We sat down with well renowned salon business management coach and beauty therapist Paul Carbis, to chat about using targets to help grow your business, the importance of setting targets correctly, and how the correct implementation can not only grow your business by increasing profit, but also help staff engagement and retention.
He stresses the value of not only applying both business and staff targets, but also continuously monitoring and adjusting these targets, so your business and team members can grow as the goals grow.
Why are targets important?
“We’ve seen over the last twelve months (at least), prices of everything across the board have gone up. Every supplier in the hair and beauty industry has had to put their prices up, the price of petrol (for deliveries) has increased, everything has gone up,” Paul explained.
“It’s more important now than ever that your business is combating these rising costs by acting in a competitive manner and striving for the best. Setting targets is a great course of action to turn this competitiveness to our advantage.”
So where do you start?
What are you trying to achieve?
“Right from the start, have a clear idea of what your end result needs to be, and hone in on what specific part of your business needs improving, or what aspects you’d like to improve on. You might have more than one area you’d like to be focussing on, but it’s important to segregate these into different targets, so each area you’ve chosen to target has distinct goals.
“It’s also worthwhile taking the time to think: how long do we need to reach this goal? The time frame is really important – is this target achievable over the next twelve months? One month? What’s the time frame? The keyword here is achievable. There’s no point in setting a target that is beyond the ability of either your staff, or your business.”
Take the time to allocate your targets
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve got five staff or two, the sum of their individual targets has to equal your total salon targets. So it’s really important that you split your targets into what are salon targets and what are individual targets.
“If your staff have been on a roster for a while, they usually have set hours and will see roughly the same number of customers per week. So you can take this baseline, and start setting targets for things like retail sales.
“For instance, in a salon that I coach, we know retail is worth a third of the staff’s total income. So that there is our baseline: if you earn $3,000 for the week, then you need to be making about $1,000 in retail. Similarly, you can do this for services, for rebooking rate, we can do it for all sorts of things depending on the goals you’ve set at the start.”
Set smart targets using small, achievable, sequential steps
“Have a main business target that you are looking at as an owner or manager, then break this down into individualised, smaller goals your staff can concentrate on. The beauty of setting your targets this way is that you can reset them every week if you need to! Whether you need to make the targets higher or lower, you and your team can look at it daily, or even be checking in a few times a day to see where you’re at, and I think that constant monitoring is really important.”
Personalise staff goals
“Create a baseline set on what your staff normally achieve. If they usually sell $250 retail a week, start there, don’t make it $500 right off – you’ll be setting up for failure. You can then adjust step by step to work towards that main goal. Small achievable, sequential steps to success.
“The next person might be at a completely different point – they might be at $600 a week already, and you want them to grow as well. You can’t make everyone across the board the same way! They work different hours, they have different skills, and will be at different points in their career, so it’s worthwhile individualising goals.
Make your targets easily measurable
“Remember to keep your staff focused on these goals, especially in the beginning – don’t leave it too long to check in. There’s nothing wrong with saying to your staff throughout the week ‘what’s your target for retail this week? It’s Wednesday today, you’ve got Thursday till Sunday to make those numbers up’.
“Creating this awareness as a manager or owner at an individual level as well as salon level, can be really encouraging in itself! Similarly, you may be able to say ‘well done, you’re already at your target. Let’s look at how we can increase this next week’.”
Set achievable targets
“Let’s use the example of a senior therapist in New Zealand. Say they have an average retail sales hit rate of one in three clients, if they see 30 clients, they should sell about ten items. If their average spend per client is $80 to $100, they’re going to make about $3,000. Therefore, they’re going to do about $1,000 in retail.
“That figure is achievable. If you go and set that figure at $2,000, you’re now only talking about 5% of all the therapists in this country that have the capability to do that. So if you’ve got a graduate with only one, two, or three years experience, setting a target like that is probably unattainable. So the word achievable becomes really important.”
Set a realistic timeframe
“A common mistake I see salon owners and managers make is being impatient with reaching their overall goal – and I get why. They want to make money! However, doing things too quickly can also be a way of putting your staff in a position where they can’t manage.
“Achievable targets, set in a realistic time frame are much more likely to spell success for both your business and your staff.
“If you have a fairly new therapist or hairdresser, set a small target so easy they are guaranteed to reach it, what happens is they achieve the target, and you go ‘well done!’. You then together set the next achievable step, which might be an extra item, or it might be another $200.
“Something that can be measured in small, bite sized steps and achieved. So then together you can increase the targets. And even if they fail, they’ve had so much praise and encouragement along the way, they’re willing to give it another red hot go because they know they want that praise again.”
How you can help your staff achieve their targets
Make sure your staff and business targets are aligned but distinguished
“As a salon you need targets that are what I call management targets. These are larger goals like increasing overall income, services income or retail income specifically. Customer numbers, or the average appointment value are the major ones.
“These overarching goals are not always relatable to your staff. What you need to do is break these down and look at specifics for each staff member, and it’s okay if it’s different for each person. So for instance, if you’re focusing on overall income, maybe start by looking at retail sales for individual targets.”
Regular catch-ups with your staff
“Once you’ve set your staff goals, take a point of time, whether it be a week or two weeks or a month, and formally sit that staff member down to assess what it is that they’ve achieved or not achieved, and where you go from here.
“It may be that you make your staff aware of a KPI that they’re not achieving, or that they could be doing better. For instance, just recently, one of the salons that I work with had a fairly low rebooking rate, and I explained to the team what the difference was between 40% and a 60% rebooking rate in terms of income for the salon. I then went on to show them the time between visits and what a difference that makes just by doing that bit of education. They all just looked at me and went, oh, my gosh, yeah. It’s worth hundreds of thousands.
“Most staff want to do well so the moment you make them aware of something, all of a sudden they want to improve. So when you put a target in place they go, okay, that’s what I’m going to go for.”
Ongoing training and education
“The value of training and education to help staff reach their targets should not be underestimated! For all of the salons that I coach, we build individualised training programs so that no matter where you are in your career, there’s something else for you to look forward to.
“It’s a great idea to base these around your specific salon or business targets. For example, if you have set staff targets based on services, it may be worthwhile training staff in a new treatment that’s going to earn more dollars, such as needling or IPL. Even if it’s upskilling your staff to do hot stone massage rather than just normal massage, you’re increasing the value of their services, which in turn helps the business.”
Setting targets in Kitomba 1
“I love Kitomba Targets for setting staff goals because you can set a whole range, and they can monitor their progression daily, weekly, even minute by minute. They can look at total sales, they can look at services, they can look at retail, they can look at appointment value, and rebooking percentage; they can see all sorts of things.
“Gone are the days where you ask how much your staff have sold in retail for the week, and they go, I have no idea. Kitomba Targets really helps because it takes away that ‘I don’t know’ and it takes away ‘that I can’t check because I don’t have access’.
“You also have the ability to limit staff access so they can only view their own targets, or the business as a whole, which is super secure for your business, and really easy to set up as well. You could even have it set so the manager of the business might be able to see the targets of everyone really easily.
“If you’re not sure how to get these set up, the Support team at Kitomba are really good at walking you through it. Personally, I love the software because it takes away that ‘I don’t know, I didn’t realise, I wasn’t aware’. And that to me is one of the big hurdles that we come across with targets.
“So whether you’re concentrating your targets in retail sales services, rebooking rates, whether you’re putting them into very specific things like retail sales as part of an appointment, it can all be done in Kitomba Targets. It can be looked at daily by both the staff member and management. And that’s the beauty of Kitomba Targets. So if you do it right, it becomes something that really drives the team to success.
Learn more about managing and cultivating your team in our staff management guide for salons, spas and clinics.
See more about our Kitomba Targets feature here or setting up Targets in Kitomba with our step by step support guides. Or if you’re not yet a Kitomba customer request a free demo of our salon and spa software here to see Targets in action.