[Business] How to Plan for a Stellar Salon Year: a Foolproof Guide

It’s not, in my humble opinion, a coincidence that Fall feels cozy, insular & reflective but at the same time fresh, new & full of potential. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the awesome year you’ve had—your successes accomplished, challenges met, lessons learned, & adventures had.

It’s also the best time to start planning for a stellar New Year—& I don’t just mean making resolutions!

If you plan next year’s business NOW, you won’t lose momentum in January trying to figure out your goals & what you need to do to make them reality.

If you use Q4 to plan for next year, you don’t lose momentum during that first week or two in January trying to figure out what goals you want to create & what you need to do to make those goals a reality.

We’ve spoken before that having healthy boundaries in your business in the form of business goals can help your business thrive without sacrificing your integrity or hurting yourself in the illusion of helping others.

Now, let’s talk about practically executing & implementing this idea.

In this Facebook Live video, I talked about setting goals using the Life Planning model illustrated simply & effectively in the book Living Forward by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy, using my real life goal of actually charging for my nail art services even though I don’t feel like a nail artist.

Life Planning is a method by which you map out your perfect life by working backwards—from the day your obituary is published. (We won’t start there with what I’m talking about today, but it sure is a compelling idea, isn’t it?)

My Virgo personality (i.e., achiever, understander, why-asker, idea connector) LOVES having an action plan. It’s also a super perfectionist that feels like it must burn everything up & start over when I miss a step. Life Planning is such a great goal-setting method because there is room for wiggling & side stepping. No burning needed!

I also love the actual act of taking the time to write it all down. Seeing your goal, holistically structured in a supportive framework, is very empowering. Your dream goal feels real, like you can really reach it—& you can’t wait to get started!

Even on days when you’re just not feeling it, reading your plan becomes a real, steady anchor from which you can still operate towards your goal. Baby steps still count!

Here’s how I used Goal Planning to earn an extra $8,000 in nail art services last year:

Let’s put it into practice, again using my real life example of actually charging for my (non-artist) nail art services. Just click each step for a detailed explanation of why & how it works.

1a. The Big Picture. Your Purpose.
What’s your purpose in relation to this goal? Write it all down. If you feel stuck, set a timer for 5 minutes & write about how you think achieving your goal will make you feel. When the timer goes off, look over what you’ve written & see if you can pick out a common theme in everything you wrote down.

My purpose: To use my creative exploration to make my clients feel special & beautiful.

1b. Vision.

What does it look like when you achieve your goal? Speak from the future, as if it’s already been achieved. And speak in the present tense. This is very important because speaking in present tense versus future tense completely changes the feel of a sentence. For instance:

“I want to having smiling clients who are happy to pay me for their nail art.” versus

“I have smiling clients who are happy to pay me for their nail art.”

The difference in the attitude & feeling of these sentences may be subtle, but they are certainly distinct, don’t you think?

My vision:

  • I am confident in executing my nail art skills because I own the service–I’m not just “playing around” anymore.
  • I have space in my work schedule because I’m adding an extra service’s revenue to my day.
  • My nail art revenue is my stress-free income tax fund. I am always prepared come tax time.
  • I see a big smile every time a client leaves my chair.
  • I have a comprehensive photo album in my phone to better track my clients’ services.
  • I have a robust online portfolio to show for inspiration & encouragement.

Find an inspirational quote related to your goal.
Something that puts things into perspective when you are feeling discouraged or your focus seems to waver. (And yes, that WILL happen!)

Some good places to look:

My inspirational quote: “The courage to charge what you’re worth comes from charging what your worth.” -Melanie Duncan, entrepreneur & wickedly jaw-dropping business coach

What’s the reality of your situation right now, maybe in relation to your vision in step 1?
Be honest, but please don’t beat yourself up here. Include victories as well as challenges.

My reality:

  • I’m not charging for my nail art because It’s not fancy.
  • My clients love my nail art. The more bling, the better!
  • I spent $100 on nail art supplies in January.
  • I missed out on a collaborative opportunity with a fantastic fashion photographer because I was scared.

Just as your phone’s GPS system requires two pieces of information to get your where you want to go–your starting point & your destination–so does your Goal Plan. If you’ve followed Steps 1-3, you know where you want to be & you know where you’re starting, the 2 most work-intensive parts of the whole process.

Instead of creating a to-do list, make COMMITMENTS toward your goal.
It’s helpful to make these commitments specific, measurable, realistic, time bound actions. In my example, “meaurable” is simply DONE or NOT DONE. The “time bound” part could be an actual deadline or it could be a recurring commitment.

Can you pick out the measurable & time bound elements of these commitments?

  • Determine my core nail art techniques by November 1.
  • Develop a solid pricing guideline for my most common art services by November 1.
  • Add nail art pricing & timing to website & POS system by November 15.
  • Deliver price change notes starting December 1. Include thanks, pricing menu, expected price change for each client.
  • Start charging for all nail art services January 1.
  • Every Friday, transfer nail art revenue into tax bank account.
  • Automatically submit quarterly taxes from tax bank account through QBSE.


Step 3 is the meaty, action part of the plan. This step may seem like the most important part of how you’re going to achieve you goals, but it’s actually the most flexible part of the plan!

Step 3 is going to be repeatedly measured & adjusted–just accept that fact now & you will feel so much happier & freer. And bonus: you’ll achieve your goals in a shorter amount of time! (I know, counterintuitive claim to make. But if I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’.)

Rolling with the GPS analogy here, if you miss a turn, Siri doesn’t judge or berate you for taking the scenic route. She will recalculate the route so you can still get to your destination from where you are NOW.

Unfortunately, Siri isn’t able to tell you in real time when you veer off-course from your Goal Plan. You’ll need to reassess your progress yourself.

Stick a reassessment day on the calendar about 3 months from now (or whenever you start your Goal Plan). From there, you can reassess as often as every 4, 6, or 8 weeks, but don’t leave it longer than 3 months.

A few questions to ask: Where am I in relation to my destination? What’s working? What’s not working? What feels hard or not fun? How can I reshape my commitments to feel easy & fun or rework what’s not working?

(This is why I think Step 3 is so relaxed–it gets to adapt with you!)

My reassessment:
Very shortly after implementing my price menu, I found that all my clients were willing to pay for their bling. Even the more expensive ones. I also very quickly found that, with the solid pricing structure, clients felt empowered to ask for more intricate things, which is cool. Buuuut. I didn’t like doing some things they asked for. It stressed me out when I hadn’t booked enough time or there was too much detail brush involved. During my first reassessment, I had to get even more clear about what core techniques were going to live in my service menu. I also had to communicate clearly with my clients about how I’d interpret their requests using only these core techniques. Result: they still loved it.

About 6 months after implementing my Goal Plan, I fell off the wagon with depositing my nail art income into my tax account every week. $5 or $10 each week would either be withdrawn or left out of the deposit for “business expenses” (aka coffee treats for clients) & it added up. To resolve this detour, I funded a separate petty cash account for those “little” things at $5 a week. I also committed to openly receiving coffee from my clients every time they offered, rather than insisting I treat them every time. (Yay genuine gift-giving, allowing others to be kind to me & the fantastic love-circle of abundance in general!)

These 5 simple steps, which are SO fun & easy to do, helped me earn an extra $8,000 in nail art revenue last year. And I’m not even an “artist”!

In my last post, I asked what your one big goal for next year is & how you plan to make it happen.

Today, I want to know if you’re ready to make it happen. Please let us know in the comments below so we can all cheer you on!

Are you ready to fearlessly sell your nail art, even if you aren’t an artist? Join me for a free masterclass & discover how to recommend nail art to any client; sell your nail art without being sales-y; how to price your nail art; & how to build your own #rideordie nail art toolbox.

Ready to FEARLESSLY sell YOUR nail art even if you aren't an artist? Join me for a free master class!

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