As a coach and consultant, I spend a lot of time talking to salon owners and stylists around the country and helping them work through their biggest concerns. Without fail, regardless of whether someone is a team of one working out of an at-home studio or they own and run multiple salons, four questions come up every time.

Today, I’m sharing them with you for a couple of reasons:

  1. It will let you know that you are not alone. Because what you are going through, 9 times out of 10 someone else is going through, too.
  2. I am hoping by sharing these answers, you will find some resolution to an issue you may have going on within your business.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

What is the quickest way to build my business? 

This question lands in my DMs at least several times a week. Here’s the deal: There is no “quick” way to build your business. It takes a lot of time, patience, and a good solid strategy. Whether you are a new owner, renter, or a stylist/ makeup artist. You have to plan to work for a good solid year or two before you’ll create some consistent income and revenue. 

Now, maybe some of you have been a massage therapist or stylist somewhere else before and already have a steady clientele. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean they will all follow you when you strike out on your own. You have to be sure you create a marketing strategy that is a true representation of your brand. Keep in mind that you will lose clients along the way whether because of a move or a budgeting issue. You will always shed. So you have to be on top of your game when it comes to attracting your perfect straight client. 

How do I find the right stylists, receptionist, or assistants for my business? 

This is always a tough one. Finding the right employees in our industry is one of the hardest things — but it’s not impossible. 

First things first: Make sure you have a solid brand and culture in place before you start to bring on team members. People want to work for something that is bigger than themselves. Secondly, be sure your compensation structure is airtight. 

What do you offer? Education? Vacation? Flexible scheduling? 

These are all things to consider offering. 

Next, be sure you have a training and onboarding process. This is one of the biggest missteps in our business. Please, please take the time to train and spend time with your new team members so they understand what’s expected of them and how your business works. They will also want to see a clear path on how they will grow within your business. 

I am barely making a profit. How do I make more money? 

There are a couple of different ways to look at this. My first question is: Do you know your break-even number? This is the number you need to just cover your expenses. You can do this by adding up all of your business expenses for the month. This will allow you to see what you have to bring in each month and week to cover just expenses. Then you can start to work on how you can increase that to actually make a profit. Here are a few ideas: 

Get Better at Talking to Your Customers

How are you communicating with your guests? Client retention is huge in a service-based business. I suggest sending an automated follow-up email within 72 hours of any appointment, service, or class. (You can set this up by using the email marketing feature in Schedulicity!) 

Sending a thank you card by email is key. In this email, you can also ask for feedback. This is a great way to allow your clients to let you know if they are not happy with their service.

Consider How You Can Cut Costs

How can you cut your expenses? Are you overspending somewhere? I am going to make a guess and say that it’s in supplies. Take a hard look at what you are buying versus what you need and start cutting those costs.

How do I attract the clients I actually want to spend time with in my business? 

At the beginning of your career, you may take allllll the clients just so you can get some experience. But as time goes on — and you become very clear on who you are and what your brand is — you can become more particular about the clients you invite to your business. There are three main ways to attract new clients and build your business:

  • Social media 
  • Networking in your community
  • Referral programs

Understanding your brand, brand message, and brand personality is incredibly important because the way you attract your target client is by being authentic — i.e. by being yourself. 
Speak to your potential clients in a way they would understand. A way that they would relate to. This is what will have them click that “Book Now” button. But first, you really have to hone in on what your brand is. This takes time and will evolve over time.

About the Author: Nina Tulio is a former salon owner and stylist that has been in the industry for 23 years. She now owns a consulting business and travels the country educating salon owners and stylists on how to grow a successful, sustainable business.