More often than not when we meet a small business owner, we are meeting the head of every department in that business as well. Business owners will often have a hard time enjoying the fruits of their labor because of the many hats that they wear. These roles — from accounting, marketing, HR, and the passion of the business itself — pull small business owners in different directions. For salon owners, this is no different. You have your passion for serving your customers, however, this also comes with keeping up with inventory, renting out the stations, accurately balancing the books, making sure the salon is cleaned, among many other tasks. It’s hard to chase your business dreams when you are constantly in the trenches. But there are tools available to help you delegate your work and support you and your salon to thrive:
- Draft a plan for business. The first step to “thrive instead of just survive” would be to develop a business plan. Dream up your ideal salon scenario. Ask yourself questions like "Is my goal to open multiple salons? Would I benefit from administrative staff? What is the ideal amount of new clients I would like to see come through in my salon? Do I need to contract some of my work out? Would I benefit from a bookkeeper?" Hone in on what is most important to your salon, your salon mission, what makes the most sense along the journey, and your realistic cash flow. When you know what your goals are and you have an actionable plan, it’s a lot easier to decide which of your responsibilities you need or are able to delegate.
- Lean into technology. In today’s digital age, it’s amazing how much software is out there that help businesses succeed. It can be hard to know where to even begin with how much is out there! First and foremost, you want to make sure you are using a bookkeeping software. This will be the best way to keep track of your money, get organized with invoices, and pay bills. Similarly, if you are paying bills by check or sending money to anyone, consider adding a software that will make it easy to keep track of any bills you need to pay, send money to contractors, schedule payments, etc. Good news is that a lot of software integrates together so you’ll have real-time information across platforms. Another thing to look out for is if your salon holds any inventory that your customers are able to purchase. Making sure that the point of sale system you use is intuitive and works with your other software will allow you to have a clear idea of inventory at any time.
- Assemble your salon dream team. The number one way to take off your business ants is to have a dedicated team that you can delegate those hats to. Some important outsourced professionals that should be considered are bookkeepers or accountants that can help you keep track of all of your finances, help you make plans to grow, advise financial decisions, and be a sounding board for any ideas you may have. Similarly, administrative help is so important. Whether it’s someone at your salon helping with administrative tasks or a virtual assistant — their job is to help you get and stay organized. It is also beneficial to think about CPAs and lawyers who will help you with the hardships of taxes, audits, contracts, and lawsuits, among other things. Tapping into these experts and adding them to your team helps take the hats off you so you can spend more time doing what you love.
It’s hard to entrust your business in the hands of new software and people, but it’s also hard to be everything and everywhere in your business. Salon owners that truly see the most success are the ones that learn to delegate their tasks, entrust professionals to help where it’s needed, and scale their business with the tools that are available to them. But ultimately the difference between a successful salon — and not — is one that invests in the right tools and professionals that can come in and help the areas that you can let go of. It’s okay to take off one of the many hats you wear in order to elevate your salon business. A business plan, technology tools, and a dream team are the secret weapons to help your salon not only survive, but thrive.
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