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How to Make “What If We Went For It” Happen


FACT: For owners, it doesn’t matter where your salon/spa is today, your brain is always processing those “what if we went for it” thoughts, ideas and visions.

As an owner, it’s always about getting to a better place. It’s about getting to that next level of business success.

It’s important to remember that these “what if” thoughts aren’t about the little stuff. They’re about achieving profound gains in operational, financial, customer service, technical excellence, facility, market position and more.

These “what if” thoughts sound like:

  • What if our salon/spa was seriously profitable?
  • What if we had a big cash reserve?
  • What if the best employee candidates were coming to us?
  • What if we doubled or tripled the number of first-time clients — and retained them?
  • What if we could afford great benefits like health insurance?
  • What if we had a killer in-house skill development program that ALL employees were required to complete and maintain?
  • What if we doubled our space, bought a building or opened more locations?
  • What if I could pay myself well as the owner so my pay isn’t dependent on my personal service sales?
  • What if our level of customer service was second to none?
  • What if every client received a prebook date and retail recommendation?

But these “what if we went for it” thoughts have one big nemesis. It’s called leadership and it’s more complicated than most salons/spas ever realized.

FACT: The term “leadership” is a catch-all for business vision, performance, systems design and execution, problem solving, motivation, coaching employees, communication, all things money, discipline and so much more.

Your “what if we went for it” list shouldn’t be a “maybe someday” wish list. It should be your pathway to achieving your, and your company’s, full potential.

If you’re ready to achieve major business gains, here is my No-Compromise Leadership hit list to start checking items off your “what if” list:

  • Be the leader that your “what if” quest requires: No one person is a master of all the skills and abilities required of leadership. That’s why some owners may be good at inspiring others but horrible at managing financials or having the discipline to follow their own rules. You must not only leverage the leadership skills you’re blessed with, but aggressively work on those skills you struggle with. KEY: The leader that takes a company to a better, or even extraordinary level of success, is 100% committed to the journey. That level of commitment creates and sustains the sense of urgency of the entire team. No one follows a “maybe” leader for very long.
  • Your inner circle: Much of your “what if” success will depend on the leadership team that surrounds you. If you’re not great at managing the details, you need a detail person on your leadership team. If finances and budgets make your eyes roll, you need a numbers person on your team. If overseeing daily operations drives you up a wall, you need an operations person on your team. KEY: The secret to achieving any “what if we go for it” quest is your ability to give life to your vision. To be at the forefront of change. To inspire. To lead through the inevitable adversities. You can’t do all this without a leadership team to support you.
  • Prioritize your “what if” pieces: Before you hit the launch button and blast off, there’s work to do. Achieving your “what if we go for it” vision demands proper preparation. How will you fund your “what if” quest? What technical and service skills will your team require to succeed? What systems need upgrading or entirely new approaches? What do your current critical numbers look like now and what should they look like as you progress? KEY: Most “what if we go for it” efforts” fizzle, or blow up, shortly after take-off due to lack of preparation. Always “ready/aim/fire.” Never “ready/fire/aim.”
  • Stop tolerating what you don’t like: Every business has some degree of toxic behavior that can slow or kill progress. Most often, it’s things like not following procedures, lateness, indifference, egotism, entitlement and just blatant attitude problems. Once these so-called annoyances settle in, they spread and imbed themselves in your culture. The longer you tolerate what you don’t like, the more unlikely your “what if” vision will happen. KEY: This isn’t about micro-managing. This is about No-Compromise Leadership and the commitment and determination to achieve a level of success that many salons/spas talk about but seldom achieve. If you don’t like it, stop signing those paychecks.
  • Leadership versus “fear of confrontation”: For leaders, the single most damaging thinking is to confuse leadership with confrontation. Leadership is about vision, inspiring, coaching, systems, discipline, execution and so much more. But in its most simple form, leadership in business is about winning. It’s about breaking records, achieving best in class, and making the competition irrelevant. Confrontation is a natural part of winning. Even achieving your personal best means confronting your perceived limitations and overcoming them. KEY: Having those tough conversations are part of leadership. Tough decisions that twist your gut are part of leadership. When fear of confrontation delays or stalls the inevitable, you lose and the dysfunction or problem wins. The No-Compromise Leader engages and gets it done. Getting it done is the only way to move forward.

Here’s my challenge to you: I bet you have a “what if we go for it” vision that keeps floating around inside your head. Stop treading water. Stop living in a business situation that you don’t like. It’s time to bring your “what if we go for it” vision to life.



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