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Planning for a Profitable Year

By: Aaron Sonnenschein
Posted: July 30, 2013, from the August 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Planning month-by-month, you need to decide on a major focus for your business that you want to develop. Perhaps you want to increase your client base if you have new service providers that need appointments on the books. Or maybe you want to focus on building your retail dollars during a specific month to help increase your cash flow. What demographics are you trying to build—women, men, both or the teen market?

Now that you understand your particular focus, consider picking a clever theme to keep your topic in the mind of your end user. To assist with the promotion, ask yourself: Will there be any additional education or licensing needed to execute a specific service and then, what will that service and retail promotion actually look like? To drive retail sales, will you need to schedule a contest with any group of service providers and how will that be put into place to be successful?

Create a brainstorming chart and take it to a quick-print store to blow it up as large as possible, then place it on a master board for your meeting. (See Brainstorming Chart .) Now insert standard major holidays on the chart under the promotion column. For example, February—Valentine’s Day; May—Mother’s Day; June—Father’s Day; October—Halloween; and December—seasonal holidays.

Once you have your base holiday/promotion list, you can begin to fill in the other months with possibilities. Write as many ideas as you can think of on the chart and, during your meeting, discuss which ones will have the most positive impact on your business. Don’t forget important milestones in your business’s history. Perhaps, during the month that you opened, you could hold an anniversary bash, with significant years being even more promotional. Is it time to spruce up your retail and reception area with new shelves and furniture? Turn that into a promotional month to increase retail with a remodeling event—"Drastic Clearance to Make Way for New Shelves!” Is a manufacturer launching a new product or product segment? How about hosting a product launch party for your clients? During some or all of your events, consider using themes or catch phrases that will peak your clients’ attention. These will help them remember the event or promotion, and create more of a buzz. Make sure this theme appears in all literature and that team members use the phrase when speaking with clients.

Now you can cross off ideas and themes you have rejected, and write the final decisions on the smaller grid sheet. This will be the beginning of your foundation for the year, and can be placed on your office wall or in the break room as a reminder of what will be taking place for the future. See Completed Chart.

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