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ONE QUESTION I often get asked by business owners is “what are your best business tips?” So, I thought this was a good topic for an article and while I have many tips I could share, I decided to concentrate on my five “must-dos”. These tips should be the cornerstone to strengthen current businesses, or for future business owners, the ways to prevent costly, or even fatal commercial mistakes. One thing we do know is that the vast majority of aesthetic business owners have come by way of being therapists themselves. Unfortunately, it is also true to say many, if not most, have had little or no prior business operational experience. For many, owning and successfully operating a business requires a whole new skill set. And while it may take time to learn these skills, “learning on the job” can be a costly exercise for some. My advice, at least in the early stages, is to seek expert help, and to work on continuously improving your management skills and keep current by attending seminars, industry conferences, and subscribing to industry journals and magazines. In this way you will expand your business skills. It’s all about the correct skills and tools, which brings us back to my Five Top Tips for Profit, so here they are:

1. CONTROL COSTS If there’s one thing that can easily and often get out of control, it’s business finances, often starting before the doors even open with blow-out costs during the salon, or clinic fit-out and sadly for some, it may never be totally under control. Being frugal should start before the business commences operation and every day thereafter. If too much is spent during the setup stage there may be little, or no money left for marketing, stocking the retail shelves, and emergency funds, which could put the business at a disadvantage. While driving sales is the objective of all businesses the costof-sale is also equally important. Keep in mind, while a dollar gained in revenue is important, a dollar saved from cost goes directly to the bottom line. Make sure you get the right balance. Focus on the top-line by marketing to drive clients through the door, while training your employees to achieve the highest per average sale through expert upgrading and retail techniques, which brings us to the wage bill. Often APJ 20

this is the largest cost because of the labour intensity of the industry. If wages get out of whack, profits soon plummet. On the other hand, when efficiency is improved revenue per employee grows. Another big cost is supplies, and in particular skincare and make-up whether it is professional stock for treatment usage, or stock for retailing. I recommend you develop the best possible relationship with suppliers, a relationship that allows you the opportunity to negotiate the best deal possible. And the more products you move the better the deal you will be able to secure. Remember, good accounts are what all the suppliers are after, and they never want to lose one, so most of them will come to the party with a favourable deal.

2. FOCUS ON SALES Nothing happens until a sale is made, so if you or your employees have the I don’t want to appear to be ‘salesy’ or ‘pushy’ attitude – tell them to get over it quickly. It is possible to make a profit and you can do this without being ‘salesy’. As a business owner you need to review each clients’ purchasing habits, it’s part of managing your team’s productively. If a client’s concerns haven’t been fully met, discuss this with the therapist, the treatment and homecare ‘solutions’ to be recommended at the next visit. Keep checking that they follow through with recommendations because unfortunately some employees can get slack and not bother if knocked back once.

3. BE ORGANISED AND MANAGE YOUR TIME Time is money … as the saying goes, so be efficient with both your time and the employees’ time by streamlining systems and processes.

a. Keep a clean desk by developing an open – action/file, or toss policy. Reconcile your bank statements when they come in, remember they do occasionally make mistakes and setup auto-payments wherever possible. b. Develop good habits that keep you on-track and make sure you share these habits with your team. c. Document procedures and protocols for each service, along with time allowances for each to be completed in both a timely, efficient, and quality fashion. Monitor

Profile for APAN - Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network

APJ Vol 38 2018  

Aesthetics Practitioners Journal Volume 38 Spring 2018 - The official publication of the Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network (APAN)

APJ Vol 38 2018  

Aesthetics Practitioners Journal Volume 38 Spring 2018 - The official publication of the Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network (APAN)