Time to reflect on your beauty or hair business

ABT’s Dave Horton says that now is the time for salons, therapists and hairdressers to take stock of 2018 so far and prepare for next year!

Wow, can you believe we're half way through 2018 already? Yes, it's a cliché but the last six months have really flown by, which is why it's important that you make the most of the remining six months of the year.

Whether you run your own beauty or nail business, or work as a nail tech or therapist in a salon or spa, take this halfway point in 2018 to reflect upon what you have achieved being realistic and honest, remembering that success shouldn't always be measured financially. Then, it's time to plan what you want to achieve in the coming months.

Reflect on your career
As a nail tech or beauty therapist, it's easy to be complacent when it comes to your career. The daily stresses of working in a salon or spa, juggling work and home, and finding time for a social life, can mean that you take your eye off progressing and challenging yourself professionally. When was the last time you undertook Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to brush up your experience or learn a new skill? CPD is so important, not only for ensuring you are offering your clients the very best treatment experience, but also to challenge yourself. Learning a new skill is hugely rewarding, not to mention that it looks great on your CV. 
Student taking makeup artistry class
Look for courses that are accredited so that you know that your new skills will be covered by your insurance provider.
If you're employed in a salon or spa, speak to your manager about courses you're interested in taking; sell the idea to them and the benefits that having a member of the team with this new skill or technique will bring to their business. If they value you as an employee, then they will give your suggestion serious consideration. However, if they are unable to cover your course fees, don't be too disheartened or see this as a reflection of how much they value you as an employee; there may be genuine financial reasons why they are unable to support you. If this is the case, CPD is a definitely a worthwhile investment in yourself. 

Look for courses that are accredited so that you know that your new skills will be covered by your insurance provider. ABT accredit over 850 training providers across the UK, and internationally, and if you're already an ABT member, adding a treatment you've learnt from an ABT accredited training provider to your policy is really easy and, unless it's an advanced procedure, free of charge.

Reflect on your business
As a business owner, whether you have a mobile business, salon or spa, reflection is very important and there's no better time than now. It is so easy to plod along in a business, seeing the same clients, offering the same treatments, taking the same turnover without growing the business or challenging yourself. 
Take stock of your business at present; set time aside to focus completely on your business' position now and where you would like it to be.
Your business may be a success and you may be content with the business' turnover, but that doesn't mean that you should rest on your laurels. With Brexit approaching, there's an element of financial uncertainty; no one yet knows what will happen to the UK economy once we leave the EU next March or how this will affect people's disposable income.

You can't take it for granted that your existing clients will still be visiting you in the future. Use the next six months to set strong foundations so that no matter what happens after March 2019, your business will be in the best possible position.

Do this by taking stock of your business at present; set time aside to focus completely on your business' position now and where you would like it to be. What are your most popular treatments? Are you setting your business apart from the competition? How is your business' profitability? Are you attracting new clients on a regular basis, and is your marketing cost-effective? How do you rate your staff, or would it be beneficial to your business to add to the team or even change it? Have you decided on special promotions that you will be running from now until Christmas? Importantly, reflect upon your initial business plan – are you succeeding?

Consider treatments that you don't currently offer and whether they would fit in with your business' ethos. Take advice from suppliers about how you can introduce new treatments or polish up yours and your team's skills to enable you to grow your profitability. As I mentioned earlier, CPD is vital and ensuring your team's training levels are up to scratch will pay dividends to your business (hence why you should seriously consider any nail tech or therapist's request to undergo further education or retraining).

Regardless of whether you're a salon owner, mobile therapist or nail tech, use this mid—point in the year to draw up an action plan if you don't have one already. Split the months remaining of 2018 into weeks and assign a task to each so that you know exactly what you need to achieve. Not only will this keep you on track from now until December, but you'll also gain extreme satisfaction once each task is achieved along with a better sense of direction preparing you for 2019. 

Dave Horton is Director of Associated Beauty Therapists (ABT), the industry's leading membership and insurance provider representing over 18,000 clients. For more information telephone 01789 773573, email info@abtinsurance.co.uk or visit www.abtinsurance.co.uk