How can I take a step back to focus on my salon business?
I always dreamed of having my own salon and imagined myself with a team around me doing treatments all day. But being a salon owner is a totally different job to being a beauty therapist. There are a million things a salon owner does and when we are fully booked all day, these jobs just don’t get done.
For example, planning events, team training, meetings, paying bills and even just thinking ahead and driving the business forward does not happen when the salon owner is in the treatment room all day. You end up with a to-do list that gets bigger each day, working long hours and going home to answer emails, do stock ordering, social media posts and website updates – the list goes on.
It made more sense to me to have a team of employed staff and train them to my standards, allowing me to step out of the treatment side to focus on the business. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it can be done. Any salon owners reading this will think that it’s not possible or the business will collapse without them, but it won’t. You need to have a business that can survive without you; what if you wanted a long holiday or are suddenly unable to work?
I made sure I had the right team and trained them on how I wanted treatments done, covering the culture of my salon, business rules and what I’m expecting from them. My clients know they can still contact me if there was ever an issue and I get back to them straight away.
Everyone needs to know what is expected of them, what their role is and who they go to for help. You must make sure the business runs like clockwork, especially when you are not there, and this all starts with you.
You also need to learn how to manage people and recognise who fits your vision. Understand what your vision is and then everything else will follow. It’s also about learning constantly, and that might be working with a business mentor, reading a book or listening to podcasts. I come up with my best ideas when my mind is not overloaded –I can drive the company forward and work on the client experience so our clients receive the best treatment.
Salon owners are normally the most overworked and underpaid, but why? As a business owner, we have taken all the risks and have worked in the way not many people would have, so why can’t we live the way not many people can? Why can’t you be the one who gets paid the most and gets to take as many holidays as you want? If you want to change your business, it all starts with you. You must change your mindset first.
Kristina Shepherd is a multi-award-winning business owner and chief executive of 27 Two 6 Beauty Ltd in Kent. She is also director of KSLA Professional, which is a Professional Lash Product House and Training Academy.
How can I warn clients about unauthorised online beauty retailers?
Unfortunately, unauthorised online sellers have grown at an exponential rate during the Covid-19 crisis and while this is not a new problem, it is really affecting our industry’s businesses on all levels. The unauthorised sellers out there obtain products and imagery from a number of sources without the brand’s permission and prove difficult to stop. In some cases, they remove the brand from one site, only to sell on a sister site. This year at Image Skincare UK, we began a national campaign to minimise the impact of this on our partner network and business.
To discourage your customers from purchasing from unauthorised sellers, there are a few key points you should discuss with them. The first is expired products as many active ingredients found in skincare products can break down over time and authorised resellers rarely take care to follow best practices when it comes to storage. The introduction of oxygen can decrease the effectiveness of skincare formulations, but that’s the least of the dangers; the introduction of bacteria, mould, yeast and dust can also cause serious allergic reactions or far worse.
It is also possible that the item your client has their eye on is discounted because it is counterfeit. Purchasing a knock-off bag or pair of shoes is one thing, but when it comes to skincare this can be very dangerous. The people who are making the products are likely taking shortcuts in how they are made; they may be adding harmful ingredients, making the products in unsanitary conditions or, even worse, there may be child labour involved in the making of some counterfeit items.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Encourage your clients to purchase direct or from your own official trusted site. For the entire Image Skincare UK partner network, we’ve launched an authorised retailer’s logo, which is digitally watermarked to prevent improper use.
We’re also moving through a process of education and social posts to educate our network and our public audiences to only shop where they see this logo.
While we are more than aware this will not completely stop unscrupulous resellers, the hope is that via constant education we can stamp this out as much as possible and minimise the impact on our professional partner network.
As a brand, we know this is not unique to Image Skincare UK and so we are also seeking to form a group made up of Industry leaders to tackle this issue together.
Graham Clarke is sales director at Image Skincare UK. He will be talking about “Tips for boosting your online sales” on the Digital Skills Stage at Professional Beauty London on Sunday, October 17, 1pm.
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