Sunday, January 29, 2017


tips for small business by Jana Elston

Not everyone is cut out to run a small business. Some people are followers, some are leaders and some are entrepreneurs.

It's my experience that most people who own and operate a small business, have never had any formal training or experience in the business. They just decide that because they are really good at what they do, they are qualified to open or buy and operate their own business. They do not realize that it takes far more than being good at that they do, to operate their own business. This is why it becomes so stressful for them when they eventually venture out, and most new businesses (or new owners of businesses) fail, close shop and lose their money in the first year of operating a business.

They don't understand what it takes to own and operate a small business. To own and operate a small business, you may or may not have the skills in the services you provide (such as a beauty therapist) but you certainly have to be educated and qualified in running a small business (such as investors, I know of a few beauty salon owners that are not from the industry, but have extensive knowledge and experience in running a business).

Skills required to own and operate a small business include:

financial skills by Jana Elston

- Financial management such as bookkeeping, payroll, tax obligations, ability to read and understand financial reports and financial planning. Most people in the beauty business are weakest in this area. They simply do not understand the financial figures of a successful beauty business. They take money out of the register for coffee, incidentals, meals etc. not realizing they are out of control in their finances.

- Marketing: most beauty business owners are reluctant to do any marketing for their business, fearing it will cost "a lot of money". They make this assumption on the cost of advertising, not doing the numbers on what the advertising will bring to them. Most small business owners make this HUGE mistake. That marketing is expensive. Most marketing costs nothing at all. Let me repeat that. Most of the marketing will cost you no extra cash. Just your creativity, your mind and your time. It takes knowledge to do that. There are many ways you can grow your business without spending a single dollar.

- Retail sales: Most small business owners, especially in the beauty industry, have no control of retail sales or significant skills in sales. They assume I build a salon, open the doors and they will come. I will be fully booked from the very beginning. Most assume I do not have to do anything to sell the products, people will buy,  it will happen on its own. Most are disappointed when they open their doors, there are no customers in sight. Then they panic because they have not set any funds aside to live off while the business is established and grows. Smart and experienced business owners accept that they have to have other income to support them for 1-2 year while the new baby gets off the ground.

- Customer service: Sadly, many people that set up their own business do not understand or possess the necessary skills of good customer service. They have little experience and knowledge on how to grow their business through business networking, marketing, retail sales, managing inventory, dealing with customers and solving problems.
-  Business communication and negotiation are a whole new ball game. It takes patience, tact, experience and business intelligence to deal with insurance brokers, banks, suppliers, vendors, clients, and employees.

- Team Leadership is probably the most important part of owning your own business. Your staff is your business. When they are unhappy, customers will be unhappy. If your staff does not support you in your vision, your business will fail. If your staff is treated like your friends, your business will suffer. If your staff is poorly trained, badly supervised, not encouraged, not motivated or supported, your business will fail. The delegation, time management, recruitment & staff training, staff appraisals and staff motivation are essential to running a successful small business. Staff needs strong leaders, they need direction, they need to be inspired and motivated.

Most staff are only in it for a job. These are the hard facts. Their main priority is themselves and their family. It’s up to you, as an employer, to make their job enjoyable for them, otherwise, they will not perform, or worse, give up and leave.

busines planning by Jana Elston

- Project management and planning. If you want to succeed long-term in business, you need to have a vision and a plan. You need to know where your business is going for the short-term and the long-term. You need to have the skills, financial resources, and support to be able to effectively manage business resources, keep the business looking fresh, modern, safe and competitive, and continue to grow your business offer with new products and treatments.

It really takes a lot more to run a beauty business that basic services. It takes knowledge, skills and experience in running a small business.

Here is an excellent book I recommend people read before they contemplate buying or setting up a new business. It's an eye opener.

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Enjoy a successful and prosperous day!
Jana x

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