Strong and effective leadership skills are vital for the growth of your skin care and spa business, whether you are currently a salon and spa owner, manage a team, or aspire to have your own esthetics business one day. Developing leadership skills promotes growth, both personally and professionally.
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.
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.
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. You can practice with members to create a more powerful presence, allowing you to convey confidence to your team and clients.
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.
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!
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.
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. Teamwork makes the dream work.
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. 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.
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 confident 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!