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6 Costly Management Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By: William J. Lynott
Posted: September 28, 2012, from the October 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Although advertising is an essential part of marketing, it is only that—a part. An effective marketing program embraces all facets of your business. To be an effective marketer, you must nurture and promote your professional image, and sell yourself, as well as your spa. There is no other way. Marketing is a complex fabric woven of many threads. Spa owners should spend a reasonable part of their time learning what goes into the makeup of a complete marketing program.

4. Hiring friends or family. Many owners owe their success, at least in part, to an employee who is either a relative or a friend of the owner. When such a relationship works, it can work very well. When it doesn’t click, it can be disastrous for a small business. Bringing a friend or relative into your business is risky. If the relationship doesn’t work out, terminating it can bring serious problems.

5. Failing to ask for outside help. Entrepreneurs tend to be independent thinkers, observes Bailey. “That’s why they are often reluctant to reach out to others for help in areas where their own experience is lacking,” he says. Forming a peer group is an excellent way for a business owner to benefit from a no-cost advisory board. “Recruit five or so successful business owners in different fields and meet once a month to share ideas,” he says. “You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll benefit.”

6. Failing to focus on customer service. On average, it costs five times as much to find a new client than to save an old one. That’s why every customer complaint— even those that cost time and money to resolve—represents a business-building opportunity. According to Carl Robinson, PhD, a profitable level of customer service isn’t a happy state of affairs reached by accident. Instead, it requires a clearly defined and rigidly observed policy that makes client satisfaction the stated goal of every transaction.

William J. Lynott is a veteran freelance writer who specializes in business management, as well as personal and business finance. His work appears regularly in leading trade publications and newspapers, in addition to consumer magazines such as Reader’s Digest, AARP Bulletin and Family Circle. He can be contacted via e-mail at lynott@verizon.net.