In a fast-paced world, life as a salon owner can sometimes be a headache. Business writer, Bill Lynott, offers seven top business tips that will untangling the way you do business, boost profits, and result in happier clients. It’s a must read!
Running your salon or spa is getting more complicated with every passing day; just keeping up with changing technology is a plateful. Back in the day, TV sets were black-and-white with an on-off knob and a choice of three or four channels. In those days, running a small business required equally simple basics.
Not so today. Tough competition, oppressive paperwork and dizzying advances in technology make it all too easy to fall into the costly trap of struggling to “keep up”. While you can’t afford to fall behind, it’s important to focus on the critical basics by avoiding unnecessary and costly over-complication in running your business.
Here are seven TOP TIPS to keep things running smoothly (and give cash flow a boost):
#1. Simplify your communications
These days, it’s important to be able to reach others quickly and easily, and to make yourself easily reachable. As for keeping yourself reachable, you’ve never had it so good. With your mobile phone, iPad, wireless internet access, and regular telephone service, you’re never far from anyone you want to contact (or who wants to contact you).
Unfortunately, you’re probably paying a lot more than necessary for all that complicated techno-communication. Simplify things by contacting your primary provider to see what bundled plans are available in your area. You may be surprised at how much you can save by giving all your communications business to one company, or simply by asking your sole provider to analyse your account for possible savings.
#2. Dig yourself out from under all that paper
With all the paperwork you’re required to slog through for business purposes, you don’t need to add to the burden by hanging on to reams of it because of the worry that you might need it someday. Most of it will never see the light of day. Organising guru Maria Gracia (www.getorganizednow.com) suggests these guidelines to help end the nightmare of out-of-control paper:
Use the 4 D’s for every piece of paper that crosses your desk: Do it; Delay it (File it in an action file or archive file); Delegate it; or Dump it.
Of course, even if you do a faithful job of following the 4 D system, you’ll still have some papers you must retain. Wherever possible, have these scanned into digital files that can be stored on your computer. Or, you can store your scanned documents on the internet using such free cloud-based services as Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or others.
Remember, the less hardcover paperwork you have clogging your life, the better, the simpler.
3#. File forever paperwork (ditch the rest)
Of course, there will always be some paperwork that you should save forever: birth certificates, passports, education records, life insurance policies, marriage license, divorce decrees, military service records and others, such as titles to motor vehicles and houses.
Be sure to stow all of these documents in one place (preferably a safe-deposit box) to help simplify your life. Once you’ve done that, be prepared to toss, toss, toss! Save monthly bank and brokerage statements for only one month. When the new one arrives, toss out or shred the old one. After you’ve paid your credit card bill, toss out the paper statement, or shred it if it has critical information such as your full account number.
#4. Use a single insurer
Keeping all your business (and personal) insurance with one company simplifies things by cutting down on the number of bills you have to pay, and it often offers other benefits as well. Most major insurance companies offer generous discounts to customers who purchase more than one policy.
If you’re currently using two or more insurance companies for your business and personal needs, look into the potential savings (and simplification) of consolidating all your policies with the one company you feel serves you best.
Once you’re doing business with one company, consider going one step further. While it may cost you a little more, renewing all your insurance policies on the same date with the same agent lets you sit down once a year to review insurance for the entire business, instead of having different renewals pop up three or four times a year. You’ll save time, and your insurance agent will be able to serve you more efficiently.
#5. Don’t give too much away
When you’re discussing your services with a new client, be careful not to lead her down confusing purchase paths. Never clutter your recommendations or estimates with so much information that it confuses the prospect and makes it difficult to choose.
Keep in mind that complicating things is easy; simplifying things is smart (and profitable).
#6. Enlist your computer
Whether your business is large enough to make use of one of those heavyweight commercial software packages, or whether you use Quicken® or Money® or one of the other over-the-counter software packages on a desktop PC, trust every aspect of your finances, including business and personal investments, to your computer. The financial reports and analyses that modern software can produce at the touch of a button can be vitally important tools for improving cash flow and bottom-line profits while they help to simplify your life.
Even if your business is large enough to farm out most of your record-keeping, consider putting your finances into one of the popular software packages designed for small business and personal finance. They are infinitely easier to use than they were as recently as a couple of years ago. More important, they will teach you, in dramatic fashion, how much you can benefit from a sensible cash management system.
#7. Simplify your bills
Your bank would like you to pay your bills electronically, and they’re making it easy and profitable for you to do so. Whether you sit down to write cheques every month, or whether you farm out that work, you can simplify your life and save money by letting your bank do that work for you (at no cost).
Improvements in technology and user-friendly web sites make online bill paying almost as easy as logging on to check your e-mail. If you’re really lazy, you may sign up for a system to pay recurring bills such as utilities and office rent that requires no action at all on your part.
If the current trend is a reliable indicator, taking pen in hand to pay your bills seems destined to become as archaic as carbon paper and typewriters. Check with your bank to see how easy it is to simplify your life by jumping on the bill-paying bandwagon.
Bill Lynott is a highly respected business writer. To get in touch, contact firstname.lastname@example.org