Articles > Business > 9 Tips Every Salon Manager Needs to Know!
Last updated: July 24, 2017

9 Tips Every Salon Manager Needs to Know!

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Sport Clips recently held their 2016 National Huddle Conference in San Antonio and it was absolutely huge—over 2,700 attendees huge! This year’s theme? Ignite. Passion, motivation and desire fueled every artistic show, breakout discussion and attendee in the crowd. From the massive amount of business tips every team member in the salon can benefit from to “The Look” competition that took place on the Huddle stage to artistic presentations from Nioxin, Gibs Grooming, American Crew, Sexy Hair and John Paul Mitchell Systems, and finally to their big Shave the Day event, the 2016 Huddle was easily one of Sport Clips’ biggest and most successful events to date. And of course, BTC was there for all the action. Here’s what went down!


One of the biggest themes from the Huddle? Business. The weekend was all about bettering yourself and your business. Check out some of their best takeaway tips!


The panel above featured five managers who spoke about client retention and
“The Inside Story” of what it is and should be like for managers and stylists
working at Sport Clips. From left: Dawn Ellinger, Arianne Green,
Cyndee Nevels, Sara Gustafson and Donna Whitaker.



1. Praise Publicly, Coach Privately

Global Artistic Director for John Paul Mitchell Systems’ Robert Cromeans took the stage on Monday to talk passion and motivation. One huge takeaway? For healthy outcomes in the salon, praise your stylists publicly and coach them privately. Acknowledging a job well done is a simple way to ignite passion and motivation for any stylist working behind the chair.


2. Instant Gratification
Giving a simple high five or nod of recognition for a stylist’s amazing cut or great sell can go a long way in the salon. That instant gratification can be a huge motivator in keeping your stylists upbeat, which can dramatically increase their sales and play into their client retention rates.


3. Molding Minds
As some owners and managers might be nervous to hire stylists right out of beauty school, managers at Sport Clips tend to think a bit differently. Grabbing students right after they graduate from school can allow you as a manager to teach your best practices and allow them to really grasp and understand what you’re saying. Their minds are moldable at this point in their career. Use that to your advantage!


4. Quality Over Quantity
As a manager, you need to be able to see where your stylists’ strengths and weaknesses lie. Everyone cannot be great at everything, but if you utilize every individual’s skill and put your stylists in the position to succeed, your salon will succeed, too.


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5. New Manager? No Problem
As a new manager, there is always a lot to learn. But start small and don’t give up! Take one stylist at a time to develop their goals. You don’t need to do everything all at once.


6. Build Morale and Sales
Being a successful manager happens when you take the time to develop your stylists. Set time to meet with every stylist once a week to check in and go over their performance. Know their goals and create an open environment so they feel comfortable coming to you. You can build your team morale and sales if you spend time growing your stylists individually. Some questions to ask in your one-on-ones:


  • How are things going in the salon?
  • Are there any training/education classes you’re interested in attending?
  • How do you feel about the way you’re being managed?


7. When Seniority Comes Into Play

Sometimes a very senior stylist has trouble adjusting to a newer, younger manager, and as a manager, that is a hard position to be in. What do you do? Try focusing on your younger stylists right off the bat, get their sales up and teach them to be super successful behind the chair. When an older stylist notices a younger stylist totally kicking butt, she might reconsider her feelings toward you as a manager.


8. Give ‘Em What They Want
Get to know your stylists on a personal level. You might not realize that one of your stylists is working extra hours to go on a super anticipated vacation or to pay for braces for their kids, Professional Stock Car Race Driver Carl Edwards told the crowd. (He stopped by the Huddle to chat on the mainstage for a little while on Tuesday afternoon!) When you work to give your employee what they want, most likely they’ll return the favor and work harder for you, and then everyone wins.


9. Assistant Managers AKA Your Besties
As a manager, you need to be on the same page as your assistant managers. Train them and trust them. If they are trained to run the salon correctly, they can help you out with staff meetings, stylist one-on-ones and even hiring new stylists. You and your assistant managers need to work as a unified team.


Along with best practices in the salon and business tips everyone can benefit from, The Huddle also featured “The Look” competition and their big Shave The Day event. “The Look” kicked off Tuesday morning when six stylists competed on stage, giving their model the best on-trend style for today’s modern man. The competition was a live-cutting show where the stylists received only 20 minutes to cut and style their model, and of course, the crowd was loving it. But really, we’re talking rushed-the-stage-and-counted-down-the-minutes LOVING it!


During “The Look’ competition, six stylists got 20 minutes
to create the style that they think embodies the modern man.


Following the competition, artistic presentations from Nioxin, Gibs Grooming, American Crew, Sexy Hair and Paul Mitchell took the stage, showcasing their work and dishing out pointers on ways for managers and stylists both to attract and retain their male clientele.


And then there was the moment everyone had been anticipating all weekend—Shave the Day. This year, there were over 130 volunteers wo went bald and raised more than $108,000 for the St. Baldricks Foundation in the process. Among those who shaved were Sport Clips Founder and CEO Gordon Logan, President Mark Kartarik and Vice President of Operations Gordon Edward Logan.


Volunteers anxiously wait for Shave the Day to begin!


Robert Cromeans posed for a pic with a volunteer
and stylist before shaving began! Robert and David Wilks
served as the Shave the Day official emcees.



And, at the end of this year’s Huddle, Shave the Day hit even closer to home, when Sport Clips revealed one of their own stylists, Nicole Byrd from the San Antonio area, has been helping her young son Derryk battle cancer. The two were on stage during the show when the support from everyone in the room became overwhelming and emotional. “I’m really glad to be bringing awareness to childhood cancer,” Nicole told BTC. “I never thought it would happen to us, and it did. And to be able to bring that awareness to other people is huge.”


Nicole and Derryk take a pic with Dr. Gregory Aune
(a survivor of childhood cancer), Gordon Edward Logan,
Gordon Logan and Mark Kartarik.