Salon Owners: 4 Common Mistakes & How To Fix Them
4 Ways To Improve Your Business
Are you thinking about taking your career to the next level by opening a salon? Avoid these four common mistakes salon owners make and check out several helpful solutions straight from the pros!
BTC spent two days at the SEVEN haircare Salon Takeover Event, a hands-on educational event for color, cutting, styling and business at SEVEN Salon right outside of Seattle, Wash. Attendees flew in from all over the country for the opportunity to share experiences, learn together and support one other. This “open source” mentality is part of SEVEN’s unique identity that fosters a collaborative atmosphere and community, and engages every type of salon owner—here’s what we learned!
Mistake #1: Not asking enough questions in the interview process.
Solution: Building a successful salon environment starts with hiring the right people. “Don’t assume that any stylist is good, neat or responsible and always ask a lot of questions,” warns Tod Alan (@todalanhair), the Creative Director of Azure Hair Studio in Boise, Idaho—a large salon with 17 stylists. “At the end of every interview, I will walk them to their car and look inside,” shares Tod. “The way somebody keeps their car is a reflection on how they’ll keep their chair.” Then, he hires based on the quality of their work, sense of humor and responsibility—oh, and if that dashboard is clean!
Mistake #2: Failing to take care of business and support employees.
Solution: It’s your business, so set up guidelines for salon success. Lou Cinquini (@loucinquini), the owner of Lucy’s Salon & Spa in Roseville, Calif., recommends creating ground rules for herself and her employees that cultivate a culture everyone will benefit from! Here’s how:
- Be A Provider: When blonding is your salon’s most-requested service, long color appointments are always on the books. Lou stocks her salon with fresh groceries and snacks to keep clients happy and stylists energized behind the chair.
- Dress Code: Set guidelines for employees and don’t be afraid to say no. Because clients are coming into the salon for fashion and beauty advice, Lou’s dress code is this: Express your personal style…but if you would wear an outfit to the gym or bed, don’t wear it to work!
- Switch It Up: Keep clients and stylists interested by frequently switching things up in the salon. Every few months, Lou recommends moving around furniture, adding a new photo, redoing the wallpaper, etc. to keep it fresh—this will improve client retention and inspire your stylists.
Mistake #3: Sacrificing the salon’s vision for an individual’s ego.
Solution: Create a no-compromise culture and only hire stylists who are aligned with your salon’s mission and vibes. “Our company has a vision and a mission,” shares Nathan Creger (@nathanandrewstyle), the owner of Salon AUDACE in Norman, Okla. “So, we have a no-compromise culture that makes every employee a part of that vision.” To make sure that vision is working day-to-day, as an owner, it’s important to delegate tasks so you have the necessary support system to run the salon.
Salon owners from different cities and backgrounds traveled to Wash. for two days of hands-on education at the luxe SEVEN Salon!
Mistake #4: Trying to grow too quickly.
Solution: Invest in your salon’s future by taking the time to cultivate a team-oriented environment. “When you’re at the start of a new experience like opening a salon, you just want to dive in,” shares Elizabeth Jacobson (@vive.salon), the owner of Vive Salon in Horace, N.D. “Instead, take your time and trust the process.”
How can you maintain steady growth? Nathan’s salon sets both daily and weekly goals, and has a one-hour weekly meeting to discuss and reflect. “Hitting our goals allows us to give raises, bring education into the salon and send our stylists out of town for educational opportunities,” shares Nathan.
Elizabeth brought her employee Kirby Camas (@kirby_vivesalon) all the way from North Dakota for the educational event!