A salon is only as good as its stylists, which makes putting an emphasis on hiring the right employees and fostering an environment for them to grow and succeed extremely important. However, salon owners are also required to wear many hats – from operator, to marketer, to team leader and more—and juggling all of these important activities can provide little time to focus on talent development. Fortunately, there are opportunities for owners to invest in technologies that not only help them optimize daily operations, but also benefit their hardworking employees.
Most salon owners can relate to these obstacles, but far fewer adopt tools to help solve for the challenges of hiring, developing and retaining top talent. Here are three ways salon owners can use technology solutions to attract and retain talent:
Stylists are servicing multiple clients per day, performing numerous services per client, selling products and rebooking their regulars. With a tool that monitors this data and produces a visual, easy-to-read report, stylists—and their managers—can see how they are performing and formulate meaningful goals to extend their efforts.
Lei Cicero, owner and operator of Salon Midori in Fullerton, CA, knows first-hand how beneficial this tool is to her employees. After taking over the financially struggling salon in 2005, she turned to Salon Iris, a salon management tool, to help her with virtually all aspects of her business – including employee hiring and retention. “With the performance reporting capabilities, I am able to sit down with each of my stylists and benchmark where they are trending in the quarter,” Lei shared. “We are able to see metrics like their individual client retention, the commission they have made off of the products they have sold and their overall service totals.” Being able to have that one-on-one connection with each of her stylists allows Lei to develop a performance-based work environment, that not only makes employees happier but also helps to attract similar-minded stylists who are seeking a collaborative, supportive workplace.
While there are many capabilities within most salon management solutions that can benefit both the owner and the customer (i.e., online booking, payroll, integrated credit card processing), it is important that stylists are also armed with easy-to-use tools to more efficiently complete their daily tasks. According to Lei, “The stylists at Salon Midori have been thrilled with the automated text messaging feature that alerts customers about their upcoming appointments. It keeps all parties accountable and has really decreased the number of no-show clients.” Certain solutions can also make it simpler for stylists to forge strong relationships with their regular customers. With tools that offer customer profile creation, stylists can make notes about which colors and products they used to make sure their clients have a tailored experience every time they visit.
Selling Point to Prospects
Being a technology-forward business has become the norm these days. When it comes to hiring top talent, candidates are seeking a work environment that will enable them to succeed—especially so for booth renters. Promoting tools that benefit employees can be extremely attractive to stylists. It is even more appealing if prospects see growing success in the business as well. For Lei and her team, “the tools that we have leveraged from our salon management software have changed everything. Since implementation, we have been able to focus on increasing our revenue and customer base—allowing us to open Salon Midori 2.0, our second location in Yorba Linda, CA.”
Salon owners facing the stresses that come with developing their staff on top of their many other duties, should consider investing in tools that will not only help them operate more efficiently, but also benefit their employees. Owners should look into the many different features that management software can provide and find a solution that is a fit for themselves and their stylists, both current and future.
About the Author: Jeff Dickerson is CEO of DaySmart Software, the makers of Salon Iris, a leading salon business management software for appointment booking, staff management, payment processing, marketing and customer communications for salon professionals worldwide. He has 25+ years of experience building software companies and developing technology that empowers and drives real business results for customers.