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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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Once the structure is in place, it is time to begin your planning meetings. Meetings for a particular month should start to take place three-to-six months before the actual event.

For example, in January, your meeting with team members will be discussing plans for May and finalizing any details for February. (See Future Planning Schedule.) You should be launching your marketing messages no later than the last week of January for your February promotion and product displays, and everything you have worked on should be in place. Your discussion for May, assuming you are planning a Mother’s Day promotion, should cover any special staff education that might be required, as well as any service and retail promotions that might be put in place. For example, if you are trying to boost your gift certificate business, you might offer a pre-wrapped product package with a specific gift certificate level purchase. This is a great promotion for a man to give his mom or wife because it is a certificate and gift at the same time, does not discount services and is appealing as a value-added promotion to the certificate because an item that might cost you $17 might be a $34 or higher value to the consumer.

If you are thinking of including an event in the month’s activities, identify which staff member is in charge of food and who will put together the marketing literature and e-blasts for the event, as well as all of the promotions. For example, a suggestion for a Mother’s Day event might be a mother-daughter night with special services and promotions. Your client might be the daughter bringing a mom to the spa for the first time, which could lead to numerous new clients that evening. Have fun, think out of the box, and get creative with your promotions and events to achieve maximum success.

Your planning meeting will be summarized with the notes you take on your January meeting sheet and placed in your planning notebook. (See Meeting Sheet.) Each month will have a similar detailed sheet of what is planned three-to-four months into the future, who will be responsible for each task and what budget will be needed. There should also be a review sheet of the previous month to make notes of what worked and what did not so that it can be accessed when considering the same events the following year. (See Review Sheet.) Also, this gives you one last time to review the coming months’ activities to make sure that everything is on track and ready to go. So during January, you will be checking on February from the notes you made during your October staff planning meeting.

Get into a routine

To summarize, during each monthly meeting you will be covering three topics:

  1. Planning for the third month out;
  2. Checking on and making sure everything is ready for the coming month; and
  3. Reviewing the past month to see what results were attained and making note of changes for the following year.