The beauty industry, with all its glitz and glamour, is not as simple to break into as many imagine. Opening and running a salon takes hard work, dedication and perseverance.
Unfortunately, many salons around the country are failing — not because the owners lack these attributes, but because they’re missing the resources and support necessary for success.
How Can Salons Experience Continued Success?
As an industry, we need to do better. And we can. It will take a little change, and it starts with one salon at a time. Here’s how you can prevent your business from getting flushed down the drain.
Provide Stylist Training And Support
Staff turnover is a huge issue within the beauty industry. It’s nearly impossible to succeed as a salon when stylists and other employees are constantly turning over.
Many brand-new, fresh-faced stylists come into the beauty industry with stars in their eyes. They’re blinded to the harsh realities that exist in the salon world. Take low salaries, for example. The average stylist makes less than $30,000 a year — not exactly glamorous pay.
It’s important to educate new stylists thoroughly right away. Set realistic expectations, and then continue training periodically so employees stay up to date on the latest trends. Help them get excited about the beauty industry and they’ll be more likely to stick around.
Focus On Business Education
Often, salon owners are beauty experts but know little about running a business. This is like sending a lawyer into court with no evidence. It will only lead to failure; after all, excellence starts at the top.
How do we combat this epidemic? As a salon owner, make sure you not only educate your staff on techniques but also yourself on best business practices. It might mean taking a business class online or attending a few seminars. Whatever method you choose, take the time to invest in your own education in order to ensure salon success.
Make Your Salon A Great Place To Work
Give employees a reason to stick around. Plan group activities to foster a sense of community, offer incentives for a job well-done, etc. When the environment of your salon is on-point, business will naturally thrive.
If you want to work for a thriving salon with an amazing culture, we invite you to learn more about The Salon by Lora Brown. We are always looking for enthusiastic individuals who are dedicated to their careers.
There are several things that clients should keep in mind when sitting down in a salon chair. However, the road goes both ways.
There are also guidelines that stylists should follow, to create the best possible experience for clients. Here are just a few.
6 Etiquette Tips For Hairstylists
1. Don't Be Late
When a client is late for an appointment, it can throw off your schedule and your mood for the day. The same is true if a stylist isn't on time. Let your client know as soon as possible if you're going to be late for their appointment. Always apologize for the inconvenience and offer to reschedule when necessary.
2. Give Clients Your Undivided Attention
Clients are paying for a new look, but they're also expecting a great salon experience. Part of that is interacting with an attentive staff. When working with a client, don't let yourself get sidetracked or walk away from the chair to deal with someone else. If the client is getting multiple services, stay in the salon until they're finished to be sure they're pleased with the final results.
3. Be Receptive But Honest
When a client comes into the salon with unrealistic expectations, it's your responsibility to hear them out and offer suggestions. Maybe the style isn't possible with your client's hair. Maybe the cut or color wouldn't be an ideal choice. Maybe they're just asking for something that would be impossible for you to create. Be upfront and honest and start a conversation about alternatives.
4. Keep It Professional
For many clients, being in the salon is an opportunity to unwind and sometimes to vent. While you always want to be polite and responsive when a client is talking, avoid sensitive topics and keep gossip to a minimum, especially gossip about the salon. Sharing too much information will quickly make the client uncomfortable.
5. Remember That You're At Work
The salon floor during work hours is not the time or place for personal calls or catching up with social media. Put your cell phone away while you're working, to avoid looking rude and unprofessional. Remember to give clients your full attention.
6. Find The Right Salon
One step toward being a great stylist is finding a salon that's the right fit. Contact The Salon by Lora Brown for more information about job openings, and to decide if it's the right place for you to put your skills to use.
Humans by nature tend to flock to other like-minded humans. This tendency can be beneficial in many situations, but in the workplace, it can lead to cliques.
Because salons are rather personal establishments, with stylists often forming long-term relationships with their clients, it’s especially easy for salon employees to fall into the clique habit.
What’s The Problem With Cliques Among Salon Employees?
While you certainly want to promote friendships among your salon employees, it’s important to discourage the forming of any strong groups that exclude others. These kinds of relationships lead to gossip and conflict in the workplace, which is detrimental to business. Here are a few more reasons to prevent salon cliques.
Open communication is key. Let your team know your door is always open should a problem arise. It’s also important for management to avoid becoming involved with any one clique in the salon. Owners and managers should treat everyone with equal respect and avoid showing favoritism. Leading by example is especially important when it comes to preventing cliques at work.
In addition, be sure to establish a firm chain of command and specific steps toward promotions that every employee is aware of and trained on right from the start. Doing so keeps stylists from believing that “getting in” with the right crowd will result in professional growth.
Another sure way to encourage teamwork and discourage cliques is by holding regular staff meetings. During these meetings, do more than simply go over numbers and objectives. Devote a few minutes each meeting to open the floor for comments. Then after each comment, go around the room and allow every employee the chance to suggest a solution. This opens the door for salon-wide teamwork.
Take a look at this list for more ideas on breaking out of the clique environment:
See how booth rental salons and commission salons compare by downloading our free infographic!
When it comes to running a hair salon, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether to hire employees or work with independent contractors.
While each method has its perks, each also comes with its own set of downfalls.
Here are the major differences between commission-based employment and booth rental agreements.
What Is The Commission Salon Model?
The commission-based setup is one in which you, as the salon owner, hire employees to take care of your clients. This is a performance-based model, meaning pay is based on results. Salon employees who work on commission don’t receive a base pay.
The good thing about the commission model is that you’re getting what you pay for. There’s no dishing out money for someone to stand around and look pretty. It’s a great way to encourage your employees to help build your client base and provide excellent service.
As an added bonus, hiring employees instead of independent contractors builds company morale. Everyone’s working toward the same goal, which leads to growth for your salon.
With operation costs continually rising, it’s difficult for many salons to offer a competitive commission-based pay. This means it may be a challenge to find quality employees, and turnover is often higher with the commission model. Employees leave to start their own businesses, believing they’ll make more money independently.
What Is The Booth Rental Salon Model?
When you offer space in your salon to beauty professionals on a rental basis, you’re hiring independent contractors. These people aren’t your employees but, rather, your colleagues.
Independent contractors are responsible for handling their own taxes, clients, paperwork and supply needs. This saves you money because you aren’t paying salaries, and the overhead costs don’t land solely on you. It also prevents you from needing to supply benefits like health insurance and retirement plans.
Additionally, you can rest assured that your salon will stay busy, because your stylists are business owners themselves and want to grow their own client bases. In fact, it was reported in 2014 that nearly half of all beauty industry licensees are independent contractors.
While you can certainly implement general salon-wide guidelines, you aren’t able to control exactly what goes on between stylists and clients when you rent booth spaces. This type of setting can also occasionally lead to a competitive environment within the salon, rather than a teamwork-oriented one.
Whichever method you choose, be sure you have a thorough understanding of the differences between employees and independent contractors. The Salon by Lora Brown is a commission-based salon. Our salon culture encourages healthy competition, teamwork, dedication, and most importantly, education.
To inquire about becoming a successful stylist, contact The Salon by Lora Brown and see what our own stylists have to say about working in commission salons and booth rental salons by visiting our Employment Page.
See the pros and cons of booth rental salons and commission salons by downloading our free infographic!
Culture. The word is tossed about like a hot potato in the corporate world. But it’s not just business mumbo-jumbo — a good culture is the best recipe for a successful hair salon. In that recipe are several ingredients that come together in perfect harmony to create an enjoyable salon work experience.
Today, we’ll discuss five of these ingredients that are sure to please the palate.
What Are the 5 Secret Ingredients to Success?
Culture is made up of your business’s core values that influence the way you interact with coworkers and clients. While culture can be anything you desire, here are five crucial ingredients that should always be added to your mixing bowl.
It’s easy to become competitive in a salon environment when it’s run on the booth-rental model. Stylists compete against each other for clients, fostering resentment toward one another. This hurts the salon. But a commission-based salon encourages stylists and employees to work together for the greater good, which results in better employee retention.
2. Five-Star Customer Service
This one’s a no-brainer, but if you don’t consciously work toward it, it may fall through the cracks. Clients are the single most important aspect of your beauty business. No matter what else is going on, if they’re happy and continue to come in and refer others, then you’ll see success.
3. Continuous Training
The beauty industry is constantly evolving, and stylists need to evolve with it. Honing your skill and keeping up with trends are two of the best ways to stay in business. Education really is key. Hair shows, workshops, and even in-house training should be an integral part of any hair salon.
4. Shared Goals
While stylists should certainly set personal goals for their own careers, it’s important for all members of a salon team to come together and create a set of shared goals. This gives the salon as a whole direction and purpose. When everyone knows they’re working toward the same end result, they’re more likely to encourage each other.
5. Clear Guidelines
When developing or revamping your salon culture, be sure to write down your values in the form of guidelines that every team member can easily access at any time. For example, if one of your values is education, include a company-wide guideline that requires stylists to attend at least one training workshop each month.
What Does the Salon by Lora Brown Offer Employees?
At The Salon by Lora Brown, each and every member of our team is valued and treated with respect. We encourage our staff to advance their careers, and we provide tangible ways for them to do so, such as regular education and training. To learn more, take a look around our website or apply now.
The culture of a salon can hinder or help its success. Do you know your salon’s culture? Maybe you don’t have one at all.
Determining where you’re at in terms of culture—and then creating the type of environment you desire—can make or break your business.
Why is Salon Culture So Important?
Before we dive into the value of salon culture, let’s talk about its meaning.
Basically, the culture of a business is a combination of its shared beliefs, values, and attitudes. Whether you realize it or not, your salon has a culture. The very lack of a culture results in a negative culture.
So what’s the big deal with salon culture? Why should you spend valuable time working to create one or finding a salon home that has a positive culture? It’s simple: To thrive in the two most important areas of business: client satisfaction and employee satisfaction.
Happy clients are returning clients. And returning clients are referring clients. As you likely know, word of mouth is the most effective method of advertising. When all team members are in line with the desired culture of a salon, things run more smoothly and clients receive excellent service. Clients can sense when employees are on the same page versus when there’s chaos in a salon.
Nobody enjoys going into a negative or stressful work environment day after day. If the culture of the salon where you work is on point, then the entire atmosphere is more positive. You’ll actually look forward to showing up for work.
What’s the Culture Like at The Salon by Lora Brown?
At The Salon by Lora Brown, we understand the importance of creating and maintaining a positive salon culture. We focus on developing our employees’ careers, giving each team member equal opportunities to continue their education and enhance their levels of success.
In addition, our salon follows the commission-based model rather than the booth-rental model. This encourages camaraderie and support for one another, and discourages competition.
To further promote a healthy work environment for all our team members, we follow these 10 rules that represent our culture:
You’ve heard business gurus spout the benefits of creating an ideal company culture, but what does that mean exactly?
Simply put, the culture of a business—in this case, your hair salon—is a combination of the beliefs and behaviors that affect the way management and employees conduct business and interact with one another.
Developing a healthy company culture has numerous benefits, including:
What are the Steps for Improving Hair Salon Culture?
Unfortunately, there’s no right answer. Each salon, just like its owners and employees, is unique. What works for one may not work for another. That said, here are four ways to get headed in the right direction.
1. Establish Core Values
Before you can begin working on the culture of your salon, you need to define and understand your core beliefs as an individual. Once you’ve gotten that figured out, come together with your team to discuss these values and put them in writing.
The values of your salon should be ingrained in everything you do—from daily operations to company events. Ensure that the actions of you and your employees stay aligned with the values you’ve determined by reviewing your mission and values statements at each staff meeting and by having these statements listed where they’re easily visible to your team.
2. Improve Communication
Many times, the culture of a salon suffers because employees aren’t great at communication with each other or with clients. Believe it or not, learning basic communication techniques solves a lot of problems within organizations. Consider bringing in a communication specialist to hold workshops where team members learn to communicate effectively.
3. Eliminate Gossip with Conflict Resolution
Gossip is a company culture killer. Once things start flying around the rumor mill, all kinds of things can happen—including the loss of valuable employees. Be sure your staff knows that your door is always open to discuss any issues. And when you’re approached with a problem, try to resolve it according to the values you have put in place.
4. Give it Time
Improving company culture, especially if you’re struggling with it right now, is no easy task. Put these steps into practice, and then be patient. Continuing practicing what you’ve learned and things will begin to turn around.
At The Salon by Lora Brown, you’ll find an exceptional company culture that revolves around teamwork, strong business values and education. Reach out to us to learn how we’re different from the rest!
We're always looking for talented, motivated hair stylists. Apply for a career with The Salon by Lora Brown today!
Many hair stylists believe that receiving a cosmetology degree or some other initial training is adequate to build a career on. While this preliminary step is important for developing your skills and landing a job, it shouldn’t be the end of your education.
Whether for personal or professional reasons, lifelong education is the key to success. This is especially true in the beauty field, where trends and customer needs are in constant ebb and flow mode.
Still not convinced that continuing education makes a difference in your salon career? Here are three concepts that will change your mind.
In an industry that’s always evolving, hair stylists must stay in the know about current styles and techniques. It’s all too easy to succumb to the monotony of the day-to-day and never venture outside of your comfort zone. But that’s the fastest way to lose customers.
Participating in regular continuing education — both in your salon and at outside events — keeps you relevant to new and existing customers. With so many outlets to learn and stay educated on hair and beauty trends, there’s really no excuse to not stay in the know.
Keeping the Spark Alive
Just as with any career, burnouts happen in the hair industry. Maybe it’s a result of working with the same people day in and day out, or maybe it happens because you lose your passion. You forget why you began this journey in the first place.
One benefit of attending trade shows and hair events is that you become surrounded by new people who remind you what you love about your career. This reignites your spark, making you a better stylist as a result.
Honing Your Craft
Working on a client’s hair is generally not the time to experiment with new techniques. But without experimentation, how can you possibly learn new things?
Educational events allow you the opportunity to try things you may not ordinarily have the chance to try. You can even fail with no repercussions. This kind of freedom releases your inhibitions and allows the creative juices to flow.
Education and The Salon by Lora Brown
If you’re looking for a salon to call home that embraces new trends and knows the importance of education, look no further than The Salon by Lora Brown. Owner Lora Brown is passionate about teaching each of her team members to be top-notch stylists and businesspeople. We provide hands-on training and education for our stylists every day, in addition to opportunities for them to attend hair events, shows, and more.
At The Salon by Lora Brown, our culture revolves around education. When you’re ready to trade your job in for a rewarding career, give us a call or apply online.
Successful salon owners know the secret to success is attracting new customers and turning them into long-term clients. Those clients are gold when it comes to referring friends, family members, and business associates to the salon. That's why it is so frustrating to see a customer walk out and never come back, especially one who has been coming to the salon for a long time. The challenge is to figure out why a client has not returned and to take measures to win him or her back.
Strategies For Winning Clients Back (And Keeping Them)
Each of these strategies will help you win customers back while retaining the ones who are still with the salon. For more information on client retention and career success, join the team at The Salon by Lora Brown in Amarillo, Texas. We offer advanced training to all of our stylists so they can build their salon business skills.
The term “professional” is used frequently to describe how employees and customers are expected to act in a place of business. While it seems straightforward enough to show up on time, get your work done, and wear the right clothes, most people don't actually know what it means to be a professional beyond these basics. It's important to go one step further and think about professionalism within your given field.
As A Salon Stylist, How Can I Step Up My Professionalism?
When clients go to a high-end salon, they're expecting more than a great haircut or flawless wax job. Being greeted in a friendly manner when they check in, being shown into a waiting area and offered something to drink right away, and being able to relax with soothing music all contribute to the clients' overall experience at the salon. As a stylist, getting the little elements of your job right, such as maintaining a neat hair cutting station and not keeping your clients waiting, go a long way.
Is ‘Dress For The Job You Want’ Applicable In The 21st Century?
The phrase “dress for the job you want” gets used far more often than it should. “Dress for the clients you want” is more appropriate for salon stylists. When you meet with a client for the first time, your attitude and appearance make a huge difference. You want your personality, outfit, and accessories to reflect your level of professionalism. It may not seem fair that a potential client would assume that you'll give her a bad haircut because your outfit is old and tired, but many clients will make that assumption. Use your clothing to express your personality while also impressing your clients.
Is It Possible To Be Professional And Creative At The Same Time?
One of the key reasons many people have grown wary of the term professional is because they associate it with being boring. They think of men and women wearing outdated suits and answering phones in a stuffy fashion, and they want to run the other way.
As a salon stylist, creativity is key to success. Clients expect to receive modern, versatile haircuts and other salon services (i.e. manicures, waxes) that boost their confidence and help them further their personal and professional lives. Staying up-to-date on trends in hairdressing and fashion will allow you to cater to your clients accordingly.
The Salon by Lora Brown is a chic, urban, progressive salon in Amarillo. We are always looking for new stylists to join our team. To learn more about our salon, contact us today.
Lora Brown is a master stylist and the owner of The Salon by Lora Brown. She has worked in the salon industry for 30 years.