How to Lessen Your Time Behind the Chair
As a salon owner, you wear many hats to ensure your business stays afloat. In the beginning stages, you are your salon’s head stylist, receptionist, human resources director and much, much more. So it’s no surprise that it can be easy to keep those habits as your business begins to grow and you expand your staff and clientele. However, what many salon owners don’t realize is in order to be an effective owner, you have to focus on other aspects of your business beyond the chair. This is what Larissa M., a New Zealand-based salon professional turned online marketing, technology, and software development guru, wants to help salon owners across the world realize. And to bring you that great advice to help you lessen your time behind the chair, we asked Larissa to join our podcast to share her wisdom!
After years of working in the online marketing and technology world, in addition to working and owning a salon over the course of 20 years, Larissa saw a need to assist salon owners with stepping away from what they believe to be their main source of income, and focus on other ways to ensure their companies are profitable. Larissa does this both as a freedom and profit coach and as a creator of Salon Bot Messenger Marketing. Salon Bot was created by Salon Owners Collective and helps salon owners do the necessary work to grow a brand such as finding new clients and using marketing strategies to further grow their salons. Larissa’s brainchild helps salon owners find out what they want their business to look like in the future and also helps them live more well-rounded lives.
Figuring Out the “Why”
Larissa believes the first step for any salon owner to step away from their salon chair is to remind themselves why they wanted to be a salon owner in the first place. She believes it’s important for salon owners to step away for a little bit by taking a walk, going away for a weekend, or taking the day off to remember why they own a salon and are not working for someone else. Once the salon owner finds that answer, Larissa believes that the reason they started a business was so that they would not have to work the longest or hardest, but instead could delegate to a team. Look forward to five, ten, or even 15 years down the line for your business and write down in a journal what you would like your life to be like by then. These entries can include the personal needs for you to remain sane (like spending time with family, having alone time at work, etc.) while also deciding what steps you need to take to become a better owner, such as deciding how often you can physically be behind the chair versus focusing on other parts of the salon. Being specific about where you want to be is important because you can’t get to where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’re going! Putting yourself first is also important in this industry to ensure you don’t run out of energy and can be good for everyone else.
Define Your Freedom
One benefit of owning a salon should eventually be having time each day to be free of the demands of your company. Larissa believes that defining what your freedom will be is the first step in demanding you achieve it. She also advices that once you have defined your freedom, the next step to ensuring you receive that freedom is to bring in more people. To achieve this, you have to be clear about who will be on your team and what role they will play. Larissa advises salon owners who are serious about finding these people to close their books to new clients. By choosing to not take on new clients, salon owners can create the space to further grow the team. Taking a step back and making your team the client will help you in the long run because your team’s success will create even more success for your salon. Closing your book will also create necessary time blocks that you can use to focus on income-generating activities.
Know Your Business Model and Numbers
While many salon owners are open to having time to focus on other parts of their business and personal life, Larissa says what holds a lot of owners back is the fear of not having enough money once they step away from the floor – especially if they are the highest earners. Larissa believes the way to combat this is by first knowing what brings in money to your salon and working with an accountant to make sure it keeps happening. While this can vary by the salon, working with an accountant to see what you need to do specifically to not lose income will be the best way to find new strategies for growth.
Do the Work
After finding out exactly what needs to be done for you to earn the freedom you want, you have to put in the work to actually grow your business and become the owner you want to be. Larissa believes the first thing an owner should focus on is online marketing, with a strong emphasis on social media. Rather than just showing the “before” and “after” of a look on social media, having depth and showing your audience exactly who you are as a salon is a key step to growing your social media platforms. Larissa also suggests taking advantage of popular apps like Facebook Messenger to book clients. With Facebook Messenger, clients are having direct engagement with the salon and feel as if they know them on a more personal level, which is important for new clients. Another important thing to do in the free time you will create for yourself, is to hold meetings with your team. By acting as your team’s coach, you can guide them to what needs to be done for them to attract new clients. This can include the language to use to rebook with a client, and also how to upsell to clients. Larissa thinks going over the Code of Conduct you have in place for clients will also help your team understand your business goals and plans you’ve written down. By showing your team how you would like things to run, you are creating more space to not have to do these actions by yourself.
You are more than qualified to have your business run in a way that doesn’t require you to do everything. The main thing holding a lot of us back from what we want is the fear of taking the next step. Larissa believes the first step to getting rid of that doubt is to feel the fear, trust yourself and do it anyway!