Monday, February 16, 2009

The Nitty Gritty

Okay, it’s here. Whether we want to admit it or not, clients are starting to express concern over the economy. We are lucky in our industry. We make people feel and look good. When they have a bad day, they want to see us even more!

However, it may have you a bit nervous as well. What’s a salon owner or nail professional to do? It’s time to be conscious of our needs while we continue to provide for the needs and wants of others. Be alert for the knee-jerk reaction that can come on. When we overreact to the situation and tighten our belts excessively we hurt the overall economy and spur a snowball that could be sustained by fear alone. We also run the risk of hurting our own businesses through our actions or attitude.

Remember, our economy is based on spending. Yep, I sure do my part.

At the same time, I am looking at expenses and deciding which ones fuel my business and which ones, well, just drain it. I am currently looking at things like how many phone lines I need and whether the help of a virtual assistant could be used for some tasks. You may find it odd that right now I am increasing exposure through advertising and participation in social media. It is incredibly important for clients to feel you are here for the long haul. Find new ways to connect with them. Get to know them and add products and services to the lineup that give them a boost without draining the bank.

It is odd. In a time when I would expect to see the numbers a bit flat, they are not. In fact, nail art is in higher demand than I have seen in years! Could it be because I am wearing it daily? Maybe. It may also be that when someone needs a pick-me-up and doesn’t want to spend $300 on a pair of new shoes, they will still have some nail art done to spice things up.

Be vigilant as you make decisions on business expenses. Some expenses are needed to make money—without them, you hurt your bottom line. Talk with clients before cutting things they have grown to love. Some expenses should never be cut and only you can make those decisions. Areas that are ripe for expense reductions are things such as energy consumption and water consumption. Now is the time to think about options that can reduce usage. Your tax advisor can help you understand the tax advantages of the improvements. These types of improvements are also great news for clients as they help the salon become a little greener.

Be realistic. Don’t let others’ circumstance guide the decisions for your business. Look at your own numbers and do it frequently.

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