Years ago, as my business began to flourish and I became more successful, work taught me a very valuable lesson: I could either delegate tasks or continue trying to be all things to all people and risk suffering burnout. In other words, if I wanted to spend time servicing clients at three salons situated at opposite ends of the country, work backstage at the fashion collections, develop new products, do editorial session styling, conduct makeover segments for TV shows, get involved with a charity or take a much-needed vacation, I would need to find a sharp salon manager for each of my locations who could step up to the plate, take charge and lead during my absence.
Benefits notwithstanding, I knew that relinquishing control wasn't going to come easy for me unless I could find the right people. It was essential that they be ready, willing and able to take on huge chunks of responsibility and authority, share my convictions, be competent and trustworthy, and share my passion for perfection. And on top of all that, they also needed to have:
- Leadership and motivational skills, essential when dealing with staff
- Financial and analytical skills, to manage all budgets
- Marketing knowledge, because salon managers are the ones who are responsible for driving the business through events and services
- Organizational skills, since there's a lot of follow-through on all levels
- Good interpersonal skills, essential for client and staff relations
- Luxury brand experience and the ability to work within the corporate structure, which I consider essential to setting the tone of the salon.
Once hired, my salon managers undergo a rigorous, four-week training period that includes meeting with all department heads (finance, PR, marketing), education on all systems (POS and scheduling), budgets, customer service, brand identity, inventory management and retail product training. The bottom line? Having competent individuals who can help me manage and concentrate on the big picture is a cornerstone of successful management. Besides that, delegating to salon managers gives them a chance to show their capabilities, fosters a sense of community and instills a sense of leadership. That's a win-win in my book.
E-mail Frédéric at [email protected]