Read Time: 6 Minutes
Expertise Area: All Career Fields
Career Stage: All Career Stages
A goal without a plan is merely a dream. Without an action plan, it’s easy to wander through life, waiting for your dreams to magically manifest. Wishing and wanting is not enough, it takes focus, commitment and, an action plan to achieve the vision you have for your life. This guide takes you through the basics of goal setting so you can turn your dreams into reality.
What is Goal Setting?
Goal setting is a powerful process of thinking about what you want to accomplish and then putting a plan in place in how you’re going to achieve it. Think of it as a blueprint for achieving the things you want in both your personal and professional life.
When setting goals, think about what you are working for? What do you want to accomplish in your career and in your life? It's important to have a blueprint in place to guide us. Setting goals help us to fight burnout and reminds us of our purpose. Everyone is motivated by something, whether it's more vacation time, early retirement, or building an awesome social media following. No matter what drives you, it's important to have a focus. Goals help us plan for success by keeping us on track.
There are two types of goals: short-term goals and long-term goals. Short-term goals are goals you want to achieve in one year or less and long-term goals are goals you want to achieve in two to ten years. Short-term and long-term goals typically work in tandem together, but they don’t always have to, meaning, if you want to own a salon, spa, or shop in 5 years, setting a short-term goal to manage a salon in the next year will help you achieve your long-term goal of owning one.
Knowing what you want is key to goal setting. If you already have a clear picture of what your ideal life looks like, great; you are ahead of the game. If you don’t, don’t worry. Take some time and consider what your ideal future life looks like. When reflecting, ask yourself these questions to help you narrow down what it is you truly desire.
What does my future look like?
It’s okay to think big, so, go for it, and really tap into your heart. Don’t worry about “how to” at this point, we will go into the details later in the guide.
Where would I like to be 1-5 years from today?
After dreaming big, now is the time to chunk it down and be realistic. Plan your goals in one year increments. We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and underestimate what we can accomplish in three years.
What type of salon/spa/shop will I be working at?
Do you want to work in a family run business or do you like more of a corporate feeling? Are you working as a booth renter for a Salon Suite or are you in a commission salon? Be specific about what your ideal business environment looks like.
What type of lifestyle will I be living?
Will you be traveling, or do you prefer to work part-time to spend more time with your family?
How much money will I be earning?
How much money do you want to earn in 1 year, in 3- 5 years?
How many clients will I see in a day?
Do you want busy days, booked back to back with clients or do you want your days to be less hectic? There is no right or wrong, it’s whatever you want.
How much money will I be charging for my services?
What services are you offering and how much are you charging for them?
Knowing what you want is one thing, however, knowing how you’re going to get there is the key to having what you want. There is a universal goal setting system used by professionals all over the world called S.M.A.R.T Goals. It’s an easy to use process to help you not only establish your goals but also how you’re going to achieve them. S.M.A.R.T stands for:
S = Specific
This is the what; what are your goals? They need to be very specific and clear. What does your future look like? What specifically do you want? Be as precise as possible. Saying you want to be a busy stylist is too broad, instead say; I want to see 8–10 clients a day, no less than 45 clients a week. Do you see the difference? For some, busy may mean 5 clients a day, the number only matters to you.
M = Measurable
This is the how; how will you attain your goals. How will you measure your success? How will you know when you succeeded? How will you know what needs to happen to meet your goals? If you want to see 45 clients in a month, how will you keep track and what will you do if you are not reaching that goal?
A = Action
What steps do you need to have in place that will lead you down a path of success? These are very specific action items. Think in terms of what you need to put in place to attract 45 clients a month? What marketing and networking opportunities are you going to implement to help you realize your goals?
R = Realistic
Are your goals achievable? If you want to make $X a year and only want to charge $XX.XX for a haircut, can you realistically achieve this goal with the number of clients you want to see in a day? For example: you want to make $40,000 a year, seeing 6 clients a day and want an average service ticket of $25.00, working 35 hours a week. The math: 6 (clients) x25 (average service ticket) = $150-day x 5 (days a week) = $750 (a week) x 50 (weeks – 2 weeks deducted for vacation) = $37,500 (a year). This will get you close to your goal, but you will need to adjust some of the details on how you will get there. Just adjust one of the factors, and you can create a game plan.
T = Timeline
Create a timeline for each action step you need to accomplish to meet your goal, think of it as a “by when date”’ for when you plan to reach these milestones. Timelines are a lot like maps, they give us structure, telling us where we are, where we’re going and, how we’re going to get there. If we deviate from the route, we are rerouted, and adjustments are made to our timeline for arrival. Your timeline can be agile, but without it, you run the risk of never realizing your goals.
Basic goal setting with the S.M.A.R.T. goals process will help you create an action plan for success, however, no one succeeds alone, and support is crucial when in the midst of achieving our goals. Find a community and or salon/spa/shop that supports your goals.
If the salon’s vision is aligned with yours, it’s likely that working there will help you get closer to your goal. Support from people who get your excitement and encourage you on your journey help you to build and maintain momentum. If you have a tight community, you’ll be able to look objectively at your own progress and strive to be better.
Hope is not an action plan. No one plans for failure and few people plan for success. If you are not planning for success, then in essence, you are planning for failure. Organize your thoughts and dreams into the S.M.A.R.T system and you will be able to track and measure your progress and results. This will help you stay motivated, cut out distractions, and stay passionate about what you do.
RISE Certification in Client Well-Being & Safety3 Courses
As a professional (or future professional) in the beauty industry, you are in a unique position to protect public health and—when trained properly—recognize signs of domestic abuse and human trafficking. This certification will show you how.
RISE Certification in Finance Fundamentals4 Courses
Get your Milady RISE Certification in Finance Fundamentals to learn how to read financial statements and identify key areas in your business that you can control. Every beauty professional wants to have a truly profitable business—let's achieve it!