By Jenny Backman, Carolina Tan Factory
One of the most important things that I strive to accomplish within my salons is being active. Let me explain what I mean by that. I believe in the old saying, “What isn’t growing is dying.” After actively being in salons for 23 years, it would be very easy for me to run things the same way I’ve always done. I’ve seen and talked with many salon owners that are adamantly ad against changing and conforming; however, their salons are literally dying. You have to be actively growing in order to succeed in managing your salons.
Change it Up
I strive to learn something new every day that I can incorporate into my business proactive. I love having “Aha!” moments and being able to make changes that make a noticeable difference. Attend trade shows, talk to fellow salon owners, stay active with forums and read articles about the industry. More than anything, have an open mind that maybe another person’s way of doing something may be better than yours — and that’s okay! I put changes into place and monitor the outcome. What if the change is a disaster? No reason for panic — learn from it and move on. The point is, continue to be actively changing and growing.
I also try to instill this concept of thinking into my staff. I am always open to ideas and suggestions – we are a team! It’s important for your staff to believe in who they work for, and if they have no say in the day-to-day operations, they will not feel like they are part of the foundation. It is the manager’s responsibility to actively keep daily communication and accountability with their staff. People like order and leadership. A manager should exemplify, in all areas, what they themselves want their staff to look like.
Within the salon itself, you should have daily sales goals and cleaning checklists. It’s important to have a clear vision of what you expect. I also like to keep a copy of the employee handbook on the counter and on our salon’s computer so we can always reference it. We have a “What’s Happening Now” binder that includes all active advertising or promotions we are running. Your staff should be aware of weekly, monthly and yearly goals. There are many software companies out there that will figure this information out for you.
At least once a month, and more frequently for managers, salons should hold meetings. This is a fundamental element to a salon’s success. At meetings, we review the last month, award sales leaders, evaluate salon performances, have a role playing and education segment and discuss ideas and changes going forward, or what I like to call, “action items.”
I don’t believe there is such a thing as being “too small” to follow this type of salon protocol. Take some time to develop a professional business plan by hiring managers that share your vision, and create documents such as checklists, handbooks and manuals that support your salon goals. Now more than ever, your business needs to adopt a plan that supports growth and progression to secure your place in this ever changing industry.