Salon businesses are centered on making people happy and confident with their looks. The business is all about pampering people and helping them feel less insecure about their bodies. As a result, your salon must be a safe haven—a sanctuary—for everyone who enters it. That necessitates impeccable management skills.
It is tough to be a great salon manager considering that you are probably in charge of everything from inventory, HR, marketing, and basically a million different administrative roles. The good news is that you can cover all the bases by being proactive and by making the right decisions every single day. That’s as opposed to allowing challenges to get out of hand and trying to fix them later. This article will tell you how to do that and gradually grow to become a great salon business manager.
1. Base your recruitment process on your brand persona
Success comes hard as a salon manager if you have a dysfunctional team. That’s why on top of considering their experience and expertise, you have to test whether the people you hire fit well into your brand persona.
What is a brand persona? It is everything that clients love about you as a person and your salon as an institution. It is about your passion, creativity, work ethic, enthusiasm, empathy, attitude, values, listening skills, and personal touch. It is about the atmosphere, ambiance, comfort, and emotional connections you cultivate within your space. It’s all about the character and personality attributes that make up your team, and how team members support and complement one another for the team and individual success.
It’s simple to manage an employee that fits your brand identity. They are easy to train, correct when they are wrong, and rewarded when they are exceptional. They so effortlessly foster strong emotional connections with clients too, making it a little easier for you to manage your clientele.
2. Help employees grow, develop, and stay motivated
Employees who are growing and developing every day have little time for workplace politics. They won’t give you a hard time- mostly good vibes and hard work. Motivated employees will always put the client first and they will do anything to give clients a long list of reasons to come back again.
How do you create a constantly growing, motivated, and developing team?
- Organize regular team-building activities and exercises to improve cohesion in your team.
- Involve them when brainstorming for business growth ideas. Their first-hand interactions with clients will give you better insights into the products, tools, industry events, and promotions you need to invest in. It also makes them own up to any changes that business growth might precipitate along the way, so they are already motivated to change and adapt. On top of that, involving them in such important decisions will help them grow personally and professionally.
- Boost morale in your team through incentives and reward programs.
- Be more of a mentor than a boss. You will need to hone your technical skills and lead from the front in order to be a good mentor. Employees who look up to you as a mentor will work hard to be like you, even without your supervision.
- Train employees to behave and think like business leaders. Sponsor them to attend industry events and refresher courses that teach the latest beauty techniques. Teach them the art of upselling and cross-selling. The bottom line here is to create a team of self-driven leaders and winners.
- Communicate firmly and clearly at all times. Make sure that all of your staff are aware of your salon’s policies, goal, and vision. Unless a piece of information is confidential, your employees deserve to know.
- Regularly analyze staff performance through your salon management software as well as one-on-one meetings. Help them work on their weaknesses without being too lenient or too harsh.
- Train to be a good arbiter. You cannot avoid conflicts in the team no matter how friendly and conducive the environment you’ve created. Conflicts could be between yourself and a client or an employee, between an employee and a client, or between team members. You have to learn to take charge immediately, identify the source of the conflict, and find amicable solutions fast. Try to act impartially especially when you are a party in the conflict.
3. Automate where possible
Invest in reputable salon software and automate all tasks that don’t require your personal touch. If you could automate appointments and bookings, for example, you will be able to focus better on the core aspects of your salon business. Your employees, on the other hand, won’t waste too much time answering calls and replying to SMS/emails.
Everything from inventory management to staff performance analysis, scheduling, and email marketing can be automated with the right software. It will allow you to manage your team, distribute tasks, and stay on top of operations without necessarily being physically present. Your management job becomes a whole lot easier!
4. Be a good time manager
What needs to be done, when, by who, and how? Plan for every key moment of your workday and help your employees do the same. While at it, break down big and overwhelming tasks into smaller deliverables for better time management. And because you never know for sure how your day will pan out, always make your schedule flexible enough to accommodate unexpected tasks, changing priorities, and possible interruptions.
Good managers also manage their time by learning when and to whom to delegate. Create a list of the management tasks you can afford to delegate and actually delegate when the need arises. This keeps you from burning out and maintains your mental health, allowing you to manage anything your team or clients throw at you.
5. Work on client retention
Clients will want to come back and spend more in your salon if your services are impeccable. You are good to go in that regard if you manage your employees well. But there is much more you can do as a salon manager to improve your customer appeal and retention:
- Create loyalty programs that reward repeat customers with free treatments, discount coupons, and free merchandise. Try to make your offers as personal as possible, e.g. giving birthday discounts to your loyal clients.
- Create a referral points system where loyal clients gain points upon referring paying customers to your salon. These points should be easily redeemable for subsidized services and products at your salon.
- Run a membership program where members get your services at discounted rates. Membership increases their loyalty and boosts your bottom line by encouraging members to visit your salon more often than they normally would.
- Handle disgruntled clients with care. Never lose your cool no matter how aggressive an unhappy customer could be. Be patient, listen to them, empathize with them, and try to explain the situation in a calm manner. Make it clear to them that they are welcome whenever they wish to visit again.
Your success as a manager boils down to hiring, retraining, and mentoring the best of the best stylists in your area. That is how you can ensure that clients become the best versions of themselves upon visiting your salon. You must, therefore, create a work environment that attracts the best talents and gives them enough room for creativity and innovation. That done, invest in the right tools and products needed for optimal performance. That’s how you’ll get your salon management career started on the right foot.
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