Do you need a reality check?

Are you a solo stylist or barber who has found yourself in a rut? You wake up and do the day-to-day thing, week after week, month after month and wonder where the time has gone? I get it, we go into the hair biz because we love it, we have a passion for it, and love to make people feel good as they walk out the door. But what about you? Have you found  your business has gone stale, and you need a boost of momentum to get going again? Asking yourself the 5 Ws can help get you back on track. Who, what, when, where, and why—helps clarify your vision and identify what’s working and what’s not. Are you heading in the right direction, or is it time to shake things up to get your business back on track?  

Who do you want to work with? 

This question applies to both your clients and colleagues. Are you surrounded by colleagues who inspire and support you? Are you working in a positive, motivating environment? Does your client mix give you the opportunity to work with the populations that motivate you and allow you to perform the services you really want to do? If your answer to any of these questions is no, it may be time for a change; consider a new location with different co-workers and/or adjusting your marketing message to appeal to the clients you really want to work with. 

What type of work do you want to do? 

Is your service menu working for you and your business? Are you doing services just because they have a higher price point, or are you doing these services because you genuinely enjoy them?  Identify the services you prefer—because you have a passion for them or because they have a higher profit margin—and then work on adjusting your service percentages through marketing and sales efforts until your mix is where you want it to be. 

When do you want to work? 

Evaluate your current schedule. Does it match your needs and, equally as important, your clients’ availability? Are there appointment times that rarely get booked and others that fill up quickly? Look at your calendar for the last few months to see if you can spot some trends. If Monday is your slowest day, you might increase your availability slightly on other days and take Mondays off or start a marketing campaign promoting Monday appointments. Are you finding that you are busier in the evenings and weekends versus slower during daytime hours? This can also be adjusted by accommodating evenings and weekends leaving day times additional time off for you.  Send clients a survey asking if there’s a day and time they prefer that you’re not currently offering. You may find that slightly shifting your start times works better.

Is your current salon or barbershop serving your needs? Do you have enough space? Are you growing rapidly and need more chairs? Is the location and parking convenient for clients? Is it a location that brings a lot of walk-in traffic? Look at your space with fresh eyes and put yourself in your clients’ shoes by receiving a service. It may be time to improve your current space or even start looking for somewhere new. 

Why are you doing this work? 

What’s your vision for your business? What is it about this business that you have a passion for, and have you lost some of that passion? What do you wish to get from it—emotionally and financially—and what do you wish to give to others through your work? Does your business’s current path match your goals? If yes, find opportunities to create more of what’s working. If no, make the necessary adjustments to get back on track.  

Sometimes we get caught up in our everyday work lives and think that what we are doing is working just fine; but sometimes, we need to step outside the box and adjust what we are doing. Every now and then, taking a step back, looking at your business, and making a few adjustments can go along way and help motivate us to get back in the swing of things and create excitement for our clients too.  

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