Last week, Liza talked about the importance of getting into the right mindset when planning your next steps for your business. Liza also shared the free, marketing tools you can use to stay connected with your clients and to build a strong relationship with them.
In this week's instalment of Business Boost, Liza Smith discusses the importance of getting the correct systems in place for your business, allowing you to work more efficiently.
Read Business Boost 2. Mindset & Marketing Pillars here.
Watch Business Boost 2. Mindset & Marketing Pillars here.
Download Business Boost 2. Mindset & Marketing Pillars here.
Business Boost 3. Key Strategic Systems
“When I decided I needed to take a step back from working completely IN my business and start to work ON my business, it meant that I needed to delegate jobs. The trouble was, the system of doing these jobs was in my head, so no one knew how best to do them! This led to us building what we call our Business Bible” - Liza Smith
SYSTEM (Save Yourself Stress Time, Energy & Money)
Systems are ways of doing things that have the best chance of bringing a particular result consistently.
Once you have identified what the “best practice” is, break it down into a series of steps that can be written down, illustrated or photographed so that they can be repeated again and again. Solve a problem, not once, but forever.
Hard systems are what something looks like e.g., your logo, design, uniform (visual consistency)
Soft systems are what something sounds like i.e., how you answer the phone, how you greet clients, how you deal with complaints and how you cross sell and up sell.
Understandably, systems are super important when it's not just you in your business, but even if you are alone in the business. Systemising processes will give you consistency and also allow you to manage your time more efficiently.
Ask yourself these three questions:
- Does this task take more than 5 mins?
- Is it a task that I’m going to have to do more than once?
- Is it a task, I personally, don’t like doing or that somebody can do more efficiently or effectively?
How to make a start?
- Capture the task (video yourself). Take it from your head and onto paper. If you don’t have a system in your head for a task, you need to adopt a task from a mentor.
- Document the captured activity and document each task in detail.
- Organise your systems “Salon Bible” into categories including reception, treatment protocols, marketing, complaints, the client journey and health & safety.
The Client Journey
The best way to systemise your client journey is to act like a secret shopper would. Examine every aspect and touch point that your client would come into contact with.
- Booking – online booking, accessibility, messaging, speed of reply
- Phone/email - speed of response, script
- Greeting – receptionist, over the phone
- Consultation – every service, in person, online options, script/checklist, GDPR
- Service – consistency, extras, pricing, retail, up/cross sell
- Payment – options, reliability, vouchers, retail sales
- Re-booking – availability, in advance, online options
- Communication – consistency, email, newsletter, offers
When writing down the protocol for each service, it needs to be written as if for an alien! Not only does this create consistency, but it will enable you to look at each service for efficiency or waste, either of time or product.
Start at the front of the salon, take note of everything that is dirty, broken or missing. Consider how often each area needs cleaning and make note of what product needs to be used. Create a list of where each cleaning product comes from, this saves time and money if bought from somewhere else, more expensive. Create a start of day and an end of day list for clarity.
Use an app like Planoly to upload images and create posts, ready to go in one sitting. They can be scheduled to post days/weeks in advance. Batching jobs like this, is a much better use of your time.
Health and Safety
Now, more than ever before, is it important to have a documented, up-to-date, risk assessment.
- Identify the hazard
- Decide who may be harmed
- Evaluate the risks and decide on the precautions
- Record the findings and put them in place
- Review the risk assessment
Even though sole traders by law do not need to have written documents, it is strongly recommended that you do carry out these checks and keep them updated.
Health and Safety Suite:
- A health and safety policy
- Risk assessment
- Insurance suitable for the business
- First aid kit and knowledge
- Accident book
- Fire safety certificate
- PAT testing
All of these can be downloaded from www.hse.gov.uk
Systems can be rolled out across the salon business. Salon management systems have come a long way and there are many on the market that are free or very reasonable. These systems can provide you with reports of your daily/weekly/monthly takings. It stores your customer data, for example, sending them appointment reminders. This reduces no shows and is an added bonus that clients appreciate.
If you do not have a team that you can delegate tasks to, you need to look at either eliminating those tasks or automating them. Keep a diary of the time blocks for a week or two, write down EVERYTHING you do for the business. Can you eliminate or automate any of them?
Your time is precious, you can choose to do more clients or have more free time.
Watch Business Boost 3. Key Strategic Systems here.