How to successfully run a seamless business
Posted on 29th August 2017 by Tara Sharland
Seamless and business in the same sentence? If you’re a business owner, that probably sounds like sweet music to your ears. To many, it’s an elusive goal to successfully operate a seamless, functional business that boosts productivity and profit, while dialling down stress. But is it actually do-able?
It certainly is! A seamless business isn’t the holy grail you imagine. I know because I achieved it in my own salon. But only after bucket loads of bumps, bruises and learning from my big fat mistakes. To save you the pain of those lessons, here’s a little of what I learned:
What is your challenge?
You might feel ready for big change but first you need to identify your challenge. What is it that gets in the way of you having a seamless, high-performing business?
Maybe you’re busting your gut on the floor and never translating that into dollars on your bottom line? Maybe your team members are all over the place and you need to get them on the same page (or at least in the same playbook). Whatever your challenge is, you need to address it now! Then you need to get your team on board.
Communication will give you clarity (and buy-in)
First up, you need to seek the truth from those closest around you. It’s so easy to overlook communicating with your team. You get busy being busy and never get around to having meaningful conversations with your team.
Your team members are your allies – they know your business intimately, and they have fresh perspectives, new ideas and home truths you’ve never tapped. Ask for their input into what needs to happen to shift your salon to the seamless business you envisage.
Plan to succeed towards your goals
Now you have some clarity around where your salon currently stands, you can start planning the steps needed to take it to where you want it to be. Be mindful. You need to be realistic about what you can achieve (and by when).
I’ve seen many salon owners dive in with gusto then lose motivation when life gets in the way and milestones aren’t reached. Instead, plan it one do-able step at a time, get excited by each accomplishment, and celebrate small wins by planning your next move.
Systems are everything
Understand the groundwork. The main foundation to solving your seamless salon challenge is to put in place successful systems that your team can follow through. But how do you know where to start?
Each time an issue arises, address it and FIX IT ONCE. Ask yourself, “How can I solve it today so it will have the best long-term outcome for everyone?” Write that system down in dot points, keeping it simple and using pictures where you can. For example, don’t explain to one team member why she can’t have this Saturday off work. Instead, put in place a succinct policy around lead-time for leave requests, and clearly outline your expectations so everyone understands.
Even more communication
Any system not followed through is wasted effort. Consult with your team. Find out how they’re managing with the new system/s. If they’re ticking along great, acknowledge how much you appreciate them adopting the changes. If they’re struggling with a system change, find out exactly where it’s falling over, review the process and look for ways to improve it.
Never stop moving forward
It takes 21 days to form a habit. Change takes time, especially the lasting change needed to shift you towards a seamless business. It’ll take time - don’t give up after a month of trying a new system. Keep following up, keep your lines of communication wide open and keep refining. Just keep going and each day you’ll move closer to having that seamless business you covet.