Getting Ready to Be Ready
We have a new operations director at our studio and she will be instrumental in helping us get ready for 2012. I love being prepared and find most salon owners and stylists are too busy to prepare, which means they do what they have always done and get the same results. I am telling you, in 2012, we are not going to do the same, we are going to do BETTER! The one thing that will insure success is a good plan - remember, you plan for success, failure just happens.
A Three-Part Plan
For 2012, we are focusing our studio’s efforts in three areas; Honing Our Skills, Social Networking and Community Involvement. Here's how our plan works.
Honing Our Skills
Start with the basics and there will always be a benefit. The reason sports teams, orchestras, emergency management services and dancers (among others) obsessively practice basics is because it makes them better. Practicing scales in music, swimming laps, doing push ups, wind sprints and even resuscitating people are skills based on basics – and the basics are what makes people and teams successful, not the one time touchdown. It’s the same for our industry and my studio team. Practicing a perfect ponytail, a perfect graduated bob or a perfectly applied single process will dramatically impact everyday work, and when you celebrate the foundations of talents, your skills grow and expand.
The last 10 years have been about social networking, the next ten is going to be about the games that social networking create. From Yelp, to FourSquare, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and more, who you are and how successful you are is spoken about on-line and if your not involved, you might not like what is being said. I read an interesting article recently about organizations that do a great job of managing the on-line conversations that are happening making sure that they control the bad and reward the good. The problem with most on-line review sites is that the only time you think to write a review there is; 1. If you had a bad experience, 2. If you are new to the business or to the review site, or 3. If someone from the business asked if you would write a review. From these 3 choices, the most likely to happen without prompting is #1, meaning without our support like in the real world, without encouragement, an unhappy guest will tell more people than a happy guest. Except now, it lives on-line forever. So make games that reward your raving fans to post reviews on-line and make sure that they help you put your best foot forward.
Document and record everything, and get out there in your community. Being involved in The Special Olympics, domestic abuse charities (Purple Ribbon Counsel), Matrix Chairs of Change, charity fashion shows and free blow-drys at gyms are ways we can offer our salon as a Community Space. Women's networking groups, local schools, the Chamber of Commerce, local church groups and even local shelters are just some of the many groups that you can support, and through involvement, create new platforms for your community to see what you can do for them. I love all the community activities our salon and team is involved in, it creates a very comfortable way for new guests to learn about our team and be excited about becoming a new studio guest.
2012 is going to be a great year and I know with a little planning and a little extra time devoted to the basics we will continue to grow and be better for your guests. Combining those improved skills with social networking and community involvement gives us a way to present something new to our guests every time they see us, something tat they can share about us to make us more viral.