“Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success”
It may seem like stating the obvious to some, but it really does matter what you and your business look like. Me, like many others, have been to countless salons, spas, and other such treatment centres for work purposes or as a client. You can’t help but to compare establishments, see the margin for improvement and plain ole’ judge your socks off. The thing is, you don’t need a ”good eye” to notice a dirty, unkept area, faded posters or grubby wall paint, mismatched uniforms, furniture that seems to be on it’s last legs or a bad attitude from an employee. The same fundamentals apply whether you’re high end, low end or somewhere in the middle. It’s business 101, so it really is simple stuff.
The main reason owners skip out on upkeep is to save money. The second reason, is they don’t see a problem with the problem area (that’s just bad management,) and the third, fourth and fifth being: they really don’t notice it, they really don’t care or they’re just too lazy or otherwise occupied to do anything about it. This then causes problems of a knock-on effect, which happens all too often and I’ve witnessed first hand. This can be the beginning of the end, owners beware.
“You must spend money to make money.”
As an owner, manager, or boss, your attitude and appearance set the tone for the rest of the workers. If you’re not giving your all to your business, you can’t expect the workers to show up and give their all. High morale is a key ingredient for a successful business and it really isn’t that hard to keep your employees in good spirits and excited about their work.
If your employees need days off, give it to them. Listen to their suggestions regarding the work place. Work together as a tight-nit group. Let them know from the get-go what is expected of them and the repercussions they could face if they do not comply. Include them all during staff parties or outings and make them feel part of the growth of the business rather than outsiders that are here to simply do their job and then leave. Make things fair whilst still maintaining a good business head and remaining a strong leader. It’s the balance of it all which makes a boss a good boss and their business flourish.
“If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.”
Sometimes, there’s just not enough money in the pot, and the struggle is real. It’s important not to get fixated on tiny details if funds are running low. Going overboard with perfectionism is not necessary, as long as the main things are taken care of, the intricate details can be addressed later. Just because your place of work is not picture-perfect does not by any means signify that it’s a “bad” business, it’s what you do with what you have which matters. There are some key elements however, that can not be left until later, and to be frank are completely unacceptable.
- Bad toilet facility.
- Rude employees
- Poor quality service/product
- Unclean areas
- Uncomfortable furniture or treatment beds
- Unlicensed practitioners
- Unclear or unprofessional phone mannerism
- Careless hygiene practice
- Disregard to code of conduct
Good businesses have all of this in order, but great businesses have that little extra. These days, with so much competition, it’s important to give the best first impression, followed by a fantastic treatment/product for a reasonable price. This will ensure the flow of clientele, leaving you great reviews and recommendations, keeping your doors revolving.
You have to treat your business as if it were your baby. Are there light fixtures that are broken? Dust gathering in corners? How long would you wait to bathe your newborn if it were covered in filth. The answer should be: Not very long. Those who keep putting important matters off until later, are putting their business at a risk that’s not worth taking.
Definition: A mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.
Here’s some really simple tips that make all the difference and give a business that ‘little extra’:
Advertisement and branding. These are things you really don’t want to skimp on. The better you look from the outside, the more people are going to want to see what’s on the inside. Keep your signs, posters, leaflets, menus, logos and colours bold, clean, matching and straight forward. Good design is good business and worth paying for.
Some personality here is the real key in this competitive market. If your theme colours are pink and black, don’t have your interior green and yellow. Keep consistency throughout with comfort always as the main focus. You may have found some great chairs on sale that match with your colour scheme and vision, if they’re not very comfortable though, they are completely useless.
I have seen this mistake time and time again and it really bothers me. You must, always have somebody at reception who is cheerful and greets every customer with an open smile and direct line of communication. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine when businesses skip out on a full-time receptionist for the sake of cutting costs. Another note, is the receptionist should not have a bunch of other duties and responsibilities, they should be paid as a receptionist and work only as a receptionist. You cannot have appointed workers doing a bit of everything. Ever heard of the saying too many cooks spoils the broth? You can apply that here.
It irks me to no end when a beauty business uses the cheapest available products on the market. They do not last, they are usually full of harsh chemicals and they do not produce the same result as higher-end, pricier products do. The time to save money is definitely not on the products you will be using daily on your clients. Would you like to pay for a treatment elsewhere where they use low quality products on you? Then why would you allow your business to do the same? This is a big fat HUGE no-no. Do your research and secure a deal with a supplier you can trust and always test the products before making a commitment. Your clients experience and treatment should always be your top priority. That fact of business will never change.
Encourage constructive criticism
Especially when you first open, provide a system which allows employees and customers alike to anonymously rate your business and provide suggestions. This will require some research and brain-storming. What system works best for your business and why? It’s also important not to shove it onto people. Some customers won’t be bothered, and they will be annoyed if they feel pressured into leaving a review. Think about it though, is there a better way to see what needs improving then from the viewpoint of the people who are spending their money in your establishment? It’s also vital to let your workers put their two cents in without feeling like they will get reprimanded.
A lot of higher-end health and beauty business lean towards the look of hygiene and cleanliness, but often go overboard. You want to look clean, but you don’t want to look too clinical. This can be intimidating and overkill for most people. Don’t have the lights to white and bright, add a touch of funkiness, happiness or originality to the look of the place. There’s so much to play with when it comes to interior design, so why make it boring?
Social media guys, come on now
This is probably the most relevant form of outreach a business can have. You MUST have social media outlets, even if it’s only Facebook and Twitter. Not only do you have to have these platforms, but they have to be highly responsive. You must also respond in a professional, positive manner with perfect grammar and eye-catching content. Let your walk-in clients know that your business is active on social media by placing the usernames on your business cards, leaflets and posters. This can be done in an effective yet subtle way, keeping it classy. A great tool for sending traffic to your web places is by advertising special offers exclusively via these sites.
Refresh your menu
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