Framing Your Salon and Spa for Success

January 06, 2020  /  By Kris Fair

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This is part one of a twelve-part series of how a salon and spa business can create internal processes to optimize the profitability of the company and help assure employee and company success.

While researching how to start this blog, I kept finding myself in the same conundrum. I would begin with a thought, such as how to set goals for employees. Then I would backtrack that thought and before I knew it I twisted myself in a spiral of “we can’t speak about this until we speak about that.”

So let’s start at the beginning, your structure. Many salons/spas rely on just one person to handle everything, usually the owner. While working behind the chair, this person handles employee coaching, payroll, salon marketing, guest challenges, inventory, administering team benefits, hiring new staff, human relations, and public relations. They also do all of this without ever losing their cool, right?

So you will hire a coordinator who is also going to handle inventory and then you will be fine. Review the task list above. Does removing inventory really change the burden? As a result, it is no wonder that many spa and salon management burn out so quickly. Owners can be really tough on themselves with unrealistic expectations. Instead, ask yourself, “Is there a better way my company could be more profitable AND demand less time from me?”

My comments below reflect managing a multi-chair salon and day spa. Smaller operations can and do manage multiple roles with one person. However, as you grow, it is critical to begin separating these roles. In my view, the primary functions of the company divided into five parts; the owner, team development and culture, operations, marketing, and finance. Each one is equally important. Let’s examine:

  • Owner – The chief visionary. It is the owner’s responsibility to set the tone for the rest of the company. Once you settle on your vision of what your company’s brand is, the management team is charged with implementing your vision.
  • Team Development and Culture – This role is responsible for being the day-to-day tracker of everything in the company. This person’s responsibility is to make sure the staff has goals, the staff understands their goals, and the staff has the resources to achieve these goals. This person helps hire and onboard new staff. This role naturally oversees income tracking and expenses because company development is team development.
  • Operations – This role is the floor coordinator. This role makes sure that the primary functions of the operation are efficient and effective. Included: tracking the schedule, training desk and assistants, handling guest complaints, managing inventory, and making sure technicians are running on time.
  • Marketing – This role is dedicated to formulating and communicating the business’ public message. This role handles print advertising, social media, commercials, events, and anything as it relates to placing your brand in the public square.
  • Finance – Simply put, this role handles payroll, taxes, income tracking, expense reporting, profit-sharing plans, retirement plans, insurance plans, and any challenges that arise from those areas.

Set aside the titles for a moment and read the descriptions. These are concepts for you to use outlining your management structure. Call the roles whatever you want. As you grow, the owner should have four distinct people filling each of these four distinct roles. You might look at this and think, “Yea…I can’t afford that!” So in the next issue, we will cover pay structure, including how and why you can afford these positions — and end up in a better financial position once they are hired.

Salon Owner

About Our Guest Blogger

Kris Fair, New York New York Salon

Kris Fair has been assisting company’s set, refine, and reach their goals since 2001 when, at the age of 16, he was named General Manager of Gold’s Gym. Kris joined the team of New York, New York Hair Salon and Day Spa in 2003. He has been instrumental in tripling company revenue, increasing company benefits, and growing salon and spa productivity every year from 2008 – 2019.

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