Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR:
Regular postings of fresh new topic’s
I think that it might be time to share a journey taken by myself into building and establishing a home based hairdressing business. Without any advertising fully booked successful in one year lets call it 0 to 50 that was the turn over year one.
At the time I was working as an educator and platform artist for a large North American hair product and hair colour company. Whilst really enjoying the shows. The travel. The events it had it’s down time and just doing salon hair colour education update was not challenging enough. So i decided to set up a salon at home.
This would be a small one man business built using my skills creativity and knowledge. My mandate would be to offer the highest standard of. Hair colouring. Colour correction, and razor cutting.
I would be using the skills and knowledge that educations had provided me with. My mandate was build up a strong clientele with a loyal following. Built up on recommendation word of mouth. No advertising very defined boundaries and work ethics and working hours.
I will cover boundaries, working hours and indeed charges as we move on.
This business model was not conceived on a whim it was modeled on experience gained over many years in the Hairdressing industry.
Ask your selves this question. Why do we spend so much.Time. Money and energy looking for. New clients.Promoting the salon generally searching for that quick fix of success and big fully booked pay out days? When all the success we could ever want is right at our fingers tips.
What is this secret. Here are some easy tips that work and we will re visit and cover in some depth.
*High Standard of service.
*Friendly but professional attitude.
*Skilled and knowledgeable.
*Trust and defined Boundaries-house /salon rules.
*Very personal one on one service. keeping up to date client records history formulations.
See not a huge list but the keys to being very successful with a business that builds and maintains it self. keep it simple so lets go thorough the list in some depth.
To start this business I had to draw on my past experience with hair salons. Having managed a hair salon in Central London experienced ownership I had a good idea about business set up.
Experience of working with salons in Ontario, Vancouver and on Vancouver Island also helped me set up this small business. Contacts and relationships made with sales representatives also helps. Yes reps can be your friend.
When staring a business it is very important to get some advise from certain bodies.
*Bank business account
* check into Licenses, registration that me be required.
* keep clear records,invoices and receipts.
So lets take a look High standards of service. specialisation.Create your Target market.
What does this mean to me. It’s being attentive. It’s being welcoming. Its the atmosphere. The scene you set and create . This was me projecting me. Who I am. How I work. I would think of my salon as my space, as my play room, my sand box.
Service. This is being. Attentive. Caring. Willingness to listen. To be honest. Ask the right question. Make your client feel at easy comfortable. This is so important it sets the scene for open and honest discussion that all important consultation.
I would also take this time whilst getting them settled to explain how I work and why. Give a brief history of my self and career my belief and mandate.
This is a good time to show how knowledgeable you are and also show a little authority on the subject matter. That being hair and colouring. Of course answer any general questions that may arise. It is also a good time and way to assess the client. To get a feel for who they are. What their expectation might be and so how demanding they may be. We will touch more on this.
This moves nicely on to Honest Consultation.
This is such an important time to have the art of conversation and use and asses so much. The key is to be frank and honest about the clients goals expectation. It is this time that you get to ask questions get a history of past services.
It is your time to assess the condition the look . You start to get an idea of what might or might not be possible. Remember the art of the consultation is to get your client to open up not just about past hair colour and style. But you can also lead the conversation asking the questions to get the client to open up. Instead of. What do you want? How do you feel about? What would you like to see? In a perfect world. How do you see you style and colour? Remember. Honesty on your part as the stylist is the key.
Normally when the color mistakes are apparent the truth is impossible to ignore. The poor client is so embarrassed upset and apologetic. So much so, that one really wants to help and fix this problem if at all possible.This would in some cases be correction.
The client usually admits that it was a money issue a crazy moment or a few drinks with that got out of hand with a friend it seemed like a good idea at the time! found an old box under the vanity and thought it would be a great time at 3 in the morning to “streak” their hair. I don’t have any issues helping these clients for me the challenge is correcting it the reward is success a happy client she made an honest mistake at home and now seeks professional help a humbling experience in it’s self.
Usually they have learned from the mistake after all we all make mistakes first time one feels sorry for them repeat offenders well they are on their own, most however are more than willing to go through the steps to fix the situation.
Then there are the liars. I know this is harsh, but usually when you ask someone a direct question and they knowingly misinform you, that’s a lie. As a stylist how can we make an informed decision to fix something when blatantly given the wrong information. In most cases they have been deceived by marketing adverts and promotion that suggest an easy to use instant make over in a box trouble is these kits cannot cover and address every hair situation or scenario it can be complicated! from a stylist point of view we need to know the truth in order to perform the right service. This is not possible when a client make a choices not to give all the information or answer question honestly.
Here is an example of a normal client consultation:
A client is looking for some sort of chemical service, not always a major change. let’s say going lighter. We will take a close look at the hair during the consultation and figure out what we need to do to get as close to the desired result without damaging the hair. It is at this time when we’ll ask the client their past history. whilst at the same time looking and feeling for indications of damage. If we see any sort of banding, we know some sort chemical affected the hair. It’s a pretty simple fact, hair grows approximately 1/2 inch a month. If there is a any sort of line of demarcation. We know there was something “done” to the hair, and we can tell when it happened by how far it is away from the scalp. When we ask the client why this band exists, they can’t give a reason. When we’d tell them that something had to be put in their hair to create this band they will not admit to anything. To be fair with so many over the counter products these days misleading the consumer it is possible that they were unaware the product used would cause this issue. In some cases one would repeatedly ask the question and they’ll repeatedly plead their innocence/ignorance. stale mate helps no one!
The main thing not to forget is why the client is sitting in front of you.What can you do for her! The client, service, consultation, listening, honesty, humility, staff training and continued Education updates for all staff.
In some cases after a consultation it is ok to suggest that giving the hair a break from chemical service is the only way forward. If they will not commit to this. Then take my advise stop!
If a clients has hair that is really badly done. Over processed damaged beyond help. Unless they want to listen to you take your advise. If you don’t feel that you can improve on this. If it will not be an advert for you.Then why would you get involved it’s ok to say No!
If it’s is not going to be a good advert for you. Not going to be representative of your talent and ability.
Why get involved?
Consider this. Badly done over processed hair. As soon as you agree to fix it you are taking responsibility for all that has been done in the past! Consider is it worth it! If you decide to take this on them make them sign a client waive release form.
As a stylist consider are you fixing this. Because you can or do you have something to prove is this. I can do! Or EGO driven.
For me having boundaries being able to say No is Ok it’s honest it’s real it’s professional!
Friendly welcoming but professional
Is this possible you may ask your self ye sit did and it’s key to success. For it makes your client feel special wanted important. Now you don’t have to be all gushy nor false. It’s more about keeping a conversation real and about them.
That being said sharing some of your own life is also ok just not that did you have a nice week end are you going on Holiday stuff!!!
It’s all about three things to remember about your clients people places things. listen to what they tell you take it in remember key things work life family it show you care and do listen.
Keeping it professional that is giving sound advise not bowing to silly demands those boundaries established are still key. So for example when they re approach the subject of cutting their husbands hair by stroking your ego saying how good you are . Thank them remind them that you don’t do guys hair. but say nice try though! I would always say i don’t enjoy male company however nice they are!
Remember key points about last hair do ultimate goal. If in doubt keep notes review before they arrive.
Its ok still shows you care. you are building trust a relationship key to client retention recommendation and ones sanity!
I hope that this will inspire some to take that leap to control your own future! standards and professional approach to hair dressing Mike B2MR