A New Way to Look at Your Business - Smart Tan
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A New Way to Look at Your Business

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

By Scott Nichols, salon GM and consultant

If you are one of the few people that is glued to the news, you are brave! Depending on the day and even the hour, the news can give you some hope and more likely some anxiety. The news is in the business of gaining viewership. Viewership means more eyes watching, and more eyes watching means more money. Hey, if it “bleeds it leads,” and we are addicted to it! So, why am I bringing this up in a Smart Tan article? Many of us are looking at our tanning salons and think the only way we can survive is if good news happens. This leads to comments like, “if only the economy comes back,” “will all my employees come back?” and “the jobs report looks horrible.” This is putting some real fear in our heads.

This month’s article is going to be about three things: control what you can control, if you need to adapt to change then adapt to it, and finally, repeat!

The first thing to control is the information coming at you. News enters your head and has an impact on your thought process. I want you to limit the news that you are watching and focus that attention to helpful business information. You can do this through many podcast and business articles. I can’t stress to you enough how this can change your outlook of your business. Waking up in the morning with solutions to keep your business going strong versus waking up and watching a dismal newscast can and will be the difference you need. This is your first step for taking control.

The second thing to control is analyzing your business. Take a deep dive into your business and numbers. Here is a list of items you may want to look at immediately:

  1. Look at what you’re selling and see what makes the most sense. Margins are the key to your success. Some of you may find the specials you been pushing were great when you had a high customer count (volume), but with a lack of customers, these specials may not be effective anymore. Look at the specials you are promoting and the items you are selling, and determine what you are making on them. Then, determine your margins on each, and this should be what you focus on.
  2. Your expenses can bog you down. Take a look at what you can get rid of. You should have a list of all your expenses from previous months, and go through it. If it can save you $50.00 a month and you don’t need it, get rid of it! I understand it might be a nice luxury to have, but not right now. You can always get it back later.

If you can’t get rid of something, can you reduce it? Maybe it’s the dumpster that is picked up every week. Can you have it picked up every two weeks or once a month? Can you work with your Internet company to reduce some fees? Do you use a service for your rugs? If so, can you go biweekly or monthly? These are all the questions you need to be asking. Pretty soon, $50.00 can turn in to a few hundred, a few hundred may turn into a thousand, and so on.

These are a few items that you can control. When you work on the things you can control, it doesn’t matter what the news is telling you anymore. Take control and concentrate on what you can control, and you will start to see a change in your attitude and a change in your business as well.

As you keep adapting, keep an eye on your financials. We talked about taking a deep dive in your business, but it’s important to see if the changes you are making are working. I hope it is, but if it’s not, then adapt and change your strategy. You don’t want to find out 30 or 60 days from now the specials or the expenses could have been different. Study your financials, and adapt to any changes that may come up.

Lastly, you need to repeat what is working. The two areas that we talked about in this article are sales and your expenses. If you found a way to make your sales work, then keep doing it. This is exactly the reason you need to be paying attention to the things you are selling. If the margins are great and the customers are buying, you only need to do one thing – repeat! My guess is in more cases than not, your monthly EFT draw is probably your most profitable thing you can do. The best thing you can do is minimize the number of cancellations and offset the cancellations by enrolling new members. Selling EFT isn’t the most glamorous thing to sell when signing someone up, but you know each month after you will be happy you sold it.

If you were able to reduce your expenses for one month, could you reduce them for more? Could you reduce them until the next busy season? In a lot of cases, I think you could! Pick up the phone, and call who you need to. Figure out a plan that works for both you and the other party. I would think, in most cases, they want to work with you. It’s pretty exiting when you can reduce your expenses month after month. Every little bit helps.

Control what you can control, adapt to change, and repeat what is working. It sounds simple, and you will find out that it’s not actually that hard to do. You just have to do it. Studying your sales can happen at any time. Look and see what has worked best and what will work best. Take that deep dive into your business expenses and reduce any extra expenses. You are going to be thrown around, and that’s okay because you’re always going to adapt and find solutions. Once you find what sales work, what expenses to cut and have adapted – just keep repeating!


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