To Improve Your Business First Improve Yourself
When a business is in trouble, the source is usually backed to the owner or manager of the business. If a business is not growing as expected, or has problems with employees, competition, or financial loss, we should look no further than the owner or manager.
Beliefs and habits of the manager or owner may block the progression of the business. Some of those beliefs are rooted in our childhood, and some are sourced to our previous experiences or failures. So, how does a manager fix their mindset or values to help their business profit?
Your business is an extension of you
Any business has a personality, and the personality of a business is reflected in that of its founder or manager. In other words, a business is an extension of its founder or manager. If you step into a business, you can feel the environment and the culture of the business. You can sense if the employees are afraid of each other, if gossips are wandering around, or if employees enjoy working there—their uniforms, tone of voice, and so on tell a lot about the business. Therefore, if your business has a problem, then you have a problem.
Every business faces challenges
Many businesses, especially in the beauty industry, face problems or challenges, including competition, Groupon, employees, taxes, and so on. These challenges are not directed specifically at any one business; everyone else in your industry deals with the same issues, yet only some of them keep growing. Remember that some of the future big businesses in your field are still in their infancy and may be located just next to your business or in your city. They face the same issues but are busy making their own future in spite of all the obstacles and problems.
Change your limiting mindset
In most cases when there is a problem in a business, it’s sourced to the beliefs and mindset of the owners or managers of the business. You probably have a picture of your business in your mind, and your unconscious mind guides you to build your predefined image. For instance, if you think that it is very unlikely for you to become a millionaire, you won’t become a millionaire because you have already put limits on yourself. Your mind will build all the barriers right in front of you so you don’t become a millionaire. Similarly, if you think hiring, delegating to, and managing employees is hard and expensive, your unconscious mind will act in that direction, and you will have all kinds of problems with your employees.
Changing your beliefs by your own power is not easy, as your beliefs are rooted in childhood or old experiences, especially negative ones. For instance, if you had a couple of bad experiences with your employees, and they hurt your business, you may generalize your attitude to all employees. However, you should not blame others if you hired bad employees or couldn’t manage them well; it is your problem, no one else’s.
How do you change your beliefs?
Beliefs or habits are simply strong brain cell connections. Unfortunately, there is no sensible way to get into the brain to cut the negative connections. To change those beliefs and habits that block your business from success, you need to form new habits. First, your brain needs to be convinced that the new habit is better than the old one. For the brain to adopt and believe in the new habit, it needs information and testimonials.
You should read more books and magazines in your field, go to trade shows, participate in seminars, and upgrade your knowledge as much as you can. Having a wise and successful mentor in your field is the best investment you can bring into your business. In case of any problem, you can consult them and get advice. These are necessary ingredients for the brain to process and make new habits. With good and appropriate knowledge, and using techniques like the 30-days challenge, you can change the direction of your mind and your business to the right path.
Set goals for your business
All businesses should have some goals. The timeline to reach the goals can be annual, monthly, weekly, or even daily. Your goals could be to reach a certain sales increase per month or to open certain branches every year. Make sure to set your goals based on your resources and capabilities. Put the bar a little higher than your limit—not very high, just a little bit more. This will give you excitement and energy to push a little further.
Setting goals that are too high and unrealistic may lead to disappointment because it may be very unlikely for you to achieve those goals. For instance, if you set your goal to sell $100,000 per month in the next six months, while your current sale is $5,000, it is an unrealistic goal, unless you have a very extraordinary plan. If you don’t achieve your goals several times in a row, you get disappointed. Gradually your unconscious mind considers you to be a loser, and then you will see your life through that lens.
The best fuel for success is success itself. If you set timelines for your goals, every time you reach one of your milestones, your mind assumes success and celebrates by pushing you a little further to reach the next milestone.
Do you have a system in your business? The biggest problem of all small businesses, including beauty businesses, is the lack of a system. In most beauty businesses, the owner is the whole business. She is the one who works, and there is no system at all. That is why, if the owner leaves her salon or business for a few weeks, when she comes back, the business may be seriously damaged, if there is any business left at all.
All activities in the business have to be documented so any newcomers can learn the process in just a few short weeks at most. Put a minimum standard for everything that is going on in your business, and religiously supervise that everybody, including you, is following the rules and policies. Have a minimum standard for each of your services in your salon. Your clients are the best gauges for evaluating how you are doing in your salon. Ask for their honest feedback every time, all the time.
Introducing a system into a business requires a big change in the beliefs and mentality of the owner of the business. Most beauty business owners are highly-trained beauty professionals, but are not necessarily business people. There is a big difference between a beauty professional mentality and a business mentality. They are not the same, and they may even be on opposite sides of each other.
How do you treat your employees, if you have any?
This is the biggest, yet most important, subject in most beauty service businesses. You must accept the reality that you as the manager or owner of the business are the boss, and the rest of the people in the business are your employees. Your first and most important job is to take care of the business. Your employees are not your personal consultants, nor your financial assistants—not even your closest friends. They are just your employees, and you should not mix your personal, professional, and business life together.
In many cases, the owner is the one who turns a good employee into a bad one and makes problems for herself more than anyone else. The same is true for our other relationships. We are the ones who didn’t define our boundaries and limits, let people cross the line, and consequently got mad. We are the ones who need to change if we want other people to change. For many owners and managers, knowing when to comment and when to keep silent, when to listen and when to tune out, is the challenge. Fortunately, you can use the 30-days challenge to overcome your bad habits.
Do you run a business, or is it simply your job?
Many small businesses are not businesses; they are simply someone’s job, especially in the beauty service profession. With all the rental booths and treatment rooms, lots of beauty professionals think they have a business. What they really have is not a business because it won’t progress, unless they set up a system, and it works perfectly without them having to be there all the time.
Are you in the appropriate position in your business?
This question is among the most important questions in the business field. The fact that you are the one who started the business in the first place and worked much harder than anyone else doesn’t guarantee that you are the best at everything in your own business. Almost every business eventually has to expand and delegate some of the responsibilities of the founders to more capable and trained people. Pay special attention: If someone else is doing your job better or faster, delegate the task to him and focus on growing the business instead of on tasks where you lack expertise.
Discipline can change everything
Definitely, the biggest change you need to embrace in your professional and personal life is to be disciplined. There is no shortage of great ideas; the problem is the implementation of those ideas and struggling to be disciplined in accomplishing them in a timely manner. Discipline is the single most important characteristic that can change everything in life and business.
Don’t blame external factors
External factors like the economy, taxes, and rules and regulations have effects on all businesses, but they are minuscule compared to the internal factors of your business. Some people have the unacceptable habit of blaming others for their problems. They need to believe that the whole world is responding to their actions and beliefs when they are the one who is making decisions and who is in charge of their own business. So be realistic—if there is any problem in your business, it is the result of your previous decisions and mindset. If you want to fix the problems, you need to make another right decision and act on it.
It takes time
For everything that has a good effect on your life and business, it takes time to be processed and accepted by your subconscious mind. Your brain needs time to embrace new ideas, process them, and conceptualize them. You need to help your brain in this process. Feed your brain plentiful and appropriate information, and help it to make the right decision.
Brain function is based on the connections made among brain cells, or neurons. We call those connections habits, beliefs, or mindset. Your business is the result of your previous beliefs and mindset. If you want to change your business, you need to change some of your old beliefs that don’t help your business and make new habits that are in favor of your business.