Owning a business as you know; can be stressful and time-consuming at the best of times. Add in running a household, having children, trying to be a good friend and partner and well, everyone could forgive you for losing your mind every now and then!
I started to make the move out of my beauty therapy position at my salon before I had my first baby ( there were a few steps I took before I was full time at home with my new baby, I’ll talk about those in a different blog ). As I was doing this, I quickly realised I needed to start running my salon as a business owner and not just a therapist. After removing myself from doing clients I found I had no idea how to be a boss or what I should be doing. I was lost and a little scared about what I was going to do. I had to figure it out quick, I tried a few different business coaches but they cost me thousands of dollars and noone actually gave me the hand holding leadership I needed or wanted at the time.
I was heavily pregnant and needed a plan quick! And to add more drama to the situation I was sick all day and night and in the end, I had to have an emergency caesarean, which had me in the hospital for 5 days unable to do anything but learn how to be a mummy.
Once I was home, I had to come up with a way that would allow me to run my business and make sure money was still coming in so that I could stay at home with my baby (Now I have two babies and it’s even more important!).
Below I share some of the tools that help me run my business from home usually via my iPhone or laptop.
TOOL ONE – Facebook
This social app really has changed the world. It’s no longer just a place to catch up with friends but a place you can build a business from and keep in touch with staff. I used Facebook a number of ways. I had a business page where I post special deals and comments to reach our clients and fans. I kept it updated with tips and images of the salon to really start the relationship with potential clients.
I would pay for advertising and promote any deals of the month we may have. We had a consistent ad running in the background to always drive new local traffic to our website. I do highly recommend doing a Facebook ads course to get your head around just how fabulous Facebook can be for your business.
I also had a staff only group where I would communicate with staff about blogs, sales technique, up and coming promotions and anything else I needed which involved the whole team. I also started a Client VIP group which I used to drive traffic to the salon. I would post weekly specials only available to OUR members and any last minute appointments that would pop up. It took a little while to get the ball rolling but It definitely brought in extra money into the salon without having to pay for it.
TOOL TWO – Gmail
Gmail (by Google) has been great for setting up a salon email address and personal email for my manager. These email addresses can have your business domain name ie. [email protected] I can send my manager an email from my iPhone when something pops into my head and I need her to do or check something while I’m out and about. We also use this for stock orders, organising large wedding group bookings.
TOOL THREE – Epayroll
Epayroll is an online program that we used to keep track of all our staff wages and entitlements. It’s an easy to use system that also sends the staff member their payslip automatically. I love this tool! Being able to access online means I can check the payroll and process the wages wherever I am in the world. The cost for Epayroll is approx. $20 a month, it is so worth the fee!
TOOL Four – Graphic Design program Canva.com / WordSwag
I started playing around with graphics on a different app like word swag but soon wanted to improve the images I was using. Enter Canva.com. I used canva every week to create all sort of graphics for the salon. From email images, posters in the salon, and social media posts. I was always in there whipping something up to use to promote my business. I LOVE Canva.com so much I put together a shirt course to teach you how I used Canva in my business, and walk you through basic steps on how to use the program. You can check that out here.
TOOL Five- Virtual Assistants (VA’s)
I’ll let you in on a secret. You DON’T have to do everything yourself. There are people out there who are really good at jobs which you may not be. For me, it’s writing and putting emails together with no spelling mistakes (the dyslexic issue) and my VA makes sure the job gets done! I picked a weakness I had and got help to keep my salon newsletter consistent. I use a virtual assistant to schedule out and design my emails. Making sure they go out every fortnight and have our deals and any news for that month in them.
This helps to keep my business marketing consistent and builds a relationship with our clients. It also takes a huge job off my shoulders. You can find a VA to do pretty much anything you need in your business and most are business owners themselves so they understand how difficult it can be running a business.
Here are some ideas where you could get someone in to help you
- Website design
- Social Media
- Facebook ads
- Blog writing
TOOL SIX -Xero Accounting program
We have a bookkeeper help us look after our books. It was just one side of the business I didn’t want to get wrong or have the headache doing. So we would get all our receipts and ship them off to our bookkeeper once a month and she would look after it for us. She recommended we use Xero to kept track of everything and We ( me and my husband) were very happy with it. It allowed us to check on our cash flow and accounts whenever we liked by using the app on our phone. We could also take photos of receipts and upload them straight to the correct folder so we didn’t have to worry about losing anything.
TOOL SEVEN – Online Booking System
This saved us sooo many times! Not only is an online booking system easy for your clients to use, but the benefits to your business is priceless. Clients can book their appointment without having to pick up the phone and ask for their XXX wax appointment in front of a work colleague. They can jump on their phone privately and choose a time to suit them any time of the day or night.
You also reduce the chance of losing a booking due to not be able to answer the phone. Our message bank stated we had an online booking system they could use In case they rang out of salon hours.
Online booking systems also help when someone calls in sick and you need to contact clients, reshuffle staff members hours or block out time in a staff members appointment book. There were so many times I was able to jump online to my booking system in my Pj’s at home and sort out the day if anyone was sick or running late. It was a god send. There are heaps of salon programs out there now so make sure you check them out and get it into your business asap.
I really hope these tools help you streamline your business more to reduce the stress that comes with owning a business.
I would love you to stay in touch with contenting on social.