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Salon and spa targets: how to make them work for you

15 Sep 2016 by Lisa Conway

Salon and spa targets get a bad rap. There, I said it. Salon and spa owners love to whinge about how targets don’t work, how they’re too much effort to manage and how their teams balk at the mere mention of them. I’m here to tell you it’s not the targets that are at fault, it’s how you’ve been doing them.

Here’s my down and dirty guide to revamping your approach to salon and spa targets, so you can reap the rewards of doing them well.

Back to basics

Let’s start with your motives. My experience is that, unless you go back to the basics and understand your WHY, you won’t ever get off the starting blocks when it comes to salon and spa targets.

Take a long, lingering look at why you do what you do, and why you became a salon or spa owner in the first place – you’ll soon be in the mindset you need to give your targets a good makeover.

Blog Pull Quotes_guest author_Lisa Conway

When someone comes to me and tells me the targets they have don’t work and never did, I know without even asking questions that the targets they introduced were simply about the finish line. They were framed in this type of one-sided discussion: You need to do this and I’ll give you this target without any good reasoning or step-by-step process as to how you need to get there. No wonder things never even got off the ground!

How to set targets for your salon, spa or clinic


Give your salon team the tools to succeed

Other owners complain about the disappointment of no one keeping track of where they’re up to with the targets. So I ask: Did you give them a tool or a system to help them keep track? Thought not.

The other common thing I find is salon and spa owners setting targets that are so ambitious that no one on their team feels they can get close let alone reach the goal. So no one’s interested. Can you blame them? They feel they can’t possibly measure up.

Like everything in your salon or spa you have to take ownership. If your team is nowhere near the targets you set then the truth is: You are the problem. That’s the bad news. The good news is this: You are also the solution.

Setting up targets in any of these ways means you relegate them to the “fail bin” before you even begin. My advice to you is this: if you have targets in place that aren’t working, stop them now, call it quits and start over.

Is your salon and spa software set up to help you create and track targets? With Kitomba, your staff will be able to monitor their own progress, anywhere, anytime. See more about how Kitomba Targets can work for you: Target setting and goal tracking software.

Young woman working in office, sitting at desk, using computer.


Set realistic, achievable goals

Now, start thinking about targets in terms of incremental gains, rather than focussing on the finish line. It’s never one thing that turns a salon around, it’s a cluster of things that make up the one hundred percent you’re all searching for. If you change five per cent here and ten per cent there, they all add up to something worth counting. Before you know it, the culture is completely different in your salon. In no time, you’re smiling more often than not. Targets are all about percentages and incremental wins.

Blog Pull Quotes_guest author_Lisa Conway2

Consider this example. I couldn’t jog at all. I always said: not even to a shoe sale. I didn’t want to run, even though I always felt it would be cool to be able to! I loved walking my dog so instead of thinking I’m going to be a runner, I thought I’m just going to be a power walker.

So I started walking my dog very fast (not a stroll anymore) morning and night. After a month, I found myself going for longer walks and they became easier and easier. Then I started using the Couch to 5K app, which asks you to jog for 60 seconds and then walk for 90 seconds. I thought: I can do that. At first it seemed too much of a progression, so I just repeated week one – three times! Eventually I found week one too easy. Long story short: now I can actually jog. And if you’d told me that four months ago, I’d have said: Rubbish! I’m not a jogger.

It’s no different in your salon or spa when people see that their target is $4,000 a week. They give up before they begin because they don’t believe it’s possible. Your challenge is to take them there slowly using well-considered targets to give them (and you) incremental wins.



Let’s take the example of a first-year apprentice hairdresser. She’s not going to be doing full heads of foils straight off. She’ll be doing basin services or tint regrowths. But if you train her in bite-sized increments, she can’t help but grow.

You don’t say to her: I expect you to be doing 15 basin services a week. The poor kid only does one a week now!

That’s the biggest challenge with targets – setting them so high that nobody reaches them. Nobody gets rewarded and nobody grows.

Instead, set them just a stretch from where they are now. That’s what engages a team and gets them excited.

Ask your first-year apprentice this: Let’s see if over the next month, we can get you up to doing four basin services a week.

Then explain to her the steps she’ll need to take to get there. Make it seem do-able. Encourage her and reward her.

Now, that’s just one simple example. It’s horses for courses and unless I know your horse and your course I can only give you a rough guide here. But you know your salon, your team and your clients, so no one is better positioned to take an honest look at what targets are likely to work in your business.

To learn more about how to best create achievable targets for your team, read: Small, achievable, sequential steps to success: Paul Carbis on setting salon targets.

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Work towards the end goal 

To sum it up: work towards the end goal, don’t just jump right into the deep end.

Instead of out-of-reach overall team goals and inflated, self-sabotaging retail targets, look at where you can use one percenters. Smaller increments and attainable targets to grow your team step-by-step, service-by-service, product offer-by-product offer.

I know it’s hard to believe, but when done right, salon and spa targets can be a thing of joy. Executed well they will bring powerful rewards to your team, your clients and your business profitability. Learn to love them and they’ll be sure to bring success back to you!

For more salon wisdom, email me at lisa@zingcoach.com.au, visit the website, find video tips on YouTube or read my book The Naked Salon, an essential guide to time, team and money and my brand new book: Your Salon Team – the salon owner’s guide to finding, motivating and keeping great staff. www.zingcoach.com.au 

To learn more about our Kitomba Targets, visit our feature page here, or set up Targets in Kitomba with our step by step support guides.

If you’re not yet a Kitomba customer request a free demo of our salon and spa software here to see how Targets work!

This blog was originally published on 15 September 2016 and was updated on 22 September 2022 for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

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  1. Hi Lisa
    I have just started a new team member. I want to start the year off by setting
    some realistic targets.
    I am not sure where to start.
    Do you have any advice on how I can get her achieving her targets.
    I am not sure if you cover this subject in your books.
    Let me know if you do, and I will revisit the subject.
    Thank You

    • Hi Debra, thanks for your question! You’re correct – Lisa’s second book (Your Salon Team) has an entire chapter on targets. I’ve read her book and I absolutely love it – I’d recommend you give it a read! :) I’ve also spoken to Lisa and she is happy to have a 15 minute chat with you to offer a few tips. If you’d like to do this, please send Zing an email to make arrangements: andrea@zingcoach.com.au. Thanks, Alyssa

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