Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Too Much Too Fast?

Last May my salon manager and I attended a Salon Incubator put on by Strategies Consulting Group. We returned to the salon full of ideas and eager to make some changes. Since that time we have (among other things)
  • converted the salon to Team Based Pay
  • created a cash flow plan
  • set goals
  • communicated goals and got team involved in achieving them
  • focused on pre-booking, retail, upselling and sharing clients

Overall, the results have been excellent. Sales for 2007 were 20% higher than 2006 and we've had a significant increase in profitability.

But it hasn't been without its challenges! Focusing on factors that propel salon growth have a direct impact on our clients. It's scary to change how you do things because you don't want to scare off your clients who like you as you are. I mention this because today a long time client told our salon manager that some of the changes make him uncomfortable. So do we stop focusing on what makes the salon grow so we don't upset the apple cart? Or do we let some clients drop off and replace them with clients who do want to pre-book, experience multiple services and purchase professional products?

For us I think the answer is somewhere in between. We will still focus on growth drivers. But we need to do it carefully so as not to appear pushy. I do know that we cannot stop moving forward, although we may do it a little slower. Most salons in the U.S. are marginally profitable, at best. Owning a salon is too much work, too much responsibility, too much risk to just barely get by. We must see ourselves as business people and treat our salons like a business in order to thrive.

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