The new year’s looming large. Are you ready for it? Have you set your goals? Got all your ducks in a row ready to create an amazing year for you, your team and your clients?
If you’re not feeling organised and ready to take control of the new year from day one, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
Did you ever make a new year resolution and give-up before January ended? I can see most of you nodding. If you’re not planning for next year now, then you’re effectively surrendering before the year even begins.
So, let’s do this – create a cracker of a plan to ensure your new year goes off with a bang. This time next year, when December comes crawling around, you’ll already be way ahead of the game and have less to worry about and more time to party.
To get started, think about what you REALLY want from your business. I mean what you REALLY, REALLY want. Think BIG ROCKS. The truly amazing future you hope for. Just empty the contents of your head onto a page.
This is where entrepreneurs begin – with a BIG ROCKS game plan focused on the next 12 months.
Next, you break it down into steps and actions. This is my favourite part of the entrepreneur journey for hair and beauty businesses. Why? Because although your journey is very specific to your own salon, clinic or spa, there are common areas to focus on to get your planning robust and workable.
And these common areas are learnable. Let me share them with you.
1. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
You can stare at your salon numbers for hours and learn nothing. But when you know what to look for, the magic starts to happen. It’s all around knowing what questions you need your numbers to answer.
Do I know my cash flow like the back of my hand? Yes, it’s boring … but it’s where healthy profits are lurking waiting to be unlocked.
How often do you look at your figures?
You should know intimately what money is coming in and what money is going out of your business. When you know your salon break even budget, you can schedule next year’s actions around it.
Do you read and understand your profit and loss reports? Do you compare this month to same month last year?
Review what’s different and what’s not. Look for patterns and troubleshoot highs and lows.
Do you use benchmarking and forecasting to help create a profitable future for your salon? Do you monitor your discounts?
If so, when was the last time you printed this report out from your computer system?
Each of these reports is a piece in the bigger puzzle. They help identify where your numbers need to change to bring you the cash you deserve.
2. TAKE YOUR TEAM TO HEART
Because everyone on your team IS at the heart of your business. Hear them, develop them, show them the love they deserve and you’ll get it back in spades. Start with these action areas to make next year the year you create an incredible team.
- Introduce individual performance reviews where you can evaluate job roles and work efficiency, reset targets and set clear goals for the upcoming year. Your team will know what to expect, what to look forward to and how to focus their efforts.
- Create a team education plan to get everyone trained up to the new level.
- Enable your team to grow and develop their skills within their position. Encourage them and show them appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Share with them their potential career options within your salon – open their eyes to the development opportunities you’re planning to offer.
- Introduce weekly one-on-one meetings with each of your team. Remember: communicating often and openly is the cornerstone for building a workplace culture where people can thrive, grow and be happy.
3. SCHEDULE LIKE A BOSS
Forecast and future-proof your business by chunking goals from your BIG ROCKS for the year into monthly, then weekly tasks, then down to “top three” daily jobs to get it done. Breaking it down into bite-sized pieces makes it do-able. Schedule weekly, non-negotiable tasks into your diary. Don’t let anything or anyone get in your way of getting these done:
- Refining your marketing calendar and what’s coming up
- managing social media
- tracking promotion results
- weekly team meetings
- weekly individual one-on-one meetings
This will keep you consistent in your business and help you implement high-productivity habits from week one of the new year
4. FORECAST LIKE A FUTURIST
Look into the future – forecast the year ahead to see more clearly where you need to make changes, employ more team members or market your salon for profit.
It’s all in the planning and seeing your future success through the lens of your BIG ROCKS. Get it right at the start of the year, then follow it through. Even if you’ve been in business for years, take the time to take a deep breath and re-set your salon for success.
5. MAKE MARKETING MATTER
When was the last time you took a hard look at your marketing? Do you even have a marketing plan? Perhaps you’re struggling to know where to start.
As an entrepreneur, you have so many marketing decisions to make. Some will be no-brainers while others will take more evaluation. Start with understanding your target market, then frame promotions around their needs. Get clarity for your plan by asking yourself these questions:
- What products will we be promoting?
- What does our message look like?
- Which platforms are we advertising on?
- Do we have any event dates booked?
- Have I briefed my team about upcoming promotions and events?
- Are we tracking each promotion so we know what works and what doesn’t?
Now you have a way forward, a framework to make next year your best ever. So get planning like your future depends on it – because it does!