We’ve talked about coaching as being a relationship like no other, right? So, we thought here we want to share WHY coaching is the best idea moving forward in 2021.
The beauty industry was broadsided in 2020, and depending on where you live, your ability to actually work in your salon may still be inhibited. While it is true the beauty industry was sent reeling, there is no industry that will actually thrive and soar in 2021 and beyond.
My projection is that people will return to salons and their hairstylists in droves, and they will want to be pampered like no other time before. For the businesses that have been able to stay in business, you have everything to gain by doing your homework now.
You need to come up with a plan to succeed this year to accommodate the changes in the customer psyche, and changes in the marketplace, and overall business strategies.
Hiring a coach to support you as you do so is the best investment. These are the top 5 reasons we believe so:
Reason #1 Accountability
A coach provides the accountability that you need to get things done. Often when we set goals or say we want something to happen, it can be easy to let our dreams slowly slip away because it is too hard to attain, or things don’t happen fast enough, or things switch on a dime.
Our attention span can go off in a million directions. But we don’t just set goals as busy work. These dreams come from a deep place within, a clear place of knowing, and these goals are worthy of manifesting in a very concrete way. They don’t come from shoulds, could or would haves.
All too often we can fall into the masculine way of doing business, instead of working from the inside out. For example, working harder, longer, without lunch. Or, keeping ourselves so busy, we end up not taking care of ourselves. We end up going against what we know is right ourselves.
In contrast, honoring the feminine way of working requires listening from within, intuition, communicating, and making space for the wisdom, and respecting the wisdom of others
Reason #2 Witnessing
My role as a coach is not cut from the masculine model. My work comes from an understanding that my ability to listen is the most valuable gift.You have everything inside you to change your behavior, I am here to listen, witness, and guide you.
Through listening, your truth speaks loud, all the superficial meanderings float away, and your deep knowing has a way of surfacing.
You see, most of us don’t allow enough silence to actually see and hear our inner calling. We are too busy flailing that we can’t hear the wisdom that is there for us.
Reason #3 Expertise
A coaching relationship with someone that has expertise in the beauty industry is a real plus.
The hours one has applied in the field is worth gold. This is where the rubber meets the road, how your coach has come back from their falls.
What kind of person are they? What are they made of? How have they transformed their own lives to make space for others to transform? It doesn’t mean they drudge through their story with you, but that they can support you through yours without their own baggage getting in the way.
Reason #4 Truth
No matter how much the industry has evolved, there are universal truths that cannot be denied. These truths allow the relationship to be clean, honest, and allows you to open to your innermost reality. This is where true transformation occurs.
A wise coach does not fear the truth and allows room for you to come to your own. They don’t rush to fill the space with nonsense.
Reason #5 Results
Of course, the bottom line is, we want results. We want our lives to move in a positive direction. I want that for you.
I want you to feel supported in facing what is the real energy drain in your life, whatever area that may be. Often when one area is out of whack, it can bring down your energy in other areas.
Coaching has been proven to increase a person’s self-confidence by 80%, improve work performance, relationships and communication skills by 70%.* The numbers speak for itself. A coaching relationship can help you maximize your potential.
Are You Ready?
Let’s discover your truth together, and help you achieve the dreams you don’t even know you have. Feel free to reach out to me via email at [email protected] or book a free consultation call with me here.
Like I said in my 16th Facebook Live video, there is so much fear around the topic of raising your fees.
Let me say this first before anything else, unless you deal with your underlying fear, and feelings of not being good enough, no matter how much you charge…it will never be enough. It is this underbelly that you must deal with to ever achieve success.
Salon ownership can be as exhilarating as your 21st birthday, it can also be as daunting as getting your teeth pulled.
Adam Winger Unsplash
Think of the process as something like slow cooking. The sauce lacks flavor and depth when it is instant, or poured out of a jar. But when you take time to include quality ingredients and simmer on low, the product is one to remember and enjoy.
Your mission and vision statements, your values, are some of the secret ingredients, revising as you go. They will be helpful in guiding you along your journey.
We all have been in salons where toxicity permeates the space. Don’t let it happen to yours. You, as a leader (owner or manager, or both), can create the dream team of all time, or you can quickly bring the salon to a toxic place that no one wants to work in. This happens when you’re only looking at the bottom line, or are too much in a hurry to fill your chair.
Choose wisely, take your time. Adding too much vinegar to the sauce could create an unsavory sour flavor.
Sometimes, we are the problem. Maybe we are too overzealous and want to please everybody, and in so doing, we lose sight of the slow cooking involved. Or maybe, we just don’t step in enough, and have a hands off approach. Neither work. You end with no real sauce you can serve. Let me be clear, your staff is a mirror for you to reflect in.
When you resort to complaining to your staff about what isn’t working all the time, the joy can be drained right out of the salon. Be as clear as you can about what the expectations are for your staff. Create a handbook for your own clarity for, and the staff. Ensure that all employees and renters read it.
Though remember, you can have all the procedures and protocols down, but if the owner, and/or, the manager don’t follow through, or do what is expected of the staff, you lose the trust of your stylists. The more you erode that trust, the more chaos will follow.
7 Key Components in the Sauce
1. Non Defensive Communication
You are well served to consider clean, clear communication when you are leading a group of hairstylists. Whether you are a salon owner or manager, or both, how you communicate is just as important as what you say. Check yourself out first. Read others’ body language.
Non defensive communication is the art of offering direction, listening to the feedback, responding without taking the situation personally, inquiring so as to learn, try to put yourself in their shoes to understand their position, say what is true for you with “I” statements, and talk about the issue at hand objectively. You can acknowledge the emotion in a situation, but not be run by it.
Setting this example of communication can really help diffuse hot topics, and move things along productively. If someone is unable to get past the emotion, then maybe setting a date for future conversation would be helpful. If so, let them know you’d like to discuss further. This gives you time to disengage.
Active listening is one of those things we hear all the time in psychology books and articles. But it truly is a great way for people to be heard and understood. When situations come up in the salon, often listening can diffuse a situation rather quickly.
If there are two people involved, it may take separating them and hearing from them both individually first. Dealing with issues immediately, rather than letting them stew, is critical to keeping the salon space non toxic.
Here are some tips to help when mediating an issue:
Create the space for them to share without interruptions.
Ask questions, listen to what they say.
See how committed they are to a solution.
Ask them how they would solve it.
What is in their way to solving the situation.
Ask what it is they think you can do about it.
Let them know you would like to take a bit of time to consider the situation and what they’ve said.
When people are heard, they don’t necessarily need a solution right then and there. But if you are hearing similar complaints from your employees, it’s very much worth your while to investigate and take seriously. You don’t want to lose any of those ingredients.
3. Set the Example
Do as you expect your employees to do. If you are not abiding by your own rules, you don’t deserve to be the manager or owner. I’m sorry. This is where you either need coaching or stepping down.
Leading by example shows your staff that you are willing to get your hands dirty. And that you are in the trenches with them. This will grow their confidence that you know what you are doing.
You don’t have to know everything, you can make mistakes, you may even have to throw out batches of that sauce, but you do need to be the adult in the room.
4. Build a Great Team
You build a great team by holding your bar high enough that you want your stylists to do better. But not so high that you leave people hanging out to dry because they don’t fit in a mold.
You also build a team, by not relying solely on what salon they came from. Getting to the why of someone leaving their last salon is important information for you.
Reference checks are also important. If someone is not meeting the benchmarks that you’ve agreed on, you need to have a frank conversation.
Of course, grooming them from the beginning is ideal. But, just like parenting, you can’t expect them to hang around if there is no place to grow to.
5. Managers Should Be Skilled
Literally, some salon owners seem to be in business for the cache of saying they own a salon, instead of really leading people. So they appoint someone who has less skill set, or even the salon experience to handle the responsibility. But managing is not babysitting.
Managers take the time to really know the ins and outs of their stylists. They get to know their strengths and their unique gaps.
Managing isn’t about being punitive, it’s about bringing out the best in people and coaching them to get to where they want to be in their career.
Great managers get great coaching, because they understand it is getting yourself out of the way in order to listen and lead.
6. Be Clear on Expectations
Being clear about your expectations of what you want your business to be and to provide are critical to the success of your salon. Communicate your brand identity, values and work ethics clearly.
You want to make sure that people you on-board are on the same page as you. Aligning your staff with your team or brand values sets your business to a good start. When they fully understand your identity as a team or brandit will be much easier to identify what you deem acceptable or not.
Clarity on what your expectations are of people that you hire, the better.
You also need to hear what your employees’ expectations are, preferably when they are hired. This will ensure there is little misunderstanding in what their job is and isn’t. By hearing their expectations, you can check if they fully understand your identity and goals as a team right off the bat.
7. Think Apple
You will hear successful salons are driven by numbers. Sadly, this philosophy can burn out so many hairstylists. Yes, knowing your numbers is important. But if you are an owner that is only driven to have your stylists sell more product, you are missing the point.
Many years ago, I transferred over to Apple products. I could never go back to a PC. I’ve tried, and it is not only boring, but truly not intuitive for me. Call me a snob.
What I soon discovered with Apple is, THEY DON’T TRY TO SELL ME SOMETHING. They simply display their products on shelves, and teach you how to use them.
I like to think of salons as learning and listening spaces, not me preaching about three products I think they should have. And I don’t like going into a space, where all I see are products everywhere.
Yes, you can train your stylists to educate. This is worth your time, effort and money. Coach your people, people. And get coached yourself.
As you can see, there is more to leading than just saying, “I want to open a salon!” “WHY”, is what I would ask first.
How Are You Creating Balance in the Midst of a Pandemic?
With so much unpredictability, it is understandable that our balance in life and work may feel off kilter. Creating life-work balance in the midst of a pandemic may seem like a tale from the Disney Channel or something.
We may feel edgier, snapping at our loved ones or short with cautious clients. But the truth is, we really have no control over the situation as a whole. Our best attempts at keeping calm may completely disappear at times, especially if you feel your bottom line continues to be affected by this pandemic.
A Taste of Balance
Some of what keeps us moving forward, is reaching for balance; because it really is the natural order of things. Life got real simple during the shelter in place orders. With reduced schedules, you may have more time on your hands.
This was a radical change for most of us. You may have found your natural rhythm again. Maybe more cooking instead of fast food, more time with your families and/or pets, and walks or yoga. We got a taste of what it felt like to not have work be the focus of our lives, and to live more simply. We got more of our life back.It’s not to say that this was easy. Au contraire. It was stressful, hard, scary, and humbling. How we emerge from this time is very powerful. Can we retain some of the feeling of wrapping our work around our life, instead of the other way around?
Your Sphere of Control
Due to circumstances out of our control– cut hours, no double booking, etc., we can only focus on what we do have control over. That is– our actions and our words.Your actions, how you hold this precarious situation, and how you speak about it. These are the pathways to discovering balance.Yes, words matter. There is power in words. How do you speak about things? Listen to yourself. Do you like what you are saying? This is not the time to throw caution to the wind, and it is also not a time to be so constricted, that joy has little room to blossom.
Two Foundational Truths
So how do we create balance? I talk about life-work balance with so much passion because I believe it is more than essential. Over 3 decades as a salon professional, I found it to be the main ingredient in keeping you from going over the edge or getting totally burned out. Here are 2 foundational truths in achieving balance, keep you grounded and thrive in our demanding industry.
1. Setting Boundaries Around Your Talent and Gift
No kidding. It took me a long time to figure out that saying YES to every date, client, friend or family was not the quickest way to achieving some level of stability in my life. About ten years in, I realized I didn’t want to cut hair at every family gathering. So, I stopped bringing my scissors home every trip.
Yes, it feels good to offer a gift of a haircut when you haven’t seen people for a while. You want to do something to keep yourself busy when Uncle Billy starts drinking too much, or your brother and you start talking politics. Having something to do can keep you out of trouble, in other words.
However, if you find now that it is expected every time you visit, and resentment is building up, perhaps it’s time to leave the scissors behind, and begin saying no.
2. Remembering Your “WHY”
Although you may be passionate about cutting hair, it’s important to schedule time to explore other parts of your life.
Remembering WHY you cut hair, beyond the money, beyond recognition, allows you to go deeper. Is it to provide for your family? To afford a certain lifestyle? Is it to employ others, and enable them to make a living? Is the “Why” about sharing your creativity?
All these questions invite you to go deeper. Allow this underlying through line in your career to give you balance, nothing to prove, just quietly going about your business.
What about the different aspects of your life that offer other ways that are needed to feed your emotional and spiritual life?
Saying NO to the last client so that you may take that violin lesson, watch your kids’ soccer game, learn a language, or a date with your companion, husband or wife.
This is balance– getting to a place that you can wrap your work around your priorities and the vision for your life. Maybe it means you do with a little less of a paycheck to do so. These are the moments we will remember.
At the end of the day, our job as salon professionals is an exchange for money. No more, no less.
If you are passionate about your hairstyling career, you are lucky. Passion is awesome, but it doesn’t mean you have to work 24/7. That’s old school. Trust this passion and have work wrap around your life. Not the other way around.
I know for myself, I find that I am reluctant to go back full on in my studio, I sometimes go in a little later, and end a little earlier. This is what I find works for my family life.
I mark spaces out in my calendar ahead of time to create some cushion. I can always fill the slot with a client. I like knowing that I have these windows of time available. I am protecting my time with more awareness.
The beauty industry has been hit hard by Covid-19 and the shelter in place (SIP) orders. This actually translates to a whopping $57.9 billion estimated drop in the industry this year.
We have all witnessed the effects of the pandemic in varying degrees in our respective practice as salon professionals.
Your independent stylist practice or the salon you work in may feel and look different. You may be noticing a slow down in business. Some clients are not returning yet, others clients are still afraid to step inside businesses. Of course, we understand and expect that, but it may be freaking tough out internally.
You may not be working at full capacity, not able to double-book like you used to. Or you may not be able to see as many clients in a day, working less hours. It’s crazy, right? We never thought there would be external influences like this on our ability to work.
But the beauty industry has always been resilient in the past. We can always find ways to bounce back.
The question now is…
How do we adapt when we don’t even know if we’ve landed on any firm ground yet?
I suggest a three-pronged approach which we will cover over the next three weeks. We will discuss measures that you can take in the areas of Business and Money, Life Work Balance, and Self-care.
Let’s tackle Business and Money this week. Here are the 3 simple but effective action steps you can take right now to adjust to the new normal:
1. Track Finances
Figure out your cash flow for the next six months. Staying on top of your finances will help you adjust your spending accordingly and will help you see any income gaps.
Do you need to make an extra $500 to buy that new salon equipment that might go on sale this Black Friday? Then you can make saving plans with the help of a simple cash flow chart.
Keeping track of my income and expenses monthly and forecasting six months out helped me get out of debt, and SAVE. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we need to SAVE more. You can’t see what you don’t track. Remember, cash is king. Save it!
Reach out to every client that has referred a new client to you in the last six months and write them a thank you note.
Our existing clients are gold. They already know us. And if they referred us to others, it means we have delivered. Going the extra mile by showing that we appreciate their recommendations ensures that we stay “top of mind” as a stylist.
I’ve even called clients and they so appreciate it. Think about it, those people who are timid of coming out get a call from their stylist? They love it, not only do they feel appreciated, but we cannot underestimate the power of our voices. You will enjoy hearing theirs as well. Even if they don’t come back, you are putting energy and good will out into the world. This goodness will come back to you.
The clients I’ve called, whom I served for years and haven’t returned yet are still sending checks for their services. This is the power of maintaining some continuity in your communication with your clients and saying “thank you”.
3. Innovate Ways to Connect
Use technology available to make your client feel confident about your services in these uncertain times.
That’s right, for those clients who haven’t returned yet, they might be anxious. They need to see what the process is like walking into the salon, post SIP orders.
So create a welcome video right from your phone and include it in an email. Or a quick salon video tour showing them exactly what will happen when they walk in. They will value the insight and ensure you are taking protocol seriously.
Assuring your clients that you are looking out for their safety and going out of your way to connect with them means a lot. These simple actions show that you are competent and you truly care for their safety.
Our connection with clients needs nurturing in order to to make lasting relationships. If we delight our clients by building true friendships that go beyond the stylist and customer relationship, we are making an indelible mark in their lives.
As we prepare our businesses and careers during the new normal, we don’t just talk of business as mere numbers or money. Success in our industry involves building relationships and nurturing our clientele. We could be the only people listening to our clients’ challenges, concerns or worries from behind the chair.
During these uncertain times, it is these tried and true business strategies that work. The steps I’ve shared with you are simple and easily actionable. Implement them and let me know how it goes for you.
Make sure to watch for tips on how to maintain Life-Work balance as a salon professional in these unprecedented times.
ARE YOU READY TO
UP YOUR SALON GAME?
Find out how to take your hairstyling career to the next level.