Almost every beauty professional’s dream is to start his or her own business. Locate a spacious, high-quality room or building for the business, hire qualified workers, and money will start pouring in. Many beauty professionals have started their own salon businesses before realizing that running a salon is not as easy as it sounds. Soon after opening the door, they find themselves trapped in all kinds of endless challenges that exhaust them. Beauty salons all around the country are struggling and desperately trying to get their heads above water. The problems never seem to end, and their businesses engulf all their time and energy, day and night. What is wrong with all these businesses, and why are so many beauty businesses are in trouble?
Most salon businesses are opened by hard-working beauty professionals. They are talented in beauty techniques, but unfortunately, it is not enough to run a beauty salon and business. They want to run a business with the mentality of a beauty tech professional who makes their own decisions.
There is a big difference between a technician mentality and a business mentality. As a technician, you deal with a client and give them the best of the best, as it is by the book. There is not much variation, and the goal and expectations are very clear between you and your client. Technicians work based on predefined rules and techniques, but as an entrepreneur, you have to define the goals, rules, and strategies to reach the preset goals.
As an entrepreneur, you are not just dealing with one client or a group of clients, but your main concern and job is to take care of the business as a separate living entity. Your main job is to make decisions based on data, prediction, and experience. Making business decisions involves high risks and venturing into the unknown, and you are responsible for whatever is happening in its level of profit, even if you are not fully involved in it.
How do you start and run a successful beauty salon business?
The very first thing to start your salon or to improve your salon is to alter your mentality into a business mentality. As an entrepreneur, your first responsibility is to create a system so that your business is organized and consistent. A system is a set of rules and regulations for you as an entrepreneur, for your team, and for your business as a whole.
Let’s look at some successful business systems in the beauty industry: Massage Envy, Gene Juarez, Great Clips, Supercuts, Paul Mitchell, among many others. These businesses are great examples of effective business systems in the beauty profession. They successfully implement sets of rules and regulations that work perfectly. Study them and learn what they do differently from local salons that makes them so successful. What do they have that distinguishes them from the rest of the crowd and allows them to surpass tens of thousands of other salons that are lacking?
Imitate and customize their system to implement it into your own. In your system, you need to have policies for hiring and firing employees, customer service, the criteria of your salon location, marketing, your salon theme, and many other considerations. There is a significant number of protocols involved in starting and running a business, and it is almost impossible to predict and invent everything from scratch. That is why gathering ideas from systems of successful businesses is the best idea, and over time and based on your needs, it makes the system better.
As an entrepreneur, you have to know how to read and understand finances and statements. The three most important financial statements are the balance sheet, profit and loss, and cash flow statements. These three basic statements act like the barometer of your business. You also need to know the vocabulary of the business world, as well as some accounting. Be aware if an unknown word, like USP (Unique Selling Proposition), comes up; don’t ignore uncertainties. Read and understand it. Those words are your tools to communicate to other business people and understand business news in your field.
Competition is crucial to acknowledge—it is always there and cannot be ignored. Competition can ruin your business or teach you and push you to be a better entrepreneur. You need to have an eye on your competitors and refuse to give them the opportunity to drag your business in their direction. To be strong and successful, have your own niches and your own business integrity and policy.
As an entrepreneur, you will definitely face difficult decisions, like whether to enter into a new market, discontinue a service or product, buy new machinery, hire or fire employees, and more. Make sure your decisions are based on available data and always consult with a mentor before making any big decision or move. A mentor is an experienced business person whom already know business and also knows you and your business and offers a second opinion. Mentoring is a great concept, and you as a new or even long-time entrepreneur would do best to have a mentor. Almost all great people in business have had some kind of a mentor in their life. There are governmental organizations like SBA that can help you in finding experienced mentors for free.
Marketing from with-in the business
Many people think that advertisement is the same as marketing. They are seeking the solution to every business problem through advertisement and marketing. For instance, if the revenue is down and they are losing clients, their initial reaction is to set aside a budget and run a marketing campaign. As a matter of fact, marketing is not the biggest challenge of a business. Before any marketing campaign, you need to study the problem very carefully and locate the source of the problem. If your competition is selling a service cheaper and with better quality, no matter how much you spend on marketing, it won’t fix the problem. Before any marketing campaign, consult with a marketing expert in your field. That will save you valuable money and time and will definitely bring you much more profit than if you run a marketing campaign on your own.
As an entrepreneur, you need to trust people and delegate tasks to your employees. It is unlikely that one person can do everything by themselves without the help of experts. When a salon owner brags that he or she does everything in the business, from cleaning the floor to accounting and advertising, unless they can give a very good reason as to why there is no delegation or trust in the business, it is a signal that there is something wrong in the business management.
Without the mentality of a professional, business-wise beauty technician, it is very unlikely to run a business well. To start and run a successful beauty business, you need to change your mentality: first, think and act like an entrepreneur. It is achievable, and millions of people have already done this and are running successful businesses in all fields including in the beauty field.