Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Success Leaves Clues

We’ve all heard the saying “Success Leaves Clues.” As an accountant I can tell you that it is true. I see common trends between the successful salons and spas I deal with and those that are struggling. The following conversation I had this morning is a good example.

We meet with the salons that we work with on a monthly basis to look at operations, answer questions and to advise. This morning I met with two clients. The difference between these clients is extreme. As I thought about the two meetings, I could see the difference between the successful client and the client that is really struggling.

In my first meeting with the successful client, I asked her how last month’s accounting was. She gave me her service and retail numbers and said, “It’s up compared to last year.”

When I asked the struggling salon the same question, she said, “I have no idea, I haven’t looked at the numbers yet.” It was the 10th of the month and she had not looked at her numbers yet. I dare to say that even if she had looked at them they may not have given her a clue. Numbers need to be looked weekly if not daily.

The trend – the successful client is watching her numbers and knows how things are going so she can make adjustments and hit her goals the struggling salon is flying in the dark.

When I asked the successful salon why their sales are higher than last year, when the current trend is lower sales, they told me they had set goals for each of their stylists, and they monitor those goals on a bi-weekly basis. This allows the stylists to know that they’re hitting their numbers and reaching success. She said that the stylists have no problem up-selling or selling retail because they know how it impacts them. As a matter of fact, she said that one of their stylists mentioned that she had never taken her child on vacation. This year, because of the goal setting they set up last year, she and the child went to Disney Land. You could tell in her voice how good that made her feel.

In my second phone conversation, the owner had no idea why her sales were down. She spent some time complaining about diversion and the economy being the reason sales were down.

Lesson learned – Successful salons have goals and communicate with and lead their staff.

These are just a couple of examples of trends that are evident with successful salons and spas. It takes systems like these to get to the next level. More on successful trends in later issues.

Larry Kopsa CPA

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