Make a Business ResolutionFor the past 15 years, the SALON TODAY 200 has celebrated salon and spa business and established important benchmarks which owners could use to evaluate their own operations. In our 16th year, we decided it was time to raise the bar on this landmark competition by venturing into unexplored territory—we added a competition category regarding profitability. With this new category, we dared owners to not only share their statistics, but also their systems for building sustainable businesses that allow them to forecast and rely on these profits from year to year. This is a critical step for the owner who chooses to one day step out from behind the chair and make a comfortable living by leading.

After months of judging the applications, creating this issue and sending it off to the printer just before the holiday season, I decided that for 2013, I want to challenge SALON TODAY readers to make a new kind of New Year’s resolution. Make this the year that you are going to raise the bar on your own business. Take a hard, bottom-line look at all your procedures, systems and operations and pick a half dozen you want to improve upon next year. Then challenge yourself, your team—and through them, your clients—to do better next year. Set measurable goals, and launch your New Year off by announcing your expectations.

Don’t know where to start? Here’s a few ideas:

Design a list of add-on services and pledge to increase your average client ticket.

Refocus on retail with new scripts, programs, employee contests and individual goals.

Rein in your inventory with stricter monitoring and re-ordering procedures.

Examine your costs and commit to trimming where possible.

Develop a budget and use it to guide your business.

Critique your staff’s customer service skills and look for ways to enhance the client’s experience.

Choose a philanthropy and rally support for the cause from your team and your clients.

Join an association, attend a professional beauty event, network with like-minded owners and get involved.

Update the look of your space.

Learn about new technology, and add a new tool to your arsenal.

Borrow a marketing idea from salon owner you’ve read about in SALON TODAY and try a new marketing angle.

Commit to raising your business in a few of these areas, and we just may be profiling you in next year’s SALON TODAY 200 issue.

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