Business Owners is it Time for a SWOT Analysis?
Follow these SWOT analysis tips from HOB Salons director Clive Collins to grow and strengthen your salon business over the coming months…
It’s easy when you are running a busy salon or salon group to just keep going, working on the salon floor and trying to stay on top of all the other demands of being the boss. However, it’s essential to take a step back and look at where your business is, how well it is performing and the ways you could improve this performance.
At least once a year, I would advise every salon owner to carry out a SWOT analysis of their business.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The aim is to gain a clear picture of all four of these elements so you can build on the strengths and take advantage of the opportunities. It also means you can address any current or potential threats that could impact on the success of your business.
What are your strengths?
Every salon owner and team should know their strengths. These are the brand pillars that help ensure continued success. They are also the main reasons why your clients come to you and your staff continue working for you. You shouldn’t take them for granted and you should be clear on what they are so you can ensure they remain key strengths.
Don’t let standards slip and lose the advantage they give you. Your strengths could be your location, client loyalty or level of service. You and your team need to be aware of these strengths and how to maintain and improve them.
What are your weaknesses?
Take time to analyse the performance in your salon and to spot any areas that are weak. Are client numbers down or are certain team members underperforming? Could the look of your salon be improved? Has anything changed locally that means your location is no longer a prime spot for a salon? Once you have pinpointed the weaknesses think about how they can be rectified.
Draw up a plan of action. It could be that certain team members need more education or that the salon exterior is in desperate need of a clean, new signage or a coat of paint. In contrast, it could be that you need to look at yourself and the way you are managing the business. Could you benefit from some training to ensure you are leading effectively. Write down everything as this will make it so much clearer.
Take advantage of opportunities
There are always ways you can improve your business performance. Are there any areas that could offer a massive opportunity to increase profits? Could your retail sales be escalated, for example? Many salons have a great relationship with their product supplier, but not all of them take full advantage of this. Could you exploit seasonal promotions more fully or could the team benefit from some education on how to promote take-home products to their clients? This kind of education is often available free from the supplier so make sure you benefit from it.
Other potential opportunities could include local press – have you built a relationship with your local newspapers, magazines and influencers? Are you doing enough to attract great new people to your team? Draw up a list of opportunities, decide on your priorities and start making even more of your business.
Don’t forget about the threats…
As a business owner, you can’t afford to live in a bubble. You may be running an amazing business, but you still need to be aware of what is going on around you that could have a negative impact on your profits. Is a new salon due to open that would be targeting the same client base as you? Is another local business looking to poach your staff and their clients from you? Has a member of your team recently left to set up as a mobile hairdresser, which could steal a chunk of your clientele away?
Make a list of all the threats and how you can tackle them. Whether it’s through offers to attract and keep clients or staff incentives to ensure your team remains happy working with you.