New year, new you: How nail businesses can plan for the year ahead

By Marie-Louise Coster | 05 January 2024 | Business, Expert Advice, Feature

Plan For Year Ahead

Session nail stylist, salon owner & educator, Marie-Louise Coster, shares her tips for reviewing the last year and preparing for the next, in order to achieve success…

Here we are again, another year gone and a new one in front of us full of opportunity, possibility and hope. It is time to review the year behind us and plan for the year ahead. 

It can be easy to get so bogged down with the day-to-day running of your business that you neglect the evaluation and analysis that is required to create a successful business. If you are not yet achieving everything you want to professionally, continuing the same patterns and routines means your results will never change.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has your business grown, declined or stayed the same, and why?
  • What worked and what didn’t work?
  • What have you learnt from the last year?
  • What have been your greatest achievements?
  • What do you want to improve?
  • How much closer are you to achieving the goals you set out when starting your business? Have those goals changed?

Be honest with yourself when you answer these questions. Not everything works or is great all of the time, but the only way we can achieve is by learning from what didn’t work.

Just because something might not have worked doesn’t mean you failed. The person who failed is the person who didn’t try! 

Let’s not forget, you are the only one who is going to see this evaluation. I am a firm believer that writing things down makes you more accountable and gives you something to refer back to. Use this as an excuse to buy some stationery, such as a review and goal setting book, because who doesn’t love new stationery?

Once you have reviewed the last year, you need to use this information to make the next year more successful. Ask yourself:

  • What do you want to achieve in the coming year?
  • How are you going to do it? This is a big question, which can seem overwhelming. Break everything down into chunks by taking each bullet point you want to achieve and looking at what you need to have or do to achieve it. I like a spider diagram for this, but find a method that works for you.
  • Where do you want to be at the end of the year?
  • Do you want to expand the business and if so, what does that look like?
  • Are all of your treatments popular? Is it time to remove some from your menu and add something new?
  • Could your retail sales be developed? 

A key thing to implement (if you don’t already) is a promotional/focus calendar, so you can plan what your business will be focusing on each month, events that are coming up – both nationally and locally, and promotions you are going to offer. Those of you who have read any of my articles will know that I am a fan of promotions when they are just that: something that will raise the awareness of your business and a specific treatment and add value.

I also recommend implementing the same planning concept for your personal life.

Review the last year and look at what you achieved. If you feel like you didn’t achieve much, remember you survived every day and dealt with everything that was thrown your way – that in itself is a huge achievement. Never undervalue how far you have come and be proud, as there is no rush. Make plans for the year ahead: do you want to visit somewhere, see someone in concert, read more, work out, make more time for yourself, or spend more time with friends? Come next year, when you repeat this process, imagine the pride you will feel when you see all you have achieved.


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