Salon Owner, do you do salon planning and goal setting?

Put pen to paper about what the year ahead will look like?

How about the next quarter or even month?

Yes, we know it’s busy… busy… busy… to spend time salon planning and goal setting but unless we take a good look at what worked and what didn’t we will just be doing more of the same and getting the same results… right!

There is a common understanding that when you fail to plan…  YOU PLAN TO FAIL!!

Salon goal setting and planning is something that can just waste time or be very time effective… just like most things in business and in life, there are 2 sides to the coin.

And in business, there are 2 types of Business owners and Salon owners are no different.

Let’s call them Salon Owner Goal Setting and Planning Type A and Type B and most salon owners fall into one of these two groups.

Now I bet you want to believe you are an individual and can’t be herded into a segment and I get it.

We all want to believe we are individuals and that is usually why you got into salon ownership in the first place. To do it your way.

But the truth is that salon owners do fall into 2 groups around salon planning and goal setting and this is not:

Corporate Salon vs Boutique Independents

Booth vs Commission

Big Team vs Solos

Owner-operator vs Absentee Owner

All business owners in any industry fall into the category of problem-focused or solution-focused and this makes a huge difference to not only how successful you are but to how you spend your energy and time.

There are plenty of successful salons with burnt-out and frustrated owners wondering where their dream salon vision has disappeared to.

And it’s also not uncommon to find salons that are ticking over nicely but just not getting to the next level.

We will look at some of the problems these types of salon businesses face and how to take a different approach and bring a fresh perspective later in this blog.

But here’s a great read on Perspectives and how you are the one who really shapes what your business experience is by the way you look at things and how to take a fresh approach that will serve you in so many positive ways HERE

So where do you sit on the scale of salon owners?

Are you bogged down in the problem and putting your head in the sand hoping things will just keep ticking along but really…. you are slowly going backward?

Or are you pretty successful but exhausted and frustrated by the issues coming at you every day?

Stock running out and just not going as far as it should. Trainees who yet again haven’t organised models. Team members again forget procedures like rebooking and using the new customer welcome procedure. Bookings getting mucked up, staff not charging correctly?

Does the solution to your problem only work short-term.. and yet again you find yourself with the same issues?

Let’s look at some things that you need to take an honest look at before things can change.

1. How was your time management?

Did you delegate, automate and train your team? Do you find this difficult? Do you find yourself micro-managing delegated tasks, then blaming them for getting it wrong?

Taking time to salon plan and set goals, talk to your team, find the jobs you need to delegate, and get them involved is necessary for you to be a leader in your business. But doing this well is another whole leadership skill that a lot of salon owners don’t get time to learn well.

It’s a classic mistake and one that comes from not having enough structure in your business. This is why we work very closely with the A.S.C.E.N.D. Salon Method when coaching Salon Owners.

I’m sure you’d agree that successful businesses don’t just happen, they need a plan, a structure, and a framework to be more successful and less frustrating.

I’m sure you realise that Luke Hershon doesn’t do everything himself! Ted Gibson, Tracey Cunningham… all have very successful salons and careers but they don’t do everything themselves.

Do you need to hire an assistant, manager, or even a VA to help with tasks that are bogging you down and stopping you from stepping into the leadership role your business needs?

Can someone help you with salon planning and goal setting?

Hiring for roles or delegating needs careful consideration because if you just pass over tasks just because you were overwhelmed, you could be creating an even bigger headache for yourself.

Ask yourself;

Did you choose the right person to delegate to?

Have you made yourself vulnerable and lost leadership?

Are things being done within your framework?

What does the accountability framework look like in your salon?

For these procedures to work well you need to have a system of frameworks that everyone can go by.

For starters;

Do you need to create an updated procedure/operations manual?

Have you time on your salon culture and vision so you come from a crystal clear place and everyone knows what the expectations are?

What does your feedback framework look like?

What is involved in your meeting structure?

Take the time to meet with your team too and plan out who does what, where you need to delegate, what can be automated, and also what needs to be shelved!

Are your team meetings productive and enjoyable?

Read our blog about productive team meetings HERE.

2. Did you invest in yourself?

Is it time to take a course to learn a new skill that could elevate your salon business?

Are you aware of the areas where you lack skills and it’s limiting your business growth?

Can you honestly look at what’s holding you back and making you play small?

Do you want to become the leader your salon needs for success? Get your copy of our Leadership Skills Tool in our Salon Leadership Library here…

3. How much did you invest in your team and your business?

Is your branding looking a bit circa 2014… What about your website?

If you have invested in your business, how has it played out with your team and customers?

  • Did you do any surveys?
  • Do you need to get some feedback?
  • What do the numbers say?
  • How were your team appraisals?

4. Learn something new but not really implement it?

Team building workshop, productivity course, customer service, and sales training… all sitting around on your computer, in your inbox, or unfiled on your desk?

Taking courses, watching webinars, downloading workbooks or attending workshops can set you up for growth, as does reading books or attending in-person events but… implementation is the key.

All that knowledge stuck in your head is useless.

We get comfortable, run out of time and end up making a lot of business decisions based on habits, assumptions, and guesswork but… taking the steps you need to really find out what needs changing starts with you.

Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity!

Starting with a foundation that is out of date, unstructured, lacking technology and fresh insights is like putting icing on a burnt cake to make it look pretty.

Of course, you can still taste the burnt cake.

And that’s what I see with salon owners so often. They are putting icing on top of a burnt-out, outdated business model and that causes more stress and anxiety, and frustration than actually taking the time to implement some new baking strategies in the first place.

Can you honestly tell me that our industry has not totally changed in the last 10/15 years let alone the last 2?

What served you then won’t set you up for success today. Times have changed and I don’t mean cutting techniques!

Think of your team, the way you communicate, team expectations, customer management systems, etc…etc… etc…

And the biggest mistake I see that prevents salon owners from doing this well is coming up next.

5. Is there a balance between you working on and in your business?

Do you focus on the numbers in your business regularly?

For example

  • Do you know how many new clients came in the door?
  • How much did they spend and did they rebook?
  • What marketing efforts did they come from?
  • How about productivity and utilisation?
  • Did your team grow their sales skills and customer retention?


Moving into leadership and thinking like a business owner is crucial for growth and success

So many hairstylists/beauty therapists turned business owners make the mistake of thinking like a stylist or therapist rather than a business owner.

It’s the main reason salons and spas fail to grow and eventually shrink and die.

It’s the biggest reason salon and spa owners are burnt out and frustrated.

Its the difference between Salon owner Type A and Salon Owner Type B

6. Are you measuring your goals?

How do you goal set and do you achieve them consistently?

Do you regularly assess where you are performing well and what needs attention?

We recommend a monthly revisit is a minimum for keeping on track when dealing with business goals.

We highly recommend breaking your working cycle into 12 weekly or 90-day blocks.

Ask yourself these questions and apply to which time frame you are working on.. year, quarter, month or week.

  • What worked this year, quarter, month, and what didn’t?
  • Who and what am I grateful for this…?
  • What do I want to be happy for this time next…?
  • Can I serve better next…, if yes who?

Start with these simple points and get them written down.

Remember the quality of your life is directly related to the quality of the questions you ask yourself.

So be brave and ask the questions that will help you get to where you want to go. Take some time over this and bring INTENTION to your planning and goal setting.

Start with where you want to be and work backward.

Your turn…

Ok so now you have answered these questions and have a grounding about what went on… and how you want the next period to look.

Assessment Exercise.

Get a piece of paper and do this simple task. Write down all your wins from last year, quarter or month. Why it was a win and what you learnt from that win.

Then look at the losses or things that didn’t really go as planned or never made it off the to-do list. Why was that a loss and what did you learn from that?

Don’t judge yourself here… just give yourself space and get it down on paper.

This is an amazing exercise to do to help you break through the clutter and reward yourself, plus learn more about how you operate.

The quality of your life is directly affected by the quality of questions you ask yourself.

You can do this for all aspects of your life.

Here are some suggestions.

Business, family and home life, health and wellness, community, and contribution. Do each category on a new page.

Then burn it… haha… no seriously, put that baby to rest.

The next year, quarter or month is all about starting with a clean slate, on a new page with a fresh mindset.

Do this exercise with your team. It’s a great way to work through how everyone perceived wins and misses in your business.

Next… look forward.

Whatever time frame you are working with, break your next goals down into projects and tasks. Reverse engineer what you want for yourself and your business.

Get your tool of choice and get the time blocked out now. Schedule family, business, and time for yourself.

Now a closer look at Salon Owners Type A and Type B

We all like to think we are performing well in our roles. It’s understandable… easier to look outward than inward. But if we expect honesty from our teams can we apply the same lens to ourselves?

Take this simple question and answer quiz to look at the way you handle things.

  • Are you someone who underestimates or overestimates how long things take?
  • Do you delegate, abdicate or micromanage tasks you hand over?
  • Do your systems and frameworks support your ideas? What is the evidence of this?
  • How do you perceive challenges? Read the blog HERE for insights on this
  • Are you stretching and setting advanced goals for yourself and your business or more achievable comfortable ones?
  • What drives your decisions. Perfection or Excellence? Surviving or Thriving? Problems or Solutions? Being in Management or Leadership? Reactions or Focusing on Controlables?

Would you do this……

Make assumptions

Get worried

Start to panic

Try solutions based on those feelings

Create team disharmony and confusion

React to the details

Withdraw and not communicate effectively

OR this……

Go to the data

Access facts to gauge what’s happening

Use things you have learned to access the situation

Use feedback and accountability to uncover truths

Seek solutions after quickly understanding the problem

Test solutions to see what are the next best steps.

Once you have honestly completed the questions here look at mainly where your answers fall.

Are you Type A An Empowered Salon Leader or Type B The Struggling Frustrated Salon Owner?

If you want to create your dream salon owner life

Get your copy of my Salon Leadership Library

There are ‘Done For You’ Interview Questions so you know the right questions to ask to build a team for success, a Leadership Goal Setting Guide so you can ask yourself the right questions to build your dream salon owner life, and a Leadership Skills Tool to help you become the leader your salon needs for success.

Click here to learn more…

2 replies
  1. Brad Simpson
    Brad Simpson says:

    What a great article! I am sure this will motivate and inspire many salon owners and professionals alike to work towards defining their goals for a successful year.

    • Salon Owner Solutions
      Salon Owner Solutions says:

      Thanks Brad. I certainly hope it does motivate and empower salon owners as they will really need lots of that to be successful. Thanks for your positive feedback.

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