Will it make the boat go faster?

Discussion in 'Business' started by Lynne Baker, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. Lynne Baker
    Times are hard at the moment, aren't they?
    I read on here and hear about salons going under, having to let staff go, and sole traders having to find alternative work.
    I thought I would pass on a few tips on how to stay afloat in these straitened circumstances.

    Why the weird title?

    I heard about a book with this title which happens to be about the British Olympic rowing team which, up until the Sydney Olympics hadn't really done very well. So, they decided that they would have a complete rethink about it all, to see if it would make a positive difference.

    They decided that would do absolutely nothing unless they asked the question, "will it make the boat go faster?"

    How on earth could this relate to our industries?
    It takes just a little leap of the imagination, but here are some examples of how we're applying this mantra to both our businesses, the salon business and the distribution one.

    I get all excited when S2 release new things, and I HAVE to have them all!
    Will it make the boat go faster? Um, probably not...will my particular client base care if I have the blue additive, when it's hard enough to get them to even try Rockstar toes?!

    We need to do a spot of hunting for new trade customers for the distribution business, and we need to get on with it. Now, if we spend £50 we can get 5000 envelopes, but if we spend a tenner we can get 500. So, it makes economic sense to buy 5000, doesn't it? Or does it?
    We don't have the space to store 5000 envelopes, and we don't have the capacity to deal with the potential response we might get, we couldn't afford the postage or the manpower to send out 5000 all at once.
    So, will buying 5000 envelopes make the boat go faster? At the moment it won't; that £40 would be better spent on the stamps, and then seeing just how much response we get from that particular mail shot.

    In my salon I have 4 wax heaters (I know!). Electricity costs continue to rise inexorably and I need to keep my costs down. Maplins had an offer on for digital timers at 9 quid a throw. Do I spend 9 quid on one, and a fiver on an extension lead?
    Will it make the boat go faster? You betcha!
    Spending £14 will save me lots of money in electricity by having my heaters set to switch on first thing in the morning and off again at night, and they're set not to come on at all on a Sunday. No more accidentally leaving them on at night.

    I got an email shot about a fire risk assessment in the salon. It would cost £50. Hmmm, will it make the boat go faster?
    I rang our insurance company and it would seem that we would get a discount amounting to £72 if we had a valid fire risk assessment certificate in place. So I'll save £22. Bonus! Not to mention the peace of mind that the salon won't spontaneously combust!

    As you know we distribute 4 international brands. I'm willing to bet that most of you won't have heard of all of them!
    It's the professional beauty show in February. Should we exhibit? We'd need a stand, stock, samples, staff, hotels, etc etc etc. it'll likely cost about £10k when all said and done - eek!
    Will it make the boat go faster? We think it will; where else will we have a 33k strong captive, interested audience?! We don't need very many new customers to break even - lots of our existing customers spend that over a year!

    I'd love to hear about what you've done to make your boat go faster; or why not post up an idea and we'll all pitch in with our ideas about whether it will or not.

    Over to you!
  2. naturalnails
    Great post Lynne. I bought the box of 5000 envelopes and have had them for so long that they dont stick anymore so I have to spend extra money on selotape to close them LOL.
    Almur Fudd, JoSu, Spandangle and 14 others like this.
  3. Verve Designs
    It's rather like (I think) the approach of the British Cycling team with the philosophy of "aggregation of marginal gains" (though, I think they want the bike to go faster!).

    Lots of small (seeminly marginal) changes can combine to increase profitability or efficiency.

    I went through my typical working day after reading about the principles and found whilst I'm not doing anything disastously wrong- there were lots of little changes I can make to make sure I'm not wasting either time or money.
    TIPTOP and Lynne Baker like this.
  4. KattyB
    very wise words indeed

    I am a very impulsive person and 'have' to have everything new that comes onto the market. I have learnt to take a step back and review situations rather than leaping in.

    Will it make the boat go faster will now be my mantra

    thanks...its made my day
  5. Lynne Baker
    It's up on the white board in our office, along with my humsbums's graffiti of a willie. Boys, eh?!
    Persephannie, JoSu, Katelisa and 2 others like this.
  6. MrsHBeauty
    Nice thread, I love thought provoking threads, they make me all warm and full of enthusiasm.

    I'm gonna read it again and have a little think :)
    Lynne Baker and Sharyn like this.
  7. Redduck
    Fantastic post. Thank you. It's also very timely as i'm extending my clinic which meant everything, down to the last cotton wool pad, had to be packed away. In the past I have been guilty of buying two dozen packs of x, y or z because it's on offer and guess what? I still have a dozen packs of x, y or z left over! Am I really saving money when I end up holding it as stock for so long? No, it just means I won't run out for the next 25 years!

    More recently I've filled my shopping cart at whichever online suppliers and then walked away. I go back 10 minutes later and can remove half of what's in there because I don't NEED it I just WANT it. Big difference and one that we could apply to all aspects of our lives not just business.

    From now on i'm going to make sure I ask 'Will this make a difference to the whole package my client receives?' I'm guessing that in most cases the answer is going to be a big, fat resounding no!
  8. ClaireL
    Im very similar - very impulsive in most areas of my life but Im learning to curb that!

    Great post def a thinker!!
    Lynne Baker likes this.
  9. happyfeet
    Lynne a fabulous thread thank you. And the above keeping it real and giving me a much needed chuckle today :)

    Sent from my GT-S5839i using SalonGeek
    Lynne Baker likes this.
  10. MissJulesBeauty
    Another fabulous thread Lynne, thank you! Please don't ever leave sg!

    My new salon opens on the 6th November and this will defo be my mantra! I will ask myself this question before making any future purchases and will sit down with my note pad this evening and think of ways I can pull in the purse strings. Like you say the little things add up!

    Thank you :) x
    Lynne Baker likes this.
  11. Lynne Baker
    I was just looking at our credit card statement and something struck me.
    We have a Tesco club card credit card and we use it to buy everything. We never carry a balance on it though; we just have it set up to take the whole amount on a direct debit each month, so we never accrue any interest charges.
    As a result we never pay for any wine, because we use the reward points to buy it! And it paid for our euro tunnel tickets last summer too!
    So, what's to stop you having such a card, whether it's John Lewis, M & S, take your pick, and using it to buy everything for your salon on it? That way you get air miles, free money, reward points etc to buy treats, or even putting towards your normal household expenditure!
    If I'd done that for my distribution business I doubt we'd ever have to pay real money for our tesco shop ever again!
    lisa82 and naturalnails like this.
  12. MrsHBeauty
    I have just got a tesco clubcard credit card. I have a balnce on another card which im transfering for the intrest free period. That should be paid off soon then i will start doign the same. I spend a good amount on stock a month I just order £150 odd from S2 and £75 from beauty express.

    Talking of beauty express I use perron rigot wax and always get my wax from them due their VAT free days on more than one occasion I have stocked up on wax for fear of never recieveing a 20% discount. Once i stocked up so much that by the next time the VAT free days come round I still had loads of wax!

    I really struggle with buying loads to save a bit of money - one of my therapist always gives it to me straight about what we need and what we dont need.

    Sallys do the same i buy OPI nail varnishs every VAT fre day when I dont really need any new ones. Infact I havent been over today purposly. i always by stuff I never went for.

    Lynne Baker likes this.
  13. FuzzBall
    I am like you lynne, i think about everything that I buy even on like a food shop. Do i really need that cake or the expensive pain killers?

    No! I can do without cake and the cheaper ones still get rid of pain.

    Look after your pennys and the pounds will look after themselves. (as my old daddy says)
  14. shazzawilson
    My hubby is the one who makes my boat go faster...... he always say "Do you need it?" He keeps me on the straight and narrow. Sometimes it's good to bounce things off him as he sees things differently. (And he's a man, so no expensive shopping) lol.
    Lynne Baker likes this.
  15. dandelionpoppy
    Great thread. Really useful advice for any sort of business, and the memorable title helps to keep it in focus.
    Lynne Baker likes this.
  16. nicole333
    I'm going to think of this before everything now. I kind of work like this in every day life, but without having the true focus to ask myself that question.

    I'm still finding my way and have found myself just trying other products for the sake of it. I was sat in my nail room this morning removing my Shellac before my shift and I realised that I have four different methods/products for removal. I don't need four for Goodness sake!

    Also, when I think about it, I didn't need all six new Shellac colours last month but had to have them because I found myself gradually buying all the past ones I thought I wouldn't get.

    Right, that boat is going to get a lot of thought.

    Thank you Lynne.
    Lynne Baker likes this.
  17. TIPTOP
    Great thread!!!!!! I'm like a child in a sweet shop when it comes to wanting new products, I have to have EVERYTHING but as the costs of living increased and the belt becomes tighter, I look at everything I buy with fresh eyes, I make a list of what I want and need and stick to the need list and I won't cut corners on service or my professionalism.

    Small things to keep your heating and lighting bills affordable, like, turning down your thermostat, turning off lights when the room isn't in use, unplugging equipment and switching off at the plug, using enough water in the kettle when you make a brew, small things like this can help :D
    Lynne Baker likes this.
  18. Lynne Baker
    Alex here, Lynne's husband.

    As we turned the endless lights off in Baker Acres, another thought sprang to mind.

    Do you have halogen GU10 bulbs in your salon/home?


    Let's say you have 20 of them at 50 watts a piece (the most common type). This adds up to 1 kilowatt and running them for one hour uses 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity.

    If you run your lights for 8 hours a day, working 6 days a week for 52 weeks a year, you will use 2496 kilowatt-hours.

    We pay 12.6p per kilowatt-hour, meaning that LIGHTING ALONE would cost £314.50 per year.

    If you replaced those halogen GU10s for modern LED equivalents at 5 watts each, you would pay £31.45 per year.

    OK, so 20 half decent LED GU10s would cost around £200 (don't buy cheap ones...) but they last far, far longer than halogen bulbs and you would still make a saving in the first year.
    JenHug, Rinn, xxAmyxx and 4 others like this.
  19. Bluerinse
    All my lights have halogen bulbs! I'm sensible! But then i go and have a hot tub outside :(
  20. shazzawilson
    So now I'm sat at my desk aka kitchen island thinking of my boat and promotions as I'm embarking on a new venture. Do I really need all those products? And do I need more expensive furniture when I have good stuff already? Better take those items off ebay now that I can recycle.
    JenHug likes this.

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