With a worldwide reputation build on more than 30 years of professional hairdressing experience, Antony Whitaker is the ultimate educator and motivator. After a successful career as a stylist, trainer and creative director at Vidal Sassoon, he opened his own salons in Australia, winning accolades including Australian Hairdresser of the Year twice. More recently, Whitaker has developed as a passionate and inspiring business presenter taking his message to more than 250,000 hairdressers in more than 40 countries. His series of GROW books has set new benchmarksfor business excellence. Learn more about GROW and SHOP for his books at SHOPMODERNSALON.com.
At almost every seminar I give I always ask delegates what are the three top challenges facing them and the answers are pretty much the same everywhere I go, be it Mumbai, London, Shanghai or New York. In descending order of priority the third biggest challenge is staff, the second is staff and the number one biggest challenge facing salons across the world is… yes you got it, staff.
The success of any salon revolves around its staff yet it is a constant challenge: from finding them, training them, motivating them, keeping them to inspiring them. And I use the term ‘staff’ purposely, because just employing a group of people doesn’t automatically make them a team.
In my new book, the third in my highly successful GROW Your Business series, I have focused on TEAM and how to grow it from a disparate group of individuals into a cohesive, motivated and inspired team. It is a tough one, and it needs constant vigilance.
So what are the first steps to growing that successful team? A successful team must share common goals, purpose, vision and values and if you can start off with a group of people whose goals, purpose, vision and values are aligned you are on to a winner. Sadly, that rarely happens. So you need to make it happen and here’s how:
· Understand right from day one that you have a wide mix of people in your employ. From the outset your business will be rife with differences of opinion and conflicting agenda. Understanding this is the very essence of what makes a team work.
· Accept that you are the glue that will bring together these differences and that only you can mould people into a team through strong, visionary leadership.
· Don’t expect to have all the answers or that success will come easily. Have the courage to begin, to risk, to challenge the status quo and if/when you fail, have the courage to get up and try again, and again and again.
· Recognise that everyone on the team has something to contribute.
· Try to be objective (most of the time). Take ownership of your own weaknesses and those of your business rather than look to blame someone else for their problems and their shortcomings.
Ultimately, the first step to growing your team is accepting that every team needs a strong leader, and you are the leader. So my challenge to you is… start now on becoming the leader you need to be.
About Antony Whitaker: Antony Whitaker is the ultimate educator and motivator, with a worldwide reputation based on more than 30 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry. An award-winning stylist-turned-educator, business coach and best-selling author, he has taken his message on management, money, marketing, team-building and retailing to more than 250,000 hairdressers in 40-plus countries. His latest book, GROW 3: TEAM, the next instalment in his GROW series, has just been published and is available online at www.growmysalonbusiness.com You can also sign up for his regular free newsletter packed full of tips, hints and lessons on how to run a successful, profitable business. Follow Antony on www.facebook.com/growmysalonbusiness and www.twitter.com/antonywhitaker