As a salon owner or salon manager, how do you organise your time?
I hate it when someone says this to me but the answer is, “it depends”.
It depends on things like, how many people do you have on your team?
How many salons do you have? Do you see clients yourself?
And, are there any big projects that you’re working on?
And so in order to answer the question, “How do salon owners and managers organise their time?” I need to make some generalisations.
So assuming you are like the majority of salons, that means you have less than five staff and that you are also a hairdresser.
With a salon that size, it means that you are going to need to be behind the chair seeing clients, probably at least four days out of five.
If you’re lucky you will be able to make the fifth day an office day, meaning accounts, maybe payroll, inventory management, staff training and general administration.
Many salon owners that are also working behind the chair reach a point where ‘they want to extract themselves completely’ from seeing clients so that they can work more on ‘developing the business’.
But often, the problem is that they want to do that before the business gets to a sufficient size where it’s able to support them.
And so the result is that the business probably won’t have sufficient cash flow to meet all the overheads and pay them properly,
The other risk you take stepping away from the chair when the business is small is that the business is ‘very vulnerable’, from the point of view that if ‘staff leave’ you are immediately forced back behind the chair in order for the business to survive.
Now, if you have a bigger salon, let’s say ten full-time money producers. Then you are getting to the size where maybe you don’t need to be behind the chair full time, and the business is also less vulnerable when one or two staff leave.
But perhaps, like many salon owners, you are still in demand, and you still enjoy servicing a client base.
But then at least it’s a choice, as to whether to work behind the chair two or three days a week and then spend the rest of the time in a training, management and marketing capacity.
If your business is at the next level and perhaps you have multiple salons, maybe 2-3, then the business requires a lot more input at the management level.
For some people, this is a natural progression. Perhaps they no longer want to be behind the chair and the business has now reached a size and has the cash flow to enable them to be working full time in a managerial capacity and to focus on growing the business.
But often the owner of a multiple salon organisation still wants to see clients, as ‘doing hair’ is where their passion lies.
Often the brand has been built around ‘their name’ as the ‘high profile hairdresser’.
In this case, they can probably ‘charge a premium’ and afford to be able to employ a general manager, and administration staff, to focus on running the business on a daily basis. While they continue in the important role of the ‘high profile’ hairdresser.
If you are the owner of 2-3 salons and are actively working behind the chair then as well as having an effective management/leadership team, you need to spend time regularly at each location.
Even if you don’t see clients yourself, it’s essential to oversee the brand. To meet clients. To spend ‘one to one’ time with your managers, and most importantly to nurture relationships with your growing team.