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What it Really Takes to Live Best Practices


It’s no wonder why many salon/spa owners have an insatiable appetite for learning about “best practices.”

Best practices are best described as the methodologies, systems and behaviors that distinguish the “great” salons/spas from your “not-so-great” counterparts.

But learning about best practices, then implementing them, and then getting these transformative business approaches to stick, is another story.

It’s tough to get best practices to stick in a service business like a salon/spa.


Because nearly every aspect of the customer service experience is human dependent.

And because best practices are human dependent, living them consistently every day is 100% dependent on you, the leader.

As the leader of your salon/spa …

  • You are the keeper of your company vision.
  • You create and protect your culture.
  • You maintain accountability
  • You inspire your team to achieve breakthroughs

Here are five No-Compromise Leadership strategies to help you and your team implement and live best practices in your salon/spa every day.

  1. They are change initiatives: Each and every best practice that you want to implement must be regarded as a change initiative. Procedures will need to change. Behaviors will need to change. Responsibilities will need to change. More importantly, each best practice that you implement creates incremental refinements in your culture. KEY: As leader, your prime responsibility is to communicate and clarify the why, what and how each best practice will benefit your company, your employees and your customers. Without clarity and team buy-in, a best practice doesn’t stand a chance of succeeding.
  2. Intimidate yourself: Implementing a best practice means pushing yourself and your team out of your comfort zones. A best practice means doing what you do at an entirely new level of execution. Bringing out the best in yourself and your team should be challenging. KEY: Motivation requires energy. Inspiration to overcome requires leadership. Confidence comes from practiced discipline. Leadership is about challenging your team to attempt something extraordinary. Something they weren’t sure they could do. This is what living best practices requires.
  3. Break the mold: Breakthroughs happen when you smash the mold, raise the bar, and discover new possibilities. The mold is about conformity and doing things the same way. Yesterday's mold may have achieved yesterday's extraordinary, but yesterday's extraordinary is today's ordinary. KEY: When was the last time you broke your company’s trusted mold? It's probably past its useful life. Invent a new best practices mold to achieve a new breakthrough. Just remember, you'll have to break that mold too one day.
  4. Choose wisely: What do you really want your salon/spa to achieve in the next five years? What’s that one thing you want your brand to be recognized for? What levels of performance will make you feel strong, proud and worthy? Answering these questions means selecting the best-of-the-best business practices that will take your company to extraordinary new places. It means locking them into your company's thinking and culture. KEY: Select and embrace best practices that will create the company you always envisioned. Go beyond the numbers and select those best practices that will make a difference in people’s lives. Remember that achieving benchmarks and amazing critical numbers are a reflection of leadership, culture and behavior.
  5. Believe in yourself: Life is a roller coaster full of ups and downs. There are times when you need to reach deep to find those morsels of courage to keep you in the game and moving forward. It sure helps to have people around you who believe in you, but in the end, you must believe in your own ability to implement and live best practices every day. KEY: We all have the ability to do better. Not everyone has the courage. Nothing bad ever comes from giving your best effort to something you believe in. Believing is the heart of leadership.

Here’s my challenge to you: Chances are pretty darn good that your salon/spa has a few basic, yet essential, best practices in desperate need of reviving.

  • Does every client go to check out with a service prebook date and retail recommendation?
  • Are service providers working within time standards?
  • Are your service prices based on cost-per-hour + profit margin?
  • Are performance reviews scheduled and thorough?
  • Do your financial reports reflect your cash-flow pan?
  • Is everyone responsible for every hour available for sale?
  • Is pay based on overall performance or just individual sales?

These are just a few best practices that every salon/spa needs to be living every day. More importantly, these best practices simply establish the foundation to support more aggressive best practices.

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