The weather might be improving at last, but it doesn’t change what salon owners often tell me when they ring for advice.
They tell me “I’m tied to my treatment room or to my chair, because I need to bring the money in.” They say “I struggle to find time for lunch breaks, getting my paperwork done, let alone going on holiday!”
In other words they are not very happy.
The feelings that get you down are just symptoms, though. As a business coach I check for symptoms just like a doctor would and they tell me what’s wrong.
If your symptoms are feeling stuck, trapped, going round in circles or at a dead end, then as your ‘Salon Doctor’ if you like, there are two things I know you need to change.
One is your ‘operating SYSTEM’ and the other is your ability to ‘delegate’. The good news is, with one simple exercise, used consistently, you can deal effectively with both issues!
Let me explain.
Let’s start with the word system which is much misunderstood by salon owners. To me the letters S.Y.S.T.E.M. stand for …
E nergy &
In many ways, system is just a posh word business people use for being well organised. And if you think about it, having a well organised salon is bound to save you time energy and money, isn’t it!
So, do you need a better organised salon?
Ask yourself “What happens when your salon gets really busy?” “Do your therapists or stylists start running late?” “Do your staff get sloppy or selfish?” “Does the salon get untidy because jobs aren’t being done?”
If your answer is yes to any of those, then you’ve got the ‘symptoms’ of system breakdown, and they tell you that your salon isn’t as well organised as it could be, or should be if you want to Save Your Self Time Energy and Money!
If you’ve got the symptoms you can treat them like this.
Start by improving your salon layout.
I’m very careful when I’m laying out a salon. I try to minimize the amount of walking around that your staff will have to do, by making sure all their tools and equipment are located in places they can reach by just taking a step or two. This sort of planning can save a lot of time, for a lot of people, every day and ‘Time is money’ you’re paying them by the hour after all, so every minute adds up!
For example you’d be amazed at the number of salons that still provide clients with hot refreshments using a kettle. This means that a team member has to go off, boil it, make the tea or coffee and then come back, making them unavailable for three or four minutes and I bet that most of them would have had a crafty fag or checked their phones while they waiting for the kettle to boil as well!
On the other hand, if you have a hot drinks machine located centrally in the salon, they can just press the button, and within 10 seconds take it back to their client with no distractions on the way!
If you look at the cost of having a team member tied up for three or four minutes as opposed to 10 seconds, it might not seem much, but trust me, you’re going to save a fortune in terms of staff productivity and this is just one small example of many ways you can improve your salon organisation.
The good news is there is a simple way to do it and that’s to involve your staff … let me show you how to do it in a way that they will enjoy and find motivating!
I recommend you create what I call a, ‘This is How We Do It Around Here’ book.
Take the time to sit down with your staff at least once every week, split them into pairs or groups and give them 10 minutes to discuss a question or a problem. Then get everyone back together and write their answers on a whiteboard or flip chart.
Discuss the options they have come up with and have a brainstorming session about which solution they feel will work best.
Once your team has agreed that you’ve found a good idea, test it, try it, and see if it works. If it does, get it written down in your book, and get everyone to sign to say that this is how you’re going to be doing it in the future.
It’s a really good way of creating new habits and systems, and will make your salon easy to organise.
There’s another benefit of doing it as well. It’s a fantastic way to delegate responsibility!
I told you one simple exercise done consistently would solve both problems, and this is it! Do it properly and you’ll soon have a well organised salon AND effective delegation happening as a matter of course. You’ll also find yourself with time on your hands and the freedom to choose what you do with it!
Why does the ‘This is how we do it round here book’ work so well?
When you consult with your staff about how things should be done and then use their ideas, they start to feel in control of their working environment which means they’ll take ownership of those ideas and make them run far more smoothly, so you’ll find that you don’t have to watch over them.
By the way, if you struggle to run the team meetings, or you struggle to trust your team enough to use their ideas you’ve actually just uncovered a HUGE symptom of another challenge you have as a salon owner, because these symptoms suggest that your low self esteem is getting in the way of building your business. This is a separate issue and we’ll look at dealing with it in another article.
For now, let’s just accept that if you allow your staff to help you organise your salon, and then trust them to implement new ideas things will get better.
If you’re wondering what to do if an idea they come up with doesn’t stick (which does happen) all you do is bring the problem back to the team and get them to look at it again.
We’ve only had time to scratch the surface of this subject today, but if you want to know more you’ll find full instructions for creating a ‘This is how we do it round here book’ in ‘The Salon Owners Guide To Beating The Recession’, and if you’re struggling to organise or run team meetings, or struggling to delegate and break free why not contact me for a FREE coaching session by clicking here.