Here, Business of Balayage shares about the choices and habits that may be holding you back in your salon business.
Getting too personal
While your clients might gush over your adorable children (be they furry or not), be wary of making your business too personal. When clients start to see you less as a business and more as a friend, it makes it easier for them to challenge boundaries about your pricing, scheduling and more. Keeping those boundaries healthy, while being human is quite possibly the most challenging balance a hairstylist can face.
Wavering on your prices
Consistency is key for any brand but keeping your pricing consistent for your customers creates trust and healthy expectations. If you don't hold to a strict menu, keeping track of the past services and charges per client can help you and your client away from that awkward "explain the cost to me again" conversation.
While we are all human and are often times at the will of the local traffic, having a pattern of being regularly late- even by a few minutes, is subconsciously challenging your professionalism. Do your best to arrive in a timely manner as well as to respond to your client inquiries. If you have a day set aside just for scheduling, awesome—just be sure to be transparent with your clients about how and when they can reach you as well as when they should expect a response.
Talking smack on other stylists or past work might even be encouraged by the client but do your best not to participate. Often times, when clients are on the hunt for a new mane creator, they will attempt to get their new stylist to help justify their switch. Being able to acknowledge their concerns and frustrations while assuring them that you've got a plan to get them back on track is a tough task but if you can do so without talking down about prior work you and your business will be the better for it! Lots of clients will talk about what went wrong, and you might be tempted to join in on pointing out past issues remember that your client could take offense to any smack talk because, after all- they were the ones that trusted that stylist with their hair. Keep the focus on how pumped you are to give them the look they're longing for and you'll have them singing your praises in no time.
In working within an industry of proud misfits, this term might sound like a whole lot of fun but unruly branding that is mismatched and changes with the days of the week can confuse the heck out of your client and subconsciously shatter your brand trust you've worked so hard to build in your chair. Take time to reflect on your business' purpose, mission and develop a brand that you love to share. Once you've got it, keep it and be sure to remember that while you look at those colors, fonts and logos on the daily (which can make you a bit sick of them) your client only sees them from time to time so give them a chance to get familiar with it and be able to spot you from a mile away.
Never saying no
As creatives, we have a hard time knowing and speaking to our own limitations. Being transparent about your limitations will not only help your business by saving you from negative Yelp reviews but it will also help your client to trust you in what you can and will do for them. Plenty of stylists that specialize in color are not as confident in what they can do with a cut and those that are confident about their specialty are not afraid to refer their clients to another specialist for their shape. Our industry is changing and our clients are understanding more and more that most specialty stylists stick to doing what they do best, being a part of this and training new clients as they come in about what you will and won't do for them is the best thing you can do for your business.
American Salon is pleased to welcome the Business of Balayage, a collective of brilliant independent educators, as they share a series of business building blogs on americansalon.com. For more information, visit www.thebusinessofbalayage.com.