I don’t know whether it’s all the thinking time, or the fact that it has lasted for about 3 years or that everything we all thought we knew has been turned on its head, but 2020 has certainly been a year to make us look at things differently.
For me, my business went from the busiest I’ve even known it to the quietest it’s ever been, while I went from business owner to home tutor and back again.
I’m pleased (and lucky) to say that business has started to pick up again, but I am using this time as a bit of a re-set button because there are definitely things that I can do differently.
So, I wanted to share a few of the lessons I’ve learned – and the changes I’m going to make that many small business owners (including salon owners) could benefit from.
- Not marketing myself because I was too busy
I remember discussing this with a client about a year after I launched KOR Digital and she told me ‘I’d much rather hire someone who did my marketing well, than someone who had time to do brilliant marketing for their business’. I took this with both hands and ran with it – it became my philosophy and a bit of a badge of honour for why I didn’t market myself! I was as busy as I could cope with (see point 2!) and that was what mattered, right?Then the covid crisis hit and I very quickly realised that I could quite potentially lose all my clients and all I had to go again was a bunch of lovely testimonials (thank goodness I’d at least collected those!).
Solution: Diarise some marketing time each week. Plan and schedule social content and never stop working on building a list. If I ever find myself back in crazy busy-ness and unable to find this time I will employ a freelancer to do it for me.
- Thinking £s = Success
December and January were my highest earning months ever. Well done me! Except I looked like this…..
I was stressed out. I was miserable and I was working with some clients that I didn’t enjoy that I felt like I had to drop everything for.
Solution: Have a clear idea of who your ideal clients are and if people don’t fall into that category make the choice whether they serve you in other way (that could be as simple as you need the money!). Going forward, I won’t be afraid to say no if a client isn’t a good fit.
- Giving too much
I don’t want this to sound like a ‘yay me, I’m such a hero!’, but if you’ve ever met me, you’ll know I’m a bit of a people pleaser. I’ve often found myself helping with things or taking extra bits on just because I know how to. The problem is the more you give the more people expect. Before you know it, that little extra you did to help out becomes an expectation.
Solution: If things are out of scope, or above and beyond what you have agree at the outset then make this clear and let the client know what the price for the additional work is. If you want to do a little something extra as a bonus or to make someone feel special, do it, but make it clear that it is special circumstances.
- Not making time to develop the businessMore than one year ago, I had an idea to grow and diversify my business to develop a marketing training resource for salons. I was too busy (that old excuse again!) and didn’t get round to it – and oh boy how did I regret that during lockdown!
Solution: If you have an idea, make it happen. Life is short. You can always find an excuse, but if that idea doesn’t want to go away you are having it for a reason. At training courses down the years, I’ve often heard the say that ‘where you put your focus is where you’ll get your results’ I don’t think I’d ever fully believed that until now.
- Not prioritising dataWe’ve all heard the stories of quite how valuable data is to Facebook, Google and Amazon so why aren’t we all taking the hint? I’ve met hundreds (possibly more) contacts and gathered so many business cards from my potential clients, but haven’t maintained a relationship with them unless they became a client or a friend.
Solution: It doesn’t take much to follow up and add someone to your list. It doesn’t take a lot to communicate with that list. It doesn’t take a lot to hook up with other like-minded businesses and promote each other on their lists. But when you do have a list that you’ve built a relationship with you’ve always got a ready and waiting group of people who are going to be tempted to fill any quiet time.
As a footnote, I’m finally making my good idea happen. If you’re after any salon marketing advice or training head on over to Salondipity. Because if there is one thing I have learned it’s that salon marketing success doesn’t happen by chance.