Tags Posts tagged with "business"


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Joshua Ness

How can we know how we are doing as a business if nobody tells us? You will hear every negative comment a client or employee has to offer, but probably only one out of every fifty positive comments! Because we are human, it is the negative comments that sit in our hearts and cause us to worry and fuss. There is a way to head off a lot of the negativity that floats around out there and infects your business? It is FEEDBACK! And not just client feedback, but employee feedback as well!

When we are giving GREAT customer service, our employees are our number one customer!

They also need to experience and understand the customer experience in the salon. To find out about that experience from their point of view you need to ask.

When was the last time you handed out a Feedback Form to either your clients or your staff? Is negativity creeping up on you? If it is, it is time to get out the forms and find out what is going on in your business.

Put together a feedback form for your employees. Some of the questions you might ask them are:

  • how do you rate as an employer?
  • what do they love best about their position?
  • what do they like least?
  • what can you do as an owner to improve on your delivery of service?
  • where do you see yourself in the next twelve months?

The questions can be as simple or as complex as you want, depending on the type of feedback and information you want to collect. After all, if you are collecting the information on what you can do to change, grow and develop, you must be prepared to make the changes!

If you are doing an employee feedback form, make sure that it is anonymous.

Let’s face it – none of us are perfect, but how do we bring about change if we aren’t sure of where to change? Get it from the horse’s mouth!

Client Feedback Forms are different from Client Survey Forms. A survey form establishes who your client is; their age, gender, socio-economic status, demographics, buying patterns, etc. A feedback form tells you how you are doing as a business. This form will include information such as:

  • how accessible was the parking?
  • how were you greeted?
  • how were you checked out?
  • how was everything in between?

Again, this form can be as in-depth or as simple as you want, depending on the level of information you are looking for and the changes you are willing to make.

Use “Consultation Cards” to head off negative results from your clients.

Turn your “First Time Client Card” into a consultation card to be used at the beginning AND at the end of the service. The information you gather should include:

  • lifestyle of client
  • length of time available to spend on hair daily
  • allergies
  • styling competence
  • service expectations
  • types of product used

The stylist then uses the consultation card to go over the expectations of the client for the service they have booked. At the end of the service, the stylist uses the card to affirm they have achieved the results that the client has asked for.

A salon business offered a refund on services if the client was not completely satisfied with the results.  After doing all the right things; consultation card, follow up affirmation at end of service, a client called the owner and said she wasn’t happy and wanted her money back.

The owner had seen the beautiful results on the client and how happy she had been on completion of the service and realized that the client wanted to take advantage of the refund offer by complaining. The owner said she would be happy to refund the money, but could the client please come into the salon and explain precisely where and what the errors were so that the stylist and the business could grow from their mistakes.  Needless to say, the client didn’t return for her money because the salon had given her everything she had asked for!

Feedback is the one of the most important forms of communication you will need from your staff and your clients.  Start collecting information and find out how well you are operating your business.


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Have you ever felt your stomach clench or your lower lip start to purse when someone suggests something that’s outside your comfort zone? Have you ever wondered about the childhood messages repeated over and over that become your history and belief. They are often irrational ideas that have been secured in your brain through repetition.

We develop these limited beliefs from the ongoing messages throughout life, whether consciously or unconsciously. And they either hold us back or drive us forward. One of the most common belief is, “I’m not good enough!” which often carries over into adulthood. Relationships are one of the great events that shape our belief system. In your early dating years, a bad break up might lead you to conclude that love hurts and is a cause of suffering.also

Pessimistic beliefs holds people back

Hate is a learned skill not something with which we are born with. It also shapes and determines our beliefs and will hold us back in many areas of our lives, both personal and professional. Here are some of the common beliefs that hold people back:

  • I’m not important
  • Making money is a struggle
  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I don’t deserve it
  • I am too young, people won’t take me seriously
  • I am too old, it’s too late to start…
  • I am a hard worker. I work hard for money.
  • Good looking men/women are unfaithful or unkind.
  • I do not deserve a loving relationship.
  • I have to work hard to be successful, working without rest or having a social life.
  • I am not attractive enough. I do not deserve or am not able to find someone I am attracted to.

Your views affect you

Think about the judgement you have made about someone or something based on the misinformation you have stored in your brain! Beliefs are the lens through which you view the world and they are the process that we measure the information that we receive every day. Your beliefs will:

  1. Influence your perceptions
  2. Define for you what is good, bad, true, real and possible
  3. Skew your perspective in positive or negative ways
  4. Direct and/or limit the actions you take
  5. Shape your character
  6. Affect your relationships
  7. Establish a specific course you will follow
  8. Determine your health
  9. Harness or hijack your passion
  10. Lower or raise your level of happiness

Take some time to take a look at the beliefs that have shaped your life

As a salesperson calling on businesses every day, I have encountered numerous belief systems in action! When introducing something new to someone, you can visually see the reaction to change.

It is interesting and rather scary to watch the fear in someone’s eyes when forced to make a decision about something that might challenge their beliefs or step outside their comfort zone. It has always surprised me that something that might make a difference to the end consumer has been held back because of one person’s determination NOT to change!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Which belief keeps you in fear?
  • What keeps you from taking action?
  • What stops you from gaining success?
  • What stops you from taking pleasure in life?
  • Which beliefs make you feel powerful?
  • Which belief helps you?
  • Which belief serves your cause?
  • Which belief aids you in expressing yourself?
  • Which belief leads you to happiness?

Our beliefs often help us, by causing us less pain. But there comes a time when we must recognize that a certain belief is no longer valid or no longer serves its purpose and that is the time to let it go. Take that belief out of its corner, look it in the face, be grateful for its place in your life and then send it on its way! Yes, some of this might sound like mental/emotional mumbo-jumbo, but damn it, it works!

Here’s to live a life without restraint, judgement, fear, and limits!!


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A great hairdresser that stays on the same page as you can be really hard to find. Tipping can set the tone for the relationship you have and when it comes to the person who is pushing back your cuticles or coloring your grays, you want to make sure they know how appreciated they are.

The Average Tip

In an informal poll from Aveda, guests have admitted that they tipped as little as 10% and as high as 25%. Most said they tipped 20%, though the average was more generous around bigger cities. Small town beauty shops report that 15% is more normal for their tips, while stylists in malls or drop-in salons often see even less with irregular clientele.

How Much Should I Tip?

Part of tipping will depend on how much work you are as a client. Clients with short hair who book appointments frequently for cut and color may tip less because their hair is less work and their business is more regular. Longer and more difficult jobs of drastically changing color or cut may be something to tip higher for. Last minute appointments should also be well-tipped as an appreciation for being flexible enough to slide you in. Guests with small children should also tip higher, since there is more that goes into keeping small kids entertained and happy during the appointment.

Tipping the Shampoo Person

If your hairdresser is not the one shampooing your hair, do not assume that your tip will be split. To avoid confusion or misunderstanding, tip a small amount ($3-$5) to the shampoo washer. If the shampooer is doing more work (applying toner or other products), tip accordingly.

At the end of the day, you want to have a great rapport with your hairdresser that makes you stand out as a client. You want to be the kind of client that can call last minute and be slipped in on a whim. This comes from properly appreciating the work that goes in to keeping you looking and feeling fabulous.

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“I just do it myself, because nobody does it the way I want it done!” Sound familiar? Perhaps you have been the recipient of these points or perhaps you are the instigator of these statements.

Most salon/spa owners come to open a business because they have a vision, but often that vision is hindered by the need to oversee every aspect of their creation developed in THEIR way. We absolutely believe in having systems in place and expectations that our systems be followed however there is a fine line between realistic expectations and needing to control every aspect of our business. Micromanagers have a deep-seated need to control.

Often micromanagers feel out of control themselves.

So in turn try and control everyone and everything around them. MMers are usually irritated when subordinates act independently. They will delegate tasks that won’t live up to their expectations and therefore place the accountability for failure on the other person, but NOT the authority to take alternative action!

The MMer pays excessive attention to minor details, and frequently requests unnecessary reports. An MMer tends to require constant and detailed performance feedback and focuses excessive attention on procedural trivia. Sometimes it even appears that it is more important than overall performance. MMing actually holds up progress. Decisions get delayed because only one person is making them, overall goals and objectives become cloudy, and the flow of information between employees is restricted. MMers are afraid that someone else may get credit for a job well done!

How does it feel to be micromanaged?

AWFUL!! You are left with the feeling of incompetence, your confidence is shaken, and you become afraid to take risks or volunteer to take on other tasks. The bad news is that fighting back won’t work!

An astonishing 70% of employees feel micromanaged! Owners who delegate responsibility without authority stifle innovation and foster mediocrity. You won’t be able to change the way your boss leads, but you can change the way you follow. Some consultants suggest that you should build trust, anticipate the leader’s needs, and be pro-active. However, the only REAL and effective way to get an MMer to change their behaviour is through dialogue! Yes! You have to say something to initiate change.

Opening that conversation can feel nerve wracking, but it’s a great starting point.

Many communications expert advise to start these conversation with “when you do ________, I feel ________,” then allow the MMer to explain their behaviour. It opens the door to conversation. For example, “When you oversee every color formulation I make, I feel insecure about the decision I am making. I have been making formulas and applying color for the last ten years and believe that I am a very competent colorist.” The results you expect probably won’t change overnight, but if you regularly open up the conversation, the message finally sinks in. When the environment doesn’t change, the saddest part about being micromanaged is that it often forces employees to look for another place to work.

And what if YOU are the micromanager?

Don’t worry, help is on the way! We do know that the most successful leaders are the greatest delegators and allow their people and their team to grow through their mistakes. How do you get off the MM wheel? Here are a few pointers for you:

  • Become the leader of the team rather than the star performer.
  • Recognize that MMing causes resentment; why should they work when you will do it all for them.
  • Find the individual strengths of your team members and what motivates them.
  • TRUST that they are capable of success and allow them the room to grow and develop.
  • Create an environment that encourages the creative process.
  • Remember that MMing doesn’t motivate anyone!

Finally, never be afraid to have a team of people who are smarter or who can outperform you! When the team shines, the leader shines!

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Stylists come and go! We aren’t the only kind of business to have employees leave, but it is a business where your service providers are also your daily income. The sad thing about our industry is that most, and I mean MOST salon/spa owners haven’t a clue what to do when that happens! And we all know that when a service provider leaves, they take as many clients with them as they possibly can.

Is it fair? The quick answer is “no” since the client list rightfully belongs to the salon. But if a service provider is leaving, they were probably making plans weeks in advance, collecting as much data as they can. What can you do about it? There is so much you can do about it! Take a copy of this newsletter and post it on your bulletin board so that you will be prepared the next time it happens to you; because it WILL happen.

When an employee resigns, terminate them immediately.

Even if it means paying them out…Do not allow them to stay and collect more information! Before doing so, check all state, province or federal laws to be in compliance.

Send out a letter to their client list.

Call all of their upcoming appointments and offer that their next visit is at no charge (you do have all the addresses, don’t you? Thank you, Vagaro!). Explain the situation and let the clients know how much you value their business.  Attach an offer or gift card for upcoming appointments ($10 off WILL NOT suffice) If a client is worth $500,1,000 or 1,500 in a year…how much are you prepared to spend to keep them?

Keep an on-going relationship with all your clients and customers.

Send out newsletters with your own stories and hand-signed birthday cards. If you have a personal relationship with the clients, it is much easier to reach out to them and ask them to stay.

Always have one or two junior service providers in training.

Look over your list of resumes and make some calls! Even though some revenue walked out the door, what was actually left after they were paid (e.g. salary, commissions, payroll-tax, deductions), it’s not as bad as it seems at first glance. Do the math. Your calculator is your best friend in these situations!

In our business, providers never arrive and stay there. If you aren’t continually looking for new hires, you are going to be left behind. In the service industry, it is imperative that you make your business up with advanced, intermediate and junior service providers. AND be on the lookout for new and exciting team members.

Look at reducing expenses.

For every $100 you reduce expenses by, it means you need $300 less in sales. How can you generate extra revenue with the clients you currently have? By simply raising your average ticket by $5-10 per client you could cover the shortfall in sales! Do more with less!


If employees have been considering leaving, they often have been a negative force in the business for some time. The winds of change can breathe new life into your business!

TAKING ACTION is the only thing that will move you forward FAST! Being a business owner is hard work, but the rewards are great.

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Before the concept of money, there was barter or exchange of services. For example, an ear of corn was exchanged for a fresh tomato. There was value determined by each ingredient of the barter. As commerce grew, it became more efficient to have a standard with which to exchange goods and money was created. Good and services exchanged today are still a form of barter; we just use money for valuation purposes.

If you ask a stylist why they wanted to become one, the last thing we hear is, “for the money!” Ask around and you will hear that stylists are who they are because they enjoy helping people or it’s an expression creativity. Yet, this can be an exceptionally lucrative business to work in.

The value of a service provider

The value of a service provider probably isn’t as great as the perceived value of the leader of your country. Perhaps it’s not as great as the head of a multi-national conglomerate or a brain surgeon. It is, however, a skilled trade! Not everyone could cut and dye hair color, or give a knowledgeable facial. In fact, there is a shortage of all kinds of trades’ people in our area of the world – their value is increasing as shortages grow.

There is VALUE in the services that we provide for our clients! It’s time to start asking for our worth and remove the fear in asking for our true value. Stylists attend more extra-curricular education than most professional people I know! With every hour of experience and every hour of education, our true worth grows! Catherine, as a stylist and then salon owner has attended enough education to earn two degrees! Your worth increases with every hour.

A look at money from the point of view of a business owner

There is a completely different connotation. Our industry has been working around a 50% commission structure for years, but as service providers we only look at our side and what we are taking home. It doesn’t stop there for the salon/spa owner.

After the 50% commission paid to a service provider, there follows:
  • vacation pay,
  • stat holiday pay,
  • employer portion of employment insurance,
  • employment portion of pension funds,
  • employment portion of workmen’s compensation. The employer actually pays out not 50% but closer to 62% in wages.
Then there is the cost of product used in the service:
  • chemicals,
  • gloves,
  • cotton,
  • caps,
  • back bar support, etc.
Let’s not forget the use of:
  • heat,
  • electricity,
  • and water.
Then there is:
  • insurance costs,
  • accounting fees,
  • computer costs and support,
  • support staff,
  • marketing and advertising costs,

And, good grief! What about the rent? Not just rent, the EXTRA rent demanded by the landlord for common areas etc. The owner of a business is lucky to walk away with perhaps 2% after everything is paid out on a service!That’s TWO DOLLARS out of every HUNDRED!

Pricing of services in a salon/spa is based on recouping costs incurred.

Each station must produce a certain amount of revenue in order for a salon/spa to maintain the status quo. A good business manager has scientifically determined the pricing within their business – respect those decisions!

And then there is money from the perspective of a client! Why do we assume what a client can or cannot pay for a service? Do you tell them how much they can spend when they go out for dinner? Or what they should pay to have their car serviced? So if pricing in a business is determined by productivity and relative costs, who are we to determine whether a client can afford the service or not! Isn’t that their business? Isn’t it their choice to enter to salon/spa and book a service?

It’s time to look in the mirror and give yourself a pat on the back – first for choosing to work within this industry, and secondly, because you are worth your weight in gold! I, for one, cannot live without my service provider! Thank you!