If you ask any nail technician if she has business goals I’m sure she would answer, “Yes, I would like to have a full book and own salon someday.” It’s the gray area between “today” and “someday” where many nail technicians and salon owners lose sight of how to make their goals happen. Assisting your staff in the process of defining and setting team and individual business goals makes for a more focused and productive workplace--- and makes the chances of realizing your goals as a salon owner much greater.

Now I don’t want to go into the meaning of life and why having goals will make you a better person---there are plenty of informercials to do that. But how about some simple, easy-to-use tactics that will make your team work together better and more happily? With just a few modifications these steps will work for both employees and booth renters. Remember, supporting and guiding your people is your most important function as a salon owner.

Tactic 1: Know where you are. To set goals, you need a starting point. Each staff member needs to know her present weekly gross dollars in service and retail and number of regular or standing customers before she can project future improvements. At my salon, we use our master standing sheet to keep track of this.

Everyone will also need to know what their maximum potential for service and retail is as well. You can calculate this by multiplying the number of hours in the work week by your average fill-in price. This amount is your 100% product figure: 40 hours x $25/fill=$1000 per week.

Tactic 2: Define specific, attainable goals. Keep goals simple and easy for staff members to understand and “own.” They must be able to achieve their goals because we want to plant the seeds for success, not doom someone to failure. A new nail technician can’t really expect to be 100% booked in six months. Set two goals: one for six months, one for one year. To determine reasonable targets, reference the current numbers for a starting point and add 25% for the first six months and another 25% for the second six months. That would mean a substantial increase in dollars for you and them in one year’s time.

Be sure to tie in retail goals as well. Ideally, retail sales should equal 25% of the service dollars. However, most of us in the nail business are not doing that well. I suggest you start with a minimum of  10% of service revenue and gradually work up from there. To simplify this: For every $25 in service there should be at least a $2.50 retail purchase.

You need a target percentage for standing or regular clients. Roughly 75%-80% of your business should be request customers. A standing appointment chart is an easy, visual way to keep track of your regular customers (see the article in the September 1993 issue, titled Book Standing Appointments to Guarantee Steady Business, for an example.)

Tactic 3. Individual and team business goals. After defining each staff member’s goals, you can put together a team goal plan using the average figures. Offering incentives (team dinners, trips, etc.) at the end of each time period is great way to pull everyone together. Post a monthly report with the team figures to keep everyone focused.

Tactic 4. Pulling it all together and kicking it off. Making any new idea easy and fun is the best way to gain your staff’s support. Focus your next salon meeting on the goal program “kick-off.” Meet with each member of your staff before the meeting to help them define their personal goals using a simple 1995 goals sheet. Then have them cut out pictures of two things that they would personally like to attain in the next year and bring them to the meeting. Having a visual picture of what you can attain if you achieve your goals is a strong motivator.

Before the meeting, prepare a team goal handout with the incentive program outlined. Also, get a blank poster board ready. During the meeting, have each person outline her personal goals and paste her two pictures on the poster board. You can add pictures of the team goals as well. Hang this great collage of goals in your breakroom as a daily reminder.

Tactic 5. Always follow up. As with any program, success only comes with constant support. Be sure to follow up on an individual basis, possibly once a month, and with the monthly team report.When someone falters or begins developing a negative, take some time to help her reassess her goals and reasons for being there. Be ready to advise and offer the tools that she needs to reach her goals.

As the salon owner and the team’s guiding light you also have to set specific goals and share them with your staff. Your positive and focused team is now ready to work together to be more productive for themselves and you. I’d love to hear from any of you how goal setting is working. Please write to me in care of the magazine. Good luck!

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