Posts tagged salon ownership
How to Get the Feedback You Really Want

Everyone needs feedback in order to learn and grow, both personally and professionally, but sometimes it can be hard to ask for feedback. Perhaps it’s that we’re not asking the right questions. Maybe it’s that we’re really not as open to receiving feedback as we make ourselves out to be. 

There are so many factors at play when it comes to getting the feedback that you’re looking for, or maybe the problem is that you’re not actually looking. 

Whatever the case may be, it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s standing in the way. Business Coach and Keynote Speaker Jay Williams is here today to share his favorite tips and tricks for getting the feedback that you deserve. 

If you aren’t already familiar, Jay is the author of the book, Leave Your Mark, which focuses on leadership and influence in the salon industry. Jay works directly with salon owners and beauty industry professionals to help them see the connection between emotional intelligence and the technical skills needed in order for them to thrive in their field.

Jay is passionate about the power of feedback, both positive and constructive, and today he shares his advice for both giving and getting the feedback you’ve been waiting for.

Why Is Getting Solid Feedback Such a Struggle?

While there could be many things standing in the way of your growth, getting the right feedback is crucial to your success. It’s called constructive criticism for a reason--it’s supposed to push you to be better, not keep you from chasing your dreams. 

So, why is getting the right feedback so tricky? Jay shares the top three things keeping us from asking for and embracing the feedback that we so desperately need to succeed. 

Receiving Feedback Can Be Scary

The first reason some people struggle to get solid feedback is that they’re afraid of what they might hear. This fear stems from anxiety around whether or not the feedback will be positive. Of course, we always hope it will be, but we also know that we have certain areas of improvement--are we ready to talk about them?

Sometimes We Don’t Think We Need It

The second reason people aren’t seeking out solid feedback is because they don’t think they need it. 

It can be difficult for some people to see past their own parameters and find room to grow. We are inherently narcissistic and we often have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that we might actually benefit from a little constructive criticism once in a while.

Other Times, It Simply Doesn’t Cross Our Minds

The third reason someone might not be getting the feedback they really want is because they simply don’t know what they’re looking for. 

Sometimes we can chalk it up to the fact that the need for feedback hasn’t exactly crossed our minds. We don’t know what we don’t know, and so we haven’t thought to ask.

How Often Should You Be Offering Feedback?

As salon owners and managers, we often schedule out the times and dates we plan to deliver feedback to our teams--yes, I’m talking about reviews. But is this the only time we should be offering advice or praising our people?

It’s human nature to want to know where you stand at all times. That basic need feeds into emotional intelligence and the need to feel grounded. So, essentially, you should be sharing feedback every time the opportunity presents itself.

If we go back to those reviews, whether you choose to sit down with your team weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, the review should ultimately be a confirmation of what you’ve been sharing with your team all year long.

Jay says that if you’re able to share feedback with your team members on a daily basis, whether that be positive, negative, or constructive, nothing is going to come as a surprise come review day and thus there’s nothing to be anxious about. That’s how you tackle that initial fear.

It’s also important to remember that while “reviews” are often tied to monetary goals or incremental values, feedback can take many forms and shouldn’t always be tied directly to profit performance. Instead, “feedback” should simply be a part of your daily communication. Keep it constructive and don’t forget to sprinkle in a little positive affirmation once in a while. 

As Leaders, What Should We Be Giving Feedback On?

Do we only want to be offering advice specific to the technical aspects of things? Should we take our feedback beyond the technique

According to Jay, there are opportunities in both areas. The biggest benefit to giving feedback more frequently, whether it be related to those technical components or more in line with your general business values, is that it allows for real-time course correction. 

You can solicit feedback without following a specific format, but remember that the goal is always to improve performance. So, it’s important that no matter the tone of your feedback or the subject of your solicitation, you always make your intentions known. Not only does this help build trust between both parties, but it also eases the tension around accepting feedback in the first place.

What Are the Most Basic Dos and Don’ts of Soliciting Feedback?

Do say: “I want you to be successful.”

Don’t say: “You’re not meeting my expectations.”

Do say: “I want to give you some constructive feedback.” 

Don’t say: “Let me tell you what you’re doing wrong.”

Do say: “I want to help you.”

Don’t say: “Don’t be defensive.”

Giving feedback is a skill, and much like cutting or coloring hair, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. Ultimately, if you want to improve someone’s performance, you’ve got to improve their thinking. 

And remember, when you praise, do it publicly. When you go about perfecting your communication and the experience with your people, do so in private. 

If you’d like to learn more about giving and getting feedback, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 182. Want to learn more about emotional intelligence? Check out our blog on why our EQ matters more than our IQ

Are you ready to leave your mark on the industry? It’s time to grab Jay’s book and get down to business!

Climbing the Ladder of Success With Adam Broderick

Here at Beyond The Technique we love to highlight the success stories of the many influencers in our industry because they’re all so unique, and Adam Broderick’s is no exception. Although many of us stumbled our way into the beauty industry after admittedly struggling in school, how many of us can say that we started our haircutting careers by practicing on poodles?

From working as an animal groomer to opening up an award-winning salon, Adam has done it all. Adam shares his steps to success starting from the very beginning—you’re not going to want to miss this! 

Adam is the owner of the renown Adam Broderick Salon and Spa with two locations in Connecticut. Amongst other things, Adam is also a motivational speaker and business consultant to other salon owners. He is quite the entrepreneur and he’s one of the industry’s most respected figures.  

Adam walks us through how he started his own pet grooming business before the age of twenty, how this incredibly unique career choice ultimately led him to the beauty industry, and how he eventually opened his own salon and built up his business in order to become one of the great successes of our time.                                                                                                               

Taking the Not-So-Traditional Route

Adam is the self-proclaimed poster-child for extreme attention deficit disorder, but despite being labeled as lazy or having a lack of focus, Adam decided to find his own way by following his passion for animals. While at the time he wanted to be a veterinarian, he knew that the level of schooling required wasn’t really in the cards for him.

He got his first job working at a pet store, and he enjoyed it so much that he decided to enroll in dog-grooming school at the age of sixteen. After he graduated he started his own grooming business which he ran until he turned twenty and decided to look for something a little less tedious.  

At the same time, the hair industry began to grow. Adam remembers Sassoon coming to town and thinking how cool it was to be a hairdresser. Shortly afterwards, Adam decided to sell his business and enroll in beauty school.

You’ll Never Get What You Don’t Ask For

There’s something to be said for putting yourself out there, and Adam was never afraid to ask for what he felt he deserved. Adam fondly reflects on his first job at Sassoon, which he earned after shamelessly offering his services up for free.  

Nailing a job at a big-name salon was a bit of a leap for a kid fresh out of beauty school, and of course they couldn’t legally allow Adam to work at Sassoon for free, but ultimately it was his energy and enthusiasm that won Adam the job.

How to Know When It’s Time to Open Your Own Studio

Although Adam had been in business before, opening his own salon wasn’t really on his radar. Yet after spending some time working in the city, he decided he was looking for something different.

With plans to move to California, Adam packed his bags and headed to Connecticut to visit his sister before his travels out west. Of course, as the tale goes, this is where Adam met his partner Pete and as Adam likes to joke, it seems California is carrying on just fine without him.

Although there were a handful of salons in Warrern, Connecticut, where the pair decided to settle down, none of them were operating at quite the same caliber as those in the city and Adam was craving that familiar and exciting environment. So, he decided to open his own small color studio, and because he specialized in color, so began his hunt for cutting specialists to collaborate with.

Creating a Solid Culture Through Collaboration

Because Adam built his business around his need for a cutting specialist who could compliment his skills as a colorist, the business itself was less owner-centric, fueled on mutual respect for each other’s craft. To this day, Adam truly believes that it was that initial collaboration that set the tone for his incredibly successful business model.

After thirty-two years, Adam’s business model has certainly evolved but his carefully crafted salon culture has remained strong. Adam believes that the secret to success starts with humility. He always says that, as a leader, it’s less about being the star of the show and more about how you can shine a light on the success of your stylists.  

If you’d like to learn more about Adam and his incredible journey in the beauty industry including how he has managed to grow his salon, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 169. And don’t forget to check out his salon website to follow his movement on his own industry blog, Insights from Adam.

How To Start Your Own Salon | Part 1: Your Vision

We are super excited to kick off a three-part series on starting your own salon! Do you have a passion for building an amazing environment where others around you can excel in their career? If so, I get it! Let’s dive into the importance of having a vision!

At the first salon I worked at, I had the opportunity to change my status from an employee to an independent contractor—at the same salon. If that sounds strange to you, it’s because it is not typical. However, it was an amazing opportunity! When I transitioned from an employee to an independent contractor, I started to run a business within a business, and I loved it! I found so much fulfillment and joy in marketing, developing promotions, starting referral programs, and everything that went along with running a business!

There is a lot to learn about running your own business, but I hope that sharing my story gives you the inspiration and insights to consider starting this journey of entrepreneurship! Let’s get started!

Your Vision

First, ask yourself why you want to take this jump and start your own salon. If you’re like me, you probably want to have a space of your own that is conducive to teamwork and allows for more structure and consistency. At my previous salon, I couldn’t help but see a few gaps in the system—components that I thought I could fix in my own business. Ultimately, I thought that I could do it, I told myself I could, and I took the plunge! 

After you understand why you want to begin this process, you need to develop your vision. Your vision is home base. It will be a point that you can consistently return to when the going gets tough—and it definitely will. I recommend that you start by picturing your dream space, and actually map it out on poster boards, using pictures from magazines, or Pinterest boards. Having a vision board gives your planning the hands-on element that most of us need.

In addition to your vision board, start writing down your ideas and putting pen to paper. Try this: close your eyes and take a tour of your salon. As you are walking through the space, write down everything that you want! Use all of your senses and consider what you feel, smell, see and hear. The more descriptive the better. Write down your shampoo units, the styling chairs you want, your color bar design, whether you see receptionists in your salon. Are there bathrooms? Color schemes? Is it bright and cheery or dim and cool? This is the fun part, so let your imagination do the work.   

Reality Check

And now is where the killjoy comes in. I don’t want you to discard your big vision and your dreams. You should definitely take your time with the first stage because it will give you momentum, create focus, and it will keep the dream alive for you.

But, when it comes to actually opening your salon, I want you to realize that it is probably going to take about a year. So, I want you to take this big dream that you have and cut it in half. Take all of the things in your dream and do them on a much, much, much smaller scale.

While you may feel like I just crushed your dreams, let me share my experiences, so you understand why it is important to start small. When I opened Be Inspired Salon in 2010, our space was only 750 square feet. It was very small! Since then, we have nearly doubled our space to about 1,150 square feet. But the important thing is that I didn’t start at that size. I grew into the larger space as my business grew and developed. It was hard work getting there, but it was possible for us and it’s possible for you.

When I first started, I was picturing the average salon having 8 to 10 stations and being around 1,200 to 1,600 square feet. Of course, I also looked for convenient locations and nice areas to be located in. At that time, though, I was definitely getting a little overconfident. I was so sure that I would never have a problem getting clients and filling chairs. I figured at the time that my income alone would cover the cost of the space. Hint, hint: that is not a good idea!

Eventually, I scaled back my ideas and hired only two people at the beginning and started in a small boutique space. We started slow and steady, so that we could build up to the success we have now. Within three years we were able to expand! But had I started out too big, I would have had a major issue with cash flow. That’s why I really encourage you to cut your expectations in half, so you can start out successful and build up from there.

You never want to be in a position where you can’t afford to pay your staff. That’s how businesses fail, and it does happen. In the first year of my salon, I didn’t make any money for myself. I was still covering the costs of opening, paying employees, and growing their clientele. At that time, I did have to rely on my husband while my business got off the ground. I worked very long shifts that year, and I was incredibly overwhelmed at times. Despite the crazy long hours, I LOVED the experience of working hard and building a business! I persevered, and it paid off!

Work, Work, Work!

Based on my experiences, I can say this with confidence: opening your salon will take double the money, double the time, and double the effort than you expect it will.

If you think that you can start a salon for $50,000; you need to be prepared that it’s actually going to cost you $100,000. So, if you want to start a salon for $50,000, you need to only plan to spend $25,000 because it’s probably going to end up being $50,000 in the end.

You may have the “go big or go home” mentality, but I promise you that it is very challenging. Most salons fail within the first seven years, and a huge majority of those fail within the first year. It’s a very expensive decision to make, so choose wisely. Be willing to start small and work towards that big vision, so that you can build on it year after year.

Just remember that even if you resize your dreams in the beginning, you should always have your big vision in your mind and in front of you. That is where you’ll want to be someday.

Be Inspired Salon has been open for six years now, and it has been an absolutely amazing experience! I encourage you to start your own salon if this is your dream too. Don’t stop—do whatever it takes!

We hope to see you back for Part 2: Funding Your Vision where we share our insights about securing the money to start your salon! In the meantime, check out our weekly podcast and follow us on social media!