How to Stop Salonstoriss from Ruining your Business this Year

As the economic headwinds are howling – bringing higher taxes, unemployment and mountains of red tape – too many salon owners feel shaky about their business.

With retailers having their weakest holiday season since 2008 (sales up 0.7%) it’s no wonder they feel this way. And this feeling, stemming from a combination of being bombarded by bad news leads to uncertainty, and that uncertainty, over time, weighs down on you, and from that weight and accompanying worry you can develop a case of “Salonstoriss”.

So what is Salonstoriss? It’s a mental condition where flat sales and shrinking profits leads owners to throw up their hands in frustration – exclaiming “what should I do now because nothing that we’re trying seems to be working anymore?”

And what they end up doing is very little – if anything at all. They simply wait for things to happen rather than make things happen. The worst part about Salonstoriss, is that it spreads like a virus, infiltrating your mindset – resulting in slowed down business decisions and action taking.

Unfortunately in today’s world where speed is a key component to business success – Salontsoriss will gradually and painfully put a salon out of business. And next to the loss of a loved one, or the breakup of a committed relationship, the loss of a business is the most painful experiences an owner can have.

Fortunately there is an antidote and it’s available – free of charge.

Why free of charge? Because all it takes is a shift in your thinking and then some elbow grease (the actions you take as a result of your new mindset).

So what do I mean by “shift in your thinking”? It’s all about taking a clear look and the actions you take as a result of that thinking pertaining to:

     1. Yourself as a salon owner
     2. Your salon
     3. Your employees
     4. Your clients

Now you may be asking yourself questions like “how do I take a clear look?” and “what type of actions should I be moving towards that will bring me and my salon to the next level?”

Those answers are contained in my free download Busy Salon’s ‘Point of View in Action”. So click here to grab it right now. Then book some time (a half an hour should do it) and fill out the form.

If you’d like some extra help in Getting Your Salon’s Year In Gear – 2013© I’ve set aside a limited number of complimentary sessions to go over your “Point of View in Action”. To grab yours today simply click on big “BOOK NOW” button.

Don’t forget to sign up for my bi-monthly ezine “The Finkelstein Report”

Seven Root Causes of Salon Marketing Fatigue

Most salon/spa owners/managers are frustrated and disappointed when they advertise and promote their business.

Why? Because they’re tired of getting far too little results for their marketing efforts.

The problem is that that they have salon marketing fatigue. Fatigue caused repeating what they’ve done before hoping that this time things will improve or try something new, hoping that it’ll do “the trick”.

The way to cure this problem is digging down and finding it’s root cause.

So if your salon/spa’s performance is falling short of your expectations it’s the result of one of the following:

#1 You have the wrong mindset: Your thoughts and attitudes, plus the underlying

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beliefs you say to yourself determine your outcomes. For information on mindsets I recommend the work of Byron Katie at www.thework.com

For example if you think it takes too much time, or is too expensive to do, then guess what? It will be. Your beliefs create your reality, so you’ll want to look at them, identify them, and work with a process to turn around those beliefs. You’ll want to question your limiting beliefs.

#2 You don’t know how to play the “game”: Like any game marketing has rules and parameters. It’s a process with a beginning, a middle end, and an end. Remember just like a game, you’ll also need a way to keep score.

#3 You don’t speak the “language”: No, this isn’t the technical stuff of the advertising world, it’s the way to use language. It’s about the syntax (the order in which ideas are communicated). You probably know marketing is about AIDA (gaining attention, creating interest, and desire, and getting the prospect to take action). The challenge is what you have to say to get AIDA. Robert Middleton, www.actionplanmarketing.com coined the phrase “marketing” syntax.

#4 You don’t have a powerful message: You haven’t used the syntax to develop the message. The purpose of your message is to get attention and interest, so people say, “Tell me more.”

#5 You don’t have the right currency: Currency is information about your services that your prospective clients are looking for. Use it to turn interest into commitment. Once you have their attention, they want to know more.

#6 You haven’t implemented the right tactics: Use more than one tactic to convert a person into a client. Approach them from more than one angle.

#7 You don’t have a marketing action plan: All of it must be written out. It’s your blueprint for marketing success. Remember, the act of putting it down on paper gets the ball rolling as nothing else can.

So to get and keep high quality clients realize your not in salon/spa business but in the business of marketing your salon/spa.

 

 

Limiting Your Action Plans

Here’s a quick tip for owners/managers who know how important it is to have an Action Plan, especially now in the rough seas of the recession.

Limit the

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number of Action Plans you work on to one or two per quarter. What’s an Action Plan? An Action Plan is the part of your overall One Page Marketing Plan. An Action Plan answers the question, “What is the work we have

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to do to achieve the objective we want to reach?” So why limit your Action Plans? Limiting your Action Plans helps you to:

  1. Select more carefully, where you choose to put your resources, the benefit of which is you have your assets working harder for you.
  2. Have more focus. Focus is what you need to ensure you and your people keep your eyes on the prize, especially in turbulent times when your thoughts can wander all over the place. Focus grounds you on what’s really important and allows you to release the stuff that’s not.
  3. Increase the odds of success. My gosh, you don’t have to do all that much to be successful. It’s just choosing what to do and then doing it.

So you probably have a laundry list of things you want to put in place, so you can achieve your 2009 objectives. Imagine what would happen if you got eight of them done this year! How about four! Don’t know about you, but even four is a lot. BYW, if you haven’t put a plan in place and want to use a simple planning template, you can find out more here.

Does Your Marketing Pass the Test?

Man oh man! There is a lot of confusion out there in the salon/spa world about marketing. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you’re confused; however if your marketing isn’t focused on at least one of what I call, “THE BIG THREE,” then I recommend you put your marketing to the test.

Why am I saying this? If your marketing is not focused on three things, it isn’t working for you, and that’s a shame. You work too hard for your money to invest it in fluff. You don’t need me to tell you this. However, sometimes you need to hear it from a third party because you may not be able to see the forest from the trees. To have marketing that’s not working hard or pulling its weight is a waste. Moreover, who has money, time, and energy to burn? I haven’t run across anyone like that lately. Have you? You may know this already since you are a savvy owner. However, I’ll say it anyway. Sometimes we have to get back in touch with the basics. So here it is: In business (whether it’s the salon/spa business or not) nothing happens until you get a client or customer. Without them, your business has little value. If this is true (and it is), why don’t most owners and managers focus on THE BIG THREE? Why do so many of them spend so much of their time, money, energy, and attention in areas that have little to do with attracting (and re-attracting) clients? OK, maybe they are working on their marketing. But if they are working on their marketing, (which one of my mentors, Eben Pegan, calls “the science of getting prospects and turning them into profitable customers”), why are they still in the red rather than in the black? So exactly what type of marketing bleeds businesses to death rather than drops dollars into their bank accounts? The type most people in advertising and marketing try to sell you. I call it “vanity plate” marketing. What’s vanity plate marketing? It’s the same old type of marketing most salons/spa owners are talked into. Who talks them into it? It’s those silver-tongued sales people, of course. I only wish the marketing

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they sold were as silver-tongued as they are. Whether they are selling you on-line or off-line marketing, they will tell you that you need to get your name out there. You need to build an image or brand. Why? Because without an that your business is nothing. It has no value…blah, blah, blah. When you ask them how to do that, they tell you that it’s through image, advertising and publicity. They will throw a bunch of numbers around and probably some slick Power Point presentation. They might tell you all about frequency and size of the ad; about reaching X number of households, etc. You know what I’m talking about, all that fancy stuff. Now to be fair, image, or branding activities indeed may enhance your image. Sure it may give you some recognition, but it doesn’t call for a client response. In addition, they fall short in getting people to respond; to bringing people into your doors. What’s the use of putting money, time, and energy into something when it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do? So what are your marketing activities supposed to do? They are supposed to do one of three things.

  • Help your target identify or clarify their need for your service or product (so they’ll buy).
  • Help them become more knowledgeable about your offering (so they’ll be clients who return again).
  • Get them inspired by your service (so they’ll send others to you).

These are the BIG THREE. Pretty simple isn’t it? Therefore, what you’ll want to do is this. You’ll want to put your marketing to the test. Simply ask, “does this piece of marketing do one or more of the BIG THREE?” If the answer is “Yes” then proceed with it. If not, then dump it and try something that meets the criteria.

The Salon/Spa Owner’s Real Job is Leadership

Have you ever hired someone who had experience in a particular job only to find out they didn’t know how to do it? Every company has different systems, procedures, methods, and ways of doing things. It’s part of the company’s environment. It’s up to you, the owner, to create the environment of your company.

It’s your job to make sure everyone is clear about what they’re signing on for. It’s your job to make sure they know how things are done. And it’s your job to make sure they’re doing it. This may sound a bit tough, if you want your business to actualize your vision then you will do what it takes to make that occur, otherwise it won’t. It’s as simple as that. Let me tell you a story about accountability. The other day I was in the retail/reception area of a salon waiting for my son who was getting a haircut. Mind you, this salon is well known in the neighborhood, beautifully designed, etc. As I was waiting, one of the stylists came up to the front desk and told the other stylists who were there (there were three of them on duty) not to come and find her before seating the client, but to seat the client

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first. She asked them to offer them a beverage and then come to find her. This may or may not have been the salon protocol for handling a client, I was put off by the whole thing. This sort of behavior in public is destructive to the business. I could have been a new client who was waiting to be seen. I know people can do so much better. They can have much more pride in their work, no matter what the position. However, it all starts with leadership. Moreover, leadership starts with how you think, your point of view. Since I have been dealing with salons for nearly my entire career, I knew immediately that there was a salon system breakdown. Wanting to confirm my hunch, I casually asked one of the front desk people if she was new on the job. She said that it was her first week. Having decided to play salon sleuth, I created an opportunity to talk with another front desk person (a more senior one) and after asking her what retail would be right for me, I asked her about the incident. She sighed, then I asked her if there was a training manual that they use for new people. She really couldn’t recall. THIS IS

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ONE OF Salon Today’s TOP 200 SALONS! I hope you get where I’m taking this. These folks, as nice as they may have been, didn’t have a clue

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about customer service. More than that, I’d bet that if you asked the front desk what their job is they’d say, “to book appointments,” and technically they’re right. It’s just that booking appointments is a function of the job and not what I’d call a result statement of that position. Here’s the thing. It’s not their fault that they don’t know about customer service. It’s the owner’s fault. It is his responsibility to make sure they have systems (including training systems) in place so that everyone knows what they have to do

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and how to do it. Furthermore, I know that this company is struggling with its retail sales and with its retention. There is an old Sicilian saying which is, “the fish stinks from the head down.”