Are you getting what you came for from your salon business? If not, the new year is the perfect time to take back control.

Do you remember what originally inspired you to invest in your salon business?

Were you lured by the promise of making great money, having more time and enjoying a brilliant work/life balance?

Maybe it feels like a pipe dream now. That you’ve been building sandcastles in the air without reaping the rewards you hoped for.

If your head’s hitting the pillow at midnight and you’re back up at the crack of dawn for another day on the salon floor, it’s time to take control.

Stop wondering what your ideal salon even looks like, or how on earth the clinic up the road seems to be booming. Instead of looking outward, it’s time to look inward for the mindset and actions that will make change happen.

Start here, with my four key steps to getting the business you always imagined owning.

Step 1: Know your numbers

Like every business owner, you need to know what it costs to open your door every day for your salon, spa or clinic space.

It’s your break-even figure: all the costs combined, from rent and insurance to electricity, wages, software, cleaning and more.

I’m still amazed that many salon owners guess their break-even figure. You need to be clear.

If your weekly outgoings are $5850, then you shouldn’t be paying yourself before your revenue exceeds $5850. It’s simple.

Add up all your projected bills (yes, every one of them, including the Christmas party costs) over the coming year and divide the total by fifty-two. That’s the figure you need to know.

And you need to work it out for yourself, not bump the task to your bookkeeper or accountant. They’ll only focus on last year’s figures.

You need to look ahead. Got your figure? Great.

Now break it down in to terms of achievable goals – how many clients, how many services and how many products do your team need to deliver to reach your magical break-even figure each day, each week, each month?

Step 2: What’s your plan?

Trust me – you need a plan.

Write down a long list of personal and professional goals, but work on only two at a time.

The two most common goals salon and clinic owners list are more time off and more money for the work you put in day after day.

For your two chosen goals, write another list breaking each down into how you could achieve them, what needs to be in place to make them happen.

Instead of thinking about the problem, think in terms of the solution:
• preparing an education plan
• having team meetings
• doing team appraisals
• surveying clients about service
• making time for one-to-one meetings

Step 3: Training and education

Upskilling and training your team should be front and centre of your business plan. Your team needs to stay up-to-speed on latest trends, new techniques and innovative products so they can professionally solve clients’ problems.

Start by working out the quietest two-hour period each week in your salon. Allocate it to training and education once a month. Lock it in: same time, same day, every month for the year ahead.

Brainstorm 12 relevant topics, allocate a team member as expert for each topic and you have your training program and trainers sorted.

Step 4: One-on-one meetings

As a coach to salon owners, I know that every problem you face falls into one of four main categories:
• skill
• team
• attitude
• neglect

When you meet individually with your team members, you hear them. You let them tell you what help they need.

Once a week, shout them a coffee and have an honest chat. It could be the best $4.50 you spend all week. Once you understand their goals, dreams and needs, you can better plan your business.

In a nutshell, never lose sight of why you became a salon owner in the first place. Let that early business dream of yours inspire the salon you imagined for tomorrow.

Marie Drever is a Zing businesscoach and established successful salon owner.