You started your business because you love what you do – of course!
However, running a business can be quite a different story… whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for a while, feeling overwhelmed by all the “stuff” you have to do is not uncommon.
Maybe you feel paralyzed because you have all these great ideas, but not sure where to start. Maybe you’ve invested time and money in a few new things, yet they’re not panning out “as planned” so you feel stuck.
Maybe you created a new offering that you thought would be a blockbuster, only to hear crickets when you launched. Maybe you’re facing a changing market landscape and simply feeling scared about the uncertainty ahead.
More often than not, you find yourself on a business hamster wheel… you want to get off but can’t seem to find the way out.
You’re not alone – I’ve been there, and so have many of my clients. Today, I’ll show you how to stop the madness.
When I launched the Esthetician Business Academy, I created an audio coaching program that I thought every esthetician would love.
I was wrong. It turned out to be an epic failure! Just because I love audio learning and audio books, it doesn’t mean the whole world loves that learning style.
Luckily, I’ve been in business long enough to recognize the signs and I have a quick formula to get out of the rut.
Now you can too:
1. Cultivate Awareness
Sometimes, we fall in love with our own ideas so deep that it’s hard to let them go.
If you don’t realize that you’re stuck, then it’s very hard to take the appropriate actions.
When you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, you’ve got to stop and take a step back to get an unbiased view of your business.
In fact, many successful entrepreneurs dedicate a day or two each week or each month to detach themselves from the day-to-day operation of their businesses so they can objectively evaluate and plan for the big picture.
You may want to block out a half day or a full day each month for this purpose. This will help you catch yourself before you get too far down the rabbit hole.
2. Take Inventory
It’s almost impossible to have a clear view of what’s happening in your business if everything is swirling in your head and ends up in a tangled mess.
Putting your ideas down on paper is the first step to getting clarity:
- List out all the activities you do in your spa practice to generate revenue. E.g. Microblading, LED, Microcurrent, product sales, etc.
- Break the list into 3 categories: what’s working (profitable), what needs fixing or more training, and what’s totally broken (not making money, or causing financial hemorrhage.)
3. Let Go of What’s Broken
Take a closer look at the “what’s totally broken” category.
For each item, answer honestly, “Why am I still trying to make it work?”
So often, spa owners or estheticians hold onto a hodgepodge of offerings that no longer serve their bigger picture out of fear…
- What if I lose clients if I remove this offering?
- What if clients think I’m not good enough if I don’t have a long list of services?
- What would my peers think of me if I don’t have the latest and greatest?
- I’ve invested so much in this tool or that training – I have to somehow wedge it into my business.
- Everybody is offering this service, I have to jump on the bandwagon… or else…
What they don’t realize is that everything has an opportunity cost.
If you’re spending time, energy and money on things that don’t work, you’re losing out on opportunities to pursue ideas that are in alignment with your strengths and vision or to make what’s profitable work even better for you.
Furthermore, if you offer a hodgepodge of services without a focus, you’d look like a Jane-of-all-trades instead of an expert – which could dilute your marketing message and impact your revenue.
I’m not saying letting go of “what’s not working” is going to be easy.
Often it helps to have another set of eyes so invite someone you trust to take a look at your business plan objectively, and help you decide which activities aren’t in alignment with your goals.
When you’ve evaluated everything on this list, it’s time to say goodbye to those that are not working, causing financial hemorrhage and/or not in alignment with your business goals.
It’ll be ok to let them go.
4. Take Action On What Needs Fixing
Next, examine the items on the “what needs fixing” list.
First, you want to decide if it’s worth the time and money to fix them. We don’t have unlimited time and resources, so we want to make sure that when we fix something, we’ll get a positive return on investment.
After you get clear on the items to fix, here’re the steps to take:
- Prioritize – create a list of criteria to help you decide which items to act on first. E.g. revenue potential, ease of implementation (low hanging fruits), improvement in your wellbeing (if something is stressing you out all day, you’ve gotta fix that! Your negative energy can absolutely impact your business.)
- Create a plan – for each item, write down the steps and actions you need to take. Put a deadline against each milestone, and block out time on your calendar to do the work.
5. Make What’s Working Even Better
Lastly, you’re going to look at the list of things are working and see how you can make them better, e.g. generate more revenue.
These items are likely to reflect what your clients want and need. Doing more of them and doing them better would likely translate into more happy clients!
Maybe you need to streamline admin to increase efficiency. Maybe you want to dial up your marketing effort. Maybe you want to increase the volume of sales and negotiate a better pricing with the supplier.
If you’ve been able to take a good number of items that aren’t working off your plate in step 3, you should have created some space in your mind and on your calendar to work on these improvements.
I always say that best entrepreneurs prototype then iterate. It takes re-versioning to cultivate a profitable spa business. If you can keep an open mind and observe objectively, you can find hidden treasures in your business map that you didn’t see before.
This process has been tremendously helpful for me, and it’s one of my go-to methods to gain clarity. Whenever you’re feeling stuck grab a piece of paper and do this quick analysis. This process will save you time and give you peace of mind.
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