The Journey Begins
It all started with that one little thought. That tiny voice inside your head that wouldn’t go away. If this were my salon I wouldn’t do it like that. The thought lingered, expanded and eventually took over your head space. The next thing you knew you had started to see a whole bunch of things you wouldn’t do (and experiencing a whole bunch of frustrations with each new realization too!).
But what WOULD you do? Ahhhh that’s where the frustration turned into FUN! Slow at first, a vision started to form in your mind. The vision become clearer with each thought that crept in, thoughts that then flooded into a passion you could no longer ignore! I could have my own salon! Run it my own way! Be my own boss! Live under my own rules!
The doubt that found it’s way in was quickly squashed. It won’t fail. I’m the busiest stylist in this salon, clients love me and will follow me. I’ve experienced what employers do wrong so I know how to get it right. Running a team would be easy if they would just listen to us more and chill out a bit! I could come to work whenever I feel like it, call the shots, answer to no one! WHY HAVEN’T I DONE THIS BEFORE?!
Next thing you know you’re looking for a space to rent; deciding on a name; choosing mirrors and setting up stations. It’s all so much fun and you can’t wait to get the doors open! You quit your job, feeling just a slight buzz when you see the look on your employers face giving them the news. Opening day finally comes around. The salon looks great! Your column is booked out! You have never been more excited or passionate about anything in your life!
Same as at every salon you’ve ever worked at, your column continues to fill up and the demand for clients to get an appointment increases, only this time it’s up to you to control that demand. Easy. You put up an ad, interview a bunch of seniors and decide which one to hire. You decide that an apprentice is also necessary and the next thing you know you have a team to look after.
It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s challenging yet rewarding at the same time. The salon is growing, the vibe is great and you are the leader, answering to no one. Everyone is having fun and you are still getting to do what you do best, HAIR!
A couple more months in you notice your senior’s behaviour change. An attitude that wasn’t there before. You notice them interact with a client in a way that you never would with yours but aren’t sure how to approach it. Your apprentice starts showing up to work late, clearly struggling from last nights activities. You notice the vibe isn’t so awesome anymore. Your clients start noticing too.
One by one those gaps start appearing in the appointment book. In your seniors and in yours. Where is Mary? She’s followed me from the last two salons I worked at?! Always comes in every 6 weeks on the dot, yet she hasn’t been in for 10 weeks now? I know the day she came in my apprentice had called in sick so I had to rush her a bit but.... I can’t believe I didn’t notice she hasn’t been in?!
One by one things start to unravel around you. The vibe is gone, your column is only booked out half the time and your staff are clearly not as bonded with you as they used to be. You find you’re bringing in less money every week. Then the day comes. The invoice for your rent arrives and there is no money in the bank to pay it. How did that happen? We’ve always had the money there before?
You go to work feeling completely discouraged and notice that you aren’t feeling the same about cutting hair. You’ve become robotic in your service with your head space now off thinking about the pile of bills at home and the holiday you were dreaming about now clearly out of your reach.
This isn’t what was supposed to happen! I was making more money as a senior, I thought being the boss you got paid more?! Where does all the money go? Where have all my clients gone? Where did all the FUN go?!
Choosing to run your own business is choosing to put yourself through the greatest personal growth challenge you will every face. It’s exciting, rewarding, and yes...it’s FUN, IF you understand the process that is happening. IF you understand what you are in for. IF you realize that being a great hairdresser and being a great business owner are two completely separate rolls that both need constant development. Running a hairdressing salon doesn’t have to suck the life from you and the passion for your industry from your very being. It is possible to have a thriving business that allows you to live the life you want, including continuing doing the thing that makes you most happy...being a fabulous creative stylist.
All For Mary - Creative Director
Know a Business Owner that needs to know they aren't alone? Help us spread the word by sharing this article.