In addition to having to fire everyone and start over after a year and a half into our business, here are a few of many:
In 2008 there was a fire on the roof of the townhouse that housed our first salon. Although we were on the ground floor, there was so much damage from the water used to put out the fire that we decided to close that salon completely and relocate to a larger space. The fire occurred on a busy Friday afternoon and our whole building was evacuated. We had just opened our 50 Bond Street salon across town, and all of a sudden one cab after another started to pull up in front of it, and clients began pouring in with color in their hair, followed by their harried colorists, all making a B-line for the shampoo sinks!
Other stumbling blocks included being unable to get financing from banks at different times when we really needed it, bad hires and promotional decisions, and not fully understanding upfront the expenses associated with operating a salon. We didn’t realize all the various taxes, such as payroll, real estate, and corporate, along with water, all sorts of insurance, constantly fixing and replacing equipment, and never-ending repairs and maintenance on a commercial space … the list goes on and on.
How would you describe your management style? What do you think makes you a good leader, and in what areas would you to improve?
I believe in leading by example. I’m very hard on myself, so I tend to go above and beyond what I may be expected to do as an owner. I’m often the first one in the salon and one of the last to leave, working on three to five clients simultaneously throughout the day while overseeing the salon flow, quality control, and helping my staff with color formulas and any other issues they may have. I don’t manage by e-mail or from an office. I’m in the trenches, working side-by-side with my team, which is also where I am the happiest.
I feel that an area where I can improve is that I’m much harder on myself than I am on my staff. My nature is to be nurturing, which can be a problem if people feel too lax or casual at work. Management is truly a career-long learning experience and I get better at it every day.
How do you set goals for yourself? For example, do you prefer more small, accomplishable goals or fewer large goals? How do you hold yourself accountable?
I have monthly goals for myself and for the business as a whole. I find that in order to achieve them, I need daily goals and even hourly ones, since consistency and stamina are two very important factors for success in our profession.