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Are You Prepared for Serious Salon/Spa Growth?


Every salon/spa owner has that special vision of the company he or she wants to build.

Some envision grand multiple locations that are systemized, highly productive and wildly profitable...

Others envision a single location with a highly skilled team, delivering extraordinary customer service experiences that's busy and making money.

Having those amazing visions of what can be … and making those visions a reality ... are two entirely different conversations.

For clarification, when discussing "serious salon/spa growth" … I'm NOT referring to a business that rents chairs/treatment rooms or leases suites. Rental and suites is about occupancy and collecting monthly payments.

FACT: Leading an employee-based salon or spa in 2022 and beyond is a totally different game with new rules, disciplines and systems.

There's no "flip the switch" quick-fix to achieving near-perfect balance between teamwork, culture, profitability, employee loyalty, customer brand loyalty and employee growth paths.

So what does serious salon and spa growth look like?

Here are seven benchmarks that you should be striving to hit every year: 

  • Sustained, year-after-year, 15% to 20% revenue growth

  • Sustained, year-after-year, +/-15% Net Profit

  • Sustained, year-after-year, cash reserves equal to 10% or more of total annual revenue

  • Sustained, year-after-year, first-time client retention rate greater than 50%

  • Sustained, year-after-year, existing client retention rate greater than 85%

  • Sustained, year-after-year, productivity rate of 80% or higher

  • Sustained, year-after-year, pre-book rate of 70% or higher

Achieving serious salon/spa growth as defined above is one of those “be careful what you wish for” things. It doesn’t happen by accident or wishful thinking. It takes relentlessly hard work, consistency, demanding standards of performance … and accountability at all levels of the organization.

Here are four No-Compromise Leadership insights on what it takes to achieve serious salon/spa growth:

  1. Are your leadership skills growing in sync with your salon/spa’s growth? The Peter Principle is alive and well when it comes to one’s ability to grow in sync with his or her company. It simply means that the skills that got your salon/spa to this point will not get it to it’s ultimate destination. Are you willing to rock the boat? Are you willing to make tough decisions? Are you willing get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to grow? Too many owners get stuck. Too many fear change when they should be embracing it. If you’re not pushing yourself to grow in sync with your salon/spa’s growth … you have achieved your level of incompetence.

  2. Are you planning your salon/spa’s future or reacting to it? Great business futures are planned. If you’ve evolved more into a fire fighter than a leader … then you’re stuck in reaction mode. Just when you think one fire is out … another one ignites. As the leader, you cannot dream, plan and plot your salon/spa’s future when you’re stuck fighting fires. One of my favorite Jack Stack quotes is, “If you’re making a decision today that will affect your company in the next thirty days … you’re making the wrong decisions.” This means that your focus needs to be down range identifying opportunities and threats. Simply put, you can’t see what’s coming at you when you’re watching your feet. RELATED: Check out this article we wrote on how to overcome being overwhelmed.

  3. Are you capable of wearing fewer hats? Entrepreneurs are notorious for wearing too many hats. As a salon/spa grows, it becomes a more complex organization with more moving parts. Wearing all those hats was fine in the early years … but attempting to wear all the hats when in serious growth mode turns the leader into an obstacle. Nothing can move until the leader with all the hats approves, tampers or micro-manages the process. The leader of a salon/spa generating $3 million a year wears fewer and more strategic hats than the leader of a salon/spa generating $300,000 a year. When in serious growth mode, hats are distributed to leadership team members in order for the leader to wear only the most important hats.

  4. Are your financial management skills and practices in sync with growth? FACT: Too many salon/spas operate in a perpetual cash crisis with little to no cash reserve to fall back on. In almost every case, this scenario is caused by insufficient or non-existent financial management skills and practices. Financial stress is like living in a state of impending doom. If you’re waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat … it’s because payroll, that pile of bills and your debt load have exceeded cash flow. And it’s all self-inflicted. If you want to experience serious growth … you need serious financial systems and disciplines to ensure that you can continue to fund that growth. If you don’t have a twelve-month cash-flow plan that you live every day … serious growth can and will put you out of business.

Here’s my challenge to you: Take a hard look at where your salon/spa business is today and compare that to where you want it to be in the next five or ten years. Next, using the above bullet points, brutally rate how you either excel or fall short in each. If you excel, push a little harder on your company’s gas pedal. If you fall short, decide what you’re going to do about it.

Lastly, it is healthy to think and dream big. That dream big vision got you into business in the first place. If you’ve taken a few hits along the way … you’re not alone. We all have. Serious growth is an option that is yours to take. Just make sure you’re prepared before you hit the launch button.

Want some help?

If you're ready to start achieving the types of sustainable, year-after-year growth numbers that are outlined above, we can show you how. The two best places to start are Strategies Incubator Seminar and/or the Strategies Membership Program.

  • The Incubator Seminar is our flagship four-day business event...taking you on an intensive journey through the entire Strategies Management System...Team-Based Pay, financial literacy, productivity, profitability, staff retention, client loyalty, leadership, skill certification and more. Click here for upcoming Incubator dates.

  • The Strategies Membership Program speeds up the process with personalized coaching from Certified Strategies Coach, as well as access to Strategies' full menu of business classes, members-only events and more...all for one low monthly payment.

Experience a Strategies Coaching Call for free: Sign up here for a free 60-minute strategy session with a Certified Strategies Coach.


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