Although having a hair salon may seem like a recession-proof business idea, last year proved that nothing is quite recession-proof and that if you want your clients to wait patiently until you reopen, you need to go the extra mile and turn your business into a memorable brand. Technical skills are essential for a hair salon manager, but those are just the basic requirement. To convince customers to come back, you need good soft skills, and you need to be committed to self-growth. Success isn’t guaranteed and, in an industry where trends change every season, you cannot afford to get stuck in “the old ways”.
Be an excellent communicator.
When people go to the hairdresser’s, they may not necessarily know what they want. They may have just an idea, and it’s up to you as the expert to listen to them and be proactive. Many times, people go to the salon for the experience, so communication skills are a must. They want to feel pampered and see a friendly face, and when they talk to you about their next haircut or dye job, they want to feel as if they’re talking to a friend.
Develop a customer-oriented mindset
When they have to choose between two hairdressers who have similar skills, customers will go for the one that makes them feel comfortable and welcome and that cares about customer satisfaction more than about profit. One of the biggest differences between an average stylist and a professional is that a professional also offers advice and goes the extra mile so that the customer feels empowered and confident when they leave the salon – even if they didn’t know what they wanted when they came in. Needless to say, you should always strive to offer the best possible customer experience and make everyone feel at ease. When hiring new staff, make sure you consider their attitude too, not just their skills and education.
You’re never too old or too good to learn something new – this mantra applies to all industries, but it’s all the more important in the beauty industry, where trends come and go. No matter how good you are, you should always be kind, humble, and courteous to your customers, as well as your staff. If relationships are tense in a hair salon, clients will pick up on that, and that might affect your prospects.
Have a contingency plan
Risks are part of running a business, and hair salons make no exception. As the manager, you cannot avoid all risks, but you can take preventive measures so that risks don’t become financially crippling. For example, you need to invest in hair salon insurance, which covers the costs related to injuries, client claims, and property damage. Another thing you can do to strengthen your brand and protect it from periods of recession is to branch out as much as possible and have a backup plan. For example, world-class hair salons have stayed relevant during the lockdown by offering online training or selling professional hairstyling products online.