Salon Basics

3 November 2015

Back to Salon Basics – You and Your Salon Vision About You

Whether you are thinking of owning a salon or, you already own a salon, it is important to get the salon basics right. The two most important areas  are YOU and YOUR VISION.

Run your life by design, not accident.

First you need to ask yourself why? What is  your motivation? I ask this  because it will get tough and from time to time you will need to remind yourself why you decided to do it. You also need to ask what kind of leader will you be? What are the attributes you have or need? Integrity, Fairness, Consistency, Vision, Passion, Communication, Systems, Processes, Teacher. Will you be a good leader? The temptation to start with, is to run a salon like a big happy family or group of friends, so you quickly poach all your mates from the salon you were working at.

Reality check number 1: You can’t build a business with friends, there needs to be clear boundaries between employee and employer.

What are you going to do and what are you going to “outsource” to someone else? Training, accounts, HR, marketing, 1-2-1’s. It is good to have a clear plan and written job roles for your team,

Are you ready? Once you have got over the initial euphoria and excitement  associated with opening your new salon, are you ready for the long haul? Are you ready for salon business reality?

Reality check number 2: S*** happens! Team members leave, they will take your clients, they may even open up down the road, you will be sued, you will get complaints from nasty people, boilers break, thefts happen, team members take the p***. You need to have, or develop, thick skin.

So assuming you are still keen to take the plunge then, what is the next most important thing?


It is amazing when salon owners are asked what is their vision? Often they will come up with some vague answers. That is why it is salon basic number 2. Let’s get specific. The clearer your vision is, is the only  way you will really know if you are on track or off track. How can you get your team behind your vision? Give them a clear picture of where you are heading and why they belong.

So what is your salon vision? What will it be in 1 year, or maybe 2,3,or five years. A great tool is the Salon Orbit Chart to help map out your next 3 years.

  • How many team players?
  • What mix, stylists, therapists assistants, marketing, admin, reception?
  • How many clients per week, average bill, percentage colour, percentage treatments, percentage retail?
  • What is your turnover?
  • What is your rent, electricity and sundries?
  • What is your profit?
  • How many hours are you working?
  • How many hours are you having fun?
  • How often are you laughing?
  • Are you happy?

What is the atmosphere in the salon?

  • What music are you playing, what does your salon look like, what does it feel like and what does it smell like when you walk in?
  • What is your niche?
  • What is your USP?
  • What makes you better?
  • What makes you different?
Imagine yourself walking through your salon, one year from today, close your eyes and see, hear and smell what you would, as you imagine yourself walking through it.
  • How are you marketing?
  • How do you get new clients?
  • How do you upsell?
  • How do you ensure great client frequency?
  • How do you grow loyalty and retain client?
  • What systems do you employ?
  • What computer system do you use? (Salon-iQ of course!)
  • What manuals have you got?
  • What brand standards do you have?
  • What retail brands do you sell?
  • Who are you partners in business? Your suppliers, your accountant, your IT provider.

Finally does it stack up?

  • What is your rent?
  • What do you spent on professional stock?
  • What is your % wages?
  • What are your other overheads?
  • What is left?
The clearer the vision you have you more likely your vision will become a reality.

Note: Plans change, and that is ok, review your vision regularly and adjust the focus where necessary.

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