Need to tune up your front desk to maximize your business success? Here are 3 strategies you can deploy quickly.
Having a successful salon, spa, or barbershop can be a fulfilling lifetime career. So many of our longtime members tell us how they love the industry, their work, and being paid to be creative.
Even though many people in the industry are excellent at their trade, the reality is beauty or barber schools usually only touche on the nitty gritty of business operations. How can you rise above the average income of just over $16.83 per hour in Canada to something that can provide for a more dignified retirement or even the chance to purchase a home?
1. Make numbers your new bestie
“When I owned a salon, I was terrified of accounting, and spreadsheets made my stomach turn,” says Caylee Augé, owner of The Salon Profit Project and a trusted BeautyCouncil partner. “One day, I decided to make friends with the numbers with the help of my accountant.”
The result was that Caylee went from not being able to pay herself a decent wage to earning a healthy living from her salon and selling at fair market value.
Tools for successful salon owners need to consider all the nuances of the business. Having a former salon owner as a guide will get you started quickly and without taking a ton of time, energy, or money.
When you’re taking care of your own administrative work or letting your front desk person handle it, your key goal is to be sure knowledge of basic business details are understood. If your business is small (less than 3 team members), consider farming out the work to a competent bookkeeper and ask for ideas on how to save money, earn more, and understand your costs.
If you’re a BeautyCouncil member, you or your front desk team member can join us for Caylee’s classes at special rates and start your journey to financial freedom sooner in your career. Watch for opportunities all year long. You can also download her industry benchmark resource to help you – it’s an easy read and might change your life.
2. Embrace technology, even if you’re not a fan
The olde fashioned days of working on paper booking sheets and buying yellow pages ads are long gone – time to embrace the tech you have in your back pocket. Making friends with technology can not only save you precious time, it can find your preferred customers and better serve your existing clients.
So where to start? The central hub of your operation is your booking system, usually called a Point of Sale system or POS. Besides handling your schedule, newer systems are putting all the parts together including inventory, payroll, and more. Think if it like an old cash register but on steroids.
Systems like MindBody and Phorest work with us to help members put in a system that can not only save time but also let you track your revenues to be sure you can buy that new car or save for your children’s college or university.
There is a whole new level of cost control on the market now – it allows you to precisely measure haircolour so avoid waste and lost revenues. One Canadian company, SalonScale, says up to 30% of your service revenue can be saved with a simple tool. If you are a member, save 10% off SalonScale by using the code at the bottom of this page (you must be logged in first).
When it comes to payments, think about what just a small decrease in your credit card processing can do for you. Even just a 1/2 per cent difference on $100,000 in total sales is $500 – or $10,000 over 20 years. That’s a good portion of college tuition covered once you add in the government’s RESP contribution (tax free too).
In a nutshell, find ways to let technology save you money and time. You’ll be richer for it!
3. Bring in the right talent
This seems way too obvious to state – would you have someone on the floor who has no idea how to cut hair, apply nails, or clean skin? Of course not! The key is to look at your front desk in the same way. Staff it up with talent who loves all things admin.
But where to start? Why not test drive a trained student from a college in a practicum arrangement? it’s no cost to you and you can not only see if it’s a good fit, you’ll also benefit from well informed, up-to-date advice.
Discovery Community College has students available from their Surrey, Nanaimo and Campbell River campuses and can arrange a student in any nearby area. These students are trained in accounting, bookkeeping, social media and digital design, administration, and more.
“It’s the boost any business could use,” said Student Services Manager, Launie Morgan. “The student would do 4 weeks minimum 100 hours of unpaid time, giving the host(Salon or Spa) time to see if it is a good fit.”