How To Manage a Hair Salon Business: When starting a hair salon business, oftentimes we put too much focus on decorating the salon itself, hiring the best stylists, and how to market the business.
Whether you are a salon owner or manager (or both), managing a salon’s operations can be the most important factor determining the success of your business. However, it is often underestimated and yet in practice, managing a hair salon business can be very challenging.
If you don’t manage your hair salon’s workflows properly, you’ll face inefficiencies that may lead to issues like long wait times between clients, missed appointments, and loss in revenue.
On the other hand, there’s also the case of managing your human resources. When not managed well, a simple problem between two staff members can escalate into huge issues that may affect your operational efficiency.
With that being said, don’t underestimate the importance of managing your hair salon properly. Below we’ll share some of the most practical tips that will help you efficiently manage your team.
It’s very important for salon owners and/or managers to observe the salon’s operation and whenever possible, involve yourself in core tasks as a part of the teams.
For example, try becoming the salon’s receptionist for a day so you’ll understand their core workflow. This way, you can get better insights into the workflow, identify bottlenecks, know what obstacles it is facing at the moment, and so on. Do the same with other roles whenever possible.
This is also useful in improving the employees’ morale since they know you also care about the core operations and not only being bossy.
Observe your salon’s operation as much as possible with the aim of optimizing your operations and workflow to maximize efficiency and productivity.
A hair salon is a business that relies a lot on communications: between stylists and clients, receptionists taking appointments, conversations between different clients, and so on.
Thus, communication should also be the most important foundation in managing the salon business.
Establish and standardize regular communication policies for your team. If, for example, an employee has a conflict with another member of your team, how should they approach this? A good communication policy can typically help in resolving the situation.
You should establish regular meetings (weekly or monthly), but make sure these meetings have their agenda, and at the same time, are fun and engaging. Use these meetings to show appreciation to performing members of your team, for example announcing who had the most revenue in client services or who sold the most products.
However, also carefully manage non-performing employees so they won’t be discouraged. One of the key duties of a manager is to keep your team’s morale high at all times.
The hairdressing and cosmetology industry is a fast-paced field that incorporates frequent changes in seasonal (even monthly) trends, new equipment, new services, and so on.
So, you’ll need to make sure your hair salon business is an agile one so it can keep up with these changes.
The solution? Leverage technology in managing your salon. There are various tools and software solutions you can use to improve your salon operation’s efficiency as well as client experience, including but not limited to:
- Workflow management and employee scheduling solution
- Online salon booking software that can automatically sync to your personal calendar
- A reliable point of sale system integrated into an accounting software
- Comprehensive CMS solution for managing your client retention
The idea is to streamline your salon’s operation and improve its efficiency as much as possible. Implement automation on repetitive administrative tasks, so you (and your staff) can spend more time and focus your efforts on tasks that will contribute more to growing the business.
One of the key aspects of managing a team, including your hair salon’s team, is hiring the right people. You’d want the best possible people available for every role: hairstylist, washers, aestheticians, cleaners, and so on.
Make the habit of hiring slow but firing fast: evaluate potential hires carefully, and yet don’t be afraid to fire those who don’t perform or can’t collaborate well with other members of your team.
Some employee candidates might look great at first but might not fit in your team or your salon’s culture, and it might also be the other way around. Always interview applicants unless it’s absolutely impossible, so you can identify these things.
If possible, ask candidates to come over and execute specific tasks (i.e. on a mannequin). If you are not sure, sign them on a trial contract basis, and you can always re-sign them with a long-term contract later.
However, keep an open-minded stance: don’t underestimate fresh graduates or even those without formal training. If there are candidates that are worth it, give them an opportunity. They’ll appreciate it and will pay you back with hard work.
Make a habit of collecting and monitoring customer reviews.
If you don’t get too many complaints, it’s not always a good thing, it can simply mean you haven’t gathered enough data from your clients.
Encourage clients to leave reviews on your salon’s Google Maps listing and other review platforms. Checking reviews, especially negative ones, is a good way to observe what’s actually happening within your hair salon.
Also, respond to as many reviews as you can, including and especially the negative ones. Reply politely, and aim to fix the root of the problems as much as you can. However, always deliver on your promises, or else you’re risking making things worse.
Whether you are a hair salon owner or manager, how well you manage the business operations and human resources will literally make or break your business. The five tips we’ve shared above can help you in doing so, with the aim of making sure your hair salon is as efficient and productive as possible.
By following these tips, you’ll have a solid foundation for managing your hair salon to ensure sustainable growth.