MAKE IT HAPPEN THIS YEAR!!!!!! Business health checklist and tips for a bumper year.

Feb 13, 2013 No Comments by

The Health and Wellness Industry is STILL the fastest growing industry!  However, competition is getting stronger, the spa goer is more educated and making more informed decisions, service expectations are much higher than they have ever been and value for money is now a deal breaker.

Every year I write about how to take your business from being good to being GREAT.  Yet month after month I see salons and spas closing their doors and the sad part is that all these businesses have one thing in common, they did not get the basics right!

It really is very simple but you NEED to make a conscious decision to take action and apply what you read.  You really have nothing to lose but a little effort!  I guarantee that you give this your BEST and put huge effort and energy into DOING this and you will reap more than you ever expected.


This is one resolution that can dramatically change your business.  If you are not analyzing your business DAILY then I am not sure why you are in business in the first place. Basically from the daily business analysis spreadsheet you can see the following:

  • 1. Total spend per client per day.  For example one on day it was very low at only R502 per guest whereas on another it was excellent at R 2400 per guest.  You should always aim to achieve a total spend of higher than R800 per guest.
  •  2. Service vs. retail %.  Here you should aim for 40% of retail to service turnover.  This is an area this particular salon can improve on in a huge way.  So here the manager would book retail training, set higher incentives and more motivating incentives to get staff to achieve this percentage, etc.
  • 3.  Percentage of unsold hours.  This is so important as it can easily show that your booking system is not very efficient.  You should aim to have only 20% unsold hours as the internal booking hours is part of this.  Internal booking hours is the time spent on training, meetings, etc.
  • 4.  Specialized treatment bookings.  This is really a money and profit centre IF these treatments are sold.  This way you will monitor and set incentives accordingly.
  • 6.  Complimentary hours sold.  Often you are not even aware of the cost implications of complimentary treatments and also how many hours of profit time they take. Again this will make this stand out and ensure that you manage this correctly.
  • 7.  Machine courses sold.  This is vitally important as it can show you how your equipment investment is working out or not working out and you can also plan specials and promotions around these.


Start now and if you are not having weekly staff meetings where you give your staff feedback and let them know where they stand and where the business is heading.  Share figures with your staff.  If you keep your companies turnover figures to yourself you are not making your staff a part of the business.  Your business can only grow if your staff makes it grow and by making them a part of the business by not hiding what the business is doing is the first step.  Share each individual staff member turnover figures with all the staff and in this way you can help praise excellent achievers and build those needing some help.

Ensure your meetings are not boring and only your voice is heard.  Give different staff member’s different sections of the meeting to cover and then have an open forum where you go round the room and each staff member has their say over the previous week.


If your product lines are not giving you a minimum of 70% mark up, it’s time to clean up and clear out.  Why should you promote and sell ANY product that is not growing your bottom line????  So either call in your product supplier and negotiate the coming years pricing or choose another product line.

Make sure you do not have 6 or 7 product lines as this makes it difficult for both your therapists and guests to choose.  Keep focused but do keep a good selection!

If your product margins are good but the product is just not moving, call in your supplier, book training, promotions, do everything in your power to make it work first before you run and quickly change product ranges.  Remember you CAN make anything work in your business if you try hard enough.  IF THE MARK UP IS GOOD, MAKE THE BRAND WORK IN YOUR BUSINESS.


If there is a staff member that is negative, get rid of them once and for all.  Remember one rotten fruit will contaminate the whole bunch in time.  Please don’t wait and start the process immediately to clear your business out of negative energy.


This next sentence is so boring and been repeated a million times but I am not sure people listen to it.  EDUCATION IS POWER AND POWER IS MORE MONEY!  It really is that simple.  So what are you waiting for?  Managers and owners – have you booked your business classes???  Why should you not be attending education classes for our industry and growing your experience and knowledge?  I cannot stress the importance of knowing how to run your business efficiently and effectively and you can only do this with additional education.

Book every single member of staff on refresher training for the product houses you stock.  Make it compulsory salon policy that they attend yearly and ensure to get feedback from them on their return.  I have a form I give staff where I ask them to list 10 new things they learnt at the training they attended.  This gives you an idea of what made an impression in their minds and then you can build and work on it.

Please do not assume your staff are adequately trained or they have been working with a product house for 20 years so they know exactly what is going on…..  Don’t be fooled, technology and ingredients progress quicker than we think and you can never ever know everything!


If you plan your promotional calendar with your staff and suppliers at least quarterly in advance it makes it easier just to simply implement the promotion every month or quarter or season.

Decide whether you will offer monthly, seasonal or quarterly promotions and then make each staff member in charge of that promotion, from the ordering of the promotional stock to the printing of flyers or posters to the sms the promotion message to clients to the incentives for the staff, etc.

This takes a bit of pressure off you to always do everything and you may be surprised at the pro-activity of your staff.  Always be sure to give parameters in which to work for example you can allow them to order the promotional stock but if it comes to higher than R2000 they have to get your approval.


Plan a salon birthday cocktail function, a charity fundraiser, a 2 hour 40% sale, a bring a friend and win!   A WHATEVER…..  The point is do something, just one function per year where you go out of your way to do something more, different and bigger and get your clients involved and remember to give them adequate notice!


If you don’t already own a piece of equipment that generates high profit then you must seriously and carefully analyse your business.  The fact is that consumers WANT machines that produce results!  So act quickly and invest in a results driven machine.  If you are not sure what to choose as there is so much choice out there, we have a quick questionnaire that can help you make the correct decision for your business individual needs.


If you salon is not computerized and you are not able to receive and send emails or go on the internet, then please sort yourself out and get with the program!  Technology is power today and I can assure you that your business will benefit from using Salon Management Studio and having internet accessibility. IN FACT I AM HOPING YOU ARE ALL READING THIS SAYING:  “what year is she living in”.  Sad truth is that still around 30% of salons in this country have no email address and still using faxes as a means of communication.

Most consumers make buying decisions on the internet and social media is by far the most powerful marketing tool right now. 


This is no doubt the MOST valuable operations asset you can give your business and the sooner you get down and complete this manual the better it is for all your staff.  This manual is the bible of your business and clearly outlines all service standards and clearly explains exactly what is expected of each staff member.  If I can motivate you to do ONE important change in your business this year I would like you to draw up your S.O.P manual.  Once it is done it will be of no value if you don’t train your staff on each procedure and implement strict evaluation systems.


The fact of the matter is that unless your business makes a memory for the consumer they will keep going to other spas and salons and trying out different places.  If you make a strong enough memory they will want to re-live it and experience it all over again and will return to your business and this is really the ANSWER to a GREAT 2013! MAKE EVERLASTING MEMORIES.

I hope that you have found at least one resolution to make in your business for 2013 and I would love to hear about it, please email me on marisa

Salon Management

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