Wow, it's been a crazy two months! I hope that everyone enjoyed a fabulous and busy holiday season! I kicked off the holidays by traveling down to California in November to visit family and attend the Young Nails Road Show in Redding. It was a great experience. Young Nails' Greg, Tracey, and Melissa (and others) do such a great job at generating excitement. I was impressed with the innovations in technique that they showed.
One thing that really impressed me was that a few things they were showing were actually changes to some ways they did things before. I love that they aren't afraid to say, don't do it the way we showed you last year, do it this way now – it's better! I love that they are always working hard to make us better, faster, and more cutting edge. If you haven't attended a class lately, I can't encourage you enough to GO GO GO! The more advance skill-set is worth it, but also being surrounded by people who are passionate about the industry is priceless.
In early December I got lab results that my doctor ordered – turns out that my Vitamin D levels were insanely low at 4.2. For the last year or so I've struggled with fatigue and often battle my way through the day, and it turns out that this deficiency was the culprit! So now I'm on megadoses of Vitamin D, my energy level is higher, and to my great pleasure, my service times have been consistently 15-20 minutes faster for the last three weeks or so. I just adjusted the times to several of my services in my scheduling software (some I left alone because they are services that clients like to do add-ons with) and my new average service time is 1.05 hours, compared to the 1.2 before. In a very short time I've gone from thinking I might not be able to keep my studio for much longer to making long-term goals! So, in addition to scheduling a class – maybe a full checkup to make sure you are at optimum health. :)
In the past two and a half weeks I have been going full steam ahead on my 2012 planning. I thought my big to-do list would take me through March to finish, but I think I'm about 60% of the way through it! Just the highlights:
-My husband put together some new cabinets from IKEA for my dispensary area, so I'm much more organized now.
-We also upgraded the pedicure chairs and the coffee service area so that my clients wouldn't feel like I get all the good stuff.
-I reworked my menu, adding a few things, removing a few things, and raised a few prices. My new menu came in last week.
-Finally got all my "shelf talkers" in place in the retail area.
-I closed out my 2011 books and just about have taxes ready to file (everyone hates me for that).
-Placed all my orders to replenish service products and supplies, so I should be good there for a few months.
-Replenished existing retail lines.
-Ordered four new retail lines that should all be in place by the end of the month!
Some of the biggies that I need to still do are re-working my physical inventory system (now that I have so much retail), doing my specials planning for the whole year, and putting a retail plan in place. I want to do all the research now on what I want to bring in, get set up with the vendors, and basically have orders ready to be submitted in the order that I want to introduce them. That way, as soon as I have the money from retail sales, I can turn it right around to keep expanding. Last summer I got so busy that I left money on the table by not bringing anything new in from June through early September, which is a mistake I don't want to make again.
That's it for now, next time I'll share some insights that I've had into the retail end of things.
—Candice, Panache Nail Studio, Stanwood, Wash.