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Monday, July 21, 2014

Do Less,Get Focused


    The internet would have us all thinking we are not doing enough. Not eating out enough at the right restaurants, going on the right vacations, getting invited to the best parties and this goes for our business as well.  Many of us spend hours a day, or at least a week online with the never ending display of the world around us. It is part of the human condition to compare ourselves to others, and this is where the internet becomes a very dangerous place. The real key to success in business and life is not to do more it is to do less. Not more of what you think you should be doing, do less but be on purpose. Focus on what works for you, what you are best at and what has proven over time to move you forward.
    Use systems.  We all are product junkies I’ll be the first to admit it. The newest  blingy thing is like my crack. Before investing in another line make sure the one you already have is not broken.  Companies release products in systems because they are designed to work best together, in a system.  Try and stick with one system or at least one company. I know everyone thinks they have to have tons of options, but that continues to cost you tons of your hard earned cash.  If you must cross pollinate, make sure you know the rules before you break the rules. You should not have more than 3 lines.
Organize. Take one day this week and go through all your product. Yes ..all of it. What haven’t you used in the last 6 months? Chances are just like those clothes that hang in your closet that you aren’t wearing, you probably won’t use them either. Pitch them if they are over 2 years old, or donate them or sell them. Get rid of the clutter and streamline your work station. You will have greater efficiency if you are more organized, and time is money.

     Reevaluate. Do you have services on your menu you hate to do? OR services clients just don’t book. Reevaluate what you are offering your clients. If you hate pedicures, don’t do them. I don’t do acrylics. Haven’t for years. If I get a client that wants a fill I explain I use a high quality gel product that wears as well or better than acrylic. They say yes or no, I do not alter my services. Focusing on what you do well even if it is just a few things will help you become a master at it. I’m not saying to not learn new things, but master the basics and the few specialties you already do well and your work will be a neon sign pointing to your salon. 

     Relax. Don’t think if you don’t pick up on the latest craze the minute it comes out you will be totally left in the nail dust. Take time to discern if it is right for your business. Weigh the investment in new tools, new products, education and all of it before you hop on without the slightest clue if it will work in your business. You might be better served to wait for online reviews or ask your nail network their opinion. Do your research before you go all in.
Set up automation in your business. Pre pay, auto reminders and things that are designed to do your work for you streamline your business. Take the time to set up a few of these services within your website or online booking system and focus on your clients.  Simplify as much as you can so you have time to focus on business because that’s smart marketing.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Build Your Foundation, Build YOU

                                 Before you build your business you must build yourself.

     You want to have a rocking business, have tons of clients, and earn great money right? Who doesn’t? But if you have all that and you are not prepared it can be disastrous. How are you preparing yourself for success?
Skills skills and more skills. Having the right skills is not about how many you have, but what your specialty is. I say this as a cosmetologist that does every service in the book, however it took many years to develop each area of expertise.  If you have a cosmetology license and you are not offering nail services you are leaving a good chunk of dough on the table, literally. There is this wonderful thing called the Internet with crazy sites like YouTube that offer amazing education, for free. If you have access to it, there is nothing you can’t learn from rockin nail art to stuffing grape leaves. I know because I have learned both from YouTube.  As in anything the first grape leaves I stuffed were not the prettiest things you’ve ever seen. You know why? Practice.  Just like you I watched the video once and thought I would be able to have my fantastic dish on the cover of Bon Apetit. They never called. My leaves were pathetic. The next time I attempted I knew what I did wrong, watched the video again, OK like 3 more times and you know what? My leaves were gorgeous. Why is it we thing we can begin a skill and master it right out of the gate? Skills require practice and practice requires discipline. Which brings me to my next point.

   You must be disciplined. I teach all over the country and one of my biggest mantras is you must set aside the time to work ON your business, not just in your business. Discipline is what sets apart the good from the great. Great professionals invest back in themselves in more than just one area. Are you disciplined to read a good book on communication, on customer service, maybe a biography of a famous person? All these nuggets of the good stuff you put into the mix of your world will completely change your world. Don’t complain about where you are or what you don’t have. Put together a plan to get where you want to go and have the discipline to do what it takes to get there. Fore go an evening of reality shows, or dancing contests and find the information that will build the areas of your life and business that need work. Practice techniques in your downtime. Make up a schedule and stick with it. Make times that are non negotiable, teach the people around you that these times are sacred and cannot be altered barring emergency. It is very easy to get nudged off this schedule to where you find yourself saying what was I doing again? I love the quote don’t practice till you get it right, practice till you can’t get it wrong. Never stop growing. Which brings me to my next point.
       Mentor ship is all around you. You might just need to widen your lens. Watch the masters, watch beginners, and learn from everyone. The checkout clerk that has a positive attitude. The waiter that give incredible service, your fellow professionals giving a great client experience.  If you don’t have a mentor, get one. It is what will carve years off your learning curve. Don’t just learn though; put what you’ve learned into practice. Evolve with each new nugget you learn. Change up how you do business until you are a master. Dig in and learn what you need to grow.  Plug up the holes in your boat so you can stop bailing out water. Study others success and try to imitate it in your world. It will make all the difference.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Where You At?

     So we are at the end of the second quarter, which also means one half of the year has gone past us. Do you know where your numbers are?  Are you on track to meet your business goals for the year? Did you set any business goals? Some say to add 33% to your annual figures from last year and push toward that figure. So if you did 50 thousand in revenue in 2013 you should be on track to hit 66500.00 Maybe 30% is too lofty. Maybe some of you will do well this year to stay the same and not go backwards.  Each year you truly should be able to grow your revenue. Even if it’s by reducing costs. Could you downsize to a smaller suite and cut your overhead considerably for the rest of this year? If it makes sense, why not? Don’t be married to a space that you are only hoping to fill. Get real with yourself and your numbers. Don’t stay in a space that no longer suites your needs. Let go of ego, or whatever it is you are holding onto and make the right move. It’s also time to reevaluate every fixed cost in your business and see if you can cut some of those as well. I am looking at encouraging all my guests to pay with cash or check so I can eliminate those pesky charges from my merchant service account that add up over the year. Do you have another area business you can share Wi-Fi with? Another nail tech in town you can split bulk purchases with? Each dollar you carve off your expenses is another dollar in your pocket. Can you consolidate clients into 4 days instead of 5 and save on utilities? Or rent if the case may be? 

      Ok so if you are not growing, you have to ask yourself why not? Are your marketing efforts not as effective as they could be? Are you tracking how new people find you? Each person in your chair is a window to at least 100 other people. 250 if they are on social media. If you are not getting referrals you must ask for them.  Word of mouth is a great way to get new clients. Ask for testimonials, ask for Yelp reviews, ask ask ask. Some will, some won’t, so what, move on. Remember it’s all in the asking. Try something like “You know you are one of my favorite clients I truly enjoy and I’m sure you have a lot of wonderful friends I would love to service as well. Would you consider sharing a few of my referral cards with some of your contacts?  Let them know there is something in it for them as well. I automatically reward my client with 5 dollars off her next visit. I don’t keep track and wait until she reaches some unrealistic amount. I reward on the spot. For the high referrers, why not comp an entire service? Appreciation goes a long way.  I heard in relationships women only want three things. Attention, Affection and Appreciation. Our clients are no different.  Most of my clients enter with a smile and leave with a hug.  Figure out which marketing efforts are resulting in new clients and wash, rinse, repeat.

     Is it time to up your game? Are you keeping current? Are you able to offer the newest services that can add on service and revenue dollars? Think about what service, if you offered it could up your ticket prices. Think about this, if you ad reflexology to your menu, you probably need education in it right? Well where is that money going to come from Millie? Tell your clients I am going to be offering reflexology in the fall, the first 10 clients to pre-purchase two $50 sessions can take 20% off. So 80 times 10 is 800 dollars right? There is your education fund right there. Plus once those clients have been serviced the rest is all profit. Change it up; look for opportunities to serve in a new way. Read back through some of my blog posts for inspiration and motivation. Make sure the next half of 2014 is your best ever.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Can You Be Amazing?


      Every once in a while an article passes thru my feed that stops me in my tracks. Thank you Bekee Mozzillo for this one.  It’s called 7 reasons why you will never do anything amazing with your life and it has some cold hard truths if you’re brave enough to hear them. Written by Raymmar Tirado as a self-proclaimed seeker of truth this in your face rant smacks the reader right between the eyeballs. His challenge is to put down the phone, turn off the TV, look up from the text books and get some real life knowledge, by living. By getting street skills that you only develop by putting yourself on the line and recklessly pursuing your dreams, even if you are the only one that understands them. He has 7 reasons you won’t be amazing.

     Because you have not failed enough.  Putting yourself out there is a scary proposition and sure it is much safer to sit back and watch others. But it is only in the doing and the failing that you learn. Take the risks, learn through failure how to do things better next time.

     Because you care what others think about you. Following your passion is a one lane highway. One so many others are unwilling to navigate out of fear. Fear of being different, being judged, being authentic. You must start to care about the right things, like investing in yourself and your dreams. Stop comparing yourself to others and find the joy in the journey, yours not theirs.
    Because you think you are smarter than you are. Just because you have knowledge doesn’t mean you know. Do you have knowledge in the right areas? Have you studied and mastered the right skills? Not what society is force feeding you, real, applicable knowledge. Study life and apply the lessons to better your position in the world.
     Because you don’t read.  Everything you need to know and learn is in the written word somewhere. It is NOT on Bravo or reality TV. Turn off the tube or the laptop and research the written word. Learn how others have failed their way to success by studying their journey. We can fail faster by using the failures of others as our Cliff notes. Make it a point to read daily, something in your field or related. Find what it is that if you knew, you could soar.

     Because you lack curiosity. Did you lose your childlike wonder? Do your own research and find your own truths. Scrutinize every bit of media and look behind  it. Every source has an agenda, a belief they want you to embrace. Understand the motive behind the media and form your own knowledge base. Ask yourself why they say so and what if they’re wrong. 

     Because you don’t ask enough questions. You can learn everything you need to know by asking questions, the right questions. Question everything, question yourself and don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. Don’t ignore the knowledge around you every minute of every day. There are lessons to be had if you are willing to ask the questions. 

     Because you can’t handle the truth. The more I know, the more I learn I don’t know.  We must be willing to admit we don’t know what we don’t know.  The truth is all around us, taunting us to recognize it and embrace it. Learning that we don’t know it all can be liberating, freeing. And understanding this truth can eliminate the one thing standing in our way, ourselves.