Every day I see new coaches and coaching businesses popping up, all with the promises of turning you into a six-figure hairdresser or the latest, how to be a seven-figure salon owner. One of the things I hate about the evolution of the online world is that anyone can create a website and portray themselves as a successful coach and fill people with false hopes about how they can turn around their salon and become six or seven-figure superstars virtually overnight, just by following the secret blueprint that they have developed.
The reality is that there are no quick fixes. Building a successful business takes time. That goes for anything you want to be successful at. You don’t just wake up and decide to run a marathon, or watch a bruce lee movie and bam you are a black belt ninja, these things take time to achieve, so why do we think that when it comes to our salon business that is is really going to be any different?
Yes, sometimes you are lucky, I started a business 15 years ago, and in nine months we were doing seven figures, it was phenomenal, but it was more of a case of right place, right time than a secret blueprint, and I’ve never had such quick success before or after this one time.
So you can guess by now I’m not giving you a secret blueprint to be a seven-figure salon. What I am going to do is give you 6 things that you need to BE so you can DO what is needed to HAVE a successful salon business, no matter if it is five, six or seven figures.
The definition of success varies for everyone. For some, it is defined by a monetary amount, or certain possessions, such as cars and big homes. Success, for me, is about providing a great quality of life for my family and knowing that what I am doing is helping the people who work for me lead a better and happier life. And giving back to the local community that has supported me and my business.
So let’s get to the nitty-gritty bits. You might find you have some of these traits already and my hope is while reading this that you will be inspired to consider areas in which you could grow to become a successful owner.
1. BE DETERMINED: This is probably the number one thing you need to be successful. As you learn to run and grow your salon business, there will be plenty of successes and when you are having success it’s easy to keep going. It’s overcoming setbacks and difficulties that are going to demand your determination and perseverance.
2. BE A MARKETER: Yep, you need to be a marketer, it doesn’t matter whether you have done it before if you like it or not, how good or bad you are at it. Without marketing yourself and your business no one is going to know you exist, more than that no one is going to care. Marketing is not a bad thing unless you are being dishonest and trying to trick people by misrepresenting what you do or charge.
3. BE DISCERNING: So many choices and so little time. You will be required to make choices on an ongoing basis as a business owner. What sort of clients or services you want, a logo, pricing structure, do you need a website (that’s a no brainer). Your time is limited you will need to be discerning on where you spend your time and sometimes just accept things and move on to activities that are more profitable for your business. I see too many owners agonise over logos and colour and fonts and websites, yes these are nice but not where your profit is coming from.
4. BE WILLING TO LET GO OF TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING: Micromanaging is s sin that many salon owners are guilty of. On the outset you will probably have to do lots of things yourself to save money or because there is no one else to do it. You will get to the point that you are starting to not get the important stuff done, the making money part, it’s then that you have to delegate things to managers or staff, or if you’re a solo salon maybe outsourcing to a company that specialises in that particular task.
5. BE BRAVE: There are so many ways you need to be brave in business, but what I am talking about is using security blankets to avoid the more challenging tasks we need to be doing to grow our business. An example is wasting too much time on social media, yes it’s fun to post updates and before and afters, but could that time be better spent talking to clients about referrals or rebooking, or networking with local businesses?
If you’re not making money doing hair, then you need to be planning ways to make money doing hair, working on marketing etc. If you are doing something else, such as social media updates of your lunch, then you need to be brave and just stop it.
6. BE MAKING MONEY: The biggest issues facing most salon owners or business owners in general is their issues with making money. You should not be embarrassed, guilty or ashamed of making money. The VERY PURPOSE of having a business is to make money. Everyone who works gets paid, and everyone has bills to pay. No shame, no guilt or embarrassment. So go ahead, recommend that product, raise your prices, and be proud that your business is successful.
I didn’t say it was going to be an easy ride, many people go into business and within a year or two are back working for someone else. It’s OK! You have a family to feed and a life to live, owning and running a salon business isn’t for everyone. Probably the hardest thing you can be is ok with quitting. It takes more courage to realise something is working and walk away from it than to stick it out and fail anyway. But if you can make it happen being a successful salon owner will change you forever.