Here's a concept that doesn't get a lot of attention in business coaching. Knowledgeable professionals are perfect at giving you legal advice on how you should run your small business, but they aren't so up front with you if your skills aren't up to par in your niche or specialty. I hold a licence for Cosmetology in Ohio and we are required to obtain a certain number of continuing education hours to maintain active status. Not every business is regulated this way and there are even faults with our own education standards. With the beauty business being multi-faceted, there are hundreds of ways to learn how to be better. That doesn't mean all stylists are taking the opportunities to soak up new trends, new product education and even safety and sanitation requirements. Two states are in the media currently, with de-regulation measures to make it less strict to obtain and maintain these licences. Salon owners and employees in Ohio are watching with held breath hoping our own state doesn't resort to these measures.
When you are licensed, you have state approval to do your job and that's an incredible source for vouching that you are Professional. But can you do hair? Continuing education, self paced learning through classes, personal development; it never sleeps, and you shouldn't sleep on the opportunity to be greater. If your business isn't flourishing, these missing pieces could be why. I'm not saying this to discourage you, but rather to breakthrough any walls that are coming between you and success.
You could take a class on clay sculpting and that could exponentially help your landscaping business. I delved into a coaching program last year and I have seen explosive growth in my own business by learning the skills to network through social media while also attending classes that focus on my hair techniques. Learning is the foundation for self improvement, forget all those articles in Cosmo magazine about lip plumping serums and hair removal creams, the real personal development is knowledge. Websites like codeacademy.com or lynda.com are great options for low cost or free classes for tech minded people, or look into your local community colleges for one off classes to brush up on much needed skills. The upside to classes on campus would be face to face networking with peers that may become clients through strategic engagement.
If you find yourself with an extra hour or two of time on your hands this week, you can start learning by searching hashtags in Instagram. Want to learn to paint? It's funny this happened, after searching #learntopaint, @thecolourfulheartist resulted with a beautiful geometric spiral that caught my eye. I followed the post and low and behold, she's a Dublin, Ireland artist offering classes in ink art. Seriously, book that class if you feel compelled. Education is just that easy.
Clients love your personality, that part is important, but we must go above and beyond to deliver expert service in order to earn their trust.
It's important to your bottom line to take a quarterly assessment of what you're bringing to the table. Personally, I work well with the seasonal changes and developed a habit of comparing my earnings with the average of consumer spending in retail. It's no secret that women control the household spending, on average, so if retail is winning, everyone is winning. In doing this assessment, pay attention to client retention, average spending, client reviews and even social media engagement. Are clients referring you to their friends? Are you the resource for professional advice? If you aren't seeing these indicators, it may be time to figure out what you can improve on. Essentially, you are building that stability for your house for years to come as you become the industry guru in your chosen career.