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The Right Salon Manager

Posted on: November 10, 2015

Selecting the right person to manage your salon is a big decision. The right person will help insure a successful salon, the wrong wrong one and it can cost you your salon.

leadership salonThe majority of salon owners pick their top stylist or therapist and promote them to Manager. Great idea, after all, you wouldn’t want to risk losing your top income producer.

99% of the time, this will fail. Why? In my experience, the best stylists and therapists don’t necessarily make the best Managers.

The other scenario is a receptionist becomes a Manager. Again, most of these scenario’s fail The receptionist rarely has the technical expertise to earn the respect of the team.

So what are the other options? The salon Manager does not necessarily have to be a top earning team member. You are looking for someone who has good organisational skills and good leadership skills. The reality is, salons cannot afford dedicated Managers, so they will most likely be an income producing team member. With this, you could break up roles with in the salon, for example, stock Manager, salon Manager, training Manager.

Lets look at an example. You have a great stylist, he has all the attributes of a great stylist and is the top income producer, he

  • Listens to clients
  • Asks open ended questions
  • Talks about their hair and not about their holidays/weekend etc
  • Is genuinely interested in his clients
  • Wants to make sure clients were 100% with their hair and advice
  • Is technically excellent
  • His guests re book
  • He smashes each retail target set
  • He is never sick

You do not want to loose him, so you promote him to Manager. But as a Manager, and as a leader some of these go out the window. He also needs different communication skills, some of which would be useful as a stylist, but some that are essential for a Manager. He needs to

  • Listen to his team
  • Help each team member achieve their maximum potential
  • Understand different things motivate different people
  • Learn what motivates each team member
  • Be approachable
  • Give good 1-2-1 Team appraisals
  • Have/earn the teams respect
  • Understand Team play
  • Make work a fun place
  • Train, teach and develop the team
  • Develop career paths for each team player
  • Lead by example
  • Be consistent
  • Be firm
  • Understand how to bring out the best in someone
  • Be fair
  • Realise they are not your friends any more
  • Learn how to delegate effectively

The reality is that few stylists or therapists will have all the skills, so your job as a salon owner is to teach them these skills.

So if you are planning on promoting a team member to manager, here are some golden rules

  • Have a clear job description
  • Have clear operations and system manuals
  • Create a 6 month Training and Management Plan with clear milestones, personal, team and salon targets
  • Review, monitor and tweak where necessary
  • Make sure you choose the right candidate for the right reason’s
Employer beware: Sometimes when you promote a team member to Manager status, suddenly “Bookouts” appear for this and that, and the team members income can drop considerably. A good Manager will make the most of their time, and delegate effectively so their own personal income should remain good and salon income should go through the roof as the result of a highly motivated team.