by no shows and last minute cancellations?

This can be so frustrating! Even though this can feel like it’s totally out of our control, we do have to step up to the plate and take some responsibility for this.

I don’t believe for a minute that there’s a bank of clients out there trying to disrupt our appointment system and our business. Instead I believe that we have help our clients to remember and respect their appointment bookings with us.

Nowadays we all have extremely busy lives with so much to remember every day, while also juggling work and family commitments. Although our treatments and appointments are a huge focus to our businesses, remembering a facial appointment can easily and unintentionally pale into insignificance in the hectic world of your client. So we need to do all we can to ensure our clients have their appointments with us in the forefront of their thinking by keeping in contact with them to give them gentle reminders.

Historically, most businesses will just sit back and hope and pray that the client will remember an appointment time, which could be anything up to 6 weeks away. Does that now sound rather unrealistic to you? No wonder our clients forget.

Here are some tips to help reduce this problem:

  • With existing clients it is essential to re-book their treatment before they leave you. This not only improves your client retention and appointment planning, but it also means that you can confirm correct details on an appointment card for a client’s safe keeping.
  • If a client telephones to make the booking then you must reiterate all of the details back to the client. Then either text or email a confirmation.
  • You must have contact with clients at least 48 hours before their appointment. This can be a friendly phone call or a quick text or email reminder. Many software programmes now can automate this process for you.
    Staying in touch with salon news and updates also keeps your business in a position of importance to the client.
  • Make sure you have a written cancellation policy in place as a deterrent. Having said that, it can be difficult to impose a cancellation policy unless your services are very unique. You can easily lose a client if they think they have incurred charges on their account, and they will simply move to another salon. My advice would be to give your client the grace of forgetting or missing one appointment, and then if it happens again, simply explain how you love offering treatment but that you would need to take payment in advance. If they refuse, then they would likely re-offend. So let the client go.
  • A pre or part payment booking system is a fantastic way to eliminate no shows. This is easily implemented if you have an online booking system.
  • No Shows can be a thing of the past with consistent action.

I hope you have a fantastic Easter.

Here’s to your great business.

Susan x

Susan Routledge works with salons, spas and clinics to help them to get the most out of their businesses. You can contact Susan here>>

Are You Sabotaging Your Business Fitness?

FIT FORBUSINESSAt 5am this morning my alarm clock went off. I was so comfortable and it was so dark outside, I automatically hit the snooze button. (We all know what that’s like, right?) Fast-forward 9 minutes and I suddenly realised I was supposed to be up for my 6am boot camp in my local park. You see I have a personal goal to lose 6.5 kilos (1 stone) in 4 weeks.

The realisation that I needed to lose weight dawned on me at the weekend when I was delivering my seminar Is your business financially fit, or just a couch potato? I felt like a total frump and I knew that I needed to get myself back into shape.

It would have been so easy to stay in my comfortable bed this morning, especially when I realised that my car windscreen was frozen solid, and it was also starting to snow!

I arrived at the park with 9 others who all looked far better prepared than I. They even looked happy when Matt the instructor explained that today we would be sprinting. Sprinting? This was rapidly turning into my worst nightmare before I even started. I automatically blurted out “I can’t run.” I was then given a head torch, which just made me giggle.

As soon as I turned on my head torch, I started to see the snowy park in a whole new light. It was so beautiful. I still knew I had the sprint challenge ahead, in a park, up a hill.

Matt told me to pace myself and to not be concerned if the others were faster than me. Matt said he only had one expectation of me—to be the best I can be, and to push myself.

I got lapped many times by the others, but every time they came past they would offer me moral support—and LOTS of encouragement. I actually started to enjoy the workout. Now I can’t wait to get better at this. Yes I can run. I have the natural tools; I just haven’t got all of the skills and stamina to do it well yet!

I am now feeling alert and ready for the day ahead, and EXCITED about how the small wins to my fitness are moving me towards my goal.

It’s too easy to make excuses. These excuses have a HUGE impact on every aspect of our personal and business lives.

Here are some of my business boot camp take-aways:

  1. Don’t wait until things are out of control. It’s far easier to tackle problem areas when you first notice them, and before they grow in size. (I’m picturing my big butt here…)
  2. Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t…you’re right. Quote courtesy of Henry Ford. Enough said!
  3. There is no such thing as failure. Sometimes things have to get uncomfortable before we can see our best option.
  4. What negative stories are you telling yourself? Note how often you say a negative belief to yourself. Be careful, these negative thoughts breed!
  5. Surround Yourself with Positivity. Expect people to help you and you will attract the right people to you and your business.
  6. Set Big Goals. A big goal can be scary initially, so break it down into manageable steps to move forward.
  7. Take your Time to get it right. You could hurt your business by trying to copy and keep up with others. Keep stable and build your skills and stamina first.
  8. Be Accountable. Make sure you stay on your path and keep a light shining forwards. Attach time lines to your goals–test and measure your improvements.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Every expert was a beginner once. Learn from people and businesses you admire and respect.
  10. Love where you are, move forwards and Don’t Look Back. There is no point in staying in the past. You cannot change anything that has happened even a few seconds ago. Worry and regret has no impact on your great future. Only forward planning and present positivity can do that.

Next week we will be posting a confidential Help Box so that we can tackle the issues that concern you most.  Start thinking NOW and get your questions ready to post.

Are You Still In Love with your Business?

love your business Susan RoutledgeWell, we have just seen Valentine’s Day come and go and we are now heading full-on into a Leap Year, so it seems an appropriate time to ask the question:

Are you still in love with your business?

Is your business fully living up to your dreams and expectations? I do hope so, however like all long-term relationships, more often than not there are certain things which can start to irritate you, and if you don’t tackle these early on, they can get totally out of control and start to be really detrimental to the relationship you have with your business.

Business life can sometimes feel like a long, rocky and lonely road full of unexpected potholes.

I’ve always thought that business flows very similar to a loving relationship with constant, ever changing expectations.

At the start of any relationship, things go along smoothly. Then the pressure is on for more commitment, so then there’s the investment in diamonds, next step the big wedding, kids follow into the mix, and before you know it your whole life has taken on a new dimension with so many more responsibilities.

A similar scenario plays out within your business. The pressure to grow and evolve can bring in so many new responsibilities, leading to a few sleepless nights!

As business owners we are juggling home-life as well as our business, so no wonder we can end up feeling frazzled and out of control. Sometimes there can be too many expectations from others, which can lead you to believe that to be successful you have to keep growing and expanding your business. I’m here to let you know that it doesn’t have to be like that.

The biggest business isn’t always the best. The business that YOU love and feel comfortable and secure with is always the best.

Here’s why…

  1. It has been proven time and again that it’s easier to make money when you have a business you LOVE.
  2. Growing a business too fast without a proper plan in place can cause you untold stress, and even lead to illness.
  3. It’s so easy to take your eye off the ball during a business growth phase, and things can spiral out of control.
  4. Expanding can often result in far smaller profits for the owner due to higher costs and overheads.

How do I know this?

Well, I have made these costly mistakes myself. I was so driven to be the biggest and best, and somewhere in the mix, I lost my way. I grew and grew my small business, expanding premises 5 times. My team grew to 12 members, and I was the working manager. When it got to that point I realised my business was spiralling out of control at an alarming rate. I was working twice as hard to try and make ends meet, working ridiculous hours with no time to look at anything apart from my rapidly growing overdraft.

Fortunately, 27 years I first started up in business I still have my salon. I managed to undo the mess I had made by expanding too fast. I now have a lovely business with a team of 6 experts. The business is now fully systemized. It functions like a well-oiled machine whether I’m there or not.

I do believe that things happen for a reason. Eight years ago, that tough experience inspired me to stop working as a therapist in my business to learn real-world business strategies so that I would never mess up like that again. And that’s what I did.

Lessons in business

I learnt what makes a business truly successful and profitable. I also learnt how to safely scale a business and turn it into a saleable, profitable asset. It was invaluable learning which I now have the honour of passing on to 100’s of fellow Beauty Entrepreneurs to help them to make their businesses great.

The one thing that always stayed with me throughout my journey is the understanding that business has to be fun. Otherwise why do it?

In my next newsletter we will look at some simple steps you can take to exert full control over your business.

Here’s to your great business.

Susan x

Susan Routledge works with salons, spas and clinics to help them to get the most out of their businesses. You can contact Susan here>>