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Is Your Salon/Spa Consuming Your Life?
August 11, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | 2 Comments
FACT: The state of your salon/spa company determines your state of being.
If your employees are productive, clients are happy, and the company is profitable, you feel good.
Likewise, if you’re constantly fighting fires, employees are driving you crazy, and cash flow is barely flowing, you feel stressed and overwhelmed.
We brave entrepreneurs work and fight hard for our companies to succeed. And when they are successful, we continue to work and fight hard to sustain that success and drive growth.
Building a successful salon, spa, or any business, is a roller coaster ride of wins and losses, good times and bad. Because we believe in our vision and risked damn near everything, we find a way persevere.
As we try to figure out the complexities of “leadership,” we begin to relate to terms like workaholic, micro-manager, moody, stressed out and overwhelmed.
Without even realizing it, our companies become part of who we are. We willingly sacrifice our time, our thoughts, and too often, our well-being, so it can succeed.
It’s what we owner entrepreneurs do because it’s what we believe our companies need. To us, giving our companies a big chunk of our lives is all somehow justifiable.
I know because I speak from experience.
There’s nothing wrong with working your butt off to grow your company — as long as you recognize when it’s time to share control and lead others.
FACT: Your company will consume your life until you embrace your role as a leader.
Here are my six proven No-Compromise Leadership strategies to have a life by embracing your leadership role — the very same strategies that I used at Strategies:
- Have Your Leadership Epiphany: Too many salon/spa owners get stuck and never move out of start-up mode. Start-up mode is exciting because it’s all about getting your new company off the launch pad. Start-up mode requires tremendous energy and a “whatever it takes” commitment. You wear all the hats because you have to. But if you keep wearing all the hats, you become stuck in that thinking and behavior. You become your company’s biggest obstacle to growth. KEY: Your leadership epiphany occurs that moment you realize that leadership is about wearing as few hats as possible.
- Your Company is the Star: Your company is the functioning embodiment of your vision. If you started your company from scratch, it is your creation. If you acquired it, you are the new keeper of the vision and responsible for enhancing and protecting it. KEY: Your company is not about you. You are your company’s leader. You serve your company. You are the voice of your company. Your company must always be the star of the show. That’s how it will attract the best and most loyal talent. That’s how it will grow in value. That’s how it will endure. Got it?
- Letting Go of the Controls: The following statement represents the essence of leadership. “You cannot lead until you give up control.” Remember it. Memorize it. Live it. KEY: You cannot give up all those hats you wear (control) until you have a leadership team to wear them. Leadership teams take time to grow and develop. As it does, you hand over another hat. There are two hats you NEVER hand over. The first is financial control because the leader’s job is to create and protect profit. The second is the keeper of the company vision.
- Prepare and Entrust: Handing over a responsibility hat to a leadership team member can never be taken lightly. KEY: Expectations must be clearly defined. Skills to handle the responsibilities must be developed and tested for consistency. Information flow systems must be in place and followed. To entrust an individual with key responsibilities means preparing and setting that individual up to win.
- Leadership is About Outcomes: In start-up mode, you do the work. In leadership mode, your work is about coaching others to do the work to achieve the right outcomes. KEY: You are the equivalent of an orchestra leader. Your responsibility is to keep everyone in sync and on task. You don’t play an instrument and you never touch their work (micro-manage). You coach. You guide. You keep score. You make wise decisions. You make tough decisions. Your leadership creates the right outcomes. That’s how you get more done and recapture more of your life.
- Pay Attention: Get any thoughts that your company can run on autopilot out of your head. No matter how much you prepare, coach and support others to wear all those hats you once wore, it doesn’t take much for a company to go sideways and get into trouble. KEY: Financial reports are an ongoing numeric readout on the performance (Profit & Loss Statement) and health (Balance Sheet) of your company. The same goes for critical numbers like productivity rate, first-time and existing client retention rates, prebook rate, frequency of visit, and more. At Strategies, we review our financial reports and critical numbers weekly. Check in with team members and ask, “What can we do better?” Paying attention is the only way to maintain progress and catch problems before they turn into a crisis.
Here’s my challenge to you: Finding work/life balance is important for not only your personal and family well-being, but it also ensures the well-being of your company.
If you’re one of the many owners stuck in start-up mode and doing a not-so-great job at wearing all those hats, it’s time to rethink and redesign how you work.
These six steps have served me well over the past ten years or so. My company is in a good place because I let go of the controls and shifted my focus on leadership and working on key projects. And I have more time to ride my bike and enjoy my beautiful new home.
You can too. We’d be happy to show you how. Click here to schedule a free coaching session.