7 Highly Effective Salon Management Tips to Boost your Business
The salon industry is a competitive one. You may have the best products, services and processes, but if you fail to manage your staff and clients effectively, the entire business will come to a crumbling halt.
At the same time, implementation of a good salon management strategy can take your business to remarkable heights. However, maintaining a functional salon isn’t an easy task by any measure.
The logistics of managing bookings, attracting new clients, retaining existing ones, running programs to achieve set goals, delegating duties and responsibilities is enough to drive one into a frenzy!
But worry not! We bring to you, the only checklist you will need! Check out the below 7 salon management tips to take your business to the next level.
7 effective salon management tips
Salon management is a broad term that encompasses various duties and responsibilities to be performed by a salon manager.
From supervising staff and scheduling shifts to recruiting experienced professionals, there are many duties and responsibilities a salon manager has to perform.
These day-to-day operations can be roughly classified into the following categories:
- Managing the in-salon experience
- Maintaining a proper communication with the staff
- Handling client feedback and online reputation
- Budgeting and expenses
- Running marketing campaigns
- Track client behavior insights and staff performance metrics
- Oversee daily salon operations
1. Managing the in-salon experience
A. Make your clients happy
The key to retention is keeping your clients happy. The best way to do so is by communicating effectively, showing that you care, and ensuring client satisfaction right from the start.
What you can do:
a) Communicate effectively with your clients
As a salon manager, you’re bound to communicate with different types of people on a daily basis. Whether it’s your clients, stakeholders, staff or vendors, proper communication is a must to get the business going.
Here’s how you can ace your communication directly or indirectly:
- Maintain a professional demeanor while interacting with your clients. The way you communicate will go a long way in ensuring your clients are comfortable. This will also reinforce their trust in your services.
- Try to get your happy clients to review your products and services after an appointment. This will help you turn them into your brand advocates. Hence, you can ensure that you get quality referrals.
- Deliver personalized experiences by remembering everything about your clients- color formulas, skin type, birthdays and even their nicknames!
Tip: Keep track of all your client preferences! A salon scheduling software such as Appointy allows you to use digital notes where you can note down all those extra little details 😉
b) Offer a simple appointment booking process
Use an online booking software to not only offer your clients a seamless booking experience but also to make appointment management easier as the salon grows.
Keeping track of daily appointments and last minute cancellations won’t be such a task anymore! A salon booking software will enable the clients to self-schedule, cancel, reschedule and book recurring and group appointments from anywhere!
What’s more? It will also send automated email and text reminders to ensure your clients don’t miss their appointments out of forgetfulness! Great, right?
B. Deal with unhappy clients
At some point in the beauty business, you will have to deal with a disgruntled client. Instead of losing your cool, approach the situation with a calm state of mind. Be patient, hear them out, sympathize with them and try to resolve the issue. Doing this will enhance the likelihood of them returning to your salon the next time.
2. Maintaining a proper communication with the staff
If you’ve spent even a day trying to manage a salon team, then you probably already understand just how challenging it can be. You can’t just give your employees free rein over the place. You need to have rules and processes in place to ensure that all your team members are working towards the same goal and achieving it duly.
Here are a few ways to get there:
A. Optimize staff productivity
a) Conduct regular staff meetings
A smooth staff communication is the backbone of effective salon management. If your salon employees aren’t sure what their roles are, or how to reach out for assistance when dealing with an issue, it’ll be difficult for them to feel empowered.
What you can do:
- Have an open-door policy. Give employees the vibe that they can reach out to you in any situation whether it’s professional or personal.
- Hold regular meetings to keep every staff member in the loop on what’s happening. Train them on the latest techniques of the beauty business and familiarise them with the concepts of upselling and cross-selling.
- Set aside time to raise employee concerns. Failing to do so can affect motivation and wellbeing in the workplace. Meetings are an excellent way to provide a consistent space for your employees to air concerns, ask questions about procedures, or share ideas for how to improve salon processes.
Tip: Just because you are managing the salon, it doesn’t mean you always have to run the meetings! Setting up a roster so that other staff can take turns is a great way to promote responsibility.
Note: Optimizing your salon schedule with a booking software can be a great start to increasing client productivity and making the most of your investment.
b) Keep the employees connected to the salon
It’s no secret that employees who feel engaged are far more likely to feel invested in the success of the business and to go above and beyond to carry out their role.
A Gallup poll found that only 34% of employees feel engaged at work — which leads to lower productivity and overall job satisfaction.
You can prevent that at your salon by taking these steps:
- Ask for feedback. It’s important that your salon staff is empowered to speak up if they feel that there is a problem that isn’t being addressed. They should not feel disconnected to the salon’s growth or like their opinions don’t matter.
By holding regular feedback sessions with your technicians on a one-on-one basis, they are much more likely to feel committed to the business.
- Engage in regular goal-setting initiatives. There’s nothing more demotivating than doing a job that has no clear KPIs or objectives.
If there’s nothing concrete to strive for, how likely is it that you’re getting the best out of your employees?
Goal-setting on both an individual and a team basis is a great way to maintain momentum and develop stronger rapport with your team members.
B. Keep the staff happy
a) Talk up your team inside and outside of the salon
Praise and recognition are proven to drive up motivation and performance, particularly in employees. Research by Survey Monkey found that 82% of employees are happier when they’re recognized at work.
To that end, here are some beauty salon management tips on how to recognize and motivate your salon employees:
- Promote peer-to-peer recognition. Encourage your employees to acknowledge their colleagues. Aside from providing positive reinforcement, peer-to-peer recognition can also build camaraderie among your employees. That, in turn, improves the overall performance.
- Put the spotlight on team members in your social media content. Show your employees lots of love on social media.
Feature them in your posts and credit their great work. If a team member styles a client’s hair to perfection, take a photo and tag them.
Doing so, raises their profile and morale. Plus, it’s a great way to attract new clients too!
b) Run team building activities
Engage in team building activities and exercises to motivate employees. Take their opinion when brainstorming for events and promotions.
If your salon staff isn’t happy on the job, they’re unlikely to be performing at their best — which affects the productivity of your business.
From conducting fun games to including team building activities, there are various ways in which you can make your staff feel loved and wanted while giving them their much-needed downtime.
Activities that promote collaboration and creative problem-solving are a fantastic way to promote the value of positive relationships, both inside and outside of work. Here are a few examples:
- Quick games to boost morale: Conducting games for your employees is always fun. Think trivia games, mind games, treasure hunt, puzzles, Pictionary, scrabble and word games to give them respite on a hectic work day.
- Group meditation: Once a month, you can probably get in a professional Yoga trainer to conduct a group meditation session. This is a sure-shot way to improve concentration and reduce stress.
- Group lunches: There’s nothing a good meal cannot solve. Schedule a day each month to treat your staff to their favorite food at a nearby restaurant. This allows your staff to interact on more than just a professional level.
When your salon employees know each other as people rather than just as co-workers, it creates a much more harmonious work environment. While this may be an added expense, it will go a long way in employee retention.
- Volunteering. Finding ways to give back to the local community is a really refreshing exercise for many businesses and their staff.
It’s an excellent opportunity for your team members to bond over a shared activity, while also helping to strengthen the brand and values of your salon.
- Strategic planning activities. It’s a good idea to get your employees involved in the direction of your salon. Setting up sessions to brainstorm marketing strategies and service offerings shows that you value their input, which helps them to feel more invested in the salon’s future.
c) Stay on top of conflict management
Managing staff isn’t always smooth sailing; there can be personality clashes, logistical issues, and the pressure of ensuring that key business needs are met.
As the salon manager, it’s your responsibility to de-escalate conflicts and keep the impact on the wider workplace as minimal as possible. This means that you should always have a process for managing disputes when they do arise:
- Promote an open and honest culture. The easiest way to resolve a conflict is to stop it before it gets started. Make sure you put a big emphasis on the importance of fairness and respect.
This helps to give your staff the confidence to speak out when they feel that there is an issue that isn’t being addressed.
- Take action early. If you see evidence of any strain between team members, step in and resolve the situation as soon as you can.
Otherwise, this can lead to problems going unresolved and strained workplace relationships, both of which will have a negative impact on team dynamics.
- Set up a formal system for handling conflicts. A more formal mediation process may be required if employees aren’t able to solve issues on their own.
It’s always worth having a third-party HR professional on-hand who can step in and avoid taking sides.
C. Invest time in training the staff
Having a skilled team of technicians means being able to charge higher rates for your services, which is one of the biggest ways to improve your bottom line.
By educating the salon employees in your approach and what makes your establishment unique, it’s much easier to maintain the quality of your offerings.
Putting everyone through the same in-house program helps to build camaraderie among your staff and create a much more supportive environment.
Wondering what types of training you should offer? Consider the following:
- Brand training. Discuss your story and brand values.
- Interfacing with clients. Teach them what to do when clients walk through the doors, educate them on what to say, what not to say, etc.
- Administering your services. If you have specific processes or methods when it comes to cutting and styling hair, train your team accordingly.
Be sure to adopt multiple training methods. Use a combination of face-to-face sessions, educational videos, text-based tutorials, and on-the-job training to ensure that each team member understands and retains the necessary knowledge and skills.
This is actually what the majority of employees are actively looking for. According to the ITA Group, 76% of employees consider opportunities for career growth as being important to overall job satisfaction.
Wondering what kinds of learning opportunities could you offer at your salon? Consider the following:
- Hold a weekly or bi-weekly meeting that focuses on a certain skill like handling customer complaints.
- Have your staff take turns hosting a session on their favorite technique/treatment.
- Bring in representatives/trainers from brands whose products you use to hold sessions.
- Send your team members to industry conferences like the International Salon + Spa Expo (ISSE) so they can wise up on the latest trends and best practices.
3. Handling client feedback and online reputation
A. Collect feedback from clients
As a salon manager, collecting feedback is imperative. It can help you empower your business development strategies. It is also a great way to build your client database. While feedback gives your team the much-required boost, it also helps you improve certain processes.
B. Set up questionnaires
If you really want to know what your clients think of your salon, create a client survey questionnaire. The first rule is to ‘keep it short’. Nobody has the time to fill up lengthy forms.
You can even print out the below template and use it for your salon.
C. Handle negative feedback and maintain online reputation
As a business owner, you can’t really escape negative reviews. But failing to handle them well can hamper the reputation of your business. With a professional salon management system in place, it gets easier to control the negative image of your brand.
Each time your salon receives a rating, you will get alerted instantly, thereby giving you a chance to address and respond to negative reviews appropriately.
Customer complaints will guide you in the direction requiring the most of your attention at the earliest.
- If there is no log of complaint procedures, that speaks volumes. It implies you are not keeping a close eye on the complaint and not dealing with team members at the source of the complaints.
- If you are doing something about the complaints, but aren’t logging it, then there is an issue with the lack of procedures and management follow-up.
- If there is a log of all complaints, what are the issues?
- Is it mainly staff or maintenance related;
- Are there a lot of complaints or just a few?
Analyzing your complaint logs will give you an overview of the business and your customer service quality.
If your clients are posting positive reviews about your salon online or on social media platforms, make it a point to respond to them. You could also give them a little incentive each time they post a positive review about your salon. Anything from a complimentary nail polish to a beard trim does the trick.
4. Budgeting and expenses
A. Stay on top of accounts
Expenses and income are an important part of salon management. To ensure the salon is running profitably, a budget should be set and every transaction should be accounted for separately. Check if your staff and suppliers are paid on time. Other miscellaneous bills for electricity, water and utilities should be cleared on time too.
B. Manage inventory
Inventory management is crucial to the bottom line of your salon. When you keep track of your retail stock and backbar inventory, you know you have the required product to service your clients.
With efficient inventory management, you can handle the flow of goods from the salon to the warehouse and from the manufacturer to the ultimate point of sale.
It not only helps in boosting sales but also ensures that a salon has the right products in the right quantities at the right time. Moreover, it ensures that your salon is equipped with the latest and upgraded instruments, machines and technologies.
Managing a salon also involves rolling out exciting offers for your clients. It is not just a fool-proof way to bring in more clients but also ensures that the revenue does not dwindle. The best way to come up with promotions is by checking the economic realities of the salon.
5. Run marketing campaigns
- Loyalty programs: Incorporating a loyalty program is the best way to appreciate your clients for their repeated business. From merchandise and free treatments to discount coupons, you can shape your rewards program to enhance client retention.
- Membership programs: Introducing a salon membership program is a win-win situation for your salon and its clients.
While clients get to avail services at discounted rates, you get to see them often since their membership keeps them coming regularly.
It not just boosts the profitability of your business but also enhances the overall bottom line.
- Send personalized offers: If you wish to attract new clients while retaining the old ones, come up with personalized offers.
Birthday discounts, 3 at the price of 2, festive offers and referral points system are different ways in which you can lure clients.
- Send personalized emails and SMS: From sending out alert notifications to your clients to promotional messages, email and SMS, such marketing efforts have a wide potential.
Keep clients in the loop by sending out offer messages during festivals, birthdays and different occasions.
Go a step further and personalize them to make your client feel like you truly care about them. Sending targeted emails and messages enhances customer loyalty.
- Add value: The offers you roll out should help you make money rather than killing your profits. It’s all about adding value.
There are many smart ways of doing this. 3 for the price of 2 works wonders in the beauty business.
You can also introduce ‘happy hours’ on days when business is usually slower than usual. It can be a good way to attract new clients to your salon and also boost your overall revenue.
6. Track client behavior insights and staff performance metrics
When analyzed properly, a large amount of insights can be obtained just from client behavior.
What services are people coming in for the most? What is the most hot-selling retail product of your salon? Do clients appreciate the complimentary services you currently provide? Would something else excite them more?
You can plan your salon marketing program in accordance with the insights you gain. You can also try rolling out more client-pleasing schemes to make the salon a success with all those who visit it.
Tracking client behavior regularly is very important since their preferences might change with certain seasons or occasions.
For example, people might want more hair dressing sessions around Christmas and more massage sessions during the summer breaks. You can allocate the salon’s resources (both capital and human) accordingly to ensure smoother processes.
Analysing staff performance every month should be made a routine. Conduct one-on-one meetings and point out how an employee can improve in a certain area to do better.
7. Oversee daily salon operations
An integral part of salon management is looking after operations. Ensure that the employees reach on time, check their attire and hygiene, that there is cleanliness within the salon.
Track product inventory, order supplies, arrange for regular maintenance of all equipment, keep records up-to-date and manage the salon software. These are a few responsibilities a beauty or hair salon manager has to perform on a daily basis.
A hint of automation is all it takes to streamline your business processes and give your clients the experience they desire. If you’re wondering how to manage your salon business operations, accounting and revenue, salon software is the answer. While daily operations are automated, management evaluation becomes a lot easier.
We hope that these salon management tips help you with scheduling your client appointments, securing feedback, selling retail products, marketing your business, managing employees, and enhancing your profitability.
Tell us about what other things worked out for you in the comment section below!
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
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