If you have ever done a business plan, then you’ve had to address a good problem that all business owners want to have: success. But with this success comes another level of preparation that is essential to the continued health of your salon or spa.
There is nothing worse than having more business than your salon or spa can handle. Whether it’s increased client spending around the holidays, an at-capacity salon or spa concerning operators or available appointments, or not enough room to seat waiting patrons on a regular basis, the last thing you want to have to do, is to turn away business. Or worse, lose clients because they become frustrated. At the same time, you don’t want to expand too quickly as it could all come crashing down on you in the lean times. The only way to avoid this problem is to plan for growth so you and your team will be prepared for it when it does come.
Written Plan of Attack
A crucial first step, write a few pages that outline your specific objectives, strategies, financing options, and an expanded sales and marketing plan. Determine the funding that you’ll need to get things done, even provide a list of potential contacts for raising the money.
It’s not possible to predict every nuance of what you’ll need down the line, so know that your plan is just a starting point. Understand that you’ll likely need to adapt to circumstances when the time comes, as there are many variables that you may not be able to forecast.
Watch Your Numbers
Although we are in a service industry, running a salon or spa and knowing when to take the next step is all in the numbers. Pay careful attention to your cash flow and expenditures, and make your net profit the gauge of your success, not your gross profits.
Know & Forecast Your Market
Being successful in the salon and spa business is about recognizing a need and stepping up to fulfill that need for your customers. It’s based partly on intuition and partly on the numbers. Be open to services and trends that your clients need and want and always look ahead for the next trend, so you and your staff are ready when a client has a request.
Always get a second (qualified) opinion before moving forward with an expansion plan. Have your CPA look over your plan before you need it and seek the advice of a business advisor before you implement it. The last thing you want to get in the way is your ego or wishful thinking.
Reinvent & Improve
It’s important to know when to make a change and when to downsize or grow. If you run a lean operation, watch your numbers, delegate some of your responsibilities and manage your time wisely, you’ll open your business up for success. Just be diligent about planning for the future and stay focused on the needs of both your staff and your clientele.
A leading cause of failure for businesses, overexpansion often happens when business owners confuse success with the ability to expand their business quickly.
Although slow and steady growth is always the best way to go, you do not want to suppress growth either. Once you have an established clientele and a good cash flow, let your business’ success help you establish a deliberate pace. Expansion may be necessary if you find that you and your staff are so busy on a regular basis that you are unable to fulfill customer needs promptly. You may also see that your employees are having difficulty in keeping up with the demand.
If warranted, and only after careful review, research and analysis, identify what needs to be added at that time for your business to grow. Do think ahead and give the company some room to grow but avoid the temptation to overcompensate by biting off too much. Many companies fail because they expand too quickly and they cannot keep up with the physical demand or financial obligations.
Let expansion happen slowly and as needed, that way you can focus on the growth of your business, not on doing everything in it yourself.