What’s your biggest organizational issue?
At first glance, your response might be, “Simple, I need to clean off my desk.”
But we’re talking bigger, deeper, wider organization.
We’re talking processes, procedures, protocols, etc., all of those words that “organized” people use. If you’re someone whose ears slam shut when you hear those terms, we’re probably talking to you!
Because really, you want your business to run smoothly, right? You want your staff to know the “rules,” and not have to stop to ask you questions all day. You want your clients treated with the utmost in care and respect at all times. You want to have a good reputation in your marketplace, so you can continue to attract new staff, as well as customers. And those things don’t happen by accident. They happen for businesses who have systems and structure, businesses that are, in a word, organized.
I know it’s challenging to feel organized in the spa environment. Some of the common spa work environment factors that challenge organizations are:
In an office that’s open from 9-5, M-F, it’s easier to set aside some time for “busy work” such as end-of-the-year cleanouts and reorganization of supplies. You can stay an hour later one night, or come in an hour early one morning. We can do that in the spa also, but it’s a lot more difficult, especially as spas are often open six and even seven days a week, and the days are long. Some spas are open as many as 70 hours per week, and when the spa is open, there are hopefully clients there, making it difficult to tackle behind the scenes tasks.
These days, most every spa has it. But many still don’t use it to its full advantage or are not even aware of many of the built-in capabilities of their systems. There may be existing solutions to some of your pressing problems, like tracking staff vacation requests, or professional inventory supplies, and certainly client files and marketing efforts. Yes, there is no time to take tutorials and learn, but really, are you getting your money’s worth from your system?
In the spa, strangely, when the business is at its most busy, no employees can be seen. Customer service, yes, but everyone else is tucked away in their treatment area working on-on-one with a client. This doesn’t make it easy to work together; you can’t lean into your fellow employee’s cubicle and share information, or work collaboratively. So this slows things down.
Since revenue-producing space is at a premium in the spa environment, there is not typically a lot of back-of-house space available. Some front desks don’t even have the luxury of a back counter for storage of retail supplies or pending sales, and many spa owners share their office space with the laundry. While this makes it very difficult to get organized, it also makes it even more imperative that we do so; with lack of resources, everything should have an assigned place.
Here is some useful advice from professional organizer and author Debbie Lillard, owner of Space to Spare. Lillard advises on her website that “You may never have a perfectly neat office, but you can be functionally organized by following my method of C.P.R.”
Whether you are talking about your desk, a closet or the whole office, start to put things in categories. If one pile is too big, break it into sub-categories.
Toss whatever is outdated, no longer useful information, duplicate material or broken electronics. Keep the basics: a work table, filing drawers, a cabinet or closet for supplies, bookshelves, and maybe one whiteboard or bulletin board.
When you are left with what you use, start to arrange the workspace into functional areas: equipment & supplies, filing, Action items (to do, to read, to call, to send), and put things where you naturally use them. Use bins or containers that you already have or purchase ones that are the right size for what you need.
Lillard website and books share a wealth of advice, and you can follow her on Twitter at @DebbieLillard.
So don’t be shy, wade in and get started. The new year is 10 days old already!