No matter your age or gender we all have woken up at some point and said I need a haircut. Even bald men have to do some sort of maintenance. The warning signs are clear because you do not look put together, maybe you’re uncomfortable, and it’s time to clean up. As an entrepreneur, your business can be giving you the same signs, but you may be ignoring them. Very often our business can be a mess, and we let the look of our business, and more importantly the profits, get swept away like cut hair on the barber floor.
Here are 5 tips you should be asking each quarter to see if your business needs a cleanup:
1. Making an appointment
You better make an appointment if you need a haircut with your favorite barber or stylist. Sure, you can just walk in and hope someone is free, but you never know what you’re going to get. Same is true with our business. Are you meeting with key employees and clients regularly to ensure things are running smoothly? Do you meet with them at the right times too?
If you call a meeting with them at the busiest time of their day, you can throw them off their game, and more importantly not get the information you need. Sure, this may mean meeting earlier in the day, or later at night then you would like, but in the end it’s about getting the results so push outside that barrier.
Even if you see the same person each time you get your haircut, they always ask, what are we doing today. The usual, something new or maybe they even share an idea they have. Either way, before each haircut a conversation takes place. Why? The person in control wants to know what is going to make you, the client, happy and come back again. They know you are going to need another haircut.
How often do we stop to ask what our clients want or need? In today’s automation society, we very often plug people into a system and feel it should just work. Are you stopping to ask your clients if it’s working, and more importantly are you seeing if they need the usual, something new or maybe you need to share a new idea you have that can take them to the next level?
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Abraham Lincoln
3. The cut
This is where you get to sit back and relax, but maybe you’re a bit nervous. I see a lot happening, but this does not look like me. If the person cutting my hair stops right now I will look silly. What can you do? You’re in the chair so you have to trust them that in the end this will look amazing!
We have all had clients that have freaked out halfway through the process. For example, your client can say their website is not getting traffic or their social posts are not getting enough likes. The question is are you checking in with them throughout the process? Are you making sure they know where we are and where we are going? More importantly, do you stop to ask the questions, do my clients trust me?
4. Final touches
For the ladies it’s the blow out at the end, for us men it’s the hot shave to square you up. Either way, you can see things coming to gather and you sit up a little bit straighter in the chair. You feel good and you begin thinking about where you can go to show off your clean new look. Before you get up, your stylist takes out that big mirror and shows you all the angles so you can see the work, and they ask the final question, how does it look?
How many times do you report to your clients? If you are not giving monthly and/or quarterly reports on progress then you are missing out on showing them all the angles. If you have a large customer base, are you sending out regular surveys that ask how you’re doing, and more importantly are they happy? Finishing a job right is better than finishing it fast. Any job you’re working on should have final touches that make your clients feel good, sit up a bit taller in their chair, and more importantly tell others about the great work you are doing.
“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it again?” – John Wooden
Before you leave, very often you are given a plan to keep your hair looking great. Maybe it’s a product you should use, or a routine you should put in place. More importantly, a good barber will ask you when will we be seeing you again, and you want this experience again so you will want to book that next appointment before someone else does.
We have all had a great meeting with a client where after, we all feel great. That feeling will stay as long as each party continues to deliver on what we spoke about in the meeting. It’s so important for both you and your client that you give them a maintenance plan to follow after a meeting. Even if they are hiring you for a service, there is very often work that needs to be put in by both sides. Make sure you set the next meeting so you can keep up the momentum.