The Secret To Damage Limitation!

Simon Lotinga

Why do you put a plug in your bath before you turn the taps on?

Seems like a daft question doesn’t it!

We all know why we put the plug in the bath and yet when it comes to our salons, many of us don’t put the plug in, or if we do, we don’t do it properly and the water runs out anyway!

By now you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, so let me fill in the details.

If we stick to the ‘Your Salon is a bath’ as an analogy … Most of us are so busy trying to work out how to turn the taps on properly that we forget to pay attention to the plug.

We are so busy trying to get turnover rushing out of our taps that we can’t see the wasted turnover pouring down the drain.

This is an expensive mistake.

A Mistake We Can Rectify By Having A Clearly Defined And Measured Set of Minimum Standards For Our Team & Business Performance.”

I want to begin exploring this idea with you by looking again at the 80-20 rule I mentioned in an earlier post … which if you remember says that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects will come from 20% of the causes.

If the 80 – 20 rule is correct (which statistically, give or take a few per cent, it is) what it means for your salon is …

  1. 80% of your salon success will come from just 20% of the services on your price list.
  2. 80% of your salon success will come from just 20% of your clients.
  3. 80% of your salon success will come from just 20% of your staff.

As I said, give or take a few percentage points this is true and it means you will ALWAYS have a top 20% of services, clients and staff that make the biggest contribution to your business success and we need to accept, recognise and maximise that contribution.


You also need to minimise the damage the other 80% of services, clients and staff have the potential to do to your business by making sure they at least deliver to your predetermined minimum acceptable standards.

Having minimum acceptable standards is the same as putting the plug in your bath. Having minimum acceptable standards will stop the value your top 20% of services, clients and staff are giving you from being wasted and draining away.

So here are some minimum standard questions every salon owner should take the time to ask themselves …

  1. What is the minimum pence per minute I should allow on my price list for any service?
  2. What is the minimum amount I want my clients to spend when they come in to the salon?
  3. What is the minimum number of times I want them to come in each year?
  4. What is the minimum number of years I’d like my clients to stay loyal to my salon?
  5. What is the minimum turnover per hour I expect my stylists or therapists to produce?
  6. What is the minimum operating profit I expect from my business?

If you take the time to answer questions like these and then systematically work with your team to create the products, services, marketing messages and client relationships that can deliver these minimums day in, day out, week in and week out, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to your salon.

If you need help working out what your minimums should be … you’ll find some simple formulas in my latest book The Salon Owners Guide To Beating TheRecession which you can get for FREE by clicking here.

If you still need help, after you’ve read it, don’t worry, because you’ll find out how to access some free coaching in the last chapter of the book, which means as a reward for reading it, l’ll be able to help you work out your minimum standard answers and apply them to your salon!

Simon is now the UK’s foremost business coach for salon owners you can contact him at

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