The STEP by STEP Guide to Unlocking Business Growth!
If you read my last article, “are you addicted to stress hormones?” — this blog will serve as part 2 of the series! If you haven’t read part one yet, find it here!
It’s time to break the cycle! You’ve realized you’re addicted to stress hormones and creating a perpetual anxiety spiral to live in, and you want to change it… but how?
The nicest thing for a salon owner is when you can rest your head on your pillow at night and know all of your tasks are handled. Yet — so many artists unknowingly spend time stressing about things they actually can control yet sabotage their peace by keeping things “up in the air”.
I’ve built 3 businesses that do well over a million dollars per year. One was a salon, the other is Sugarlash PRO, and my latest — Plush + Oak! Even though all of these companies had very different business models, and are technically in different industries (service, product and education, and furniture), the building blocks for creating stable income and incremental growth are the same. Business is business — as they say.
The anti-anxiety business steps are not optional. You MUST complete one before you can move to the next step. A lot of stress that business owners put on themselves comes from only partially completing a step, or jumping past a step. This will inherently have you stepping back down, then back up, and down again — which makes you tired, but doesn’t get you where you want to go. If you want to get to your destination — the top of the stairs, you must build your steps strongly and ensure they are secure and strong before stepping up. If you build them right, you won't have to ever take a step backwards.
Step 1: Your Business Foundation
This is the step that is the most crucial to your business, and in all honesty, it’s where most lash artists stay. This seems to be the most impossible step to build, but without it your staircase will remain wobbly and you will never feel settled. It’s also the step that takes the most energy, thought, and financial investment.
Your business foundation includes the identity of your brand and the tools and products you will use to be authentic to your brands goals.
-Brand Identity: Mood, vibe, typography, colour palette, website, social, and service menu with pricing.
-Brand Product and Education: What product partner will best support your brand positioning? What skill level do you need to be at in order to bolster your service menu pricing? No, you cannot continually jump around and experiment with different products and you certainly should not mix brands within your business. Doing this will once again make your step wobbly and not allow you to move forward. You must choose a range of products and education and settle in with them. You need to know cost per service, understand your product line, and have a company who can troubleshoot your results with you when needed. Period.
-Salon Decor and Experience: put yourself in the clients shoes. What do you want their experience to be within your salon? Think of everything including your decor (it needs to be where your branding ultimately comes alive!), and you need to settle into the entire customer experience from the time they walk in your door, to consultation, to service, to retailing aftercare, to checkout. When you nail it, it allows you to scale and drive a consistent brand experience.
-USP: this stands for unique selling proposition, and every company needs to have one. This is everything that sets your brand APART from the competition. Whether the magic is in your client experience, how you style lashes, a unique service menu option like membership — lean into the uniqueness you can bring to the industry and find an area to attract and retain clientele.
Step 2: Marketing and Scaling
Once you have the above nailed down, and I mean nailed down 100%, you can move to Step 2. (Read that again).
The number one thing that divides artists doing extremely well and those who are forgettable or struggling lays ONLY in Step 1. If you are still on Step 1 and need help solidifying your first step but feel lost, book a Coach Courtney call. I’d love to help.
Step 2 is about replicating and scaling your success with Step 1. This is where you can grow your clientele, hire a staff member or two, and begin growing your business to the level you want it to be.
-Marketing: social media marketing, and paid ads, and SEO. Outsource this if needed and hire experts. Trust me, you’ll get farther, faster.
-Hiring: bringing on your first hire and teaching them the method and quality that you’ve solidified in Step 1. This can be reception, artists, or managers.
-Salon culture: salon events, local partnerships, and customer perks to continue loyalty.
Step 2 can be scaled as large as you’d like and you can stay on this step as long as you want to continue to expand. This is the “growth step”, so stay on it until you have reached the size and scale you’d like.
Step 3: Outsource Your Workload and Stabilize
This is the step we all want to get to. To have enough consistent revenue that we can outsource our tasks in order to hit your business “sweet spot”. Ask yourself — what can only I do? What are the things that no one can do better than I can? That is your highest use and that’s what you need to retain. The rest, outsource.
A lot of times entrepreneurs ask themselves the wrong question —
“can I do it?” is not the question to ask.
“Am I the best equipped and educated to do this?” is a better one.
If there is anyone who can do something better than you, let them do it. Artists perpetually get themselves into task hell by trying to handle everything even when it isn’t their strength. No one is saying you can’t do it — but if someone else can do it better than you, more easily — I promise you, success will follow by having them join your team.
Common Outsourcing Mistakes:
- Doing your own book-keeping or accounting
-Doing your own social media management or ad designs and targeting
-Doing your own salon decorating
-Doing your own website design
-Doing your own photography campaigns
If there are any of these things that you can't complete (or complete, easily) to a level that you’d like — you aren’t the person to do it. We are all humans with unique strengths.
Play to your strengths, don’t become a martyr for your weaknesses.
At the end of the day, having solid revenue within your business makes all things possible. If you’re not earning enough in order to scale upwards, I guarantee you that your Step 1 is not strong enough, and you need to go back and build it stronger, and Sugarlash PRO would love to help! (Become an SL Member to unlock a whole new world of business possibilities, which include an Academy Credit to use towards our award winning business curriculum as well as SL Member pricing on product, and more!)
If you know there's work to do... we'd love to recommend the LashPRO Accelerator program to view modules that you can view and implement into your business right away, in order to build your steps stronger and gain the momentum you desire. This award winning collection has won "Best Business Curriculum" by the National Association of Lash Artists, twice and helped over 4000 artists double or triple their income!
Have more questions? We're just an email away!