“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is a well- known quote that applies to almost any situation in life, but it is especially true in business. If you’re going to succeed in business, you’ll need money – a lot at first (startup capital) and, then, you’ll need a steady stream of money flowing in on a regular basis (cash flow). To make both a reality, you’ll need a solid plan that includes knowing your numbers, keeping your sales goals at the forefront at all times, forecasting, and planning business activities.
Many aestheticians assume that as they go about the day to day activities of running a business that their goal is to provide amazing treatments and keep customers happy. Sure, in an industry full of love, compassion, and a desire to give amazing treatments to help men and women be happier by improving their skin, these things are important. However, the reality is it’s not the goal. The goal is to earn revenue, minimize expenses, and declare a profit. Providing treatments and keeping customers happy are just the means for achieving that goal.
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
Okay, so you might be thinking, “Who ever said there was going to be a math test? I just want to give some amazing skin care treatments and make the world a happier, more moisturized place!” Well, you can do that but, you have to do the math. You need to know your numbers, including your expenses. If you have an accountant, they can help. The key to succeeding in business is to sell enough treatments and products (revenue) to pay all of your bills (expenses). And, when you add on some extra revenue to that, that’s your profit.
There are so many business owners out there who have no clue what their monthly total expenses are. They show up every day not knowing what they need to sell in order to keep their business running. By having an understanding of what your expenses are, you know what you need to sell in order to pay bills. But, if you want to thrive, you’ll have to go one step further and create a sales plan, which is more than just knowing what you need to sell in order to cover expenses.
SET SALES GOALS AT THE FOREFRONT
This is going to guide everything that you do in your business. Your ongoing question should be, “How are we going to meet our sales goals?” Products sold, treatments offered, front desk efforts, ads placed, e-mails sent, staff hired, and social media efforts – it all comes back to and is driven by the question of, “How is this going to help us meet our sales goals?”
You should create an annual sales plan. If you’ve been in business for more than a year, your last year sales results can help you create your sales goals for the upcoming year. You’ll break that down by quarter, month, week, and day. You’ll also want to break that down further with the following in mind: Where does your revenue come from? Do you sell treatments? Do you sell products? Do you sell devices? Do you sell classes? This information will help you focus daily operations.
You should have a goal every day – for every area of the business that generates revenue. If you offer treatments and services, then you should have a dollar amount of treatment sales that you need to meet daily. And, should know what the goals are for every day of the month at the beginning of the month. This is called forecasting. You’re like a weather lady, but with money. These predictions help you prepare for the conditions ahead, rain or shine.
Once you’ve forecasted your sales goals for the year, quarter, month, and day, then, you can begin to look at your operational activities. You can plan for business activities by scheduling promotions, advertising, ordering, and staffing. As you’re comparing sales goals with actual sales revenues each month, you can focus on short-term activities that will help you continue to meet sales goals, such as e-mail marketing, social media marketing, upselling, add-on selling, and calling clients to book.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the bottom line. (Fun fact: that’s an accounting phrase derived from the fact that the bottom line of financial documents is usually where the dollar amount of profit is located.) Just showing up and working really hard with no clear-cut goals in mind will not lead to success. As you know what you need to do each day to keep your business profitable, by planning, doing the math, and forecasting, you’ll be sure to make it rain.
Barry Eichner is the cofounder of Lipgloss + Aftershave, a marketing consulting firm that specializes in digital media content creation, as well as strategic planning and implementation for beauty brands. He and Jenni Nagle (cofounder) publish the namesake beauty blog and podcast - Lipgloss + Aftershave. Eichner writes monthly columns that cover topics such as digital marketing, as well as overall business development for the independent skin care professional and day spa. He is a featured speaker at industry tradeshows across the country. Eichner has been selected to emcee the 2019 Skin Games in Las Vegas. He’s also a published editorial and lifestyle photographer.
Co-founder of Lipgloss + Aftershave, Jenni Nagle has nearly two decades of experience in the skin care industry. She began her career as an aesthetician working in all aspects of the industry: day, medical, and resort spas. Nagle always gravitated towards the business and marketing aspect of the spa industry and eventually managed large spas and became the director of public and media relations for a skin care brand. Looking for even more opportunity, she created her own digital marketing and public relations firm offering consulting services to international skin care brands and currently runs Lipgloss + Aftershave, a personal care and lifestyle review website offering fresh, fun, and informative reviews of professional and retail skin care products, makeup, and hair care, as well as other unique personal care items.