We Are Sunshine

A 5-Point Plan for Growing Your Business

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

By Scott Nichols

I want to lay out a 5-point plan to help you grow your business to the next level. I understand this is easier said than done, but my hope is within 60 to 90 days of implementing this 5-point plan, you start seeing increases.

1. Scheduling for sales vs. Scheduling for coverage (80/20 rule).

The schedule needs to be filled by employees who are hungry to make commission or bonuses. If you have someone on the schedule that helps with filling hours but lacks in sales, you need to replace that employee with someone who wants to be there and sell. These employees exist!

How do you find these employees? Well, it starts with you. If you are excited about employees making commission and bonuses, your staff will be too. When interviewing a potential employee, make sure you talk at length about your commission and bonus structure. Watch their reaction, and if it’s positive and they get excited, that is a great step in the right direction. If there’s no reaction, then I would look to find someone who understands that selling equals bigger pay checks.

The next step needs to relate to the 80/20 rule. Roughly 80 percent of your sales should come from 20 percent of your staff. These 20 percent need to be highly trained selling machines! Your managers are going to be working about 40 hours a week along with assistant managers working 30 to 40 hours as well. That doesn’t leave a lot of time left over for part-time help. So, the employees working the majority of hours better be making the majority of sales.

2. Hiring a store manager is key.

Finding staff that cares can be a challenge, but there is a way to do it. You need to hire a full-time store manager who can work with your staff. You must have day-to-day interactions with them. During these communications, you need to set expectations for the day, week and month.  In addition, you need to hold him/her accountable for the store’s performance.

Your store manager needs to feel involved and a major part of the store’s success. Don’t be afraid to ask for their input on decisions that need to be made along with including them on short-term and long-term planning. Your goal is to help them grow and become the leader of the store.

3. Holding employees accountable

Now it’s time to look at the staff. You and your store manager need to hold the employees accountable for their sales performance. You can’t afford to have an employee on the schedule who can’t perform. Let’s drill down on this a little further and show how an employee can have a big impact on your sales.

Let’s say you are open for 60 hours a week or roughly 240 hours a month. Let’s also estimate your monthly expenses are roughly $15,000 a month. What do you need to make per hour to just break-even? $15,000/240 hours = $62.50 per hour.

Now, imagine what kind of damage an employee who doesn’t perform can do to your business. For instance, I have seen in the past where an employee hasn’t made one single sale in her eight-hour shift. According to the example given, she needed to make $500. That is just one shift! I will let you do the math if this is happening multiple times a month. All I have to say is OUCH!

It’s critical to have contact with each employee and show them how well they are doing. If they are slacking in sales with a $3 sales average, you need to show them what their sales and commission would look like if it was $6. You or your store manager may need to do this on a weekly basis until they increase their sales consistently. If they are struggling and you or your store manager has been spending a lot of time with them, it might be time to part ways. 

4. Gain 100 more customers a week and increase sales by $250 a day.

Yep!  You read that correctly.  Let’s break both of these down separately.

Gain 100 more customers a week:

 There are a few ways you can increase your customer count. You can go all out on a marketing campaign, but that will cost you. You might give away free tanning for a week, but if not done properly, it could cost you sales and only upset your employees. The last way to do it is through selling higher priced lotions, packages and memberships. Yep, you read that correctly! Here is the theory behind this. If you are used to selling one or two session packages for $20, when the two sessions are up, when will the customer come in again? If you can sell the customer more sessions for a higher dollar amount, then customers will tend to come in more often and the same works with lotion.

The more you sell to a customer, the more they will come in. You might be thinking this won’t happen in your neighborhood or with your clientele, but if you implement steps 1-3, it can be accomplished.

For example, when compared to other salons around us, we are more expensive, but I feel we offer more as well. About four years ago, we bought a salon from someone looking to sell. Their sales were low, and after doing some digging, I could see why. They had a lack of customers due to having low-priced lotion and sessions. My guess was the strategy was simple: Beat the competition on pricing. If you go with this strategy, you are training your staff to sell the bare minimum – usually one session and, if you’re lucky, a sample. When is the next time that customer will come in? I’m not sure and neither were they. Today, this is one of our fastest growing stores. Our pricing on packages, memberships and lotion is much higher and our customers are returning.

Increase sales by $250.00 a day:

Some salons have the ability to do this but just don’t know how. It’s not going to happen overnight, and once you hit it for the first time, the very next day you might lose it. The goal is to stick with it long enough to where you are seeing this consistently happening day after day. So how do you do it?

It’s really similar to what we just talked about. Sell higher prices lotions, packages and memberships. It doesn’t mean you need to raise your pricing at all. It means sell the lotion that is $75 vs. the lotion that is $30. Do that about five times a day and you will reach your $250.  Maybe that doesn’t happen overnight, but when your staff starts seeing bigger commission on their paychecks, they will want to sell higher priced lotions.

The same goes with memberships and packages. It doesn’t matter if it happens over the counter or from EFTs. The goal is to make an additional $250 a day. Let’s say you are selling EFT memberships for $20 a month. Now, you create a new membership with more goodies for $50 a month. Selling about eight of them will get the job done. In addition, next month you will have that revenue as well.

Realistically, it will come in a combination of packages, memberships and lotions. Keep at this one, because the more you sell, the more customers will come in. The more customers come in, the more they buy.

5. Stop with the excuses and work on the solutions.

It’s easy to blame Covid or bad employees for our failures, but the responsibility comes down to you. It’s easy to come up with an excuse, and I am guilty of using them as well. Excuses are a fancy way to describe a problem you don’t know how to solve. Bottom line, excuses don’t work and they don’t pay the bills, but you know what does work and does pay the bills? Solutions!

Here is how I like to overcome excuses by using solutions: 

  • Identify the problem.
  • Work on a plan to address the problem.
  • Get to work and work hard until it’s done.
  • Then start working on the next problem and repeat.

I’m sorry to say that most problems don’t solve by themselves. It takes hard work, but what comes with hard work is solutions. Most business owners are successful because they get rid of excuses and they have learned how to solve problems – they’re problem solvers. You need to become the same!

I truly hope this helps anyone that is looking to turn their store around, create higher sales or address any other issues you are facing. Maybe you need all five steps or just one. This year needs to be your comeback year, and I know you can do it. If you have any questions, I would love to work with you on this.