The ultimate guide to managing a salon for the first time
Starting your own salon is a daunting prospect – there’s lots to consider. Timely ambassador Abigail James explains to first-time salon owners how you can make your first time managing a salon easy, from creating a welcoming space to tech-savvy tips.
What makes a good salon manager? From creating a premises that your clients will love, effective employee management, and offering salon services that your clients can’t refuse, there’s a lot that goes into being an excellent salon owner.
Set the foundation
Think about how you would feel if you walked into your salon. Is it welcoming?
“Creating a solid foundation is key,” says Abigail. “The salon space should be a haven for your clients and easy to work in. Too small and it might be intimidating, too big and it could feel sterile.”
Use lighting, music and decor to create a welcoming space for your clients.
Build an amazing team
Successful salon management means creating a good salon team – they’ll transform your salon and keep your clients coming back regularly.
“Your salon team is at the heart of your salon,” says Abigail. “Find skilled salon employees who are talented and committed to exceptional customer service.”
And make sure your staff members keep up the good work with consistent training and effective team building exercised. Make your salon culture amazing – your staff will love working there, they’ll give you their all and you’ll avoid unhappy clients!
“Skills can be taught, but you can’t teach attitude – it’s everything”
“Skills can be taught, but you can’t teach attitude – it’s everything,” says Abigail. “Hire people for a good attitude and positive approach to learning new things, and the rest you can train.”
Get your services and prices right
Effective salon management means creating a salon that meets the needs of your clients. Whether you’re running a hair salon, a beauty salon or a medi-spa, you want to make your clients feel great so they keep coming back.
“You’re in the business of making people feel fabulous”
“You’re in the business of making people feel fabulous,” says Abigail. “So make sure you’re offering services that meet your clients’ needs. And when it comes to pricing, strike a balance between value and the luxury experience you’re delivering.”
Appointment scheduling and deposit management
Scheduling appointments should be easy, so make it easy! Salon management no longer means that you have to spend hours on the phone chasing clients and trying to book appointments. A simple appointment booking process like online booking helps make the booking experiences seamless.
“Invest in a smart salon software that lets clients reserve slots online or on the phone,” says Abigail. “There’s salon software that takes deposits too so you can reduce no-shows. I’ve always found that loyal customers are more than happy to pay a deposit – it even helps them budget for treatments!”
Timely and TimelyPay offers a smooth and seamless deposit, cancellation and payment system that makes salon management easy. All the information is in one place so you can keep cash flowing.
Keep your salon sanitised and hygienic
Keeping your salon business clean and sanitary is so important. Make it part of the daily operations and you’ll see your staff are happier and you’ll get fewer (if any) customer complaints.
“Cleanliness is your secret weapon,” says Abigail. “Safety and satisfaction go hand in hand, so lay down strict hygiene protocols. Train your salon team to keep things squeaky clean because a healthy glow starts with a healthy environment.”
Marketing and branding for your salon
Part of managing a salon is in getting your branding right! The salon industry is all about making people look and feel beautiful, so extend that to your branding. Make Instagram and Facebook work for you, share photos of your clients (with their permission), highlight your wonderful salon staff, and the services you offer.
“Flaunt your salon’s charm with service highlights, transformations, and behind-the-scenes glam,” says Abigail. “Your clients can book straight from Instagram or Facebook if you add a booking link. So don’t forget to sprinkle some irresistible promotions to make those heads turn.”
Customer satisfaction is arguably the most important part of being an effective salon manager. An amazing customer experience will enhance client retention and keep your clients coming back again and again.
“Creating memories is what sets your salon apart in the beauty industry,” says Abigail. “Roll out the red carpet for your clients. Warm vibes, attentive service, and a listening ear – that’s how you create a magical experience that keeps them coming back.”
It could be as simple as knowing what their favourite tea is, offering silent appointments for when they need to catch up on work, or comfy weighted blankets when they’re getting a treatment.
Last but definitely not least, a big part of beauty salon management is keeping a handle on your business – especially when you’re just starting out. The day-to-day operations are so important, so pay attention to the numbers, see what’s working, what isn’t, and be agile!
“Behind the scenes, it’s all about being a business savvy salon owner,” says Abigail. “Keep an eagle eye on those numbers – expenses, revenue, profits. Smart salon management software is a total game changer for tasks like inventory management and financial analysis.”
Timely gives you all the tools you need to get your salon business off to a flying start. Click here to check out our features – everything from online bookings and digital consultations, to an all-in-one payment solution, marketing tools, and more.