Posted: Thu 1st Jul 2021
Every business owner has a different reason for starting their own company but more often than not, we want the same outcomes: we want it to grow, make a profit, have a happy and engaged workforce, and we want it to give us a better lifestyle.
However, as the years go by, often the reality of working harder for less money sets in, among other issues like having less time to spend with family. As a business coach, I have helped countless business owners realise their ambitions. Here is one such story and how together, we overcame the obstacles that were blocking progression.
James had been running a profitable salon in the centre of Bath for around 10 years. He was part of a franchise and had a good eye for figures, with numerous KPI spreadsheets on the go. He therefore accurately knew and understood how the business was performing and had a great client base as well as a team of talented stylists.
James’s business was second from the bottom out of all the franchisees in the group
He was under pressure from head office to improve the salon’s performance
The stress he was under was causing James sleepless nights
These sleepless nights affected his mood which in turn affected the moods of his stylists
James was caught in a vicious circle of negativity and as a result, his numbers were getting worse and worse
Overall, James felt he was doing everything he could to increase performance and profits but was stuck for what else he could change or implement for maximum effect.
The ideal position
As soon as I met James, I could see he was passionate and not just about his business, but about his stylists too. He had a thorough knowledge of his business including his KPIs and his figures. He really cared about his business and wanted to have a great salon with happy customers and happy stylists. He also simply wanted to be happy himself with happy franchisors.
When I looked at James’s KPI spreadsheets, I noticed they were very comprehensive; they were written in small font and were quite compact. With his stylists being visual people, it was highly likely they didn’t relate to the way the information was presented – and therefore, probably didn’t understand or didn’t really care about understanding it either.
The three main KPIs were:
I suggested we created a different system, which in this case, would be a traffic light chart to display in the staff room. It would be simple to understand and very visual.
We also looked at each stylist’s individual motivators. While James’s passion was for the business itself and making a profit, his stylists would have very different reasons for turning up to work each day and it certainly wouldn’t be to make the business money.
We held a vision board workshop in which the stylists looked at their own goals. They really did vary from travelling around Europe, saving for a house deposit, doing charity work or becoming the best hairdresser in the country.
From here, we created the traffic light system related to the targets the business needed to hit and how much stylists had contributed to those targets. If a stylist was ‘green’ six weeks in a row, then they would receive a bonus which was in relation to their own personal goals such as money to help them save for house deposits, extra days off so they could travel, or going on additional courses to improve their skills.
Within three months of implementing this new system, the salon had gone from the second worst performing franchise to the second best. What’s more, James was competing against a number of high-end salons too.
While the business had always been profitable, implementing the new incentive system increased profits by 17%.
But the best part for me, is that James was sleeping soundly every night and that he was delighted with all those results.
If you, like James, don’t know what changes to implement in your business to yield better results, are working extremely hard for little financial reward, or you simply want a renewed vigour for your business dreams, having sessions with a business coach can give you clarity and confidence to make changes to help lead you towards a happy and successful business life.
Disclaimer: Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.