From boosting retail sales to hiring the right staff, we spoke with some of the industry’s top salon owners for their best salon business tips. See what creative salon management solutions are working for them.

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Make a Name for Yourself

Tip #1: "Good photography of your work plays a part in progressively getting your name out there. Consistency is key, and improvement in your work takes time." —Tony Ricci, Ricci Hair Co., Edmonton

Tip #2:"Entering competitions, including the Contessas, is important if you want to attract the best hairstylists. We’ve found it’s especially important with younger hairstylists, many of whom are looking for a salon where they have these opportunities available to them." —Roshan Arul and Alann Sluser, KoKo the Salon, Edmonton

Tip #3:"Social media is a real focus for us right now, especially Facebook and Instagram. These platforms are our advertising. We have a monthly draw for a gift basket to give our clients the incentive to check in through Facebook." —Carolyn Fowler, Salon Utopia, Windsor, Ont.

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Stabilize Your Finances

Tip #4:"Our staff get a separate cheque for their tips along with a report of how much each client gave. Two of our staff want to buy a home and I’ve gotten them to save for it with their tips. When you receive your tips as cash, you’ll spend it more easily but we found that a weekly cheque means they’ll see it adding up." —Roshan Arul and Alann Sluser, KoKo the Salon, Edmonton

Tip #5:"Use staff's holidays as a way to start the conversation on prebooking. I’ve found this especially useful for younger staff. This is a great way for them to get more comfortable with and motivated to rebook their clients." —Dana Lyseng, Salon Supernova, North Vancouver, B.C.

Tip #6:"It’s all about time management. Let clients know in advance if certain staff will be on holidays when they are booking their next appointment. At that point, there’s often enough time to either push their appointments back a week or up a week to accommodate for their hairstylist being away." —Michael Crispel, Earth Salon, Toronto

Another tip from Crispel: "For one of our meetings, I have someone come in to talk about RRSP planning so my younger staff can see the value of retirement planning and live a better quality of life. The meeting is focused for them, so they can share how they’re thinking and feeling and it gives me the opportunity see where I need to be accountable."

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Cultivate a Supportive Team Environment

Tip #8: "Build your team on your company culture. It’s tough to know if someone is the right hairstylist for our salon when I’m hiring. But I want to have an environment that’s nurturing, enthusiastic, kind and non-competitive among staff members. We are all trying to lift each other up because the success of everyone is important."—Michelle Pargee, Milica SalonSpa, Langley, B.C.

Tip #9: "Having monthly team meetings, where we talk about what is going on in the salon, is important. We always start off our team meetings with each person sharing something positive they are working on and a piece of good news, personal or professional." —Dana Lyseng, Supernova, Salon, North Vancouver, B.C.

Tip #10: "Give your staff ownership of what they are doing. We need to help them develop and invest in their career. I lead by example: I’ll sweep the floors, and when my staff have a client I'll help them out." —Michael Crispel, Earth Salon, Toronto

Tip #11: "Sometimes I’ll push staff into getting started with photo shoots by helping out with the photography. By doing this, it gives them a start. And as they progress, I try to find ways to help with photographers and models." —Tony Ricci, Ricci Hair Co., Edmonton

This article is an extract from "20 Smart Salon Business Tips."


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