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Last updated: February 16, 2024

16 “Golden Rules” For Salon Success

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“Fifty percent of the reason your clients come to you has nothing to do with a comb, a brush or a color bowl—it’s because they LIKE you. Build relationships,” advises Eric Fisher, owner of award-winning Eric Fisher Salons & Academy in Wichita, Kansas. In his best-selling training program for stylists, assistants, managers and owners, “Source Book,” Eric provides quick and easy ways to make the client experience so positive they can’t wait to return. Their enthusiasm and appreciation for you becomes a walking and talking billboard promoting your business.



The “Golden Rules” of manners and etiquette are certainly important in business, but even more so in personal care service environments like salons. In addition to professional, quality work, courtesies that reflect simple respect and consideration for clients will keep them coming back. In an excerpt from Source Book, Eric reminds us how to follow these ‘golden rules’ to help nurture and grow your business.

1. Be Friendly. Smile a lot. Show the client you’re happy to see them, introduce yourself, make eye contact, and make the client feel comfortable. 

2. Say “Thank You” Often – at every opportunity. A person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Say “thank you” to a client for their business, recommending you to others, and for their patience when you run late.

3. Say “Please” A Lot – it demonstrates consideration. Example: “Could I please have you rebook in 6 weeks?” “Please tell your friends.”  “Please take a seat.”  “Please look through my portfolio for looks you may like.”

4. Remember a Person’s Name. Repeat your client’s name at least three times during the service.

5. Have Impeccable Manners – it demonstrates respect. “Would you like more coffee?”   “Are you comfortable?”  “May I take the hair off your neck?”  Don’t argue, get angry or gossip!

6. Be Punctual. Come to work 10 minutes early.

7. Trust – the most important thing in business. Create a ‘look book’ you can use to provide visual support for your services, and use the book as you communicate with clients. Show them, and then, do it!  Keep index cards on services with notes for future reference and consistency.

8. Look Great – you are in the fashion and beauty business. Do your hair, wear make-up and wear the best clothes you can afford.

9. Smile Until Your Jaw Aches – the #1 rule of good service. Smiles make you feel positive and are contagious.

10. Make People Feel Important. Look for opportunities. LISTEN to them. COMPLIMENT them. Find out their profession and tell them ways in which you admire them.

11. Never Bore People With Your Problems. Keep it all positive. When asked, your day is terrific and business is excellent and getting better. Never admit you’re tired, angry or bored.

12. Admit Your Mistakes. Don’t be afraid of saying, “I made a mistake.” Unhappy clients will complain. They may not tell you, but they will tell others. Offer to do whatever it takes to make it right and never hesitate to say, “I’m sorry.”

13. Stop Blaming Others for Your Unhappiness. Take responsibility. If you want to be healthy, study healthy people. If you want to be wealthy, study wealthy people. There is no real confidence in this entire world which can be separated from living correctly.

14. Give Your Best to the Company. Work hard on your job, and you will make a living. Work hard on yourself, and you will make a fortune.

15. Never Criticize Your Client, Team Member or Boss. Negativity creates negativity. Look at what’s right and not what’s wrong. Be honest. A salon would rather have someone quit and leave, rather than quit and stay.

16. Be a Giver. Help out – sweep the floor, do a shampoo for someone, clean up a mess, change a light bulb, and go beyond the call of duty.