Our lives over the past almost two(2) years have surely been tested. I don’t think anyone could have predicted not just a worldwide pandemic, a worldwide continuation of our survival. Survival not just mentally and physically, survival of day to day activities including normal functions like shopping for food and sundries or the challenges of work related concerns whether you are looking for a job, have a job or run a Business.
It is without a doubt, very trying. It’s exhausting to be a part of it and it’s exhausting to be in a constant state of “recovery”.
These recent times remind me of the recession of 2008. It reminds me of 2008 because I can remember saying, “only the strong will survive”. I remember saying “this recession will weed out the Businesses who probably shouldn’t be in Business in the first place.”
These comments aren’t meant to offend or hurt anyone, they are simply true. Being in Business is difficult. Keeping a Business strong is difficult. Surviving through difficult times takes talent. It takes perseverance, it takes creativity, it takes a strong belief in ones self and it takes the power of positive thinking to the next level.
Everyone thinks they can do it, they can be in their own Business. Yes, that is true. We live in a world which affords us the opportunity to be in our own Business regardless of age or race or religion. It’s an amazing thing.
However, not everyone can maintain through difficult times. Not everyone can survive.
My daughter recently went through a situation where she thought the Salon she is working with might go booth rental.
She knows of course growing up in a Salon what my views are on the situation. However, she needed to face reality on her own so I helped her with the numbers. We took an average of three(3) months of her actually paychecks (less tips) and did all the math we had to do to determine how this option looked like on paper.
As I’ve said many times over my career in this Industry. “You think you make more as a booth renter….you really don’t”.
You might gain freedom or flexibility, yet the bottom line numbers (if you do it right) is really not as advantageous as you might think.
However, my biggest criticism of booth rental is the ability to obtain new clients, as old ones drop off. Most booth renters I talk with are “booked” and can’t take on new clients. Consequently, there is no Marketing, no Advertising, no plans for continued growth.
So as old clients drop off…how do they get replaced with new ones?
Let’s then toss in a pandemic, inflation and everything else we have experienced over the past two(2) years and having your own Business isn’t so much fun anymore is it?
My experience as a Distributor through these trying times, has afforded me the opportunity to see a various amount of circumstances
- Many Technicians shortened their hours due to loss of clients
- Many Salon Suite owners went out of Business
- Many larger Salons, downsized
- Many got out of this Industry all together
I also talked with and witnessed
- Many Technicians who have shortened their hours, are beginning to increase them again
- Many Technicians opened their own Salon suite
- Many larger Salons who downsized, became more profitable
- Many single licensed Professional took classes for dual licensing
As you can see, there are some very stark differences between group 1 and group 2. The biggest difference? Group 2 survived.
The question then becomes how?
There are a vast majority of reasons why many survived 2020. They had a savings plan, their background is Business, they worked through Covid…the list goes on an on.
However, this crisis we are in now, is a little different. Shortages, price increases, employee concerns are now added to the already concerns of Covid. How are you going to survive?
I was asked a similar question recently during an interview which is what sparked this article. The question was a great question. It was “what advice do you have to give our Salons regarding their inventory during these times of shortages”.
In all honesty, I’ve calculated my purchases during these shortages to the best of my ability, yet I never thought of it on the Salon end. I kinda figured if I don’t run out, you won’t run out. Yet, I have to realize #1-not everyone purchases from Centre For Beauty LOL #2-the only thing for sure during these times is, nothing is for sure.
My advice would be this;
- Know your numbers – always. Not just what you bring in, what you spend out also. Know them by percentages and where those percentages stand as a standard. If Business teaches you your overhead shouldn’t be any more than 10% of your income, you need to constantly make sure you are staying within that range.
- Know your inventory – too often than not, I’m talking to a Technician who “forgot to order”, “ran out of a stock item”, has a specialty service appointment in four days and needs that specialty item”. My point is, you just can’t do that anymore. You can’t wing it. You have to get a handle on your supplies, both service related and MRO (maintenance, repair & operations) cost. Cost not directly related to the service such as toilet paper, dish soap, a broom or vacuum. a cleaning service etc. MRO should be included in your cost of doing Business AND should be included in your inventory control.
- Know your supply chain – Salon Centric one of the largest Beauty supply chains has ran into greater problems than any smaller Distributor. They have let many of our Nail Technicians down by discontinuing Nail & Foot Care products forcing them to scramble elsewhere. I’m told even Amazon doesn’t have the items many of our Technicians typically buy. For us Family Owned, Boutiques Distributors like myself and Life of Riley, it is our time to show you the importance of know your supply chain. While yes, like everyone we are experiencing our own supply issues, we also have many many resources for alternative choices. Choices we typically can get rather quickly. And, many of us as Distributors have relations with other small Distributors and we are able to help each other out. The larger suppliers don’t have much of that flexibility…..they have to much of the Corporate BS to wade through in order to get something done.
- Don’t wait until the last moment to order products. I would adjust your purchases to include a minimum 1-month supply
- As much as possible, order from one(1) place. Adding all those shipping cost together can mean lot’s of $$$$
- Don’t waste. If at anytime in our lifetime, making sure you and your team is not wasting products, it’s now. Speaking for the brands we promote, you do not have to use much. Know your portions and prepare accordingly.
- Know your needs and wants….there is a difference.
Much of your adjustments may be temporary. However, good Business practices is the key to survival. Maybe it’s just time for you to do a serious review.
I have always said “resources are your greatest assets“. Never stop meeting, greeting and treating people with respect. You just. never know when in your lifetime you might need them. Life is a circle, the World is a globe…..we eventually get back to the future.
I have lived this throughout my whole Business career and still do. If I don’t have something you need, more often than not, I can guide you in the right direction.
This is also one of the reasons Centre For Beauty survived Covid and will continue to survive our current situation.
I have many resources. Some in the most unlikely of places.
If I have a Business question I have people I trust to ask. If I need something for a client, I have resources to recruit to help me locate whatever it is I need.
I also follow my own above suggestions to a “T”. It’s daily, not when I have time to do it. ..It is a part of my everyday morning routine.
During Covid there were some scary times. When moments like those happen in my life, I vow never to experience them again. Therefore I change my plan if needed and I make sure I’m prepared for the next time.
However, as we all know, the next time could present a totally different challenge.
THAT is why some Businesses make it and some Businesses don’t.
Yes, it has everything to do with ALL of the above. The bottom line however is do you have the know with all or the tenacity to preserver? To be creative in your solutions and take the next hit as a learning lesson?
IF you do….
Do you have the strength to keep moving and the Faith to keep climbing, even though you don’t know what’s on the other side of the staircase?