Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Are you further ahead this year than last year? Did your business grow? Did you step outside the bottle and try something new? Last year I brought you 52 tips on marketing your business with a few about success and attitude thrown in for good measure. But its more than just listening and reading. True change comes in the form of doing. When you review your past year think about what worked and what didn’t. Think about how much effort you put into your business and how much more it will take to get to your level of personal and professional success. One mans success is anothers starting point. Don’t compare yourself to others, measure yourself against the only person that matters. You. You define your success. No one else. But you are also responsible and accountable for the journey. What are you willing to do this year to make real change happen? Remember if we keep doing what we’ve always done we’ll keep getting what we’ve always gotten. Challenge yourself this year to learn something new. Are you an acrylic master? How about learning one stroke nail art? Gel perfectionist? Learn to bling. Opening yourself to new challenges shows you and your clients you are willing to do what it takes to keep current not only for yourself but for them. Sign up for a class, buy a dvd, invest in yourself and your talents will expand. We are only as valuable as our skill set, so increase your value by learning more skill sets. Come next week, actually this week for some of us, myself included, there will be plenty of time to reflect on this past year. Take a good hard look at your numbers and look for areas to improve. Do you need to work on your time to increase your value per hour? Do you need a better booking system? Use this down time to research, investigate and try new tools that can make your business more efficient. Everyones assignment this week is to set three new goals this year. Make them real goals, not vague like want to be a celebrity manicurist. Start with tools like maybe buying Crystal Wrights book. Look for opportunities and act on them. I want to increase my income by 20 percent by June 1st. What do you need to learn and do to make that happen? Come up with a few things that will propel your journey towards these new goals, keep a list and review it often. Look at the year in quarters, 1st, second etc and set goals for each quarter. We overestimate what can be done in a month but underestimate what we can do in a quarter. Reach out to find help in the nail community. Chances are there is someone doing what you want to do and would be willing to mentor you. Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness. Most of all this year enjoy what you do. That is the real key for success. You will never find a successful pedicurist that hates toes. If there are areas of your world you hate, don’t include them on your menu. While we may be able to strengthen a weakness we may never love it, so let it go. I wish each and every one of our listeners a happy and prosperous New Year! And remember, help is only one Monday away.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Today’s tip of the week is about gratitude. I don’t understand how folks in this business can complain about being busy this time of year. Come to think of it they complain when they are slow too. In all honesty, it is just a few short weeks of mayhem and then we are scrounging around for those same clients come January. The beauty industry is a service business. At the heart of service is serve from the Latin root servire, to be a slave or servant. While that might conjure up some negatives emotions, if you don’t have a servants heart in this business, that may be at the root of your complaints. Maybe you are not charging what you think you are worth, after all we are not slaves, we work hard but we also get paid, some quite well. Being underpaid and underappreciated can cause resentment. What is the answer? Lift yourself out of your shackles, educate yourself, make sure your surroundings are pristine, go above and beyond the clients wildest dreams and you are no longer a servant, you are the queen business woman. I understand the balance between serving and being taken advantage of is a fine line.
Customers cancel, want to change appointments at the last minute or better yet want you to squeeze them in when they didn’t have the foresight to book ahead. These are all problems with solutions. Do you have a cancellation policy? No one will take you or your time seriously until you do. Are there a few flexible clients you can maneuver around to accommodate last minute clients? Are your clients on a standing appointment or at least rebooking before they leave, or booking online? All these strategies can curb even the worst client behavior. I never complain when I am busy, I am grateful because I know how many techs struggling out there would love to be in my shoes. If you are booked out 6 months in advance and no room on the books, guess what? Its time to raise your prices. Remember no matter where you are there is someone else struggling to get there. There is a student in nail school right now struggling to get her license. Sit back and appreciate the hectic holiday times and envision 2012 that busy year round. Clients are the heart and soul of our business and so many of them truly love us and appreciate us for the professional women we are. Did you know one of the top reasons clients leave a salon is because they didn’t feel valued? Yes there are a few that we wish would find another salon but for the most part we truly need to appreciate them. Especially this time of year when they come bearing gifts, cash and checks. Keep a gift log and make sure to send a hand written thank you to each and every one, make sure to add one thing about them that you appreciate, even if it is their trendy shoes. Living with gratitude in your heart is the best attitude to bring you more things to be grateful for. So don’t be a sourpuss. Smile, be grateful and be prosperous in 2012.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
This weeks tip comes from Susan Young at Get in Front Communications You can follow her on Twitter @sueyoungmedia
The way you communicate with yourself, clients, prospects, employees, and community will determine your success. Want to beat the competition? Sure you do. Consider these 50 tips. Most are based on our internal and external communication.
1. Forget humility: self-promote.
2. Watch your competition but remain clear on your own vision and goals.
3. Write down your purpose, own it, and read it every day.
4. Look at education and conferences as investments instead of “what will this cost?”
5. Get enough sleep so your mind and body can be refreshed.
6. Expect good things to happen.
7. Spend time with industry leaders and people you can learn from.
8. Read, read, read.
9. Develop interests outside of your typical hobbies and comfort zone. This sparks creativity.
10. Analyze. Then act.
11. Keep up with technology.
12. Delegate and outsource.
13. Draw boundaries on your time.
14. Attend your competitors workshops and programs. Watch them carefully (stalking is discouraged).
15. Keep on top of new industry developments and trends.
16. Be visible in your local community. It’s all about relationships.
17. Speak and write for business organizations to build your expertise and name recognition.
18. Volunteer at your professional association or networking group.
19. Put your head down and work.
20. Know your values and what you stand for.
21. Be friendly and polite to your competition. They will share things with you.
22. Read your competitors’ blogs, newsletters, websites, and chats.
23. Track trade publications, business sections, and resources in other cities to get fresh ideas for products, services, and opportunities.
24. Get friendly with news reporters who cover your industry and/or area.
25. Believe that you are capable, talented, and creative.
26. Write down your daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Every task you work on should move you closer to your goals.
27. Get out of your own way.
28. Learn something new every day—and apply it.
29. Be clear on your brand and the results you deliver for clients.
30. Stop making excuses. Be fully accountable and learn from your mistakes.
31. Communicate with your staff and team. They know more than you think.
32. Refrain from bad-mouthing anyone, including your competition.
33. Develop strong communication skills.
34. Hustle (in a good way).
35. Keep your options open.
36. Learn and practice outstanding customer service.
37. Know the pricing, sales point, and profitability of your products and services.
38. Kick your own ass.
39. Network where your competition networks.
40. Under-promise and over-deliver.
41. Have a live human being with manners answer your phones.
42. Return e-mails and phone calls within 24 hours or less.
43. Send hand-written notes of gratitude to clients and prospects.
44. Keep your cards close to your vest.
45. Protect your business reputation in your local community and online.
46. Appreciate word-of-mouth advertising and marketing. It puts money in your pocket.
47. Avoid projects and prospects that are not a “good fit.” Refer high maintenance prospects to your competition.
48. Trust your instinct- implicitly.
49. Avoid jealousy and envy. They are distractions that blur your own vision.
50. Put your head on the pillow at night knowing you did your absolute best.
As professional soccer star Mia Hamm said, “You can’t just beat a team, you have to leave a lasting impression in their minds so they never want to see you again.”
Thanks Susan for the great tips!!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Tonight’s tip is about starting a VIP program in your salon for your clients. I know many of you are afraid to raise prices in this new economy. Oh they will cut back or quit coming altogether is the usual response. Let me ask you. What hasn’t gone up this year? Food? Clothing? Gas? Electric? Your supplies? Your rent? I can tell you what probably has not gone up. Your prices. I know raising prices is a very touchy subject among nail professionals. Quit feeling sorry for your clients, worrying about their money and start worrying about yours! I can tell you for a fact that your product prices have gone up, the cost of educating yourself has gone up, airfare to classes and shows has gone up. And you are still trying to do it all on last years prices. I know it is a little scary to raise prices but it is more scary not to. Your profit margins are shrinking and the probability of staying in business decreases with an unhealthy budget. So I have a solution you might want to try. Post a note stating as of the first of the year there will be a slight increase in prices to be able to continue to bring the quality services, treatments and products they love. Then offer your guests a VIP card. Make them up on your computer or purchase them from Office Max or