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The Two Minute Salon Manager

“What did YOU learn from it?”

Published on 12th December 2017

What did YOU learn from it? If you have access to formal structured education in any topic it can be a great way to learn… But for a whole range of reasons, from a lack of financial resources to maybe just not being someone who learns best in a classroom or theoretical environment not everyone […]

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Perfection can get in the way…

Published on 5th December 2017

Perfection can get in the way… Years ago, I had this young staff member who had every attribute to become a good hairdresser. Well, almost every attribute. Her problem was she was a perfectionist. Nothing wrong with that, you might say, but let me explain. You would try and teach her a haircut, for example […]

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“Should you really be in business?”

Published on 28th November 2017

Should you really be in business? Obviously this is not directed at you personally, but not everyone should be in business! In fact there are some people in business who are an absolute danger to themselves! They are so out of their depth in what it takes to run a business that it’s like watching […]

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Are you an obsessive?

Published on 21st November 2017

Are you an obsessive? I love it when you meet someone who has an obsession, someone who is driven and passionate about their product or service. Recently I was working in Sophia the capital city of Bulgaria and my friends took me to a great coffee shop near their salon. It wasn’t part of a […]

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“I was thinking about you today and…”

Published on 14th November 2017

I thought to myself, “What’s the single most important job you have as an owner or manager?” Here’s a clue; “It not being the busiest stylist, selling the most retail doing the most rebooking, having the highest colour percentage etc… No, that’s the job of your top stylists.” The most value you can add, in […]

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5 tips to build your client base

Published on 31st October 2017

“What’s the fastest way to build my column?” That’s often the question, the end game, the purpose, the reason or result of why we do what we do… Here are my top 5 tips. 1. Master the techniques Cutting and colouring hair is a skill, and like all skills, with the right level of determination, […]

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7 Steps to learning new things…

Published on 24th October 2017

I am often asked, “How do I get people who have been in the company a long time to keep learning new things?” I think the first thing to do is to understand why they often don’t want to learn new things. For some people, it’s just laziness or arrogance, but for others, there is […]

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How to revolutionise the client experience?

Published on 17th October 2017

If it’s worth doing …do it properly! Recently we had a plumber in the house to deal with a couple of minor maintenance issues. They were simple jobs, a leaky shower nozzle and a leak in a pipe under the kitchen sink. He managed to fix the leak under the kitchen sink but he put […]

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Is it really just a word?

Published on 10th October 2017

Is it really just a word? I’m often amazed at how much a word used to describe a persons title or position has a big impact on how they see their job and how others relate to them. Now I know that some of it’s cultural and what might be appropriate in one country may […]

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What’s the new normal?

Published on 3rd October 2017

The iPhone is about to have it’s 10th birthday, the ‘Global Financial Crisis’ of 2007 is now 10 years ago, but still impacting on economies everywhere. Facebook is only 13 years old, youtube is 12 years old, Twitter is 11 years old, Instagram is 7 years old and SnapChat is 6 years old. So how […]

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“I’ve changed my mind”

Published on 26th September 2017

We all have beliefs about a whole range of things in life. It’s our beliefs that make us who we are. Our beliefs give us a point of reference about the world we live in and allow us to make decisions accordingly. Unfortunately, sometimes those beliefs have a use-by date and we don’t recognise it. […]

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Turn the music down!

Published on 19th September 2017

OMG I sound like my dad and I swore I’d never say that. But… I popped into a salon the other day to buy some product and the music was so loud that the receptionist couldn’t hear me when I asked if they had the product I wanted in stock. After I repeated my question […]

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Is your salon a happy place?

Published on 12th September 2017

In so many ways that seems like a lightweight question, I mean, it’s a business and people are meant to be working hard and being productive and on the surface that seems like the opposite of having fun. So what’s happiness got to do with it? Well, it’s got everything to do with it! Because […]

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“Hairdressers don’t like numbers…”

Published on 6th September 2017

I’m often told that; ‘hairdressers don’t like numbers’. I don’t really think that’s the case. I think they like numbers when it suits them, for example 20 vol, 12%, 10/0 …a depth of a level 5. They’re all numbers and any competent hairdresser understands what you are talking about. Numbers like that are for the […]

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Did they make you feel special?

Published on 29th August 2017

On your first day at work, did they make you feel special? On my first day working in a salon, I was up earlier than ever. My clothes had been sorted the night before, the journey to work had been timed, but when I arrived I purposefully walked right past the front door… not once, […]

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Good managers don’t just happen…

Published on 22nd August 2017

Good managers don’t just happen, [well maybe some of them do]. But for most people becoming an effective manager is about learning the skills to help you get the best out of a team of people. Often I see managers who were made managers for all the wrong reasons, for example, they are made ‘the […]

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When is it time to fire a client?

Published on 15th August 2017

Hairdressing is part of the service industry. Part of what we do is serve others, nothing wrong with that, hairdressing is a very honourable trade and can be very rewarding and a lot of fun in the process. I’m sure, that like me you too have built up some great professional relationships with your clients […]

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You always have a choice!

Published on 8th August 2017

Scrolling through Facebook recently I came across a clip from American Idol. No matter how good they are there is only so many times you can watch another Whitney Houston wannabe… But, something made me stop and watch, and I’m glad I did because it was brilliant. It was a 29-year-old lady by the name […]

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Published on 2nd August 2017

My 16 year old daughter ‘Indigo’ is on school holidays, and this week she got her first job working as a shop assistant in a clothing store. Over dinner that night she was excitedly telling us about her new job and she said “…and do you know dad, that they have a target for how […]

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Should family members pay for salon services?

Published on 25th July 2017

A can of worms Recently I was presenting a seminar and a salon owner asked a question which I then opened up to the audience. The question was “What is your salon policy on family members paying for salon services?” To put it mildly, it was like opening the proverbial can of worms! There were 16 […]

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Salon owners wear too many hats

Published on 18th July 2017

Salon owners wear lots of hats… Salon owners wear lots of hats… and one of them is the hat of the financial controller. It’s not usually their favourite hat. That accolade is reserved for the training hat, or the latest collection hat, or the marketing or salon design hat… As an industry, we are drawn […]

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I’m partial to a cookie!

Published on 11th July 2017

I’m partial to a cookie! I stay in a lot of hotels, and believe me when I say, ‘they cover the full spectrum!’ Recently I was in Edinburgh staying at a ‘Double Tree by Hilton’ hotel, which is a mid price range hotel. But the reason I choose to talk about it today is that […]

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It’s already out of date…

Published on 4th July 2017

​You can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s thinking! We see the world through our own unique viewfinder, and our view of the world and the unique experiences we have all combine to shape the actions that we take today. It’s inevitable that the experiences we have had through life will shape our view of the […]

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Is it just me?

Published on 27th June 2017

Is it just me?  When I go into coffee shops they are usually busy and well staffed behind the counter. The visual merchandising of their range of refreshments is usually well thought through and invariably the display cabinets are spotlessly clean,  inviting and well stocked. And more often than not the staff are usually attentive […]

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“Big shiny, or little shiny?”

Published on 20th June 2017

“Big shiny, or little shiny?” Occasionally when I am at an airport I take advantage of the waiting time and get my shoes shined. Recently I was at an airport having my shoes shined by a Turkish gentleman, who had a very limited use of the English language, which was exceeded only by my complete […]

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You gotta love this industry!

Published on 13th June 2017

This is not an email about coaching. It’s an email about what some people manage to achieve and makes you wonder why others in the same city or town can’t even come close. Occasionally I send out an email to my database letting people know I have a couple of coaching spots available, the email […]

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I value my dog, but…

Published on 6th June 2017

Sometimes before I present a seminar in a new city I make a bogus phone call to a random selection of dog groomers in the city. I tell them I have a medium size dog and ask what will it cost to have him washed and clipped. There isn’t usually a lot of variation in […]

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What’s your plan ‘B’?

Published on 30th May 2017

“Great haircut, where did you get it done?” I was in my local Apple store recently and one of the lads there had a great haircut, so being in client mode I did what people do and said to him, “Great haircut, where did you get it done?” He was absolutely chuffed that I had […]

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Millennials get a bad rap!

Published on 20th May 2017

In case you haven’t noticed I’m not a millennial, I’m a baby boomer…

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When partners don’t get on. Part 2

Published on 16th May 2017

This week’s video is a continuation from last weeks, which was titled “What do you do when partners don’t get on?” This is Part 2, If you haven’t seen Part 1 go back to the videos tab and watch Part 1 first… Part 1 was about, ‘how to set up the partnership at the beginning, […]

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When partners don’t get on. Part 1

Published on 9th May 2017

Partnerships are amazing! Until they’re not…

There are numerous ways…

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4 Steps to Keep Creditors Happy

Published on 2nd May 2017

Do you get behind sometimes? One of the challenges of running a business is cash flow management. Sometimes there is simply ‘too much month left over at the end of the money!’ And as the owner you are in the awkward situation of not being able to pay your bills on time! It’s stressful for […]

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What’s The Difference Between…

Published on 25th April 2017

Recently I was asked, “What is the difference between an ‘Appraisal’ and a ‘Target’ meeting?” I was tempted to say “The spelling” but it’s a lot more than that. Don’t get hung up on terminology… First of all, ‘don’t get hung up on terminology’, you have to call them something so this is what they […]

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Why did you buy it?

Published on 18th April 2017

Why did you buy it? I read this great blog the other day and it was called something like “Why did you buy the last three new things you bought?” By Drayton Bird Then it went on to list the answers that people most frequently give such as, “A TV commercial or a press ad, […]

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The lion the witch and the wardrobe…?

Published on 11th April 2017

The lion the witch and the wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis I was in Poland recently presenting my ‘Super Stylist’ seminar and a young man came up to me at the end and said that he wasn’t a hairdresser but he had just that week started working in the office of a hairdressing company and they […]

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The biggest problem with your business is….

Published on 4th April 2017

The biggest problem with your business is… We all have people we admire in business, one person I hold in enormously high regard is ‘Michael Gerber’ author of that famous 80’s business book ‘The E Myth’. Gerber has just celebrated his 80th birthday but he still writes and presents seminars to audiences all over the […]

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Are you stuck?

Published on 28th March 2017

Like you, I’m getting older! I’m on the other side of 50… In fact if I’m completely honest I’m quite a bit the other side of 50! But, there are plenty of upsides to getting older. One upside is that, ‘the older you get, the more stuff you should know that’s worth knowing!’  But unfortunately […]

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How was your huddle today?

Published on 21st March 2017

Do you have a morning huddle? When you play or watch team sports, you will usually see at the beginning of the game and every time they resume play after an interlude, a ‘huddle’ a short meeting of the team to refocus and recommit to the game. In a salon, it’s also good practice to […]

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My 5 Steps to Rebooking

Published on 14th March 2017

I think that the ability to rebook clients before they walk out the door of the salon is one of the most underrated skills of being a great hairdresser. When hairdressers don’t rebook their clients, I will usually get loads of excuses ranging from, “My clients won’t rebook because they are too busy” to “If […]

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I’m not an “agony aunt”, but…

Published on 7th March 2017

Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m turning into a substitute agony aunt for acquaintances of mine who want to share their hairdresser stories, both the good ones and the not so good ones. But, I do always find it interesting to hear what goes on in the clients mind and how they deal with […]

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Just Get Started

Published on 28th February 2017

“Starting something is the best way to finish something!” I read that on a wall the other day! Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? But most of us are guilty of procrastinating and never getting the things done that we want to achieve. We all have ‘stuff’ we want to start doing or stop doing, and […]

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They’re your team, not your family!

Published on 21st February 2017

I love salon owners, I really do… Well maybe not all of them, but certainly most of them. The salon owners I meet are mostly hard working, honest, loyal people that have loads of integrity and treat their team as if they were family and that’s part of the problem because they’re not your family, […]

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Numbers don’t lie, people do!

Published on 14th February 2017

Provocative start! I know that’s a provocative start but it’s true, isn’t it? Numbers are facts, not feelings. They have no ego, and they don’t feel the need to justify, they’re just results. They’re facts that are telling you something. The real question is are you listening to what those numbers are saying? 10% Rent? […]

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Are you getting an R.O.I?

Published on 7th February 2017

The letters R.O.I stand for ‘Return On Investment’. If you’re a salon owner you have probably invested ten’s if not hundred’s of thousands of dollars, pounds or euros into your business, so are you getting a R.O.I. a return on the investment? Let me explain… Let’s assume that you invested 100,000 into opening your salon, […]

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What’s the secret sauce?

Published on 31st January 2017

I’m often asked something along the lines of “What is it that sets the most successful salon owners, or stylist’s, or assistants apart from the not so successful?” Here’s my top 3. 1. Relationships I don’t believe there is just one thing …but if there was it would surely be ‘Relationships’. Great leaders, managers, stylists […]

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Do you do it every day?

Published on 24th January 2017

I’ve never heard a salon owner say that they don’t have enough competition or that there aren’t enough salons in their high street or mall, in fact, it’s usually quite the opposite. The salon industry is hugely competitive and clients have a vast array of choices in every high street or mall. So if you want […]

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Should I buy an existing salon?

Published on 17th January 2017

One of my coaching clients is looking to expand and he asked me if he should buy an existing salon, or open a new one from scratch I’ve done both and there is definitely ‘for’s and against’s’ with both options and obviously they will vary dramatically depending on the business you are buying. The against… […]

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I don’t like surprises!

Published on 8th January 2017

Recently my wife took our daughter ‘Indigo’ for a check up at the orthodontist. Now, we love our orthodontist she’s the best! But something happened that often used to happen in my salons so I guess it was karma that I was on the receiving end of it… Let me explain… At the end of […]

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Do you really care?

Published on 12th December 2016

Recently I drove a friend of mine to hospital. When we arrived the first thing I noticed was a sign at reception that said “This hospital is owned and managed by the consultants and staff that work here”. My friend was only there as a day patient and when I picked her up later that […]

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1.2.3. Ask Educate Offer!

Published on 5th December 2016

When people know that I am in the hairdressing industry they often have a hairdressing story for me, I’m sure it’s the same for you. I don’t mind because it’s great to understand the salon experience from the clients perspective. Recently I was talking with a woman who had just visited a salon for a […]

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Could it work for you?

Published on 29th November 2016

I think that it’s important to look outside the hairdressing industry for inspiration, whether it’s for customer service ideas or marketing ideas, there are many things that work in some industries that could be transferrable to the hair and beauty business. Off-peak pricing? One idea that is common practice in the airline and hotel business […]

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It could have been so much better!

Published on 20th November 2016

Do you make the effort to ‘wow’ people? I got my haircut last week, when I walked into the salon I asked the receptionist, “How long before I can get a haircut?”  He answered, “What do you want done?” I’m in client mode… Now what you have to remember is that I am in ‘client […]

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You had me at hello!

Published on 14th November 2016

The best money you can spend… Sometimes the best money you will spend as a training exercise is to be a paying client in a salon, then you really know what it feels like to be a client! I am not hard to please, I always want someone to be at their best and impress […]

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Reimagine your business

Published on 7th November 2016

I visited a salon on a Saturday recently and the owner told me that half of his stylists were on a rostered day off that day. He said that all his stylists get two Saturdays off a month and in return that they all work three late nights every week instead. He explained that some […]

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What gets measured gets managed

Published on 1st November 2016

There is an expression in business that ‘what gets measured gets managed’. In hairdressing terms, that relates specifically to measuring the productivity of the individual stylists so that based on the figures they currently achieve, together you can set realistic goals for the future. What should you measure? The things that you measure are called […]

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You can still be nice!

Published on 24th October 2016

If you’re a manager, or if you own a salon, the people on your team need managing. Sometimes that means that you have to be strong or tough, but you can still be nice about it. Being tough doesn’t mean that you have to be a bully or aggressive, or that you need to treat […]

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6 steps to productivity!

Published on 17th October 2016

A question I am often asked by salon owners is; “How do I get my team to be more productive?” The answer is ‘that there isn’t one thing’, as I often say ‘there is no magic wand’, it’s a combination of many things that create a ‘culture of productivity’, balanced with a ‘culture of creativity’. Here […]

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It’s easy to see what’s wrong…

Published on 5th October 2016

But it’s much harder to suggest positive way to fix it! When I had my own salons, sometimes there was a tendency during staff meetings for the team to spend all their time telling me what was wrong, what wasn’t working in the salon and effectively give me yet another problem to solve. Eventually, I […]

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It cost’s nothing!

Published on 25th September 2016

We’re in the people business… We are in the hairdressing business, the beauty business, the service business, ultimately it’s the people business and as owners and managers one of the things that we have to do is make sure that we constantly aim to innovate and raise standards and consistency in every area from the […]

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Set it up at the Start!

Published on 19th September 2016

Standards I believe most people want to do a good job, but often they don’t know what it is that they are meant to be doing, so they just get on with it and do what they did where they worked before or what is easiest for them. Inevitably that will eventually cause problems if […]

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Your top 3 challenges!

Published on 12th September 2016

I often start my management seminars by saying, “If you’re a salon owner or manager, I know what your top 3 challenges are!” At number 3 is staff, at number 2 is staff and at number 1 is staff! It might be finding staff, or keeping staff or staff productivity or motivating staff, training staff […]

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Published on 5th September 2016

‘Encouragement’ what a great word that is… Sometimes you hear or see something, it might be an expression or even just a word or an image that you might have seen or heard 100 times before, but all of a sudden it jumps out at you as something really important, that maybe you had overlooked […]

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7 reasons why you must invest in training!

Published on 22nd August 2016

Salon owners should invest in training their people for many reasons, but…

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“Top 10 tips to being the best assistant”

Published on 7th August 2016

Almost everyone at some point in their career is an assistant to someone else…

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Mind the gap!

Published on 1st August 2016

As a salon owner you are facing rising costs of doing business all the time so you need to make sure that the prices you charge for your services adequately cover the costs of running a profitable business.

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What’s yours like?

Published on 25th July 2016

The culture in a salon exists whether you develop it or not, but as the leader if you don’t consciously decide what your company’s culture is going to be it will just happen, it will evolve over time all on its own and it probably won’t be what you want or what is best for […]

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What would you have done?

Published on 18th July 2016

Last week a friend of mine went to a salon, it was a good salon, they have a good reputation, great marketing, great salon design, and if she’d asked me I would have confidently recommended it to her. But…

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I’ll give you the first 300!

Published on 11th July 2016

I know of a few salons that when they employ a new stylist they say to them, “I’ll give you your first 300 clients, after that it’s up to you!”

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What a lost opportunity!

Published on 5th July 2016

I go to a lot of salons as a client but rarely, if ever, do they suggest that I pre-book my next appointment before leaving!

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Are you trading on past glories?

Published on 27th June 2016

Recently I went to what used to be one of my favourite restaurants and it was disappointing to say the least. I hadn’t been for a couple of years but I had fond memories of the food, the service, the atmosphere and the good times I’d had there.

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Dream the big dreams.

Published on 21st June 2016

Don’t be afraid to dream the big dreams… If you are very lucky in life you will occasionally meet people who inspire you with their achievements. I’m lucky, I get to meet a few of them. I was recently in India presenting seminars to salon owners around the country and I caught up with a […]

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When a relationship isn’t working…

Published on 5th June 2016

Problems in your team are like problems in any relationship. If you are in a ‘relationship’ and you are not happy, you have two choices…

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Are you the problem?

Published on 31st May 2016

The very nature of being the owner of a small business is that you have to do everything yourself. As well as probably being the busiest stylist you have to do the cashing up at the end of the day, do the stock control and clean the washrooms, essentially you have to do everything or […]

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What’s their formula?

Published on 23rd May 2016

A championship team requires real commitment, intelligence, humility, leadership and a willingness to really understand what it is to work as a team and not just pay lip service to it. 

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Surely that can’t be true?

Published on 16th May 2016

There is no point in spending time and money getting new clients into the salon if you are unable to keep them, the problem isn’t your ability to attract them, the problem is you ability to keep them!

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What is your average bill?

Published on 9th May 2016

What is your average bill, and what are you doing to grow yourself, your team and your business?

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Are you being left behind?

Published on 3rd May 2016

Are you keeping up with the changes that the business needs in order to stay relevant and prosper, or is your way of thinking and doing things getting in the way of the business succeeding?

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7 Steps for Client Retention.

Published on 25th April 2016

Clients have a choice they don’t have to come back to you! But you and I both know that long term success is dependent on client retention.

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How good is your receptionist?

Published on 18th April 2016

Train your receptionists to go the extra mile, train them to tell clients what they can have, not what they can’t have! Train them to give exceptional customer service!

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Who is on your team?

Published on 13th April 2016

As a salon manager, if you look at the people on the team they usually break down into three categories. Fantastic, average and a waste of space!

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You’re fired!

Published on 2nd April 2016

‘You’re Fired!’ has now turned into a TV catch phrase but I also know that firing someone may be a difficult thing to do, but as the salon manager that goes with the territory…

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Where are we heading?

Published on 21st March 2016

There is no ‘one’ individual or organisation that either ‘can be’ or ‘is’ responsible for steering the industry in ‘the right direction’…

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Make the most of meetings!

Published on 13th March 2016

Staff meetings are not always fun are they? But here’s the thing, team meetings are an essential component of being on any team. 

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Now take action!

Published on 6th March 2016

Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is just the beginning, now you have to take action!

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How S.M.A.R.T are you?

Published on 29th February 2016

Did you express a preference or is it a goal?

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Business with nice people.

Published on 22nd February 2016

Your external team can be as important as your internal team…

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What can we learn?

Published on 15th February 2016

 If intense continuous training is blatantly obvious for them, why not you?” 

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What’s the secret?

Published on 2nd February 2016

Ask any of the best hairdressers and educators in the world what the secret is to their success and they will all tell you the same thing – ‘Education’ 

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It’s time to shine!

Published on 24th January 2016

There is nothing wrong with being a hairdresser, and there is nothing wrong with being a successful hairdresser and making money! 

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Keep Evolving!

Published on 17th January 2016

Don’t be afraid of change and reinvention it’s essential if we wish to stay relevant.

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Embrace the problems!

Published on 11th January 2016

It’s inevitable that as business owners we’re often going to experience things that go wrong…

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Decisions + Actions..

Published on 6th January 2016

Decisions + Actions, Decisions + Actions, Decisions + Actions, Decisions + Actions = Results

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How can I make this better?

Published on 16th December 2015

Imagine if you worked in a salon where everyone on the team had an underlying attitude of “How can I make this a better place to work?”

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How can you use it?

Published on 7th December 2015

The biggest change in marketing during the last 10 years has been the advent of ‘Digital Marketing’. The message isn’t that different but the medium by which we get the message out has changed dramatically.

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Celebrate the moments!

Published on 29th November 2015

What do you do really well, and how often do you remind yourself?

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If you give me a bottle of…

Published on 23rd November 2015

If you gave me a bottle of shampoo for Christmas, I’d probably not be impressed, but if you gave me a…

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