Being able to take the step from working as a hairdresser to owning your own hair salon is an exciting one. But just like you had to work for years to perfect your craft working with clients, you won’t necessarily know how to manage salon staff overnight.
Being responsible for an entire business and a whole team of staff means you need to be across all kinds of daily issues to keep your team happy, your clients well looked after, your suppliers taken care of, and your business profitable.
While everyone is unique, and you’ll find your management style with experience, some things will just make running a salon more efficient. Let’s get into our must-know tips on how to manage salon staff and make your business thrive.
Set expectations that everyone understands
If you’ve ever felt micromanaged when you have a client in the chair, you know how distracting and unproductive it can be.
No one likes to be hovered over in their role, but you want to ensure that a certain standard is upheld at the salon. The solution? Make your expectations standard procedure, and put this procedure in place. Communicate what’s expected of every staff member clearly, and reinforce this for all staff members.
Then, trust that your salon staff understand the procedure and give them the space they need to really be creative. You’d be surprised how far trust and a good beeline procedure can go to bring out the best in your hairdressers.
Be the change and act like a leader
Instead of micromanaging and just telling your salon staff what behaviour and standards you expect, it can be a lot more powerful to simply demonstrate them through your own actions. If you want every client to be greeted and offered a drink before their service, never skip this step yourself. If you expect workstations to be clean and ready for the next day before going home, make sure to tidy up with them.
By showing that you hold yourself to the same targets as your salon staff, your team members will be motivated to follow your positive example.
Make well-defined, achievable targets
Think practically about what kinds of targets your salon needs to meet to be profitable. Once you understand these targets, you can break them down into individual-based sales and performance targets that challenge your staff and will help you get to where you need to be.
In general, targets that are challenging, clearly defined and achievable are the best at motivating employees and creating a positive work culture.
Outsource to technology where it makes sense
Management and ordering systems cost money, and we understand the temptation to skip this outlay in favour of phones and a booking book. The problem is, no matter how great your reception staff and stylists are, leaving the success of your business at the mercy of scribbled Post-it notes and human error will always create problems.
Salon management software can transform your business simply by reducing the amount of time your salon staff will need to spend on administrative tasks. By automating appointment reminders, clearly showing stylists’ schedules and setting up recurring appointments for regular clients, you will make your, your staff and clients’ lives much easier.
You can integrate inventory and ordering software along with the client-facing side of things to make sure you never miss out on a re-order from a wholesaler again. Additionally, your customers can conveniently schedule bookings into available times with their favourite salon staff right from their phone and without needing to check for availabilities.
Be proactive about workplace culture
Your salon will organically develop a culture with or without you, so create a place where you and your staff will love to come to work every day. This means dealing with feedback and issues openly and honestly, encouraging regular team-building sessions, engaging your staff to offer advice and suggestions on improving the salon and empowering them to be a part of the solutions to problems you're facing.
Don’t tolerate gossiping, factions or bullying and reinforce the importance of including all staff members.
Retain staff with training and career development pathways
Training is an investment in your salon and staff, offering plenty of benefits. Regular training keeps your stylists up to date with the latest developments and services in colouring, cutting, styling and hair extensions, allowing you to cater to a client base that is exposed to the latest hair trends online all the time. Training also empowers your staff and demonstrates that you respect and care about nurturing their talents, extending their skill base and seeing them as a valuable team member.
Along with regular training for all staff members, make it clear that each stylist has pathways for professional development. Take the time to sit down with each staff member and understand their career goals, then work together to see how you can achieve them and keep them motivated to progress in their career.
Don’t play favourites
There’s no faster way to create resentment and problems in a salon than by not treating everyone equally. While it can be tempting to let Amy come in late and dip out early because she has a child at school, the fact is you can allow this behaviour for one staff member unless you’re happy for it to be the status quo for everyone.
Even if you run a small salon with friends on staff, ensure that personal besties are left at the door and that opportunities, rewards and discipline are given equally to all your staff. You’ll be rewarded with better morale and trust in return.
Trust your staff and be kind
With your management software and standard procedures in place, a strong workplace culture and a flourishing team who are regularly upskilling, you can take a step back and trust the team you’ve built to deliver excellent service and results to happy clients. Don’t forget to extend that trust and be compassionate to your staff members. When they feel that they’re genuinely respected and valued by you, the rest will fall into place.
In conclusion, how to manage salon staff the right way requires clear expectations, leading by example, setting achievable targets, embracing technology, fostering a positive workplace culture, prioritising staff training, ensuring fairness and building trust. For superior salon management and premium hair extensions, reach out to us today. Your success and satisfaction are our main goals.