Letting Go

March 22, 2019 2:24 pm

Time for some #RealTalk… All committed salon owners are basically overworked, crazed, control freaks, right? Don’t lie to me, you know you are!

You work 100 hours a week where you jam in all the mundane shit on top of your 40 clients because ‘nobody can do it like you do’. We all know the strain of burnout, being overworked, sacrificing our relationships and health because we have a thousand things running circles in our heads; have I paid that bill, do we have enough 6%, did I set the alarm before I went home and did I book Sarah in for Friday?

The fact is (all evidence to the contrary) us salon owners aren’t superheros, so we need to stop pretending that we are.

So, where do we start with asking for help?

My first work-wife (now I have two) came to me three and a half years ago, when it was just me, one senior and an apprentice. I decided to go down the pathway of hiring a coordinator/ex-hairdresser as my manager, because for me, that’s what I needed and fitted with my current situation and the visions I had for my salon.

Where I needed support in my life and business was on the desk, the inquiries, phone calls, emails, ordering, point-of-sale, bookings, even handling personal errands; all the stuff that interfered and took time away from me being the creative hair magician that I
was at the time.

Let me tell you, hiring her was up there with some of the best things I ever did for my business, and for my personal life.

I am a strong believer that once you reach four to five employees in your salon, there is no way you can be on the floor full time, running a full column of clients, managing all the tasks, the team, and coordinating the day to day running of a salon without destroying whatever dregs of a personal life you have left if you’re in this situation. You’d literally become the walking dead!

And if you reckon you can do it all yourself, I call BS, there would be parts of your life or business that you’d be skipping over or not doing properly so you could fit it all in. For me, my main focus was moving away from my paying clients (how unfair on them!) so I knew it was time to bite the bullet, put my ego back in its box and get help!

So, where do you even start?

If you have a team who aren’t fully booked and have time where they can take some of a load off, delegate some of the easier tasks to them. Things like stock control, replying to client messages and inquiries, are all things that can be trainable.

But, if you need more of a right-hand, someone to help you motivate the team, be your support and help you with the business growth and visions, its time for a manager.

When I am hiring a manager, I would be cautious of hiring new. To me an awesome manager is someone who naturally progresses into the role, they don’t have to be a hairstylist, they can be a receptionist or even a trainee, management is a skill you’ve either got, or you don’t. not everyone is cut out for it. Managers show initiative, a great attitude, and the most important thing is they see your salon as their own and they will always have your back. In a nutshell; a WORK-WIFE.

While the terms ‘work wife’ and ‘work husband’ are typically used in a playful context, the benefits of having a work spouse are real. By sharing the workload your likely to double your productivity, increase the quality of work produced, and literally enjoy a more conscious and fulfilled personal life because you won’t be focused on your work as much when you aren’t there.

When you’re growing someone into a management role, it’s important that you build trust in each other, and you entrust them to take on some of the tasks. It’s imperative that you define clear expectations and detailed descriptions of what their role actually is and what you need them to do, and that you give them time to complete the work. This looks different for every salon and every work-wife relationship.

Another misconception here is that a manager can just get shit done in between their clients, it’s not practical or possible to do a good job if you make your managers work like this. We all know how a day can end up if things aren’t scheduled properly, and how tasks can end up when we’re doing eighty things at once.

The next bit is, delegate the stuff that isn’t your strength or things that you hate doing (sorry managers!) I always start with my top five least enjoyed jobs, then continue to add tasks as required. When they do one thing well, get it right, and you’ve followed it up, hand over another thing if you need to. The key here is to not swamp them right off the bat!

The things that I hated doing in my business were the time-consuming things. Things like following up with clients and gaining feedback, ORDERING insert eye roll here, rosters, targets/bonuses and timesheets, morning huddles (lowkey not a morning person) and generally answering the phone. My teams weaknesses were point-of-sale; rebooking (they just “forgot”) and there always seemed to be cash out, an undercharged or a service they also “forgot” to charge for, or generally not spending enough time on the phone consulting clients (because they were busy running a column of clients) so
things weren’t booked as practically as possible – like damn 15 minute unfillable gaps! So, these were immediately the tasks of my manager, then we added from there.

This is why it was practical for me to have a coordinator/manager. As I said, every salon, owner, manager and business structure is completely different. Nowadays, as I don’t work in either of my salons, I have two managers, one who handles the back end of all three of my companies, and one in the salon full-time. The salon manager has ten hours per week on clients and the rest is motivating the team, quality control and overseeing the work on a daily basis, making sure everyone is exceeding targets, keeping the salon clean and following all the procedures we have in place. Then reporting everything back to me. This is what enables me to pour my focus into marketing and growing my salons and being able to coach other salon owners full time.

So, hire yourself a work-wife, take a load off, and focus your energy on the tasks that you do best!

If you think you’re ready for a manager, or you already have one and you aren’t getting the best out of them, even if you’re floundering because you’re confused about what they should/can/can’t be doing, my Salon Management Mastermind (which launched last month) is for you – click over to my shop for details and how to purchase XX

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