• Kirsten Harris

Do you have what it takes to run a successful hair salon?

Many hairdressers dream of running their own salon.  They’d love to be in charge of their own space and be able to watch their business grow.  Having your own salon means you can do things your way.  You call the shots and you enjoy the rewards that come with having a thriving business.  But running a salon isn’t for everyone.  Just because you’re a good hairdresser, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to run a salon.  You do need to be a great stylist, but owning or managi

ng a hair salon requires a whole different set of skills.  So what does it take to run a successful hair salon?


It might sound obvious, but you need a good head for business.  It’s all well and good to have amazing styling skills, loyal clients and a supportive team, but if you can’t get your head around the finances, your salon won’t succeed.  There’s more to it than most people realise, so if you’re thinking of running a salon, consider doing some training in running a small business.  It’s a great way to update your skills and see if running a salon is really for you.  You might want to talk to other salon owners to find out about their experiences.  Learn everything you can before you take on a salon of your own!


An important quality for anyone running a business is being organised.  For some people, this comes naturally.  Others will need a little help!  You might need to work out a few little tricks to keep your day running smoothly.  Do whatever works for you – make a to-do list, stick post-it notes on your computer or set reminders on your phone.  You’ve got a lot to remember, so work out a system that means important things won’t get forgotten.  There are many online systems or apps on your phone that will keep you organised and this is an absolute must when you’re running a hair salon.


Time management is another crucial part of running a salon.  You have a lot on your plate and it will often feel like there aren’t enough hours in your day!  Try keeping to a schedule with time set aside in your day for specific things – financial reports, staff meetings, doing the rosters.  You need to focus on the task at hand and not get distracted.  This is easier said than done in a busy salon!  If you need to turn your phone off or shut yourself away in your office, do it!  Your team will manage without you for a little while.  It’s also important that you are strict with your time.  It’s very easy to fritter away the morning on social media and that’s time you could be spending on paperwork (not nearly as fun as social media, but it has to be done!).  Being disciplined with your time while you’re at work means you won’t have to take work home with you.  


Having a successful hair salon means being a team player.  It’s a team effort.  Sure, there’ll be lots of things you need to do on your own, but you also need to be able to work with your staff, listen to others and delegate when necessary.  The salon may be your baby, but you can’t do it all on your own.  A good team will make or break your business, and you’re the one who holds them all together.  There’s a lot to manage, but looking after your team will be one of the most important things you do each day.


Managing a team is more than just organising the roster.  You need to be able to relate to everyone and take the time to listen to what they have to say.  Being available for your team is important.  They may have some great feedback, awesome ideas or valid concerns about what’s happening in the salon.  Maybe they just need to vent about a difficult client!  You also need to keep morale up, consider their personal or family needs and make sure they’re getting the training or support they need.  It might seem like a lot to keep on top of, but without a supportive team your salon simply won’t be a success.


It’s also really important that you look after yourself.  Running a hair salon is a tough gig, so you need make sure you’re treating yourself well.  Make time in your busy schedule for the things that matter: family, friends and relationships.  Set aside time for exercise and maintain a healthy diet.  Sometimes you’ll be working long hours, but try not to go overboard and always get a good night’s sleep.  These are things we all know we should be doing, but often there just isn’t time.  Make looking after yourself a priority though, because if you’re tired and cranky and feeling rundown, you’ll be no use to anyone at the salon. 



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