1. Maintain healthy partnerships
Partnerships are important and if you can get into a good partnership, I’m all for it. It helps to share the burden of running a business, but always make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons and with the right person. Do your homework and vet any potential partners, checking their background, ethics, values and how they’ve operated in the past.
Along the way, it’s vital to consciously maintain the health of any partnership as it’s easy for misunderstandings to escalate into unhealthy conflict. Be careful not to take offense too easily without hearing every side of every story. Always keep the lines of communication open.
2. Treat your staff well
The people you hire are the business and this makes them very important. Your staff can quite literally weigh you down, and this is why ongoing maintenance, assessment and training are essential. It’s also imperative that an entrepreneur takes an interest in their staff, and this is an aspect that can prove to be difficult for any organisation, no matter the size.
As entrepreneurs, we often run small operations, so there’s very little that can hide bad apples or bad energy. So, when there are problems, you simply have to confront and deal with them. This creates a positive, healthy environment.
3. It’s important to have fun
It’s so important to have fun at work and with your team. This sends a message that you are professionals, but enjoy what you do. You love coming to work and deliver a professional service of a high standard.
This makes going to your company easier and more fun for your employees and your clients.
4. Stay humble
I don’t necessarily want to use the word “humble” because sometimes I feel we over use that word in South Africa. But I love watching how, for example, Tasha’s operates. At Tasha’s, no one is above any station in the operation when delivering service. So, even a manager should be able to put your peggy slippers on, help you with your bag, or make you that cup of tea – everybody takes equal responsibilty.
I think this is a culture that every business owner needs to incorporate in their operations. It allows the team to be a unit, with everyone feeling equally valuable. This helps people to see the value they bring to the company and that the role they play is valued by others. From a client perspective, it’s important that their experience from start to finish does not change, depending on whether Azania is there or not.
5. Constantly re-invest
Cash and your financials are very important and it’s vital to have a healthy relationship with money in your business. It’s scary at times because you’re constantly paying out and perhaps the rate at which your money is growing is not fast enough, but you also have to pay into the business constantly. Nurture it, love it, and constantly re-invest.
It’s also not about letting your money just sit in the bank. Your business itself won’t grow if you don’t have the equipment you need to provide a good enough service. Finding a balance therefore is important.
We offer our clients complimentary champagne, and while it’s not something they have paid for, it’s something the business has promised to deliver – and this kind of service sets you apart.
A lot of sunlight shines into the salon and we don’t take the attitude that we’re still small, and ask ourselves if we should get blinds or let our customers suffer through the glare? – no! We make sacrifices and invest in the business because this improves our service offering and moves us forward.