— -- Goran Cobanovski is the embodiment of the American dream.
Arriving in the U.S. from Macedonia in 2001 with no savings, he settled in Chicago, and within five years, he opened his own beauty salon, Goran Coban Salon. Today his flagship salon location in downtown Chicago employs a staff of 18 people.
"I don't see it as a business. Maybe that's the most important. I consider myself an artist,” he said. “All my colleagues are very artistic people. And it's more of a fun environment for everyone, and for me.”
But with a salon that serves up to 50 clients a day, that perspective can create some management and organizational problems.
"Good Morning America" brought in Carol Roth, a small business expert and host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy, to give Cobanovski a lesson in the basics of business management. Microsoft is a sponsor of "Good Morning America."
First lesson: how to keep an artistic staff both inspired and happy.
“What you need to do is sit down with each of your employees individually. Because when it comes to motivation, not all of us are motivated by the same things,” Roth said. “Some of them might want to make more money, some might want more recognition … you need to know what motivates each of your employees individually.”
Second, don't be afraid to delegate responsibility, Roth advises, but not "abdicate."
"Either you need to put in systems and processes into place in your business so that you can have everybody follow those and make everything flow as smooth as some of the beautiful blowouts that you do here. If you don't want to do that yourself, you can also outsource that. You could actually bring on a manager to put in those processes and systems," she said. "However, I will tell you that if you're going to delegate responsibility, you cannot abdicate your responsibility. Because at the end of the day, your name is on the door."
Third, and the biggest concern for Cobanovski, is managing the front desk and the scheduling of appointments.
“We need to make that to be a little bit smoother process where we don't get two clients coming at the same time for this one appointment,” he explained. “It's pretty simple, but it's not that simple.”
Roth suggests bringing in a new app from Microsoft called Bookings, part of their Business Premium Office 365 Suite, to help ease scheduling woes.
“What you're going to be able to do is have your receptionist have a page so she can see all the timeslots available and be able to hold those timeslots very easily,” Roth said. “But I love most about it is that it's so easy from a customer's perspective. It is just a three-step process. So they pick their service, they pick the date that they want and the time. And then after that, they get all of those details that you need, including the phone number, and they press 'book.' And it will actually hold that time, put a reminder on their calendar, and then your receptionist can just follow up and make sure that it works.”
Microsoft gave Cobanovski the service at no charge to help support his small business.
For more tips to boost your small business from our sponsor Microsoft, click here.