1. Have a Plan.

Is 2012 the year you make more money, work smarter and take the business to the heights you dreamed of when you opened the doors? If you don’t have a detailed plan of how you’re going to get there (right now), next year isn’t going to look any different from years past.

  1. Lead by Example.

Getting to work on time, pre-booking clients, offering your help in whatever way is needed, limiting your cell phone usage—you can’t expect your team members to follow guidelines if you don’t follow them yourself.

  1. Celebrate Wins.

One of the easiest and most rewarding ways to improve team morale is to celebrate wins. Did Sally hit her client-retention rate goal? Did Sam upsell more than anyone this week? Let them know it’s appreciated!

  1. Set the Systems.

Systems are the backbone of consistency. Get yours in place today. Systems will increase your levels of productivity, efficiency and client loyalty, everything that’s part of the plan.

  1. Think Outside the Box.

The recent “blowout” success of blow-dry bars wasn’t spurred by an idea to open a business just like every other salon on the block. What made it a success was that it was different, but it still filled a need in the marketplace. What can you do differently in your business? How can you market it?

  1. If It’s Not Working, Stop It!

Not making money on nail services? Not putting any money on the bottom line because your payroll is too high? Not getting results from a long-time manager? Then it’s time for a change! Your business cannot wait. No compromise.

  1. Get Social.

If your business isn’t actively embracing the juggernaut that is social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) then you are drastically behind your competition. It’s free, it’s powerful and it’s a necessity.

  1. Stop Using the Economy as an Excuse.

The economy continues to weed out poorly managed and over-extended businesses. If your company has what it takes to compete, stop making excuses, buckle down, and prove why you deserve to be here.

  1. Get to Know Your Numbers.

You can’t play the game if you don’t know the score. If you and your team don’t have a firm understanding of where you are and where you need to go, you’re driving blind. Remember what we said about the economy eating up the poorly managed? Learn to read and understand your numbers. It’s easier than you think.

  1. Increase Pre-booking Rates.

Before you start dishing out huge advertising dollars to bring new clients in the door, run a report to find out how many existing clients are walking out without another appointment on the books. Get systems in place to ensure that no one leaves without a future appointment. If you increase their frequency of return, you’ll watch your revenues skyrocket—with no advertising costs.

  1. Know Your “It.”

What makes your business better than the rest? Once you’ve determined your “it” factor—it shouldn’t take you long to figure out what it is—then it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself whether or not you’re giving your “it” the time, attention and promotion that it deserves.

  1. Keep Staff “In the Know.”

When a football team takes the field, there’s no mystery to the goal (put more points on the scoreboard than the opponent) or destination (the end zone). Your business should be no different. The only way your staff can reach goals or complete a project is through communication. Huddles and scoreboards are the best place to start.

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