As an avid user and contributor to beauty forums across many countries there is one resounding discussion I see being had. Many of you are thinking in the light of recent events to give up your business. Not just because of the uncertainty and the difficulties that reopening will present, but because enforced time out has given many time to think and re-evaluate their lives and the speed they previously lived at.
But I don’t believe either of these life changes are a reason to give up on your business, I believe what you need to do is pivot.
So, what does it mean to pivot? To pivot means to change direction, do something different in response to a new issue but overall you carry on by changing the fundamentals of your business.
Here are some ways to grow your business (pivot) whilst keeping to the new life outlook you have and would like to keep.
Accept that you have new challenges, don’t fight it, and don’t allow it to ruin your business. Instead come up with solutions to make it work to your advantage. Ok so now you need to buy expensive PPE just to open your salon or work with your customers, where is the advantage in that? Well as I see it this gives you the opportunity to link with other local beauty establishments, could you form a group and buy PPE in very large quantities therefore securing bulk discounts and increase your buying power? This can then be distributed among you; the upside is you start to create a community of beauty collaboration vs beauty competition. No other beauty professional is really your competitor, come on do you really have the capacity to do every single haircut/colour in your town and surrounding area? Or do every eyelash in town? No, you don’t but together you do! Remember there is safety in numbers so get your numbers up and get together it’s time to form a professional beauty community because now more than ever it’s good to get that support and help each other.
Remember why you started, it may have been to be your own boss or work how you chose. Remembering why you started is a powerful motivator.The why you started may also help you to think through strategies that help you retain some of the life changes you enjoyed on lock down such as more family time, trying new hobbies, baking etc. Look at how you can adapt your business to retain those parts you enjoyed. It’s important because it made you happy and being happy will help you to grow and develop your business and make positive changes.Maybe you can take on a new member of staff and reduce your time at your premises, maybe you can reduce your working day or take an additional day off. Either way if there are changes you want to boost your personal happiness as a business owner you have the capacity to do that all you need to do is identify the how.
Evaluate your current business, do all of your service offer a good margin, are they all popular? Look at what you offer and what makes you a good profit and evaluate if you really need the other stuff. Reducing what you offer doesn’t mean you lose clients; it means you have a clarity of business purpose and you are not wasting time and money on treatments that don’t bring in much money or many clients to our salon. Review every aspect of your business from what you offer to numbers of staff you have to where your premises are. Then look at what you no longer need (or do need). Now is the prime time to completely evaluate your business and emerge from the coronavirus crisis stronger and more profitable.
Join forces, consider joining your business with another either in the same service as your own or a complimentary business. By joining forces, you can reduce overall costs by sharing premises, possibly stock and overall responsibility. If this feels like a step too far maybe consider what small businesses are around you and used by your clients and potential clients, can you work together to support each other and undertake some joint ventures which attract both sets of clients as well as many clients who may be new to you both.
Find a mentor or a business coach, this can be particularly effective when you are trying to make changes in a business that you are very entrenched in. Sometimes an outsider can help you to see solutions to problems that you wouldn’t have considered. A mentor is an informal arrangement with a professional person that you may know or be aware of. Think of someone with a professional/business ethic that you admire. Could they be a person that you touch base with on a regular basis who can help you see issues from a different perspective and offer some experience that you don’t have. A business coach is a more formal arrangement usually a paid for service. However, don’t let that element of payment dissuade you as this person will have a wealth of experience and skill that could make payment a very worthwhile undertaking. Business coaching can be done face to face or through telephone/video contact and can be supported within a set timescale agreed by you both. Whichever route you take having someone to bounce ideas off and to explore challenges with is invaluable and you will find every few successful people who do not employ one of these strategies.
The most important thing you can do just now for your business is to consider alternative strategies which may not just further develop your business but make it stronger than it’s ever been.
Don’t give up guys, you worked too hard to get where you are now!