February 24, 2019

9 Things First Time Salon Managers Need To Know


Welcome to the exciting world of salon management! Salons can be fast-paced and exciting places to work. If you enjoy working with lots of different people and dealing with customers, suppliers, and the general public, it could be the ideal route for you.

The best way to learn salon management is by doing the job. Expect a steep learning curve as you get to grips with the basics of salon management. Starting with these 11 essential components of your new role…

Manage the complaints

We can’t always get everything right. Even the best salons with the most stringent processes will get things wrong from time to time. If this happens, you need to know how to manage complaints.

Complaints are probably the low point of the industry. So it’s your job to turn them around.

What can be learnt from the complaint?

Is anyone in the business receiving more complaints than everyone else?

Do you need to change core operating principles to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again?

Are the same complaints happening again and again?

A good salon manager will start with the difficult things first, and this usually means tackling complaints head-on.

Recruitment is ongoing

If you wait until you need to fill a role to start the recruitment process, you’re already a step behind!

Recruitment should be an ongoing process. Always have your ear to the ground and keep your eyes open. When some wide-eyed and eager young nail technician pops into the salon and hands over a CV, don’t just ignore it!

Put processes in place to make recruitment an ongoing process. So that when the time comes to actually expand the business, you already have a list of candidates in mind. Some of them might have moved on, but some might still be looking for the right fit.

Targets and budgeting

As a salon manager, you might assume you need a head for numbers. This just isn’t always the case. What you need are the tools to help you manage things like budgets and targets.

Salon booking software isn’t just for managing appointments. Our software helps you to quickly generate sales reports so you can see at-a-glance if you’re on track to make your targets.

As a first-time salon manager, don’t be afraid to annoy people with your targets chat. It’s why you’re there!

Create or modify procedures

Most salons grow organically. This means that the correct procedures aren’t always in place. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it can be problematic once the salon starts to expand. Don’t be afraid to review procedures and change things around if needed. As a first-time salon manager, you have to be confident in your ideas.

If you have a great system for rebooking clients after their appointment, don’t be afraid to share it.

Procedures can be anything from ordering stock to managing new customer arrivals.

Be thorough and take the time to get to know how the business operates before bringing in any huge changes.

Observe first

You’ll learn a lot by watching.

Before making any big changes, spend a week or so observing how the salon works. Who are the bread and butter customers? How do the staff interact with customers? Are staff upselling and cross-selling services? Who manages the marketing?

Observe and ask questions. Often, things just happen a certain way because that’s how it has always been handled. This is a great opportunity for you to spot areas for improvement, ways to cut costs and ideas for boosting profits.

Have a vision

Salon managers are the dreamers! They can look at the strengths of the team and find a way to create opportunities for them to shine.

A huge part of being a salon manager is sharing your vision for the business. Be realistic, but ambitious. Don’t march in and talk about tearing down walls and firing all the staff.

Look at where the salon is now and where you want it to be.

Can you find a way to increase retail sales by 25%?

Do you have a marketing plan that will keep the bookings rolling in?

Do you have a list of awards you think the salon should win?

To be a successful salon manager, you need a healthy dose of vision. Don’t be afraid to share yours.

Hold regular team meetings

The key to a successful team is communication. You need to communicate regularly with the whole team, both in a group and individual settings. Group meetings are an opportunity to get the team excited and share the big achievements. Individual meetings are great for getting feedback and hearing grievances in a more private setting.

Once you have settled in, you might only need weekly team meetings and individual meetings every six months. Just make sure you formalise how often these will happen so that everyone knows what to expect.

Create your plan

Salon management goes beyond the day-to-day tasks. You need to have a vision and a plan for driving the salon forward. Once you are settled into your new role, create a 3-month, a 12 month and a 3-year plan for the salon.

What can you do right now to improve sales?

What can you put in place now to improve sales in the next year?

And where do you see the salon in 3-years time?

Be bold. Be ambitious. All of the best salon managers are!

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