There’s a four-letter word that most businesses shy away from, especially in the beauty industry, and it’s not what you expect. It’s…


Yep. Most of us are so busy “doing” that we don’t spend enough (or any) time thinking about what we should actually be doing, where our focus needs to be, and if it’s even the right next move! Honestly, it’s usually easier to just do the day-to-day stuff than to sit back and figure out the future. And that’s why most of us avoid planning.

Regardless of how you feel, you need to plan if you want to run a successful salon or spa. How you feel doesn’t change revenue or profits.

That’s why in addition to monthly one-on-one’s and daily huddles, I recommend that every owner hold annual planning meetings.

When should you hold your annual planning meeting?


Yes, NOW. Ideally, your planning meetings should occur in October or early November so that you have time to review the current year and also plan for next year. December is too late; you have no time to prepare and you’ll be in January before you know it. Plus, we’re usually too busy during the holidays to be able to have the head space to plan.

Bottom line: You gotta start planning for next year, NOW.

Who should attend annual planning meetings?

Before you hold your planning meeting, you should meet with your leadership team to prepare for the meeting. This includes any co-owners, managers, or other leaders in your company who have a vested interest in your salon or spa.

We also send out a survey to the entire staff asking them for real feedback on what’s working, what’s missing, what needs improvement, and what they see next for themselves and the company. 

The key is to get the entire team thinking about forward growth. It helps align your vision with that of your staff, from your newest stylist to your most loyal manager. 

So, that being said, everyone should attend the planning meeting so that you’re all moving toward the same vision.

Where should I hold my annual planning meeting?

We have our annual planning meeting off-site with delicious food and in a clean, fun environment that promotes brainstorming and creativity. This is a time when my team gets a voice and has the space for real change for the organization. It’s nice to pamper them in a location outside of the salon workplace.

How else do I prepare for my annual planning meeting?

Earlier we mentioned sending a survey to your team. Some of the questions we ask ours include:

  • What is going well?
  • What do you see as a major challenge for our salon in the next year, if any?
  • If you could offer one idea to strengthen, improve, or change, what one idea would be most important?
  • What are some things that the salon’s management can do better to support you?

In addition to feedback from the team, take into account all the feedback you’ve heard from clients this past year and bring this information to your team meeting. What areas are you doing well? Where can you improve?

Be sure to also grab your numbers. How much are you doing weekly and monthly? What products are selling? Are you hitting your service and retail goals? What’s your average sale for each? Etc.

Also take a look at fellow beauty pros and see what they are doing. Be mindful to not play a comparison game. It’s important that we stay up on industry trends, but we’re not doing it in order to make ourselves feel bad. Take a look at any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your salon/spa business.   

What should I share at the annual planning meeting?

As an owner, your vision is critical here. Your annual meeting is the perfect time to get your team in congruence for your vision for the next year or even the next five years. It starts with sharing what you picture for the salon to your entire staff.

Take all the data and information that you gathered in preparation for the annual meeting and share it with your team. Listen to input from your employees and together you can form the best programs, services, and improvements and implement these optimizations within the systems you have set up for your salon/spa. Remember, your staff will support what they’ve helped to create. These systems are what have guided you to success for so many years.

One of the major things that came out of a past annual meeting at my own salon is when the leadership team expressed interest in receiving coaching so that they could continue to develop their individual skills. Because of that meeting, we began a program where each member of our salon leadership team has received regular coaching calls from a mentor and certified business coach. Through this program we have seen growth in all areas of the business due to our leaders feeling empowered to try new ways to improve retail and service sales, client satisfaction, booking and pre-booking rates, and to help new staff members grow.  I believe in investing in my team for the greatest ROI (return on investment), and this was such a significant shift that stemmed out of our annual planning meeting.

Beautiful things can come out of your annual planning meetings too! I know that implementing something new can feel like a scary and heavy lift. Remember, this is an ANNUAL planning, and it can take a year to complete what you discuss in the meeting. 

If you’re finding that you want support in figuring out annual planning, we can mentor you the entire way – from what to ask your team, how to prepare, gathering the right numbers to gauge your success financially, your agenda, plus any follow up that needs to happen.

And that’s just a tiny part of the support we offer salon and spa owners. Schedule a strategy session with an Empowering You Coach, and we’ll help you determine what you need to tackle the many challenges that come with managing a beauty business.

Just breathe. You got this!

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