Are You Killing Your Salon Cash-Flow?

Imagine someone gave you £30,000 to spend in your business. No strings attached.

Being An Owner Of A Salon – What would you do?

I bet you’re thinking Wow; I would love that. I could buy that extra piece of equipment, put it towards a refurb, take on extra staff…

But would it really make a difference to your long -term cash flow?

Sadly, statistics show that it wouldn’t.

Shockingly, there is over a 90% chance that you would end up in the same financial situation as you started within less than a year!!

That is unless you were to change both your mindset around money and also restructure your business systems to accommodate the new cash injection.

Salon owners often tell me that they are working so hard, and feel like they have totally exhausted every idea to get more money in the bank, and then when they get cash, it is gone again in a flash.

There are two things that have magnified as a result of their situation.

These are their feelings about lack of money and also how they are handling their business in general by running on low self-esteem, even though on the surface they seem fine.

So what can you do?

Firstly, realise that there is nothing wrong with either you, or your business.

I firmly believe that everything in life happens for a reason and that as salon owners, we have to accept 100% responsibly for our current situation.

How we handle the situation in our head is the difference between great results or continued mediocracy.

Mindset is such a huge topic, but simply said, you must become very aware of your internal and external dialogue.

It has been proven over and over again, that if you speak in terms of lack and not enough-ness, that it will continue to be your reality.

How often are you talking about how bad things are? talking about what is going wrong around you? jealous that others have what you want?…then STOP!!

Instead, consciously look at what you can learn from where you are now, and feel truly grateful for all you have no matter how big or small.

We take so much for granted and don’t give ourselves credit for how far we have come, or all that we have.

Secondly, Take time to sit quietly and start to forge a plan of action to get you to where you want to be, and regularly revel in your mind at what your next success and milestone will look like.

If £30,000 appeals to you, then what would it take for you to get that next extra £30,000 in the bank, and then grow it further?

It may seem like a distant dream currently, but the more you can visualise it, then the more likely it will become your reality.

Make sure you focus on getting the result and not the current lack of not having it. It does take a lot of focus to steer away from negative thoughts to start with, but it does get easier with time.

Thirdly, Write down your ideas, and most importantly the reasons why they are important. What systems and processes do you need to implement or change to help aid your goal into reality?

List these out in a notebook so you can clearly see the steps you need to take.

List who’s help you need to enlist to help you achieve your goal. The clearer you are on your vision, then the easier it is to get others on board with your future plans.

Keep your journal close to you at all times, and stay focused by re-reading your ideas regularly.

I can always remember writing goals such as winning Professional Beauty Salon of the year, dreaming of speaking in Dubai and getting a diamond ring that I literally had a photo of for 10 years before manifesting it. All came true, even though they seemed outrageous dreams to start with.

We are always taught that seeing is believing, but it is strongly proven to be the other way around.

If you can believe it, then you will see it, and all by keeping firm focus on the result, rather than lack of it.

I love the fact that every business worldwide, started with an idea in a business owners head.

Everyone has started with that first ever customer and a vision for the future.

It’s what happens from there that defines the difference of your success, and that comes solely down to YOU, so get planning and dreaming now!!

Here’s to your great business success.

Susan x

For a whole reference library of different ways to improve your profits and salon success, grab a 2-week trial of Beauty Directors Club for just £1 here.

Salon Accounting Made Easy!

What Figures Should You Be Looking At?

Salon Accountancy - What Figures Should You Be Looking At?In business, knowing your figures is an absolute necessity. I don’t think that’s a particularly bold thing to say, but, as I’ve learnt during my time as a consultant, you would be surprised at how many salon and clinic owners just do not have a handle on their figures!!

Now, admittedly, I doubt any of us got into the beauty industry so we could sit and pour over our business figures all day every day, that’s what our accountants are for.. Right?

Well, that’s both true and untrue. We must be accountable ourselves too. If you don’t know what you’re operating at, and what you’re trying to achieve, how will you ever get there? However, we should also have an accountant handling and overseeing our figures for us. How often have you set time aside to do your accounting, only to spend those hours doing anything but your accounting?

So, if you shouldn’t be doing all your accounting yourself, what figures should you actually be looking at?

Recently, I interviewed Chris Cheeney, a dedicated salon accountant with experience of doing accounting for his own salon and many others. I asked him this question and here’s what he had to say:

Chris Cheeney - CDC Accounting

Dedicated salon accountant Chris Cheeney

“…It’s not all about turnover… lots of people I speak to say ‘well I want to turnover £1 million.’ And I just say ‘why?’ and they don’t usually have an answer…

I very often do an exercise with them, I say ‘would you like to have £50,000 profit in your business?’  so, I say ‘let’s see how easy it is to make £50,000 profit’. I ask them to get a calculator and put in £50,000 and divide that by 5%… they need to generate £1 million for them to hit a £50,000 profit and that figure really scares people.

When I flip it around and say ‘do that same sum, £50,000 divided by 20%’ they only need £250,000 in revenue which is far more achievable”

You can watch the full interview HERE on my YouTube channel

This was the first video of a fantastic video series that I did with Chris, tackling the common questions that many salon and clinic owners have when it comes to their accounting.

Here are the 5 Other topics we cover

1 – What is My Business Worth?

2 – How Much Do I Need to Make?

3 – How Often Should I Look at My Figures?

4 – What Can I Do? What Should My Accountant Do?

5 – What Do I Do if I Get in a Pickle?

If you want to watch the full series of videos you can find out how to do so on this page

Chris was also kind enough to do this month’s business bundle on beauty directors club, in which he tackled how you can effectively double your profits within twelve months in just a few simple steps by implementing small manageable changes.

It builds on absolutely everything that is covered in this series and includes plenty of tools and worksheets to help you along the way.

You can sign up for Beauty Directors Club today for 14 days for just £1

Heres to your business success!

Susan x

Are You Cashing In On Cupid?

Christmas is over for another year; you’re successfully managing a steady stream of regular appointments through January and you’ve planned for the next 12 months. If you have, then well done! But don’t for one second think it’s time to take your foot off the gas.

The next big event on the horizon for us is St. Valentine’s Day. It creeps up fast at the start of the year and, if you’re not on the ball, the best of the business will pass you by on its way to the florist round the corner. It’s essential to start planning your campaign at least a month in advance – which means Right Now.

It’s absolutely worth the effort. In 2012, Brits spent £880 million on Valentine’s Day. A share of that sounds nice, right? Well that’s nothing. Just three years later, that more than doubled, to a staggering £1.9 billion.

Now have I got your attention?

Get the guy

Promoting your business to be the first place everyone thinks of, especially guys is key to your success. Make yourself highly visible with posters and striking window displays. Produce flyers, loaded with Valentine’s gift ideas and not-so-subtle hints about vouchers, so that your clients can take them home to ‘accidentally’ leave on the coffee table.

Use your social media accounts to full effect, targeting local men through Facebook and Twitter. Give them no excuse to forget about you – your physical marketing needs to be in place by February 1st at the latest.

Your business is in such a strong position to take advantage of the enormous sales opportunity St. Valentine’s Day presents. Think about it: there are all those gorgeously packaged, scented and indulgent products on your shelves. Which of them would go well together as a special, romantic gift set? Perhaps you can repackage luxury products left over from Christmas.

It’s a wrap

Always be sure to attractively gift wrap presents in paper, ribbons and bows to boost their appeal even further. Add a little something extra by including product samples too, wrapping them as part of the set. Gift vouchers may only be flat pieces of paper or plastic but you can still give them added appeal by wrapping them nicely.

In fact, gift wrapping is such a critical part of your sales pitch that you should advertise the service on all your promotional materials. The easier you make it for customers to offer their loved ones something immediately beautiful, the better your chances of wooing them in to buy.

Romance for two

Don’t neglect treatments either. The average man spent nearly £55 for St. Valentine’s Day in 2015. You can tempt them to be that tiny bit more generous if you give them good reason.

What are your bestselling treatments? Make it obvious, even for the uninitiated new visitor. Shout about your wonderful couples’ packages. What could be more romantic than sharing a pampering visit with a partner? Especially if you lure loved-up visitors with a free glass of fizz as part of the package.

While I’ve focused mostly on men as gift givers, remember that they need a treat sometimes too, so do try to think up his and hers ideas and displays. It’s also a terrific way of getting new clients through the door – men’s grooming is officially one of the big boom markets of the decade!

Here’s to your great business this St. Valentine’s!

Susan. x

Know what your salon needs? Guess again.

I know it’s there somewhere. Where have you hidden it?

what-your-salon-needs-1I bet, buried in your salon, there’s a piece of equipment you purchased thinking it would revolutionise the way you do business. That would lead to complete strangers queuing in the street to try it out.

You probably bought it with the lure of it being The Next Big Thing at a very special price.

But instead, it’s sat in a corner, gathering dust. The most expensive pot plant stand you ever bought.

Don’t worry, we’ve all done it! My question is, what have you learned from it?

Do your research

Bringing in new equipment can dramatically upset the dynamics of a business. It might not even address the right demographic for you. If your market is mainly nails and lashes, for example, do you know for sure that the latest anti-ageing technology is attractive to your current customer base? And does your salon’s present image automatically appeal to a new anti-ageing market?

Maybe. Maybe not. But unless you ask, you’ll never find out. Who do you ask? Your clients, of course. There’s no one better placed to tell you exactly what they want. Make sure you ask them all and not just the ones who you know will give you the answers you want to hear.

So often it seems we salon owners are afraid of honest feedback from our customers. But there really is no other way to hear the truth. It’s absolutely essential to first understand your target market and then address their needs.

Create a client avatar

Customer avatars, sometimes called buyer personas, are a seriously helpful way to get to know your clients. Creating an avatar involves finding out various characteristics of your top clients – their background, what they love, who influences them, what challenges them, their ambitions, how they want to interact with you and so on – and collecting them together into one, “average” customer.

That might seem a lot of detail, but the more information you gather, the better you can predict what your average customer wants and how they’ll behave.

Getting the data you need isn’t as tough as it sounds. You can simply ask the right questions during natural conversation or put together some simple surveys to gather feedback. Your regular customers will usually be delighted to help you improve your service to them.

No more guessing games

Once you have your avatar and start asking your clients for their input, you can put a stop to all your guesswork. How can you know if your idea will boost your business if you don’t know who you’re targeting and what drives them?

Guessing can cost you a fortune.
Take my own salon as an example of how easy it is to waste money this way:

Bored of having looked at the same design for a while, I set out to revamp our reception area with an exciting new décor. I was all ready to go until I paused, quizzed our loyal customers and discovered they much preferred our current look and image. What an expensive, pointless upheaval that saved!

So don’t drive customers away by making uninformed judgements based on nothing but your own guesswork – get asking!

Not only will you learn the best ways to invest in your business but, by engaging your clients with such a genuine, honest approach, you’ll make them feel an important part of the decision-making process, increasing their loyalty into the bargain.

It’s a real win-win!

Here’s to your great business in 2017!

Susan x

Is Your Lipstick Making You Ill?

At this time of year everyone seems to be going down with repeated coughs and colds and it doesn’t seem long when you get rid of one, before you have another sore throat, and it all starts again. You hear people repeatedly say things like ‘Don’t breathe on me…I don’t want it’ or blame being stuck in stuffy environments surrounded by sniffling and sneezing people as the cause.

Have you ever thought that the person most likely re-infecting you is yourself? Think about it. You wouldn’t blow your nose and then smear the contents on your lips.. Yuk! Or drink from a glass of a person totally laden with cold…. because you would say ‘ You were asking for trouble’. Yet you repeatedly re-use a lipstick that is in direct contact with previously bacteria-laden lips.

One of the first things you tend to do to make yourself look a wee bit more presentable, even though you are feeling rubbish is to put a’ bit of good old lippy on’ to make you feel better…. And I do mean old in some cases!

How old is your Lipstick?

How many times has it come in contact with your Lips in it’s lifetime ? The composition of lipstick and lipgloss makes a huge breeding ground for bacteria due to it being dewy and moist. Therefore it is advisable to replace your lipstick regularly and most importantly, discard your old ones.

The fashion and cosmetic industry are constantly changing trends to encourage you to have the latest shade for the newest look. This of course increases sales for the cosmetic companies. But quite often women economise and put that winter look lipstick away, often laden in bacteria until next year. And there it sits in your dressing room drawer for months on end until called back into service.

If this sounds familiar then please ditch those old lipsticks. If you love the lip colour so much and you think it might get discontinued, then go and buy a new one and put that new sealed sterile one away until next year.

By the way this also applies MASSIVELY to lip balms too. When you do get coughs and colds you nearly always get dry chapped lips as a consequence, and you reach for the lip balm. Please remember all of these creamy comforters for cracked lips are a huge breeding ground for bacteria too, and even worse many get shared with friends and family. Don’t put yourself at risk. Please check out what you are exposing yourself to.

So here’s to a more healthy you!

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