DYNACII's Life Coach
December 10, 2013
I can trust no longer

Dear Life Coach,

I have owned a small and successful beauty shop for the past 10 years. Over the past year, however, I have noticed a trend in which most of my customers have been requesting my service on a “trust-basis,” which I have allowed on the grounds that they have been faithful patrons over the years, as well as the fact that I have never liked to be seen as a harsh person, and I find it hard to say no to someone in need. The problem with this system, though, is that I am always embarrassed to ask my customers for the payment that is owed to me, and most never return to pay me, although I have seen them in other stores making expensive purchases.{{more}} Now, my business has started to dwindle; I can only afford a limited stock and I seem to have fewer customers also. What should I do? I cannot allow my means of livelihood to diminish any further.

Distressed Beautician (DB)

Dear DB,

Your sense of survival is being threatened, as your earning power is reduced and you want to put your business back on track.

What’s Going On

Here are some factors that contribute to your present situation: good business sense, never mix business and friendship, give your business a face-lift, promoting your business, finding the courage to say ‘no’, and posting a ‘no credit’ sign. These I will address briefly.

Good Business Sense

Good Business Sense refers one’s ability to make good financial decisions as a manager or entrepreneur so that there will be a profit and the business will survive.

Never Mix Business and Friendship

A business may be defined as a place where commercial work is carried on, such as a shop or office; place of work. A friend is a person who is attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. Friends who are entrepreneurs tend to act differently when doing business; they become competitive, and they do whatever needs to be done in order to make a profit; they tend not to mix business with friendship. When we do business, if we allow our affection to get in the way, we will not do what is best in order for the business to survive. Therefore, we must never mix business and friendship.

What to Do

Give your Business a ‘Face-Lift’

Here are some tips for giving your business a face-lift:

  • Create or change your website
  • Create or change your business name
  • Develop a business logo that reflects what you do
  • Change the colour and design of your shop
  • Re-arrange or change your furniture
  • Make your shop customer friendly; easy access, comfortable, etc
  • Change the exterior of the building
  • Get suggestions and help from your friends or family

Develop a Market Plan

  • Identify your target customers and develop a plan to reach them
  • Do a market research to determine the feasibility of your location
  • Relocate as needed

Review your Product/Services

  • Identify the products or the services you are selling
  • Determine your level of efficiency. Are you operating optimally or do you need new technology in order to operate cheaply and efficiently?
  • Make the changes as needed

Promote your Business

Schedule a promotional drive to target new customers using the following:

  • Fliers, posters, business cards, etc
  • Discount days e.g. invite a friend for a free hairdo day or half off hairstyle day
  • advertise on the Internet, newspaper or radio

Find the Courage to Say ‘No’

Many individuals find it hard to say ‘no’, especially shy, sensitive people, those who are people pleasers, or those who are afraid of being viewed in a negative light. Here are a few tips that may be helpful for developing the courage to say ‘no’:

  • Know why you are saying ‘no’ – you want to save your business
  • Practice saying ‘no’ to yourself out loud. You may speak it or sing it. Say it until it becomes a part of you
  • Practice saying ‘no’ in a nice way. It does not have to be harsh or insulting e.g. I am sorry, but I will not be able to do your hair without payment because I have to take care of the overheads. (Find a way to put this in your own words so that you feel comfortable saying it).

Post a ‘No Credit’ Sign

If you are not able to say “no” verbally, then say it with a “No Credit Sign”. Put these signs in multiple places, where they are immediately visible, e.g. in the window, on the wall, on the mirror etc. In this way customers will not need to ask and you will not need to answer.

DB, it takes a lot of skill, planning, manoeuvering, and courage to run a business, and the fact that you have been doing this successfully for over 10 years means that you have got what it takes. Now, however, you need to take a critical look at things and make some serious changes. All the best as you keep the ship afloat.

Life Coach


Need help with relationship and other problems? Ask DYNACII’s Life Coach. Email your questions to [email protected] To Chat with the Life Coach, visit: http://www.dynacinternational.com. Dynamic Action Center International Inc. (DYNACII) a non-governmental organization committed to social and spiritual empowerment.