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In the world of business ownership, every year brings a renewed sense of opportunities, fresh challenges, and the potential for growth. As we navigate into the promising horizon of 2024, it's time for small business owners like you to steer your business towards meaningful projects that will serve to set your company up for continued success into the future and forward progress towards small business trends. 

In the midst of resolutions, resetting and renewed resolve, how much intention and planning have you put into examining and mapping how to navigate the dynamic changes that are happening in the beauty and wellness industry? Are you staying informed on the trends fluctuating through every arena of our organizations and beyond like dialing in on customer care through heightened personalization, or video content creation throughout how you sell you business or the usage of AI or data transparency through Human Resource hubs? 

This article will share 10 key focus projects for practical improvements, sustainable innovation and re-invention that will propel your salon business to new heights throughout the new year. These highly adaptive suggestions for your upcoming year’s to-do list will help you design your purpose-filled strategies, creating a solid foundation for 2024 growth.

Let’s explore prioritizing some essential strategies that’ll not only keep your business relevant but keep your company remarkably resilient as we step into the future.  It's time for business owners to set their sights on strategic growth, focused foundational work and continued success. Let's dive in:

1. Refresh Your Marketing Strategy

Let’s face it...the more successful one becomes, the more they realize that selling is in most everything that we do. Arguably, in the salon business, you’re not just selling your services, products and skills, you’re also selling community commitment, experience and brand influence. Revitalizing your marketing efforts with fresh, relevant, and diverse content that truly reflects your salon's identity, is best done on a regular and repeated basis with a consistent reflection on how to elevate your brand in all categories.

Best Practice Tips:

  • Develop a monthly marketing calendar. Check out Meevo’s awesome annual marketing calendar download. It’s awesome for keeping you organized as a content calendar. 
  • Redesign your website and all of the components like new client offers, salon tours, team highlights, online booking processes, image galleries and career pages.
  • Use apps like CANVA to assist you in designing your content creation and build out a marketing bundle of ads. Canva has an incredible video feature and a scheduler for posting consistency. 
  • Consider enlisting the help of a virtual assistant to implement your marketing tasks and work with a coach to design a brand strategy.
  • Utilize platforms like Salon Ninja to build out a marketing machine. Platforms like these make launching effective marketing campaigns, SMS marketing and generating leads so much easier.
  • Platforms like this can also help with building out internal marketing programs like referral programs or loyalty programs. Your software also has the capability. Leverage your digital tools 
  • Explore ways to engage with your local community and host events in your salon. Create a corporate affiliate program or a partnership with other local businesses. 
  • Collaborate with your distributor to plan how they can support you with additional products, marketing materials, and collateral.

2. Scale and Diversify Your Compensation Plans

As a coach that specializes in compensation, it cannot be stressed enough how important your pay plans are. Especially to your recruitment or staff retention. Strive to build out growth levels within your compensation plan to provide opportunities for your team to scale their income. Design a comprehensive compensation package presentation that provides trust and clarity for your team and new hires. It’s highly recommended to work with the guidance of a compensation coach to ensure confidence. 

Best Practice Tips:

  • Start with evaluating your revenue sources and how fully maximized they are.
  • Close up any discounting gaps
  • Assess your financials with a well versed business coach
  • Assess any current benefits that are impacting your budget
  • Plan out at least 3- 6 months to complete your revised compensation package

3. Evaluate Pricing Strategies

Pricing work is usually done annually and almost always goes hand in hand with compensation work. Cost of living and cost of expenses have all seen dramatic increases the last couple of years. Ensure your pricing is competitive within your market while also covering your expenses, including labor costs, overhead, and be sure to include planned profit margins. Pricing strategy is crucial for sustained profitability. Your pricing is your most direct way to increase revenue… don’t allow for lack of intention, fear or irrational  emotion to make financial decisions for you. Stay all business in how you generate revenue.

Best Practice Tips:

  • Begin by taking a look at your current service offerings and remove any services that may be hurting your financial security
  • Sign up for a demo with Vish or Salon Scale to begin capitalizing on color management capabilities. This will help increase revenue in multiple ways and help you calculate color costs in your pricing
  • Include your team in collaborating for final pricing decisions and train your team members to master pricing conversations using pricing tools.
  • Design a public facing service presentation that aligns with your brand

4. Evaluate and Re-Define Your Owner's Compensation Strategy

How a salon owner pays themselves has frequently been last on the list for many. Let’s make 2024 the year where you truly learn ways to structure your business to be able to pay you as an owner, investor and/or technician. Hire strong and salon savvy CPAs like Chris Peden Accounting or Kopsa Otte Accounting or a bookkeeping company like Thrive as well as a business coach that understands how to structure multiple methods of owners’ pay to ensure that you’re doing this as correctly and beneficially for you as possible. Develop consistent financial accounting practices within this project. 

Best Practice Tips:

  • Review how you, as the owner, are paying yourself.
  • Develop a clear and consistent compensation strategy that aligns with your salon's financial goals.
  • Chat with your CPA about the best method to incorporate that supports your owner’s compensation.

5. Build out a Benefits Package, especially PTO

Paid-Time-Off is the most  sought after benefit and is most likely one of the most important. Important enough for many states to make the move towards implementing  laws around enforcing that this becomes a legal requirement for small businesses to offer their employees under sick or family leave. The Pandemic may have certainly sparked the speed but this movement has been happening for quite some time. Becoming a company that offers diverse amenities that attract top talent as well as retain your team long term will be what sets your company apart. This project can be done along with a compensation overhaul or on its own while you may leave your compensation plan as it stands.

Best Practice Tips:

  • Document existing benefits that you may already provide and formalize them into a well-structured benefits package presentation.
  • Prioritize the creation of a structured Paid-Time-Off (PTO) plan, which is increasingly attractive to employees and can set you apart as an employer of choice. We have a very detailed PTO System that is defined, easy to calculate and will help in leadership challenges. 
  • Use platforms like www.connectteam.com to help you administer or your payroll company HR platforms.Most payroll companies have HR admin platforms to administer PTO as well. 
  • Consider a Benefits Wallet concept. We have an entire course offering for this in a 2 day Compensation Intensive Online course. Click the link to check it out: https://statements-strong.teachable.com/p/hands-on-compensation-workshop-2-day-intensive-crate-your-base-pay-tiered-commission-structure-retail-commission-benefits-packages-performance-pay

6. Implement a People Management System

Speaking about utilizing an HR Platform, it’s one of the most powerful investments of your time and energy in today’s current environment. Invest in a Digital People Management System, aka an HR Hub, to streamline communication, training, onboarding, and team management. This will simplify HR tasks and improve team engagement. Your Payroll companies have them but it takes to set up. 

Best Practice Tips:

  • Check out ConnectTeam (It’s our favorite) or Lark or Motivosity
  • Start filming everything you do to develop training videos on all things (video is a huge trend)
  • Create a Facebook team page if you need a simpler method
  • Work with an business coach to identify your core HR goals and consider how to develop your leadership roles on these platforms 

7. Develop a Formal Leadership Development Plan and a Team Training Plan

To grow your brand, you need internal Brand ambassadors and that’s your leadership team . It’s Also critical to understand that, as you increasingly grow your company, the task list will grow and in order to maintain balance for you, your staff and your customer care, you’ll need a leadership team around you to support you that aligns directly to a team training (not just an” assistant training” program). These two usually go hand in hand and they both need clear training with contracts, schedules, local workforce alliance programs for compensation reimbursement or knowledge of the WOTC programs. Click this link to learn more about the WOTC. 

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/work-opportunity-tax-credit

Best Practice Tips:

  • Begin by observing strong team members that want roles with more contribution and growth.
  • Map out a leadership development path within your salon with actual tools, contracts and training.
  • Leverage the power of your HR Platforms by having your new leaders work with you to build out your management assets.

Gain access to our compensation contracts, job descriptions, role structure, task lists, and leadership training at our business academy www.statementsstrong.com or contact me for a coaching call where we go over how to use contracts and build out structure around your own internal employee/team training programs. 

8. Enhance Your Employee Experience - Plan Team Building Events and Retreats

Team building is always worth the effort and investment. Invest heavily in designing team events with as much excitement and enthusiasm as your guest experiences. Organizing team-building events and retreats will foster a sense of unity and growth among your staff. Pour more energy into your employee experiences than your recruitment efforts always. Not to minimize the importance of recruiting and hiring processes but just like it’s more important to invest more into your existing guest experiences than new guest acquisition…Similarly, it’s more important to invest more in your employee experiences than your new staff acquisition. 

Best Practice Tips:

  • Creativity and budget-conscious planning are key. Think about what style of events would elevate your employee experience like the Data Driven Salon Summit the first weekend in May or industry shows
  • Get innovative about the creativity you put into personnel development and consult with a CPA for tax-friendly suggestions.

9. Invest in Your Own Leadership Training

As a business owner, your personal growth and leadership abilities are essential to managing the growth of your company, your team and your clientele. Explore various resources and invest in your leadership training and education. There is so much leadership training put there in this day and age. Find the right one for you and remember you’re your best investment. Your team will also appreciate the leadership evolution. 

Best Practice Tips:

  • Plan out at least 3-5 hours weekly to study leadership skills and self-study with online courses
  • Attend every business conference that you can…every single one.
  • Join our classes at Premiere Orlando on June 1-3. We’ll be teaching 11 salon owner classes that guide on leadership development. 

10. Financial Training: Revenue and Spend Management

Becoming financially stable and gaining the ability to manage the movement of money in your business is very possibly the most critical thing that you can do. There are so many tools that, once learned and utilized, will empower you as a business owner more than anything else can.  There are several amazing tools, dashboards and education that could change the trajectory of your financial future that most business coaches use to teach their clients. Be sure to interview any coaches/consultants to see how they can help with this but most importantly, diligently pursue your understanding and practice of simple bookkeeping skills. Just begin the process and it will start to make sense with the right coach/consultant. 

Best Practice Tips:

  • Definitely enlist the help of a financial coach. There are great ones in the beauty industry these days. Interview multiple to be sure personalities fit.
  • Begin logging your income/expenses every day
  • Create a financial calendar that includes all financial tasks to be done
  • Enlist the help of a pro to help guide as well as hire a strong, salon savvy CPA or bookkeeper

It bears mentioning that in between all of these projects this year, the biggest project is… well…. your well being and self-care. Balancing time for your personal care when the high levels of stress kick in and the intense amount of energy are required to stay highly focused. Be at your best to do your best.

As you focus on these key areas in 2024, you'll continue to position your salon for growth, sustainability, and a thriving future. Each aspect plays a role in elevating your business, enhancing team engagement, increasing financial performance and improving leadership progress.

We’re confident that this list represents some of the best trends for salon owners to gain more momentum in 2024. Here's to a successful and prosperous year ahead. Lead well friends. 

To learn more about Coach Nikki Le, click here.

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