SALON TODAY is always on the lookout for salon business best practices and methods that help owners and managers foster growth. The latest on our reading list are the insightful articles featured on avedameansbusiness.com. Scroll through these five articles that particularly caught our eye—they offer inventive ideas from salon owners on how to elevate stylists and help them advance in their career.
1. Know your stylists and decode how their actions reflect their needs.
As millennials join the ranks of salon professionals, don’t automatically believe the negative attributes with which they are unfairly associated, like being hungry for attention or needing instant gratification. If millennials show behaviors on the job that are different from stylists of other generations, it is important to understand why and read between the lines.
“Millennials have been engaging in social media crafting their whole lives,” says Stefanie Fox, hairstylist, owner of Canvas Salon & Skin Bar in Powell, Ohio and a millennial herself. “Social media crafting is the act of making your life look like you want it to look—for example, only posting flattering photos or pictures of vacation on Facebook. It is deliberately constructing your social media content to control the way others view your life.”
The downside to social media crafting is everyone else’s life looks perfect. It causes people to look in the mirror and see their lives as all wrong. This translates to how they view their salon owners. Stylitss don’t see all the hard work—the struggle and failures—that’s underneath being an owner. And then, a vicious cycle of misunderstanding ensues. The stylist feels discontented, the owner sees attitude. The owner feels overwhelmed, the stylist feels they aren’t good enough.
When an owner sees the stereotypical Millennial behavior, Fox says to look for the underlying meanings:
Entitlement = Collaborate with me
No commitment = Build a connection with me
Unrealistic expectations = Align with me, help me see how I’m part of this, too
2. Show stylists their potential and help them reach it.
Stylist Joey Wesolowski of Pyure Salon in Boynton Beach, Florida entered a referral contest through The Salon People which encouraged stylists to get the most referrals possible in the last quarter of 2015. At the end of the contest, one winner would receive $1,000 and free Aveda education for all of 2016. In the past, Pyure owner Luca Boccia used 80-90 new guests as a benchmark for what his stylists were capable of achieving in referrals in a year, but Wesolowski blew that standard out of the water.
Wesolowski got into the routine of always handing out referral cards to every client, much to Boccia’s approval.
“We want them to make it such a habit that they never think about it—it’s just part of the job,” says Boccia of his staff. “Marketing is part of what they do. You can’t grow if you don’t market.”
In the three months leading to the competition’s end, Wesolowski passed out 479 cards and received 69 of them back, a 15-percent rate of referral. He won the contest, but the real reward was the 69 new guests.
“In 2014, Joey produced $60,000,” Boccia says. “In 2015, he produced $91,000. You multiply 69 new guests coming in times the ticket price, and that’s a lot of revenue. But you don’t grow $31,000 in a year by sitting idle.”
3. Build a culture that makes stylists comfortable and motivated to live up to expectations.
Van Council, co-owner of seven Van Michael Salons in the Atlanta, Georgia area and the new artistic director of Intercoiffure, took the stage at Serious Business 2016 and revealed the secret to his success: a culture he has carefully defined. And most importantly, he expects each of his employees to uphold the Van Michael culture and hold their peers accountable to it as well.
Council relies on four main principles to guide his culture:
1. Integrity – Council ensures that his stylists know that he believes in their abilities and they can trust him to make decisions that put the team first.
2. Education — A training program and advanced classes play a big role at Van Michael salons.
3. Creativity — Van Michael salons participate in many fashion shows as well as the North American Hairstyling Awards, with Van Michael stylists having received the title of NAHA Hairdresser of the Year four times. “You can’t do art wrong,” Council says.
4. Competition — Van Michael stylists work to build their books and increase revenue through an app, ZeeZor that gives access to prebooking, client tickets, retail and other stats. Council and his management team coach, observe and motivate to keep competition friendly, but thriving.
4. Use new talent to the greatest advantage and involve the whole team in goals for growth.
Rickey Barcheers, stylist and coach/educator at Brieshi Salon and Spa in Rogers, Arkansas, set a goal to increase his growth by 20 percent over the previous year and figured the best way to do it was to see more clients. He first tried shortening appointment lengths, and then using an assistant for blowouts, but neither worked. Then, he was advised to use fresh talent in the salon as assistants, rather than relying on one dedicated person. So, he adapted the idea and it has worked. For color clients, Barcheers applies the color and then sends them to an available assistant to process and get their blowout. The result? Last year Barcheers saw 20 percent growth from an increase in clients. Now he’s on to new opportunities for growth.
“I’m putting myself on the same track as our level-one stylists—18 percent growth,” Barcheers says. “They’re still building their books and have room to grow, but I’m going to have to get a little more creative.”
He tells ambitious stylists to try different methods until they find something that works for them.
“I would advise a stylist to meet with his or her manager or salon owner and look at a breakdown of their numbers to see where the biggest opportunity for growth is,” he says. “Then choose one thing and don’t get overwhelmed. Focus on the right number instead of 17 different numbers at once.”
5. Help stylists grow faster by being connected to industry trends and client needs and teaching stylists how to be connected, too.
Eric Leonardos, a stylist and makeup artist at Planet Salon in Los Angeles, is used to clients that want it NOW. He has learned that many clients put a huge premium on being able to access him directly—whenever they want. He recognizes that fast, easy accessibility is the way of the world and knows he needs to be savvy and adaptable. So adaptable, that he gives clients his personal cell number to book appointments and have direct communication with him.
“I give my number to everyone who asks for it,” Leonardos says. “I’m willing to go that far to be successful. I’ll sacrifice a little of my own personal space to do that. I moved to LA to have a certain type of career and I’m willing to do what it takes to get that.”
Now, Leonardos’ current clients who have his cell phone number are quick to share his contact information with potential new clients who can then text Leonardos and be booked for an appointment. The result of all this personalized attention? An increase in new clientele for Leonardos.