How do you organise your time?

10 May 2022

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.


How do you deal with salon complaints?

3 May 2022

How do you deal with salon complaints?

No matter who you are, and no matter what you do, you will not make every client happy.

So from a manager's perspective how should you handle salon complaints?

Even when they are not happy, most clients don’t want to complain.

They don’t want to make a scene.

They don’t want to get into a confrontation.

They just want to leave and never come back.

And once they’ve left, more often than not, the first thing they will do is go on social media or other review sites and leave a scathing review.

In any service orientated business whether it’s a restaurant, a hotel, or a hairdressers, for most people it takes ‘a lot’ to make them complain while they’re still in the salon.

And I totally understand that, as both a consumer and as a business owner. Because when I am not happy, I also usually just want to leave and not come back.

Because the very act of complaining takes some emotional energy that often compounds the situation and makes you feel even worse.

But from the service providers perspective, and from the viewpoint of the manager or owner of the business, if you don’t complain they miss the opportunity to understand what went wrong and then address the situation in whatever way is necessary to make sure that it never happens again.

Salon managers should see every complaint as an opportunity to improve.

I know there are some fraudsters out there. And I know there are some people that are terminally unhappy and regardless of what you do they will complain about everything.

But they are in the minority and so we shouldn’t base our approach to dealing with unhappy clients on them.

The reality is that we see and experience our own businesses from a very different perspective to how our clients do.

We don’t experience the service through their eyes, and we don’t experience the consultation and communication through their eyes.

And when someone is brave enough to complain, and make no doubt about it, complaining takes courage, then we need to see it as an opportunity to improve.

We need to objectively look at what went wrong. Because in the client's eyes something went wrong.

We need to understand what the problem is and why it happened and then look for ways to prevent it happening again.

But the problem is that often when someone complains, their experience goes from bad to worse as the service provider or manager goes into what I call ‘justification mode’. Where they try and turn the blame around, make excuses or totally deny that the problem exists.

Sometimes the complaint is about the experience the client is having. Other times it’s about the quality of work.

No one likes their work being criticised, and unfortunately in a salon situation it is often made worse by the fact that our colleagues and other clients are witnessing the complaint.

But regardless of whether it’s because of poor work standards or poor communication, there is a problem. And as a salon manager you need to do whatever it takes to remedy the situation as quickly and efficiently as you can without making the client feel in the wrong.

And that is where the breakdown often is. People feel they have to be right.

I am sure you have heard the expression “the customer is always right”. I think it’s a terrible expression because quite blatantly the customer or client isn’t always right.

But here’s the thing, “It’s not about being right, it’s about making the client happy”.

And so as a manager, when dealing with the complaint what do you need to do is to either remedy the problem or at the very least to ensure that the client feels heard and that their complaint is appreciated and taken seriously.



Responsibilities of a salon manager.

26 April 2022


What are the responsibilities of a salon manager? That's the question.

And the real answer is, “It depends!”

In all likelihood, there are 3 different types of people watching this video.

The first is that you don’t own the salon, but are managing the salon for the owner.

The second is that ‘you’ are the salon owner, but have employed a salon manager to manage the daily operations of the salon.

The third is that you are the salon owner. You also work in the business full time, probably behind the chair, and ‘you’ manage the business on a daily basis.

I know salon managers that have ‘a key to open the door’ at the beginning of the day, and close the door at the end of the day. And that’s the beginning and end of their management responsibility.

I know other salon managers who handle the recruitment, the banking, the payroll, the staff training, the inventory management …And everything in between.

I know salon managers that have 1-2 team members to oversee, and others with over 100 on their team.

So what are the responsibilities of a salon manager? It depends.

There is a difference between ‘Salon MANAGEMENT’ responsibilities and ‘Salon MANAGER’ responsibilities’. And it’s not just the spelling!

‘Salon Management’ responsibilities. Means everything, from the ‘daily operations, the financial, the marketing, the human resource component, the legal and the health and safety.

In other words, ‘Salon Management’ is ultimately responsible for every area of the business.

Whereas the ‘Salon Manager’ responsibilities is talking about the specific areas of responsibility that have been designated to the individual ‘salon manager’.

And this is where the owner of the business, needs to take ownership and decide what the responsibilities are that they want the individual salon manager to have.

Once they have listed what those responsibilities are, then they need to develop a job description outlining those responsibilities.

And then recruit someone, either from within the business, or externally, that already has the necessary skills.

Or alternatively, they need to recruit someone or promote from within, and then train them in the skills needed to be able to fulfil that management role.

Unfortunately, all too often, salon owners just want to give someone the title of ‘Manager’ and to then hold them accountable for the salon performance as well as expect them to deal with all the day to day people problems.

And then they wonder why it doesn’t work.

There isn’t a right or wrong list of ‘salon manager’ responsibilities.

The important thing is that if you’re the salon owner, that you define what the responsibilities are that you want to delegate to a manager.

And then to write up a job description, and offer the training and support, that reflects that.

As I say there isn’t a right or wrong list of what you may wish to delegate to a salon manager. It’s more a case of what’s ‘right or wrong’ for you and your business.

But as a generalisation most of the time, what the owner wants is to delegate the role of the day to day ‘people management’ to someone else. And they usually give that person the title of ‘salon manager’.

The titles that are given to positions are important, because, just the title alone, reflects a certain amount about the responsibilities of the position.

Some titles are culturally right in one salon, or even country, but may not be a fit in another. And sometimes titles are just about personal preference.

You could use the title ‘Salon Manager’. Or ‘Assistant Manager’. Or ‘Operations Manager’. Or Team Leader.  They’re all similar, but different.

And as I say it also comes down to personal preference.

But if I had a salon today, and wanted to appoint someone to ‘manage the people side of the business’ on a day to day basis, I would choose the title ‘Team Leader’.

Because with that title, they know that their responsibility is about the people on their team.

And so even before a word of a job description has been written, there is already clarity about the direction of what their responsibilities are.


Top 5 tips for the first time Salon Manager

20 April 2022

If you are a salon manager, then there was a time when it was your first day in the job. And if you are not yet a salon manager, but aspire to be, then that first day as manager is yet to happen.

There are usually two possible scenarios of how first-time ‘salon managers' start out.

The first is that they were made manager in an established salon that is owned by someone else.

The second is that they’ve opened a salon of their own and the title of ‘manager’ came with the keys to the door.

They are both very different scenarios, and they both bring their own unique challenges.

But either way being a successful manager isn’t easy. So, here are my top tips to help you become the best salon manager you can be.

Tip number one is: that it’s all about the people.

Being a salon manager is about dealing with both ‘things or situations’ and secondly it’s about dealing with people.

When I say, ‘things and situations’ I mean, the inanimate stuff. Like, “The washing machine is broken?” Or “The stock order hasn’t arrived?”

Whereas, when I say it’s about dealing with people, it’s stuff like, “A team member has called in sick… again” Or, “A team member needs to be spoken to about their appearance”.

Or it might mean, that “A team member needs to be spoken to because they have just had their best week ever”. Or a team member has just had another 5-star review on google, and is always going the extra mile when it comes to service”.

Dealing with the ‘Things and situations’ is not exciting, in fact, it can be boring! But it’s important and has to be done.

But dealing with the people issues can get very exciting! It’s often emotional. It can keep you up at night. It can also be stressful, unpredictable and full of surprises… Both good and not so good.

So tip number 1 is understanding that dealing with the ‘things and situations’ are inevitable, important, and part of the job. But to be a really successful manager, it's all about the people!

Tip number two is: that It’s important to understand that a salon manager is not just a busy stylist

In other words, you don’t manage a team of people just by being the most productive person behind the chair, and think that they will blindly follow your lead.

Managing people takes time. You have to engage and connect with the people on your team.

You have to nurture and build relationships. You have to create trust and build rapport with the people on your team. And all that takes time.

As a salon manager, your role is that of a ‘team leader’.

Your real success is not about doing all the work yourself. Your real success is about your ability to build a team and to get others to be productive and happy stylists behind the chair.

Tip number 3, is that as the new salon manager it’s important that you don’t rush in and try and change everything overnight.

There is an expression, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”.

As a new manager, not everyone always wants you to succeed.

There may even be people on your team who for whatever reason want to come up against you and challenge your authority.

So my advice is that as a new manager, listen first. Watch. Observe. Ask questions, and get the team onside first… And then start looking at ways to bring about positive change.

Remember, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”.

Tip number 4 is: Be consistent.

As a new manager, for any number of reasons, it’s easy to have situations or people that you treat differently. …In a word, ‘don’t’.

Now, I am going to leave a small margin here for your discretion.

Because inevitably there will be a time when there may be a valid exception that you need to allow for…

But as a generalisation, when you start treating people or situations differently, then you are potentially creating problems for yourself later on.

They might be older. They might have more experience than you. They might intimidate you. They may even be a family member. Or they might be your friend outside of work.

But when you have favourites, when you have one rule for this person and another rule for someone else you are undermining the level of respect and authority they have for you as a manager.

Tip number 5 is: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.

Many people that are a first-time salon manager are essentially just dropped in the deep end without any training or support, and they’re expected to figure it out.

Obviously, that's the wrong way to go about it.

Being a manager involves skills that you have to learn, just like you learn how to cut and colour hair. You also have to learn how to be a manager.

It takes time. You will make mistakes. You will question yourself as to whether you have what it takes for the job.

So don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Whether that’s advice from a colleague, a coach, a mentor, a family member or an online community, don’t be afraid to seek the advice of others.

Listen to their opinions. Reflect on their observations. Be prepared to change your own mind.

But as long as you ask for the advice from someone whose opinions you respect then in all probability it’s going to help you grow and develop as a manager.

So that’s it. That’s my top 5 tips for the first time salon manager.

Are you starting out in the hairdressing industry?

3 August 2021



Congratulations and welcome to what can be an exciting, fun, worthwhile and potentially well-paid career.

For some it doesn't always become a great career so here are 5 bits of advice to help you on your way…..

What will you learn today?

27 July 2021


Everyone I have ever met who is successful at what they do has one thing in common, they never stop learning!

If you are like most people and are not satisfied with where you are currently in life and want more, then you need to learn new skills and gain more knowledge.

Are you going to keep on doing what you've always done and hope for a different result or are you going to do something about it?

Are you achieving your goals?

20 July 2021


Are you achieving your goals? If you are like most people the answer will be “some of them yes!” and some of them “no”.

There are two types of goals, outcome goals and process goals. Achieving your outcome or results goal is dependent on achieving your process goal.

The process is the most important as if you focus on this, you'll get the results!

“Focus on the process and the results will take care of themselves.”

Is it still working?

13 July 2021


The easy option is to keep doing what you're doing just because that's what you've always done….but maybe this isn't working anymore.

Ask yourself the question “is it still working” then give yourself an honest answer. Once you have acknowledged that it isn't working anymore and something needs to change, then you are already moving forward.

Next, it's about working out some alternative ways of achieving the outcome and becoming unstuck….. Now keep going!

If there was just one thing!

6 July 2021


If there was one thing that you could do right now today that would make you a better hairdresser, or manager or salon owner, what would it be? Imagine if you changed just one thing a day, or even just one a week, where you would be in 12 months from now….?

If you don’t grow, your business never will.

29 June 2021


“If you don’t grow, your business never will.”

Whether you are an individual or a salon owner, what are you doing to ensure that you keep learning, growing and developing as a professional?

The really successful people in any industry recognise that their education is never complete and that ultimately it is down to them to seek it out. They are looking for an ‘edge'.

They are not afraid of failure or stepping out of their comfort zone because that is where they find growth and opportunity. Use this practical next step to create a plan for yourself, or your salon, so that you are growing your business and not standing still.

Next Page »