05 Feb 2017

Written by Alice Smithson

If you’re lucky enough to have achieved your ambition of becoming a salon owner, you’ll need to gain and make use of dozens of skills that simply weren’t required when you worked behind the chair as a stylist.

If you’re concerned about making the transition between your current role and being a business owner, there are many ways you can prepare yourself for the change and give yourself a good chance of excelling in your new role. We’ve identified some key skills which we should help successful stylists become successful salon owners.

Delegate to Your Team Members

Delegation is arguably the most overlooked skill that business owners must master. As a business owner, you must learn how to effectively delegate tasks to salon managers, or perhaps directly to your stylists if you’re running a small salon business.

Learn the skills of each employee, discuss if there are any aspects of their work they particularly enjoy (or if there’s anything they’d like to try out) and assign tasks accordingly.

There’s no shame in taking a hands-off approach to salon management. Good use of delegation shows that you trust your employees with key salon management tasks, which will motivate them – as long as you delegate fairly.

Delegating to your staff shows that you trust them. Staff who are trusted thrive in all businesses. They should be able to run the salon in your absence.

Manage Your Cashflow

Cashflow problems are the nightmare of every small business. Salon owners must keep track of their cashflow and anticipate (and preferably avoid) any problems on the horizon.

Critical cashflow issues can cripple a salon. Consider using salon management software as a quick way of checking figures and monitoring outgoings.

For a new salon business, it’s particularly important that you don’t spend too much money too quickly. Keep your product offerings very limited to begin with, and create financial forecasts to determine the cash you’ll need to pay bills and rent.

Manage Stock & Retail Sales

Retail sales may only be a small portion of your salon’s revenue, but they take up very little space – bringing in far more than a salon chair in terms of revenue per square foot.

As a stylist, you probably didn’t have to worry about margins and stock inventory, but it’s vital that you get to grips with these aspects of your business. Salon management software often comes with stock control functionality that help you monitor sales by stylist and product. You should also learn the art of setting effective discounts, promotions and offers.

Get to Grips with Salon Marketing

Marketing is one aspect that small business owners often have to tackle themselves.

Sure you can ask your stylists to tweet photos from the salon through the businesses’ social media account, but it’s often the owner of the salon who must create and implement a marketing strategy.

Neglecting marketing is a common mistake made by new business owners.

Collect as much information as possible about your customers and keep it up to date. Customer data is vital to your salons marketing strategy.

Your salon software should give you basic marketing functionality that allows you to make use of low-cost marketing tactics, such as email, SMS and social media, and should help you plan how to scale your strategy depending on your profit and cashflow.

Communication and Attitude

If you’re likely to be spending a great deal of your time as a hands-on salon manager rather than a distant owner, communication skills are vital. A positive attitude and genuine passion and enthusiasm for your business is important to maintain morale among staff and reach high levels of client and staff retention rates.

Salon management software is a valuable investment for new salon owners. Powerful solutions like iSalon provide comprehensive data that can be used to glean insight to help you grow your business. Get in touch with our expert salon management consultants to find out more or book a free, no-obligation demo.