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What Makes a Good Salon Manager?

Jamie Newman | May 21, 2018 | 6:01 AM
Scott Buchanan moderates the owner/manager panel. From left to right: Van Council, Susan Dykstra, Monty Howard, Megan Jasper and Frank Westerbeke.
Photo By Jamie Newman

During the Manager Match-Up panel during the Data-Driven Salon summit, dynamic salon owners and their salon managers shared strategies for recruiting, training and retaining talented managers. 

Moderator Scott Buchanan of Scott J Salons, in New York, New York, asked what traits make for the best salon manager.

Van Council, co-owner of Van Michael Salons in Atlanta, Georgia, said his salons' CEO, Susan Dykstra relates to others and is a good communicator, organizer and planner with great follow through, and is very strategic.

Dykstra added that a good manager is a person that can continue to be guardian of the salon's culture.

Monty Howard, general manager of Salon Visage in Knoxville, Tennessee, said for managerial positions, Salon Visage likes to hire from within the company. 

"If you already know the culture, you can learn to do the other stuff," Howard said. "We look for people to lead without the position. Do you have the right heart? Do you care? Do you give? Do you have heart? You can’t teach that."

Frank Westerbeke, co-owner of Gadabout SalonSpas in Tucson, Arizona, echoed that sentiment.

"[A great manager] has a big heart and loves everybody," Westerbeke said. "Our retention is really strong. We like to bring more people to the table and love everyone."

Gadabout SalonSpa's director of operations and marketing, Megan Jasper, said that a manager cares about every single person on their time, not about themselves.

"Leaders are there to watch other people’s success," Jasper said.

Buchanan, a salon owner himself, wrapped up the question by tying each salon owner/manager duo's thoughts together.

"I love the idea of growing from within," he said. "It’s the heart, it’s the love, it’s the passion. The trade I can teach you but I can’t teach you how to respect another human."

Originally posted on Salon Today.

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