What skills will you need as a Leader in 2017 to achieve this?

Yes you will be exhausted after the Christmas trading fortnight! Revel in this fatigue as you have been busy, and we love being busy. We can see it now – appointment columns crammed full of our loyal clients and those last minute clients that sob when we tell them we are fully booked!

Back to our focus on You ,the Leader –  At the end of this calendar year with the frenetic trade, staff holiday pays, statutory pay due plus P.A.Y.E tax pending on 15 January with GST and January PAYE due, combined with a salon close-down over Christmas and New Year  are you exhausted and financially stretched ? If the answer is yes, then may I invite you to make a change in 2017.
What skill sets do I advocate you polish in the coming year to be both visibly successful and financially profitable in 2017? Here they are;

  • Future Forecasting

You’ve got to look at the beauty therapy services world and have some hypothesis /notion/idea about where it is going in the next two to three years. Then you can better position yourself to be valuable in it. Those of you who’ll have the most luck finding your beauty therapy or hairdressing services in the two to three year future will have ensured you have embraced with a passionate appetite something you are good, or will be trained to be exceptional at, and that the client world needs.

It is imperative that we look forward with our ‘research glasses’ on and guesstimate the “what next” in business as the owner or salon manager. You need to have that special key that will unlock the crystal ball of Beauty Therapy business success.

Do not overlook a simple research survey at the salon reception desk this November. Ask your clients what services they have read about or tried abroad of would wish to have, at your salon /spa/clinic.

Granted we sometimes wear our ‘rose tinted glasses’ and combine that view with our ‘gut instinct’ to select new services and all will be forgiven of you for using this pathway ,as long as you have correctly worked the financial aspect of the service down to the cost per minute to provide this service. Become that business that clients love to visit as they enjoy the innovation and the “this is next factor” that you offer them. The excitement you will generate by reviewing services and upskilling every year will permeate throughout your business inculcating staff members, clients and suppliers and the local community within which you operate.

My challenge at work is always to be innovative and I smile when I think of how many times I have announced to my team at staff meeting; “we are so far ahead with our thinking ,we are lonely!” For example; Five years ago, along with my colleague Florence Barrett-Hill, we invited and funded, Dr Lance Setterfield from Vancouver Island in Canada to tour New Zealand to introduce Dermal Rolling as a professional modality in salons! Do be creative.

2. Self-Analysis

What is your personal SWOT analysis? We so often complete this form of analysis on our business but what about the Leader / Salon Manager. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  The SWOT analysis headings provide a good framework for reviewing strategy, position and direction of a company or business proposition, or any other idea.
a. The first two letters in the acronym, S (strengths) and W (weaknesses), refer to internal salon factors, which mean the resources and experience readily available to you. Examples of areas typically considered include:

  • Financial resources, such as funding, sources of income and maybe new equipment investment opportunities
  • Physical resources, such as your company’s location, facilities and equipment.
  • Human resources, such as employees, full and part time , and target audiences .
  • Current processes, such as employee educative programs, team structures and software systems –

I recommended fully analysing your strengths and weaknesses first.

“You can’t hope to take advantage of or control the external factors until the internals have been objectively assessed.”
b. External salon factors

External forces influence and affect every salon , spa , clinic, company, organization and individual. Whether or not these factors are connected directly or indirectly to an opportunity or threat, it is important to take note of and document each one. External factors typically reference things you or your company do not control, such as:

  • Market trends, like new products and technology or shifts in audience needs
  • Economic trends, such as local, national and international financial trends
  • Funding, such as donations, governmental compliance , council legislature and other sources
  • Demographics, such as a target audience’s age, race, gender and culture
  • Relationships with suppliers and partners
  • Political, environmental and economic regulations

Once you fill out your SWOT analysis, you will need to come up with some recommendations and strategies based on the results and these strategies should be focused on leveraging strengths and opportunities to overcome weaknesses and threats.

This is actually the area of strategy development where organisations have an opportunity to be most creative and where innovative ideas can emerge, but only if the analysis has been appropriately prepared in the first place.

So my task for you in 2017 is to answer; what is your SWOT analysis? You are the architect of your own future; you have to know what you want and are best at. That requires some serious soul searching, as well as clarity about your strengths and weaknesses.

3. Learning Agility

The world is moving so quickly that we should consider employing staff that have their professional qualifications PLUS prioritise employing people with “learning agility”. My reading research suggests that in a few years from now, the most desirable people will be multi-taskers that are able to demonstrate impact and value in a series of in salon modalities rather than in one role they’ve had for 10 years. As we change our menu and polish our brand our staffs have to “learn” and embrace education every week not wait for it to be spoon feed through Suppliers or Salon Owners. That drive to embrace and upskill will come with those new staff and new graduates that have “learning Agility”. Remember it applies to the Leader as well !Enrol in courses and get a Coach.

4. Storytelling.

A Team Leader without a vision or story is useless if you can’t connect the dots for people. If as a new salon owner you feel you do not have a no well-worn path, you have to create it and bring people along with you. In order to gain supporters, you’ll need to tell the story of how; what you have done in the past connects, with what you want to do in your salon now and in the future. Your story must be written on your website and woven into your social media. This is the golden thread that embroiders your day to day actions of Leadership in your salon. It is important for your staff to know from where you have come and what your challenges have been.
One of my many stories – I purchased my current salon for $70,000, a princely sum 25 years ago with an interest rate of 24.5% ! I purchased a “going concern “, but on the first day it had “gone”. All the staff, hairdressers and beauty therapists had “gone with their clients and forward bookings”.

I naively waited for my staff to arrive for work, waited for the scheduled clients to arrive until 10.30am on opening day and then reality tapped me on the cold shoulder! I had to re -build this now non-existent business, and quickly, as I had a business loan to deal to and a beautiful 3 year old daughter to care for…… but that is another story! But stories like these define how we do business today and we share so there is a thread of understanding around the ‘WHY’ of the Leader.

5. Being Comfortable with Uncertainty

As Beauty Therapists, we go through different stages of life and sometimes we wind up feeling lost and confused as to where to head next. In those times, it can be hard to know within ourselves what is really important… we may become fearful of making the wrong move and can feel a bit like a rudderless ship. These five sections in this article are designed to help you find your passion, purpose and direction in those times where we find ourselves asking “what’s next?”

No one’s going to hold your hand. You’ll likely change ideas and vision often until you settle on your personal brand of thought that becomes a brand that morphs into a physical salon. That requires the ability to be comfortable with uncertainty. Do be proactive this 2017 about what you want, and to seek out mentors and knowledge.

Get that “brand or vision” of what a salon and career looks like. It will give you a rare, new responsibility to figure out what you want and when, to monitor your progress, and make adjustments. You just have a lot more options moving forward into the future once you have the strength to commit to the Plan.

If you need assistance then employ a business coach who can guide you to create your ideal future and the steps to achieve it. Gain a better understanding of the things that hold you back and how to bring your spark back into daily life making a profit as you dance through 2017.

One October I wrote on the sign board outside my beauty therapy and hairdressing business in bold paint; “Book Now; No Cry Babies allowed in Xmas week!” This applies to you if you are the Salon Manager or Leader. Please complete the above homework in January 2017 so we have no cry-babies next Christmas 2017.