Management Consultant Peter Drucker once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” I’d argue that many important aspects of your salon business – such as culture, morale and energy – are manageable, yet can’t readily be nailed down as data in spreadsheets. But when it comes to salon targets, Peter Ducker was on the money: without measurement, they’re worthless. Their potential magic is lost, writes Lisa Conway.
At a recent hair and beauty trade show, I presented to 15 salon owners. What a fabulous group they were! They’d flown in from around the country and were all enthusiastic and ready to learn. Many I’d call ‘seasoned’ business operators.
I opened by asking a couple of questions to gauge where I should pitch the learning level. Not one of them could tell me their salon’s average dollar sale for the previous week let alone tell me who on their team was meeting targets most often. That blows my mind! I felt for them because they’ve never been taught. How would they know how fundamental it is to business success to know your figures?
It’s easy for hairdressers or beauty consultants – and most salon owners were once one or the other – to say they don’t get numbers, that they’re creative and intuitive, rather than savvy about maths.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not about maths, it’s about money. Your business is ALL about money because that’s what makes your salon sustainable. Without money you can’t rent your premises, pay your team or order in your product stock. You can’t do what you do without the money, so don’t tell me it doesn’t matter.
You need to get comfortable with talking about money. To me, money is like sex – we’re all involved in it at some level, so why the hell is it so disconcerting to have a conversation about?
If you’re in the dark about your salon figures then everyone on your team is, too. Do you think you can simply set a target, tell your team about it, then let it sort itself out? Of course, not. A target gives you and your team a place to aim, an incentive, a motivator and a potential reward. If you (or they) don’t know how close the target is, how can they possibly give it a good shot? How will you know when they get there, how fast they got there or the cost-return ratio of the target unless you measure it along the way?
Targets, especially those related to profit sharing, are complex and customised to each team member. You can’t have a one-sizefits all target; you need to be able to tailor each target to suit each team member. Most targets are incremental, building on strengths of your team to grow new skills as they develop.
You might think you can keep track of your various targets, evaluate them in your head and monitor who’s doing what. Or that you can jot down odd notes on the calendar or in the margins of your appointment book. Either way, I know better. And don’t even get me started on how you’re letting down your business by being stuck in a time warp using an old school paper appointment book.
A computer spreadsheet will make your task even easier, though I reckon it starts to look a lot like maths when you have to work with columns and cell formulas.
Ideally, you can give yourself a technological break. There are some incredible software programs out there that make measuring and reaching salon targets a breeze.
If you can set up small targets that are personalised for every single member of your team (including you), and measure them easily, you can’t help but make a little magic happen. The measuring is as crucial for your team as it is for you. Imagine each of your team members having a clear understanding of their current target, how close they are and what they need to do to achieve it. Their competitive sides can’t help but kick in and they’ll stretch themselves that much further to better themselves or their colleagues.
Get started with the smallest increment and you’ll soon be flying. Once you have a measurement system in place, you can add new team members, new products and services, new offers.
Hold weekly meetings with each team member to review how they’re going with targets. You’ve now got the figures you need to have a meaningful conversation about their performance. You know what to praise and what might need improvement. Ask them for feedback on the targets and what they want included. Use their input to frame challenging, achievable targets that will help them grow in the areas they need most.
Your clients will love having their hair and beauty needs met with enthusiasm and creativity and you’ll enjoy a pleasing boost in salon business profits – that’s the kind of magic I’m talking about.