Posts tagged financial plan
Three Hairdresser Money Mind Shifts, Featuring Industry Expert Shana Dee

As beauty industry professionals, it’s so important for us to think in ways that give us the outcomes we desire. When you’ve been standing on your feet for eight hours, working with numerous personality types, and taking the last walk-in appointment, you definitely need to put mind over matter and focus on positive thoughts! Today, Shana Dee—Master Stylist based in DC with over 16 years of beauty industry experience—is sharing three mind shifts that will put you in control of your own life and your money!

#1 Eliminate Competition

Shana’s first tip is to eliminate competition. You might be thinking: how do I get rid of competition when there is a salon on every other corner? Friends, Shana Dee reminds us that your only competitor is your own mind.

Let’s start with a short story to show you what we’re talking about and how you can eliminate competition! There is a successful salon in the Midwest that has been passed down through four generations. It is a strong community staple, but then a chain salon opened and started offering $6 haircuts. When this chain salon opened, the owner got nervous and approached his son worried, “What are we going to do? Our ‘competition’ is offering $6 haircuts. We can’t compete with that! We’re going to go out of business!”

Instead of panicking, the son said to his dad, “What would it take for us to make more money than last year? Let’s each write down three ideas that can help our business succeed.”

Guess what they came up with? They developed a new slogan: We Fix $6 Haircuts. How perfect, right? In that year, not only did they thrive, but they made more money in that year than any year prior!

Shana Dee explains that when you start viewing other salons and even your coworkers as competition, you kill your creativity. You may be wondering, where does this scarcity thinking even come from? As kids, we were taught that you can’t have another piece of the cake because that means someone else won’t have a piece. But, we live in an environment where you can create an even bigger cake, and eat it too! Instead of thinking about what you lack, think in abundance.

How do you change your mindset to one of abundance? Shana suggests that you start with gratitude. For instance, say something like, “I’m so grateful that I have a full schedule and I’m always attracting new clients.” Or try, “I work with so many talented hair stylists, and I receive a lot of inspiration from them. I love that we collaborate and are always lifting each other up!” Positive affirmations and expressing gratitude are the quickest ways to bring creativity and abundance to your life.

#2 Be an Expert

Shana Dee reminds us that in every industry, the expert is always paid the most. A CEO is paid more than the intern and a lawyer is paid more than a paralegal. So, why do so few people become experts in their chosen field? It’s all about what you know and what you do.

When you go home from work, what are you doing to increase your knowledge about being a hair stylist? The opportunities to increase your knowledge are truly endless! You can learn how to edit videos, use Photoshop, take advanced color and cutting classes, read business books, and listen to podcasts! Shana stresses that becoming an expert separates you from the herd and makes you stand out!

How do you separate the expert from a novice? Shana Dee uses one simple question: are you confident or certain? Let’s say that you absolutely love hair color, and you’ve decided to become an expert. When you’re in the middle of a color correction appointment, are you confident that you know how to fix it, or are you certain? Are you running to the back to ask another stylist for advice or do you know every required step to get from A to B? There is a big difference between being confident and being certain—this is the difference that will make you an expert. Pick a craft that really lights you up and become an expert!

#3 Mind Over Money

We’ve all been there before when we look at our schedule and our jaw hits the floor! You think, “OMG, I have no clients!” Then the stress hits you and you start worrying about money. It’s easy for you to start blaming your surroundings and think, “If only I were at a different salon, I would have more clients.” Shana Dee explains that these thoughts place you in a state of desperation and jealousy. Trust us, money will not come from these thoughts!

The difference between stylists who are booked with a steady stream of clients and the ones who are worrying about money is how they are thinking. The more successful stylist is thinking different thoughts; she is thinking, “I love being so busy!” and “I am so grateful that clients choose me to be their stylist—I’m providing them a great service!” Shana emphasizes that these positive thoughts also spill into other aspects of your life, and you go home pumped up and ready to become an expert! You start spending more time mastering your craft and building your following. Start thinking positive thoughts and the money will follow!

What’s Next?

Now that you know the three money mind shifts, you need to set some goals for yourself. Your goal could be to post one Instagram picture or video every day, or you plan to get five new clients in a week. Whatever your goals are, Shana reminds us that you really have to set clear goals and go for it! You don’t have to know every single step along the way, you just have to take the first step—you will get closer every day!

Do you want to share your goals with other industry pros who can keep you accountable and give you confidence? Check out our sister company’s private Facebook group! We can’t wait to see you there!

How To Start Your Own Salon | Part 2: Funding Your Vision

In Part 1, we discussed the first step to start your own salon which is your vision. Then, we sprinkled in a dose of reality and explained that you really need to cut your vision in half to ensure that you are starting small and working towards your dream salon. Now, we are going to discuss how to fund that dream!

How are you going to get the money to start your salon? Although there are several different ways to secure funding, it only seems right to share what I have done. When I opened Be Inspired Salon in 2010, it was 750 square feet with five stations, two shampoo bowls, two dryers, and an exposed color-mixing area. It was a very small, boutique-style salon that I started with less than $100,000. How the heck did I make that tiny space work on a shoe-string budget? Let’s dive in!

Now Accepting Donations

When I started my salon, I didn’t have any liabilities. I didn’t have any bad debt—no credit card debt, no car loan, no mortgage debt. That all sounds great, right? But, that also meant that I didn’t have any assets. In other words, I didn’t have anything that the bank could take away from me if I failed. Even though I had a great business plan that demonstrated my success as an independent contractor, it was a struggle to secure funding from banks and investors, so I needed to look elsewhere.

Pro tip: you need to be on the lookout for expensive money. While you may find a bank that is willing to take a risk and lend you money, it could come with astronomical interest rates! Interest rates upwards of 16% are not cool! In our current market, you should expect rates to vary between 4-5%. And just remember, the better the economy, the higher the interest rates. I could do an entire blog about buying when the market is down and selling when it’s up—but we’ll save that talk for another time!

Since I wasn’t having any luck with the traditional route, I took my business plan to potential investors. I specifically looked for individuals who did not want to have any stake in the company. These are investors who are lending you money, but they do not receive any ownership nor any profits from the company.  In other words, you agree to return their investment with interest. You will not see this on Shark Tank.

With hard work and perseverance, I secured my first community investor called Madison Development Corporation. Each year, the corporation chooses a promising start-up company and offers a business loan. The Madison Development Corp. gave me a $20,000 loan! This was an excellent start. There are awesome opportunities like this in almost every city, so start looking! Community investors give time and money to start-ups who will employ locals and grow their neighborhood—these are amazing groups who want to see a success story!

Now, I have $20,000; what about the other $75,000? This is where things got a little crazy and really exciting! My next step was sitting down with my parents to ask for an investment. In my family, my parents gift each of their children $10,000 for their wedding. Instead of waiting for the wedding, I asked them to invest $10,000 into the salon with a return of 7%. Fortunately, they said yes!

With a commitment from my parents, I went to my business attorney to write a promissory note—you will need to do this! The promissory note becomes the legal agreement between you and your investor which details the amount invested, interest rates, and timeline for payment. Another great benefit of working with investors instead of a traditional financial institution is that you can negotiate the repayment timeline. For example, each of my investors agreed to give me 3-6 months before I had to start paying the loan back. This small grace period allowed my business to build some momentum which was a true blessing!

Are you keeping up with the math? At this point, I have $20,000 from Madison Development Corp. and $10,000 from my parents. So, I’m now at $30,000. The remaining $65,000 came from a truly amazing person! My father had a friend with a money market account that was making close to nothing. In 2009, nothing good was happening with the economy, so his money market was only making about 3%. Instead of keeping his money around 3%, he chose to invest $65,000 in my salon with a 7% return. This investor decided to take a chance on me because he believed in my business plan, and I was offering a good return. How amazing!

Paid in Full

What happened with my business and investors? The business blew up, I am happy to report that all three investors were completely paid off within three years! At the three year mark, we actually found ourselves needing to expand our salon! Since I now had three year’s worth of profit and loss reports, tax returns, etc., I could demonstrate our amazing financial records to a banking institution. So, the bank funded an addition to our salon at an interest rate just under 4%—which is less than the 7% that I paid back to my original investors. Now that our salon has been open for almost seven years, we are looking for an even bigger and better space!

If you are as excited as I am to talk about business and financial planning, being a business owner may be a great fit for you! If you have more questions—everyone’s personal situation is different—please contact me. I will offer a non-biased opinion, and I care deeply about beauty industry professionals! Although we say profit isn’t everything; honestly, it is the only thing. Yes, people come first. If you don’t build up your team and equip them for success, they will not make you a profit. And without a profit, you cannot keep going. If you would like personalized attention on this topic, reach out to me at

We will see you next week for Part 3 where we share some insider tips about securing the perfect location for your salon! In the meantime, check out our weekly podcast and follow us on social media