What does your business personality have to do with your success?
I recently came across a book I had read back at the beginning of my business life that totally changed my mindset.
The book is called, ‘The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It‘ by Michael E. Gerber. If you haven’t already read it, you must find a copy immediately! This book taught me some valuable lessons that I can honestly say were responsible for saving my business from ruin and helping me grow the structure of my successful salon business. In the book, Michael details three main traits of a business personality.
Michael says that the reason most small businesses don’t work is that they are run by a “Technician”. This is someone who knows how to do the technical work involved in a job, without much thought to the two other equally important roles described in the book: the “Entrepreneur” and the “Manager”.
These are not three separate people, but three distinct elements of a business personality. While we might be biased towards one, we all have these three personality qualities, and to successfully run a small business, they must all play a role.
Lets have a quick look at how Michael describes each of these business personalities, and while we discuss this, think about who you are and what made you start your own business.
- “The Technician” is an expert in his or her craft. These people often go into business for themselves. They’re good at what they do and they know it, so they work to reap the rewards of their labour. The Technician is happiest doing the work they are good at and ignoring the rest, which is a recipe for failure.
- “The Entrepreneur” is the dreamer, the one who sets out to do something new, the one who reaches for the stars. The Entrepreneur lives in the future, thinking about what could be rather than what is in the present. In his fast-paced world, the Entrepreneur is often frustrated by how slow the world seems to move around them.
- “The Manager” is the detail-oriented one. They dot the i’s and cross the t’s. He remembers to pay the bills on time, and wants a well-organised world with no surprises. The Manager strives for a world where things happen in an orderly and predictable manner.
So, what role were you playing when you opened or bought your business? If you haven’t started your business yet, what role has inspired you to open your own salon or clinic? When I opened my salon 22 years ago, I was a young technician having an entrepreneurial seizure!
To be successful in business we have to be all of these three business personalities. Like a three legged stool, if you remove one leg, the stool will fall over.
It’s easier said than done to make changes to your business, let alone to your business personality, especially if you’re happy functioning in in one area more than others.
Here are some tips to help you work smarter in your business, improve areas that you’re not so strong at, and build a robust sturdy business.
If you’re seeing clients each week, you’re most likely a technician. While it’s important to be a technician sometimes, you can’t afford to be one persona all the time. Here are some tips to free up your time and headspace to allow the other parts of your business flourish.
- Book out time in your appointment book to focus on another business personality. If you think you can do this at home, you’re fooling yourself. Your family or partner needs you to be present there too. Add dedicated time to your appointment book to do these other important jobs. You might not know what you’ll do in that time yet, but until you have some space to think you’ll always be too busy being busy to recognise the jobs that need doing.
- Know your strengths. If you know your strengths, it’s easy to find your weaknesses. If you can’t or don’t want to put time into doing some parts of your business, find others who can are better suited to it than you, and delegate generously. Freedom begins here.
- Employ people that are different to you. There’s no point having a business full of people who all have similar strengths and weaknesses. Balance is important. Without it, your business will fall over!
- Share your strengths and skills with your team. Train them to take on your strengths, because you shouldn’t be the best in your business at what you do.
- Manage your time. Time is money. Don’t be fooled into thinking you sell haircuts or waxing services, because you actually sell time in your beauty clinic or salon. Be smart with your time management and scheduling.
- Manage time in 15 minute gaps. One extra client is 3 or 4, 15 minute gaps.
- Make sure you have great time management tools. Upgrade your salon software to a system that will sync with the other applications you use. For example, Timely syncs with your Google Calendars so that you have access to your appointments at any time, anywhere, even when you’re out and about.
- Get online booking. Not only will this let clients manage their appointments and stop that phone from interrupting you in the salon, it will also mean your booking system is open 24/7. Clients can book appointments while you’re relaxing or getting a good night’s sleep.
- Employ an apprentice or salon support staff to help you stay on time.
- Wear one hat at a time or per day. Switching job hats during each day strains the brain and reduces focus.
If you’re like me, this is the part of your business personality that keeps you awake at night dreaming of how great things could be. Flashes of inspiration can strike at any time or day or night.
This is the part of your business personality that you need to make time for. When you’re busy being busy, this part of you can get shoved deep down into a corner of your intellect and squashed. This causes you to lose inspiration, feel overworked, and flat.
Innovation is the act of creating a new style, idea, or method. It’s the process of breaking away from what you know and creating something entirely new. When businesses innovate they become industry leaders, and this is apparent to clients, competitors, and staff. Thankfully, there’s always room for innovation in the salon business as people, lifestyles, and cultures evolve.
Finding ways to innovate
Look around & look back
Watch some videos on styles and their history. Innovation happens in all places at all times. Get all hairy and get inspired. Watch the short 2 minute video about how the first bob cut came into style.
What can you change in your work flow that will improve both the quality and quantity of your work? What can you do to surprise and delight your customers in a way that is not expected? Look at other industries or overseas businesses for fresh inspiration. It may take a brainstorming session, so grab a cup of coffee or a stout cocktail, get your team involved, and get those creative juices flowing!
Get away from it all
Get away from you business on a regular basis – ideally every quarter. Your entrepreneurial business personality will relish in the space to think and dream big. Book some time out in your appointment book for a trip…business trip of course.
If you started out in business as a successful and busy technician, sometimes making time for the Manager to shine through can be a hard pill to swallow. Doing routine jobs is tedious. It can bore us to death! Other times it can be discouraging when you’re not making income in the business and it can feel like it’s not worth doing.
While the Entrepreneur needs space to dream, the Manager in you needs to be in control.
Here are some simple tips to allow you to get away but still remain in control.
Timely’s mobile app allows you to work from anywhere in the world by using any device to access everything you need to run your business. You know those photos of someone working from a tropical beach in Fiji? That’s really possible. With cloud computing, you can go anywhere you’d like while keeping tabs on your business, staff, and income.
Utilise the virtual world as much as possible, as this will literally allow you to be in two places at once. It’s vital for you to be truly be free to do what you want when you want, while still managing your business. Remember that the point of using these tips is to get away and let your creative and entrepreneurial inspiration return.
Consider implementing some of these tools to virtually run your business.
Giving yourself some space for entrepreneurial dreaming should be one of your objectives this year. Life should be exciting and inspirational not so filled with work that you forget to dream!
If you use Timely you’ll be able to keep track of everything that’s happening in your salon from anywhere in the world. Set it up, teach your staff to use it, and book that plane ticket.
If being a Manager is not your area of strength, employ or outsource to someone else who is great at this.
Your people are what make your business. It’s that simple. You don’t necessarily need to hire the most qualified or experienced staff, but try to find the ones who will grow into your culture and take care of your clients. Someone who dots the i’s and crosses the t’s, the one who remembers to pay the bills, and wants a well-organised world with no surprises; a world where things happen in an orderly, predictable manner. Leaving you to do what you do best! Choose the people who will make your life easier, not harder. Listen to your gut instincts – they’re usually right.
Remember you can role-share a managers position in busy times of the day to make the wages and costs work for your business. Someone who can multi-task with front-of-house, salon support, and cleaning, as well as office tasks, is a valuable business asset.
When you’re delegating a job, give your employee all the information they need to complete it on their own! Give clear instructions, agree on a clear completion date, and follow up. Avoid reverse delegation and give credit where credit is due.
Technology has made it possible for us to automate many aspects of business in cost-effective and time-saving ways. Automating common processes means less mistakes and smoother running, without the need for constant input. Automated reminder messages for example, means less no-shows with little work.
Being successful in business is about balance. You’ve got to balance your work and life, and while you’re at work, you need to learn to find an appropriate balance between technician, entrepreneur, and manager. If you can’t be everything, surround yourself with people who can fill those gaps – no one expects you to go it alone.
There are two final pieces of good news. Firstly, no one is perfect, so if you don’t get it right the first time, don’t worry about it. Learn from your mistakes, pick yourself up, and keep going. The second piece of good news is that it’s so much easier to find a good balance today than it was 10 years ago. There are many software tools that can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. They can even communicate with each other so you can set it once and forget about it.
Everyone knows that being in business is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. It can be an enjoyable journey, and at Timely, that’s our goal. We want to give you more of your day every day so that you’re living a rich life and you’re happy to be in business. We do this by creating awesome, affordable software that automates many of your mundane admin tasks, and providing you with the resources and education you need to run a better business.
Let us know in the comments what you think your main business personality is!
Guest author: Inspired by her own journey to find freedom & profit in her award winning salon, Larissa founded the Salon Owners Collective. She now inspires other salon owners to do the same through coaching, courses & modern marketing strategies. Check out Larissa’s site.