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We saw it. We lived it. We survived it. It’s time to forget about the mess of 2020 and welcome 2021 in total control of your business. While seeing the word ‘strategy’ might make your head spin thinking about all the technical terms that come to mind and numbers you need to crunch when it comes down to it, strategy is simply reflecting on what you’re currently doing and asking yourself ‘what is working?’ and ‘what is not working’ before launching into a plan to strategically solve the latter.

Across the following steps, we have pieced together the five most important things beauty business owners need to know and work on, in order to boost your business in today’s industry landscape. Whether you’ve been in business for 5 minutes or 5 years, these elements of business are always essential to put energy into and should frequently be the centre of your attention when sitting down and building the scaffolding to your strategy.

Step 1. Leadership & Management
In the professional beauty industry, (one which employs 90% female teams) leadership and management are
something business owners should be prioritising as a personal skill for development to gain the most trust and connection with their teams.

Everyone in the industry has experienced negative qualities of management and positive experiences with
leadership, however when it comes our turn to try our hand at the two, self-awareness doesn’t always prevail – even though we may have the best intentions at the time, often we are too close to the situation to take a step back and see the story for what it really is.

Separate to management, Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they genuinely want to do it.
People who lead are generally seen to have three common attributes:
– They inspire others to share their vision.
– They motivate others to act on that vision.
– They encourage others and help them overcome obstacles in pursuit of that vision.

Communication, delegation, accountability and flexibility are traits of a great leader. Spend 30 minutes developing a self-assessment sheet in which you can hand out to your team, with hopes of gathering feedback and critique on your leadership skills. If you find areas of the assessment which are sticky for, focus more time implementing them into your strategy moving forward.

Step 2. Figures & Financials
Getting your head around your business; financials can often seem daunting and perhaps even a
little overwhelming! Being comfortable with your business financials and types of figures you should be tracking throughout the day, week, month or year will actually have you feeling more empowered than ever!
Understanding the numbers through the use of helpful and easy to navigate tools that clearly show the financial health of your business will help you better plan, prepare and can even assist in creating more profit!

We suggest taking a look at the following financials:
– knowing your break-even figure hourly, daily, weekly and monthly
– knowing how to read a profit and loss statement
– knowing the difference between your product margin and mark-up
– understanding a balance sheet
– tracking key performance indicators
– knowing your net cash position
– knowing how to manage your cash flow

When it comes to your figures, on the other hand, keeping an eye on metrics like:
– your average client spend
– your retail vs service percentage
– your labour percentage
– rebooking rate

If numbers aren’t your thing, book 90 minutes into your strategy session dedicated to your bookkeeper or accountant and let them guide you through this process. Stock up on coffee and be ready to feel empowered by your numbers, proving they’re no more than a detailed story about what is happening in your business. Remember: this story is yours – you can change the ending at any time!

Step 3. Policies & Procedures
With the increased number of services we are providing, complete with add-ons and upgrades, combined with the fast employee turnover rates consistency in the beauty industry is something that’s hard to come by. A policy is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol.

Policies should be learnt adopted by the entire team within an organisation. Policies business owners should have available and within close reach include:
– Leave forms
– Incident reports
– Opening/Closing checklists
– Uniform and presentation standards
– Employee code of conduct
– Consultation records
– Service menu
– Treatment protocols
as well as other miscellaneous documentation on machinery and software.

Procedures, on the other hand, are detailed documents which walk through tasks and treatments step-

Between induction, onboarding, skills and professional development training that therapists have to undertake, directions and details can get a little hazy – it’s for this reason your procedures are an essential asset to every business. While it may seem trivial to have detailed procedures for every task someone has to repeat again, it allows business owners freedom away from the business, and allows therapists autonomy to find out answers for themself and allows for consistency.

Procedures may detail:
– Treatments
– Machinery operations
– Troubleshooting
– EFT and cash transactions
– Gift voucher and product sales
– Laundry and Washing methods
– Cleaning and close of business

Use 30 minutes of your allocated Strategy Session to run through the aforementioned checklist of documents. Tick off those that you do have and those that you don’t set aside or delegate time to others to help create them.

These will free you from being shackled to your business and will empower your teams to make decisions on their own.

Step 4. Branding
Beyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a company, provides the team with direction and motivation, and makes attracting new clients easier. So what exactly is a brand? The short answer is: everything.

A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a business’s customer service, reputation, advertising and logo. When all of these parts of the business are working well together, the overall brand is healthy, recognisable and naturally clients want to be experience it. One of the major components of a brand is a logo because, as the “face” of a business – it’s what people instantly recognise. A professional logo design is simple enough to be memorable, but a brand is much more than just a logo.

Just as people are more likely to purchase from a business that appears polished and legitimate, clients
need to feel comfortable before committing to a package of services or routine of products. To ensure strength in your brand consistency is key across your website, service menu, interior, uniforms and social media.

Allocate 60 minutes into your Strategy Session dedicated to the purpose of reviewing your brand. Ask yourself questions around the consistency is shows, the tome in which it speaks to your current clients and the messaging it says to potential clients. If you find the consistency, tone and messaging is not quite aligned to your ultimate branding vision, time to call in the branding gurus and seek some further help.

Step 5. Marketing & Advertising
Marketing is the study and management of relationships that take place between client and business.
It is the human process of identifying, anticipating and satisfying client needs and wants through carefully considered offers, promotions and sales.

Contradictory to what many business owners in the beauty industry think, a successful marketing campaign does not always require thousands of dollars of investment. Traditional advertising methods can be costly and hard to measure and with the accessibility of social and digital media, beauty businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective and trackable marketing tools to ensure you’re getting the return you’re investing.

Simple ways you may like to market include:
– Contributing and interacting with your local community
– Networking and attending events
– Asking for client referrals

Beauty business owners are often trying to seek new clients, we call these cold clients. Hot clients on the other hand are clients who already visit your space which is why we want to aim our marketing campaigns at our warm clients. Warm clients may be friends, family or colleagues of your current clients. Because your current clients already know, like and trust you, they’re more likely to tell their inner circle about your business and services.

Warm marketing could include:
– Bring a friend incentives
– Loyalty cards
– Buy one, Gift one vouchers and the list goes on!

When used correctly, marketing can generate the following traction for a business:
– New client generation
– Brand awareness
– Public relations exposure
– Reward and recognition
– Strong team culture
– Attraction of your perfect client

Organise a 12-month calendar for your Strategy Session and start to map out the hallmark dates, add in your product brand activations and then see where the gaps are and create activations around these gaps. Aim to have approximate either to 10 campaigns per year and ensure your campaigns match your marketing collateral and further communicate these campaigns with your team so that they can communicate them with your clients.

Dedicating an entire day to your Strategy Session will help give you the time and space to plan, implement and action your new strategy. For ultimate success, check in with yourself every quarter and revisit the strategy to see how you are tracking along for the year.

What are you waiting for? Kick-off 2021 with a business strategy that leaves you saying COVID, who?! Tickets for the 2021 Virtual Beaute Industrie Strategy Summit are on sale now.