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Creating a Salon Vision

Do you have a Salon Vision?  

Have you thought about what you ultimately want to achieve as a salon owner?

 

As a salon owner creating a salon vision of what you want to achieve with your business and how you are going to get there is crucial for success.

  • What do you want?
  • Where you are heading?
  • How do you want to influence people?
  • What do you aim to create?
  • Who do you want to work with and serve?

Did you create a salon vision with your business plan? Did you create your business values, mission and goals, or map out a process, system and strategies to achieve your dreams?

This is your salon vision.

 

 

The big question is, is your salon vision shared by your team?

Have you or did you communicate to your team what you wanted to achieve with your business?

When hiring, did you find out if the prospective new team members shared the vision you have for your salon?

Have you worked together to create a direction and vision at salon team meetings?

Are you providing ongoing training for your team to ensure they bring their A game and contribute what they can to make your salon vision successful?

Values equal culture. Is your salon culture a place where everyone prospers and succeeds?

 

What even is a salon vision?

There was something that inspired you to open your own salon.

A desire to showcase the kind of hair styling and salon service that was aligned with your values and what you wanted customers to experience.

A culture and way of working that aligns with your values and beliefs.

Sharing that with your team is crucial. If this is an element missing from your team, now is the time to cement some solid values, a culture and direction to give your team a success path.

 

Creating a Salon Vision and Culture

Creating a salon vision as a team will ensure everyone who works for your salon is contributing towards a common goal. It highlights your values and priorities which you convey by your salon branding and marketing, plus the systems and procedures your salon operates under.

It should be the underlying directive by which every decision gets filtered, whether the boss is present or not. It provides consistency and a performance benchmark that is clear to everyone.

How do you treat the customers and each other? How do you work together as a team? What is everyone responsible for? What are everyone’s priorities? Is sustainability a priority?

You can talk about things like what music fits the vibe? How does your social media activity reflect your brand and it’s importance to your salon?

Procedural things like how you dispose of rubbish, phone communications, time spent on education and even the magazine choice. Choice of products, time allocated for services and staff responsibilities.

Spend some time getting clear on your salon vision is if it has been awhile or you just winged it at the start-up phase. You won’t regret it, it’s definitely time well spent.

 

 

Once you get clear on your salon vision, it should feel authentic. We are in the creative field so it can help to create something visual.  If it fits with your vibe make a vision board. It could be in the salon, your office, on Pinterest. Anywhere that works.

 

What is a vision board?

A vision board is a space that displays what you desire.

Vision boards actually work and do you know why? When you create a vision board and place it somewhere, you often see it so you are doing a short visualisation exercise without even thinking about it!

Visualisation is powerful.

Use the imagination to create pictures and visions of what you want in your life and how these things make you feel.

Along with focus, emotion and intention it becomes a powerful tool to help us achieve what we want.

 

How to create a salon vision board with your team:

Have a meeting earlier in the day. Make coffee, have fruit and scones… whatever your team love. Get them in a creative positive mood. We have taken salons through this at retreat team building days. It is an excellent time to put the hairstyling work to one side and dig deep on what you all want to achieve.

Explain that you want everyone in the team to create a salon vision and why it is important to you, the salon owner, to implement this.

Take some time and go through magazines and tear out images, quotes and words that inspire them in the salon. Get everyone to pick some favourites. This can be quite revealing… you might be surprised about what drives and motivates some people you thought you knew quite well.

Ask them to keep the salon in mind when choosing for this exercise. You can always have a personal vision board for each team member too, to express their wants and dreams in the salon.

Once the vision board is complete, place it in a communal area where you can see it multiple times throughout the day. Take a photo of the board and save it to your computer wallpaper or home screen of the salon iPad.

 

 

Team building takes time but see it as an investment.

Building your salon tribe reaps rewards for your business but most importantly your customers will receive the benefits.

A salon with focus and direction is one they will enjoy spending their time and money in. You will create loyal customers who recommend your business and buy into what you stand for.

It’s a place everyone will enjoy coming to and working at… one that contributes to the betterment of everyone’s lives.

Do you have strong leadership skills at your team meetings? Read our blog about productive team meetings here.

Also, check out the Leadership Skills Tool we have in the Salon Leadership Library. There are lots of motivational and practical tips for you to define the leadership skills that will take your business and team to the next level.

 

 

Help Your Salon Team Educate and Sell to Customers

When talking to customers about services and products, your team needs to feel empowered and educated themselves. 

 

Woman at the hair salon paying by card

 

Help your team educate and sell to customers without feeling salesy! Using persuasive techniques can just feel icky to most of us…but remember customers have to use shampoo and they are buying it somewhere.

 

5 Tips to get you started.

#1. Start by asking your customers a few questions where you know the answer will be Yes! This helps to put the customer in a frame of mind where they want to answer your questions.

#2. Then ask questions which help you learn more about the customer and what they want. Use ‘open’ questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no, to encourage the customer to talk.

#3. Listen carefully to what they say… make intelligent comments to show that you understand their situation.

#4. Avoid delivering long-winded replies without giving the customer the chance to get involved.

#5. Check that they understand what you are saying. Ask them if they have any questions.

Too often the customer feels like they are being ‘pushed’ into buying a product. Instead of doing a hard sell, ask the right questions to lead the conversation naturally towards the customer and their needs. Be guided by the answers you get.

Check out the Money Mindset Cheat Sheet in the Salon Leadership Library for more tips on sales and marketing.

 


 

It’s about helping the customer to make a decision to buy, rather than being sold to.

 


 

Sell Benefits instead of Features.

This is Marketing 101. People tend to care less about features than they do about benefits.

Benefits carry with them a more clearly defined value.

People really care about having more of: love, money, acceptance and free time, while at the same time wishing for less: stress, conflict, hassle and uncertainty.

There is still room for showing features occasionally, just be sure to tie them back to benefits where possible.

Describing features can be an easy way of explaining what you are offering, but it does not sell the product. Instead, you need to show the customer what’s in it for them. Even if you tell customers about features, you should always translate those features into benefits.

For example, a feature of the conditioner you produce may be its lightweight packaging. But customers don’t buy the conditioner because of the packaging — they buy it because it is easier to use in the shower.

Or a feature of the brush is that it has a ceramic coating. The customer needs it because it dries the hair faster with less damage… emphasise that.

Remember too, that the benefits can be specific to that particular customer: different customers may value different benefits. This is where the communication and question asking comes in. Find out what their needs are and address them. Some people prioritise ease, others assurance that they get results. Your sales process should include finding out as much as possible about what the customer wants

Benefit statements often include words like increase, improve, reduce, save, gain or protect. Although don’t use all of them at once!

 

 

Use Loss Aversion instead of Emphasising gains.

We like to win, but we hate to lose.

According to the rules of persuasive psychology, we are more driven to avoid losses than to acquiring gains.

This can be applied to how product and service offers are presented and communicated.

By underlying that a product is protective of a customer’s existing well-being, it is more effective than trying to provide a customer with something additional which they don’t already have.

Do insurance companies sell the payout that can be gained after the accident or the protection of the things we hold dear to us?

Don’t get into the fear and scaremongering here though.

We have a close and often intimate relationship with our customers and don’t want to risk that by making them fearful that their hair may fall out if they don’t use a particular product.

However, a very good use of this strategy is when selling treatments to customers who are colouring or straightening their hair.

As professionals, we know the damage they are doing to their hair and a rebuilding treatment will minimise the impact of this quickly and simply. Not enough salon teams recommend this service regularly enough and it can lead to a really noticeable hike in revenue and profit, plus give your customers beautiful healthy hair.

 

Showcase the products you use.

Challenge your team to talk about every product they have used on the customer’s hair. Why, what it does and how to use it.

Place the finishing products in front of the customer after using them so they can see and look at the bottles.

 

Improve your teams Money Mindset.

Often we find that our team can have a lack money mindset and this can get in the way of them achieving success with selling products and services.

Check out the Money Mindset Cheat Sheet in the Salon Leadership Library and uncover what could be holding them back.

 

Encouraging your team to feel confident recommending take-home products is part of the whole salon experience. Customers are more likely to be loyal and return for more services if you engage them with home haircare products.

Make it a challenge for them with in-salon competitions, incentives and bonuses.

Highlight a product for the week and see how they get motivated to talk about it more often with their customers.

It can be a great source of revenue and profits for the team and salon. The customer benefits are obvious. Their hair looks great!

 

How to Hire and Onboard New Team Members

Are you hiring new team members?

Do you have a interview process that uncovers the values of prospective employees?

Are your new team members settling in?

 

How to hire and onboard a new team member is an important skill. Do you pick the right new team members at interviews and have an onboarding process to ensure they start well?

Few of us have time to hire and onboard really well when we are already busy building and running a salon business.

Salon owners are often in desperate need of new team members and just want them to take the load off and get on with the job. They just show them around, have a quick meeting and let them get on with it. Is that you?

Interviewing for a salon role is challenging at the best of times.

How do you uncover the values that you want in a stylist and work out whether they are saying what you want to hear or how they really feel. Are they passionate and motivated?

Is the next apprentice going to cope with the rigours and commitment required for training?

Will they take personal responsibility or just become negative and complain?

Are you just inviting a poison apple into your team only to regret the hire later?

 

Common things salon owners say when they are asked what they regret or what they would do differently is… ‘I wish I’d not rushed to hire someone’ or ‘I’ve hired the wrong people’.

It’s a horrible mistake. An unsuitable person can make your life and those on your team a misery and it’s not just the hairstyling team…

Hiring hairstylists is not the only HR role salon owners have.

Front desk and a back end team like bookkeepers, salon managers or VA’s are also essential to get right. These are pivotal roles and bringing the right person into the fold to help your business grow is crucial.

 


You know what they say, ‘Hire Slow, Fire Fast’

 


 

But the truth of the matter is that moving someone along if they are not working out is easier said than done these days. Actually it’s a minefield and one that could cost you dearly if it’s not handled correctly.

Your contracts and employee agreements have to be updated and incredibly water tight so you don’t get caught out on trial periods, grievance and unfair dismissal.

 

How to Hire and Onboard New Team Members

woman's hands signing an employment contract, close-upStylists and trainees need to have their skills tested and their ability to learn accessed.

  • Are they interested in a job or a career?
  • Do they have passion and are they driven?
  • Are these the same values your salon shares?
  • Are they individuals or team players? What influences them? Are they coachable?

These questions will expose their ability to work in a team, how they view the industry and if they will add value to your business.

For more interview questions that really uncover the values, passions and potential of prospective new team members, get the Interview Questions Cheat Sheet in the Salon Leadership Library.

 

 

Ok now you have them onboard, how do you go about starting the relationship off well?

Create a welcome package for new team members. See below for essential elements to consider.

 

Salon Systems and Procedures Manual. If you don’t have one by now it’s time to get it done. Think of it as an insurance policy and a massive peace of mind strategy.

Salon Values Document or Mission Statement. Create your own vision for what your salon represents. What do you really care about.

Job Description. This should be included in the contract, so make sure they understand what they are responsible for and what is expected of them.

On-boarding Training Programme Schedule. Training for the first month/quarter. Include things like:

  • reception
  • client care
  • colour usage
  • pricing
  • product knowledge and usage
  • services you offer
  • record keeping
  • how to sell and promote services
  • loyalty schemes and promos.

For example. Do they consult with customers to your standards? See our fact filled blog on customer care and client development here.

Marketing Strategy. How do you plan to market them to potential customers and what do you expect of them to do themselves. Haphazard promotion with no strategy will not cut it when you want a new stylist to be busy, attracting good quality customers and keep them.

Client Management Systems. Make them aware of how you record data and KPI’s for your business, like new client retention, utilisation of time, average client spend, average client year visits, client lifetime value etc… Discuss targets and benchmarks you want them to achieve in particular time frames.

 

 

Wages and Pay Structure. If this is performance related, it goes well with the meeting you will be having in the previous point. Explain how your salon runs and what you need from them to be profitable. Junior team members and the front desk need to understand that their wage costs need to be covered. They should know that all product and time wastage will kill everyone’s earning power and how their efficiency affects the ability for the salon to be more profitable.

 


 

A true leader is not a boss. They lead, motivate and encourage a team. Micro managing and controlling your team is not the way to success or happiness.

 


 

Frustration is easy when things get out of control and you are facing under-performance and ineffective team work.

Being the boss can be challenging when you have a disgruntled team and you are facing challenges that they just don’t understand. Your team needs a leader. Step up and put aside time to get things right from the start. Set clear expectations so everyone is on the same page and refer back to these when you need to keep them on track.

Get Interview Questions that uncover the values, passions and potential of prospective new team members.
They’re Free in the Salon Leadership Library here.