Joanne Magana, lead educator for the Eufora Salon Owner Network.
Joanne Magana, lead educator for the Eufora Salon Owner Network.

As the lead educator for ESON (Eufora Salon Owner Network), Joanne Magana traveled the country over the past 10 years talking to salon owners about the value of establishing a solid culture.

“I was surprised to find so many salons that don’t have a clear vision for their business, or who have never drafted a mission statement,” she says. “When you don’t have those established, it’s much harder to attract clients or successful talent because you can’t easily communicate who you are or why you opened a business.”

According to Magana, a Vision Statement is a statement of where you want to take your business. While a Mission Statement is aclear, concise statement of what you do every day and how you do it.

Magana believes some owners resist the process because they believe mission statements have to be a big, grand gesture. “But you can start with a few bullet points on a sheet of paper. Who are you? Who do you want to be? What do you want to provide? What do you want your team to say about you? What do you want clients to say about you? What are your personal and professional values?” Magana says. “Write down the answers and start connecting the dots. Then, involve your team in the process."

Once you have a mission and vision statement in place, you can use it to guide every business decision, from what services you should add to your menu to which job candidate you should hire to fill a position. “They should energize and inspire your business, and set a clear path to your desired outcome,” Magana explains.

Once a vision and mission are in place, it’s important to involve your team in activities that help shape the culture around those values. Magana suggest the following activities:

The Team Vision Board/Professional Vision Boards

Creative people frequently connect to visuals more strongly than words. This activity helps the team shape the culture of a salon around its vision and mission statements in a visual way.

  • Write down the organization’s Mission/Vision statements on a board.
  • Give your team 10 minutes to talk about what they would like to achieve in the next 12 months. Write the ideas on a flip chart.
  • Provide a stack of old magazines. Have the team search for images or words that represent their chosen objectives and put them into a collage on the salon’s vision board.
  • Have each team member make a smaller one of their own professional goals and ask them to present it to their teammates.

Similar and Different

It’s easy for team members to forget the similarities that they share as a team. This activity helps reinforce the team bond.

  • Form groups between 5 to 8 people
  • Ask each group to come up with as many similarities within their team as possible in five minutes. Ask one person from each team to make a list of the similarities. The similarities should not be too obvious.
  • Ask one person from each team to read their list.
  • Then, give the team five minutes to list one or two ways that each team member is different from the others in the group.  
  • Have someone from each team read the differences and ask the other teams to try and guess which team member is being referred to.

SWOT Analysis

This evaluation helps connect individuals to the company’s vision, mission and goals by seeing the organization as a whole.

  • Write four columns on the board labeled Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. With the team, list three to five items in each category. They should be clearly defined and specific to your salon business. Rely on facts, and not opinions. You also can ask team members to come up and write down each item.
  • As a team, come up with an action plan to address any weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Celebrate the strengths and come up with ways to make them stronger.
  • Do this activity once a quarter.

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