While the holiday season is undoubtedly the busiest time of the year, it’s important to make it a priority to reflect on the past 12 months and work toward goals for the year ahead. We spoke with the business experts about their top 3 tips for navigating the year-end to new-year transition. 

“The cost of doing business rises every day, and there are so many things to pay attention to, to keep it growing,” says Robert Cromeans, global artistic and business director for John Paul Mitchell Systems. “Year-end is like a rear-view mirror, and if you’ve been doing things right all year, it’s a time to celebrate.”

Here’s the top three dos and don’ts to consider when evaluating and planning for your business:

Do: Look for opportunities for growth

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are critical for nding opportunities to improve your business. “I pay a lot of attention to the traf c cam. It’s a number that’s very important to watch; not monthly but quarterly, and of course as we work to year’s end,” says Cromeans. “It’s data that if in the right order, shows that the business is growing.”

Don't: Only focus on client retention

While we know retention is a huge factor for any successful salon, frequency of visits is another important number that can provide substantial growth opportunities. “Client retention can be quite deceiving,” says Cromeans. “Unfortunately, for every four new guests we get, we lose four, so we’re not really growing.That said, if I give a client really great service, and they want to come back more often, it means I’m doing something right.”

Do: Trust your numbers

While not every salon owner is fully aware of what their P&L (profit & loss) statement really means to their business, having a closer look at the numbers can help indicate your salon’s successes and failures. “Numbers really help paint the full picture,” says Laura de Sousa, senior sales manager for Kao Canada. “Taking a look at them can determine trends and give targets to meet that will have some incremental growth impact on your business.”

Don't: Think perception is reality

Salon owners may think they know their business inside-and-out, but often being too connected to it can have drawbacks. “Sometimes salon owners go by what they perceive is happening in their business, but numbers tell the story,” says de Sousa, who adds that working with a business consultant can help provide some objective feedback.

“Salon owners are working so hard in the business, they don’t work on the business.”

— Laura De Sousa, Senior Sales Manager for KAO Canada 

Do: Pay attention to retail/take-home sales

We all know how important retail sales are for your business’ bottom line. But you may be focusing on the numbers over a speci c timeline (daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly), retail sales can also help you build business well into the future. “Ideally, you want to continue the holiday momentum. Salon pro ts often dip down in the rst quarter and it may take you one or two quarters to bounced back. If you make it a goal to keep each of those quarters pro table, you’re going to have a pro table business,” says Cromeans, who adds that gift cards are another way to offset holiday earnings to the slower first quarters of the following year. “Today’s service is tomorrow’s traffic.”

Don't: Only focus on holiday retail/take-home sales

The holiday season really is the most wonderful time of year. But when it comes to numbers, especially in terms of sales, these aren’t necessarily indicators that can be used as benchmarks throughout the entire year. “Retail sales, especially around the holidays, are not original in any way,” says Cromeans. “We have one advantage and that’s a captive audience. I think that’s something we really need to think about as salon owners and hairstylists, is that we have a captive audience, sometimes for three hours at a time, and the transference of information is so little and often prompted by the guests. We have to do better at informing our guests.” 


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