Follow The Leader!

Les Nouvelle Esthetiques

August 2011

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Build An Unlimited Clientele

Build An Unlimited Clientele

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Follow The Leader!

Build A Strong, Cohesive Salon & Spa Team And Lead Them To Success

Strong leadership skills will be vital for the growth or your career and your business, whether you are currently a salon and spa owner, manage a team, or aspire to have your own esthetics business one day. Inspiring Champions is a business training and coaching company specializing in the professional beauty business. Founder Lauren Gartland and her team of industry experts teach thousands of beauty professionals each year to increase their business profits through their live training camps and coaching sessions. Oscar Valencia is an Inspiring Champions instructor with over 25 years in the beauty industry. Valencia relays how important leadership skills are for personal and professional growth.

The Importance Of Leadership

Leadership skills have a direct impact on the business profit of your salon or spa. Strong leadership leads to increased business margins, which means peace of mind for owners. The challenge most salon and spa owners face is that they are wearing many hats. Most owners are still treating clients themselves and the only thing their employees see daily is their backs as they're working! Owners rarely have the time to fully devote to coaching and leading their team members. While they may believe they are leading their team by example; that is not true leadership. The consequence is that there is no real plan for success.

Valencia notes, "Team members in most salons and spas are merely hoping they will become successful, versus seeing what it could look like to be truly thriving. In an ideal world, the business would generate profit without any of the salon or spa owner's revenue. Eighty-two percent of salons and spas are not profitable without revenue produced from the owner. In most cases, the business would close within three months if the owner was not able to work due to injury or other absence. Many owners also are not able to take a regular paycheck for themselves."

"Repeatable
systems are
the tools for
transformation for
your business and
they make that
transformation sustainable."

Find Leadership Resources

While some salon and spa owners may have natural confidence in their leadership skills, others may need additional support. If you feel you need some extra guidance with leadership, seek out resources that will have a direct impact on your skills. Groups like Toastmasters are free and offer coaching and constructive critiques. You can practice with members to create a more powerful presence, allowing you to convey confidence to your team and clients. Look online for additional free resources on speaking and leadership through a local Meetup.com group or Craigslist.

You can become more poised by joining a local business building group, which will allow you to network and increase referrals and contacts. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to get a list and visit at least three to five groups before committing to one. The benefits of a networking group are that it brings together business people from different industries who want to tap into other business experts. You'll also have the opportunity to make new friendships and meet business people outside of your industry who will provide support and inspiration to help you grow your business. Inspiring Champions offers many resources for team building and leadership, with proven techniques that have inspired real business transformations. Investing in these types of continuing education is the most effective way to invest in yourself.

Clearly Define Your Vision

In a perfect world you would start team building at the ground level of your business, by creating your vision or mission statement along with your team members. Your vision should be a clear, concise statement that relays what you want your salon or spa to be and what it is striving to achieve. Your values and goals should be reflected and shared by all your team members. You should be able to consult your vision statement regularly to check if your business is going in the right direction. If you already have a vision statement, consider redoing it as a team effort. What you co-create with your team members will be supported by them, as they will then have ownership in it. This is how to get your team working for the mission instead of the paycheck!

Valencia notes, "The process side of leadership comes from clearly defining your expectations of your team. When an owner has laid out a clearly defined vision and business plan, then that allows the team to fully support it because they will then know what the finish line looks like." As an owner or manager, you should establish clear goals and accountability in your business. If you expect your team to retail professional skincare products, upsell esthetic services or cross market other spa services in your business, then that should be fully explained and supported. When your team is actively working to augment their daily client appointments with additional services and retailing, then their margins will be increased and so will yours.

Create A Cohesive Team

Creating a strong team begins with the interview process. Communicate to your interviewees exactly what your vision is and discover if they want to share it. Create policies and procedures that clearly convey how your business works and let your team know your expectations from day one. Hold regular staff meetings to touch base with your team on policies, procedures, expectations and accountability. Always thoroughly plan prior to your meetings and keep meetings focused in the direction that you want them to go. Some salons and spas have daily morning meetings to set their intentions for the day. As every business is unique, you will find your own rhythm and choose what works best for your team.

Many owners avoid meetings because they don't want them to turn into complaint sessions. Yet those owners don't really understand what their team can grow to become. Regular meetings are vital to feed that growth. Meetings can become an exciting venue to share ideas, inspiration and support for the team. Valencia says, "Teamwork makes the dream work. I come from a background in professional baseball. Sports teams always hold pregame locker room meetings. As a ballplayer, I had 162 games in a season. That's a lot of meetings! Yet without those meetings, our chances of winning the game would have decreased immensely."

Remember that positive reinforcement works much better than negative to help inspire your team. Always publicly praise and privately reprimand. Build your team members up to see and recognize their own value. When your team members achieve their smaller goals along the way, help them to then raise the bar with new, bigger goals. Individual criticism should always be done privately. Refer back to your business policies and procedures to ensure that your team member understands your expectations. Valencia shares, "Take personal responsibility for your team members if they are falling behind and ask them how you can make your expectations more clear for them? Ask them what you need to do to help them alter their behavior? Involving them in the process ensures they have co-created the outcome with you."

Spa Systems Create Clarity

Each salon and spa is a separate entity with a unique culture, yet there are many challenges that are very common to every business. Common challenges include punctuality, personal appearance, lack of participation in retailing and sales programs or failure to consistently rebook appointments. Returning back to the idea of a clear vision and a set of concise policies and procedures will solve most issues in the workplace. Communicating clearly with your team through regular meetings on these issues and meeting individually with team members to re-establish your expectations will provide resolution.

The best value for salon and spa owners as a resource is the use of repeatable systems. Proven systems will be a solution for every challenge in your business from the front desk to client consultations, professional product retailing, upselling treatments and rebooking appointments. Ensure that you are following professional salon or spa systems in your business and teaching them to your team members. You should be regularly practicing your systems with your staff to help them become confidant and proficient. By creating goals for individual and team retail sales, client retention and referrals, you will dramatically increase your business revenue and help your entire team to prosper!

Valencia concludes, "We have seen salons and spas that have redefined their entire cultures. They have achieved major victories by using the tools we have supplied. Repeatable systems are the tools for transformation for your business and they make that transformation sustainable. The positive outcome of your strong leadership is that you will find your voice in confidence to become an agent for that change."

EDITORIAL NOTE:
Inspiring Champions is a business and coaching company offering live training camps, coaching and mentoring services, webinars, audio tapes and educational resources. For more information call 800-496-9305 or visit www.InspiringChampions.com.
Jenny Hogan is the Media Director at Marketing Solutions, Inc., a full-service marketing, advertising and PR agency specializing in the professional beauty business. For more information, contact 703-359-6000, visit www.MktgSols.com or send an email to MktgSols@MktgSols.com.