Faye Murray has been a salon coach for over 17 years, so she’s certainly witnessed its developments and changes. An absolute salon whizz, Faye shares her thoughts on this ever-changing industry.

Hairdressing Through the Years: Looking Back, Moving Forward

Prior to coaching, Faye was the general manager of a large hairdressing salon group employing 300 staff at any one time, and managed Queensland’s then largest registered training organisation, being responsible for 200 apprentices every year. A board member of the Australian Hairdressing Council for over 10 years, a presenter at national and international business conferences and expos, and renowned beauty writer, Faye Murray has so much wisdom to share.

Thoughts from Salon Coach, Faye Murray

What do you love about working in the hair and beauty industries?

It would be easy to say “the people” and that will always be number one but also I love the fact that it is always changing with new and exciting things presented constantly. The secret for salon owners is to choose wisely. Think hard about what needs to change to stay ahead of competitors and address their client’s needs.

Why do you think specialising in one area is becoming so popular?

I am seeing specialisation success in both hair and beauty from the savvy salons. There is an emerging group of clients who recognise that they want the best they can get and to get this they are happy to pay more for a professional who has invested to have specialist skills. Educational marketing is currently also a key strategy to drive clients to salons and being able to share specialist skills works well with this.

What are your thoughts on the future of the hair and beauty industries?

Two recent articles that I have read indicate that by 2025, 50% of people will be self-employed. So as an industry, we have to acknowledge that this trend will have an effect on how our salons will look in the future and also it is being said that jobs for the future in service-related industries will not be as challenged by technology. So I guess that is a big positive for our future.

What advice do you give to people looking to grow their businesses?

Of course, I would suggest sourcing an industry-specific business coach who matches your needs. I firmly believe that to have the knowledge to help a salon grow, a hair or beauty business coach must have a strong industry background. Once you have the guidance, be sure to allocate what I call “Business Development Time” each week. One last piece of advice, use the “no” word when a demand for your time has no value to you personally or to your business.

Any tips on how businesses can keep clients coming back again and again?

Firstly use the retention report that your software company provides to show you where you are at and share this with the team whenever you discuss client service. I find that when I first start to coach clients there is often a lot of focus on re-booking but very little on what you need to do for retention. If you have 50% retention that means you are losing 5 out of 10 clients. Good hair and good beauty treatments alone will not retain clients, you need the whole package and that is a big list to get right.

What is the biggest change you have seen in the industry during your career?

I have been lucky enough to have been coaching for 17 years and I have seen lots of changes both positive and negative. I could list many negatives that have impacted salons. On a positive note, I would say that in the last 7 years I believe that a lot more salon owners really do have a good understanding of the business side of a salon and that means better staff retention, better client service and better profits. They all go together.

One thing that is clear is that salons should feel very proud of the level of service they offer their clients today. A cup of coffee was not even offered when I first started my training, salons were not air conditioned, beauty salons only offered waxing and facials. Service was very basic. Now the list of value-added services is so extensive and continues to grow to match the changing needs of today’s client.