The more years that pass, and the more resolutions that I make and forget about, the sillier I think the whole tradition is. Am I right?
Don’t get me wrong, I love goal setting and anyone that knows me will say that I am the girl with a plan. So why the distaste for resolutions? Because despite good intentions, they are often too lofty and lack any sort of strategy or determination to make the reality. So, with this in mind, I put together a list of resolutions you should consider adding to your action plan for 2014. They’re not hard, in fact you may laugh at their simplicity, but they come with tips to incorporating these into your daily routine that will have you looking back next year wondering how you survived without. So, let’s talk about ACTION for 2014, not leprechauns, the Easter bunny and unicorns.
Resolution #1 – Take More Pictures
Even if you are already snap-happy with your smartphone, how many of these selfies are put to use for your business? Almost all forms of marketing are getting more visual and photos are much more engaging across the board. Pair that with the rapidly advancing camera market and smartphone technology and you’ve got one of the easiest resolutions to achieve.
- Put some pictures to use on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis.
- Get an updated gallery on your website and incorporate how-to pics on your blog.
- Work pictures of your team into your email newsletter to make your clients miss your fun, goofy atmosphere.
- Add a new line into your marketing budget that includes a professional (or amateur) photographer for all salon spa events.
Resolution #2 – Streamline
What could be easier than dumping some superfluous marketing effort? Free up time in your schedule to dedicate more time to what is making you money and clean house of all time-expensive, poor return activities. How do you know which are sucking up your attention? Here is an action list to identify and dump some of these said ‘time-suckers:’
- Get your facts straight by running a report from your salon spa software, tallying up any coupons, or (worst case) asking your team what they think worked last year. If you had to rely on the latter strategy, consider hiring a professional for next year and/or get some technology to get more organized.
- Create a list of the time it took you to complete each marketing promotion. Consider things like brainstorming, researching, creating the communications and materials, prepping your team, launching the campaign and wrapping it up.
- Divide the total GROSS PROFIT (Revenue – Promotional Cost) by the time it took for each promotion. For example, if your Gross Profit was $2,000 for your holiday promotion and you spent a total of 34 hours preparing and implementing it, your value for time invested would be $58/hour. Said another way, you made $58 dollars for every hour you invested in your promotion.
- Rank all of your promotions based on this value and then axe any of the bottom feeders on this list and regroup for next year.
This process is a general compass for understanding which activities take too long to produce for the value you get back. You may be surprised at how much time it truly takes you and which promotions bring up the caboose. NOTE: Just because your Mother’s Day promotion tanked in 2013 doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t do it, it just means you need a new plan. Some things you should potentially just dump altogether so be prepared to set aside any emotions and clean house.
Resolution #3 – Be More Inquisitive
This one is a BIG one and while it’s as easy as asking a few questions (and being open to the answers) it could be the best thing you’ve ever done. In an age where we are so scared of Yelp! and Google+ Local, we need to start looking at the positive aspects of transparent feedback and get ahead of the game. Implement a feedback program where there is an open door policy to receiving constructive criticism from anyone, at any time.
- Create a quick survey that you provide to every client after their visit. Send it via email, text message or even incorporate it into your receipt. If you get little response, consider giving an incentive on their next visit for the feedback.
- Do a formal survey that you send as part of a promotion that is a one-time request for feedback. This can be longer in format (but not a novel, please) and often will include an incentive for their time.
- Implement online feedback requests on your website, your Facebook page and a link on every email asking them what they think of you.
- Launch a VIP task force that includes your top clients at the salon and have regular meetings with the group (or separately) and discuss the salon and your upcoming initiatives. Make it a social event with wine and apps if you wish, but give them an upside for being on the ‘in’ crowd and helping you understand consumer opinion better.
Consider one or all of these options to encourage people to voice concerns before they hit the airwaves and also demonstrate that you take feedback very seriously. Don’t be too quick to be on the defensive, there is always three sides to every story – yours, theirs and the truth. 🙂