How to Level Up Your Salon in 2021

2021 is fast approaching and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be ready to say goodbye to the rollercoaster that was 2020, and embrace the blank page of a new year.

I remember when I was in your shoes, running my own salon business back in 2010. I was planning ahead for my salon’s 2020 vision - which at the time was 10 years away! I pictured flying cars, maybe even intergalactic travel…

Oh how differently this year turned out!

In reality, we could probably have never predicted 2020, no matter how hard we tried. With Covid-19, lockdowns, the election and world wide drama, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re coming out of 2020 feeling overwhelmed. But when we look back at all of the positives that have accompanied the chaos- like having the time to slow down, focus on building connections, and re-thinking what is really important- we can see how much we’ve learned and hopefully, take these lessons into 2021.

We have the power to move forward with intent, by actioning what we’ve learnt and designing our year ahead… and the rest of our lives!

Let’s use the fresh start that 2021 is giving us, and run with it.

Really turn over a new page, and write our own ending. Are you ready to join me to level up in 2021?

To help you do just that, you’ll first need to download the freebie that accompanies this Blog. I’ve created a 2021 Momentum Focuser so you can get clear on your vision for the year ahead and kickstart 2021 with a bang! Click here to download it now so you can work through it as you read this blog. Think of it as an early Christmas present from me, to you - it’s free & will help you get the most out 2021!

Let’s get started! Here are the Five steps you need to take, in order  to level-up in 2021…

#1 You have to look back to move forward

Many of us take action without planning ahead - I know this because I used to be one of these people! But over time I’ve learnt that this often results in stress and overwhelm... because we’re unprepared for the changes growth can bring.

As Benjamin Franklin once said:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

It is important to pause and take the time to get clear and plan ahead for success so you know exactly what to do next. It’s all a part of the dream-achieving-process. By planning ahead, you become proactive and foresee potential issues or roadblocks that may come your way, and therefore are able to either avoid them… or face them confidently.

So how do we plan ahead for 2021? The first step might actually surprise you… it’s actually to look back. 

Turn your focus to HOW you’ve dealt with all the things that have been going on in 2020 - the good and the not so good. You must look back with intent, to discover how far you’ve come and realise the lessons you’ve learnt. This will give you the confidence to take your salon into bigger and different places than you’ve ever imagined before. Look back, in order to look forward!


Activity: Fill in the boxes on your Momentum Focuser to reflect on the past year.

Salon Owner Level Up 2021 2020 Goals Planner Hairdresser

#2 What got you ‘here’ won’t get you ‘there

When planning ahead for your salon, it can be easy to fall into habits and actions which are comfortable.

Yes, maybe these have been successful in the past, but that doesn’t guarantee your success in the future.

One of the biggest mistakes salon owners make is trying to use the same strategies that have worked in the past, to get them where they want to go in the future. Things are different to how they were 6 months, 2 years, 5 years ago… so you must treat them as such. 

As your business grows, you should be focussing on different things at different times and implementing strategies that will help you to grow and take your salon to the next level.

It’s as simple as knowing where you’re at in your business, and where you’re heading.

Think about the size of your salon in terms of your team, clients, income, and how long you’ve been in business. This will help you determine your next steps and how to achieve them.

Don’t worry about your neighbouring salon or what the one with the aesthetically pleasing social media is doing - what matters is knowing where you are on your own business journey and working on the right things at the right time.

If you’re unsure if you’re focusing on the wrong things right now, ask yourself…

  • Am I feeling overwhelmed?
  • Has the momentum of my salon’s growth stopped?
  • Have I hit a growth ceiling and am unable to move past a certain stage?
  • Does it feel like I’m taking two steps forward and one step backward?

If you answered yes to any of these, then yes, you could be focusing on the wrong things.

In the 2021 Momentum Focuser, I’ve made you a simple chart so you can track the growth and scale of your business, making it easy to see exactly where you’re at and what you should be working on in 2021.


Activity: Tick the Box that in your Momentum Focuser that most applies to your current stage of business

Salon Owner Level Up 2021 2020 Goals Planner Hairdresser

#3 Decide - Become the Salon CEO

It’s time to decide that 2021 will be different. Are you ready to make the decision to become the Salon CEO you want to be?

As your business grows and moves through the different stages, you get better at your job as a CEO and your priorities shift.

It is possible to balance your business life with your personal life, it’s just a matter of learning how. 

For me, I’ve decided that I am dedicating this year to helping 20 salon owners step into their roles as Salon CEO. I do this because I know that it is one of the most important transitions they’ll make in taking their business from just surviving with overwhelm, to thriving with clarity!

The first step is deciding that you’re going to go for it in 2021. You have to make a conscious decision that you will not settle for anything less than growth, evolution and success.

Simplify your role by leaving behind the mindsets of a stylist, therapist, or manager, and really get clear on what it means to be the CEO of your salon.

Ask yourself these two questions…

  • What did you get into business for?
  • Why are you here?

It is easy to lose sight of what we’re working towards. So get clear on your vision and master your inner CEO. Here are my top three non-negotiables that will help you step into this role…

  1. Your Income: set a clear goal of what you will earn and don’t compromise on it. You deserve to be paid for what you’re putting into your business.
  2. Your Hours: Set your boundaries so that you can achieve your goals AND enjoy your life. Replace burnout and overwhelm with rest and recuperation - two things vital for success!
  3. Your Leave: For you to be away, you have to have systems in place so your business can continue to run smoothly while you’re gone. Commit to taking leave to ensure these systems are efficient, and to enjoy the life you’ve worked hard for.


Activity: Fill out below your non-negotiables for 2021 in your Momentum Focuser


#4 Get Shite Done in 2021 - Ditch the Overwhelm

I love planning out my future because it reminds me that I am in control of writing my own story book. As we know, time is crucial when it comes to getting things done. In order to fully step into your role as CEO, you need to get off the floor. You can’t grow your business while serving clients 40-50 hours a week. Time needs to be created for you to work on your business, otherwise nothing will change.

If you’re serving your clients, who is running your business?

Don’t worry if you aren’t there yet, this can be a gradual process. But you have to dedicate time to act as your salon’s CEO.

If this feels like a huge leap from where you are now, that’s okay. Remember you have to be true to where you are in your journey and start from there. 

This podcast episode will help you figure out which stage you’re in, and these episodes on ‘Creating Space to Transform your Business’, ‘The 3 Things Holding your Salon’s Success Hostage’ and ‘No1 Purpose of a Salon CEO’ will help you out.

If 2021 is going to be different, you need to be different.

Here are four things to think about to ensure you don’t go into overwhelm, but stay focussed on levelling up your business…

  1. Create a plan
  2. Work smarter not harder
  3. Do Things that work and let go of what doesn’t
  4. Create Space for creativity


Activity: Fill in the box on your Momentum Focuser with your 6 big rocks of 2021

Activity: Now break that down into the actions you need to complete

Salon Owner Level Up 2021 2020 Goals Planner Hairdresser

#5 Make it Happen & Get Some Help

If you’re anything like me, you’ll need accountability and guidance to achieve your goals, dreams, and desires. I share my key steps to achieving accountability in the 2021 Momentum Focuser, to help you simplify the process and action strategies to help you achieve your goals. 

  1. Make yourself accountable by setting reminders EVERYWHERE!
  2. Ditch the 1/4ly planning, and replace them with a check-in every 2 months to keep on top of your goals and your progress.
  3. Share your goals with your team and the important people in your life. It takes a village to raise a business, so make sure everyone knows what you’ve committed to so they can support you along the way.
  4. Business is lonely enough, so get some help from others who are at different stages of the journey: way ahead, a few steps ahead and those that are right there with you!


Activity: Write in the boxes on your Momentum Focuser what you will do, to make it happen


2021 is your year to level up. Become the CEO you know is inside of you. It’s time to get a head start into the year and absolutely smash it!

And if you’re ready to get some help with putting these plans into place, then let’s chat.

I’m looking to work with 3 Salon Owners who want to Level Up their Salon Business in 2021, and get a head start now (before the holiday season)...

I'm talking about Salon Owners who want to actually be the ones who 'go for it' in 2021, and not just have another year of 'average'.

If you’re interested in finding out more, just click here, and we can chat.

Let's keep the convo going...

Come & chat with me in messenger... I'd love to get to know more about you & your Salon.

About the author, Larissa

Business Coach & Marketing Strategist: After 20 years of salon business I worked in online marketing & technology development, Business Development Manager at Timely Salon Software and co-founded HAIRshare app for Stylist.

I love helping stylists & salons with marketing strategies, the latest technology and working smarter, not harder in salon business.

Salon Owners Collective is an online community with the mission of inspiring and empowering Salon Owners from around the globe to grow beyond owner operator. Turn your ideas into a reality, build successful businesses and live with clarity and purpose.