Faye Murray is one of Australia's most recognized business coaches and motivational speakers. With 18 years of experience, she is the first person to be inducted into both the Hairdressing Hall of Fame and Beauty Hall of Fame. Faye is an absolute master of the salon world, here to pass over some gems of wisdom.

The Salon Guru

Can you share a top tip for people trying to achieve success in their business?

Success is nothing more than completing a few simple steps, but you’ve got to complete those steps every day. It’s about consistency. There’s a thing I do with every single client when I first start coaching them, I call it business development time. I think it’s the one thing that is the success step to running a business, it’s where you create time that you dedicate to working on your business. If you have a big salon you might need a whole day, if you have a little salon, you might only need two hours. If the phone rings during this time and it’s your favourite girlfriend, you don’t take the call. You don’t put the washing out in the middle of this time. It’s time dedicated to looking at your business.

What are some things salon owners should focus on during this dedicated time?

Think about what your salon needs. Is it more facial or hair clients? More colour clients? Just break it down. It’s also important to look at the results of what you have achieved. Are your client numbers up or down, and why. What is your re-booking rate, and your retention rate. Have some one-on-one chats with your staff to see how you can help them, and make sure any meetings you have are planned out. 

Look at your social media, how long has it been since you sat and looked at your social media like a client would, not like you would. If I’m a new client, thinking about coming to your salon, would I look at your social media and say ‘that’s for me, that matches my brand and market’?

What should business owners consider with their online marketing?

If you are a hairdressing salon, have you got lots of hair photos but nothing engaging or anything that is a bit of fun? If you are a beauty salon are you engaging and sharing useful tips? How long has it been since you changed your banner on your Facebook page, or on your website? I look at that before I do coaching with everybody, and I often see banners that haven’t been changed for a long time. Look at that as part of your business development time. 

Another interesting thing to look at right now is new clients. They are wanting to go to a professional salon that has COVID policies in place, so they feel safe. Make sure you are promoting what it is that you are doing in your salon so they feel safe.

Have you got any business reporting tips?

When I first start working with a client I’ll ask them if they are looking at the value of future appointments. Daily, weekly and monthly – you should always have a goal in place for those three things. Look at what your goal is, and work out how far you have to go to get there. You can work out how much a client pays on average, and that will help to establish how many more clients you need in order to reach the goal. Look at whether you have gaps in your calendar, and consider utilizing your wait list to fill it up. You can also make your team aware that you do need to fill some of the gaps, so if someone rings for an appointment, you can focus on getting them into those gaps. 

What are some things salons can do to put clients minds at ease during this pandemic?

I think this is a really interesting point. When clients are coming into a business or salon they are coming in with a list of expectations as far as your hygiene, and it’s important to remember that they don’t know what you have done unless you share it. I went to have a facial treatment a couple of weeks ago and they sent me the pre-COVID plan that they have in the salon. When I went in, they gave me my consultation form and said they had used gloves and that the clipboard and pens were cleansed. I think there are certainly things that people can do prior because we want clients in our salons for the least amount of time possible for a whole range of reasons right now.

Do you have any client sales tips you can share?

One of my simple steps is to put more focus on products, as you do get a big result. That is a step I think a lot of people don’t do. Once you get to the end of the service, you can go through and explain the products that you have used and make some suggestions to the client. Go through the benefits that are specific to the clients, not just general benefits. Then ask the client whether they would like to purchase something. With returning clients, look at what the client purchased previously and ask them if they were happy with the product so you can look at replenishing.

How do you decide what products to stock in a salon?

Just like when you go to a salon, it’s not necessarily about the price you pay, but rather the value you get. For example if support from the rep is really important to you, you want to make sure that is intact. Look at delivery options in terms of time. If relevant, consider the changeover from your existing supplier and figure out how that is going to work. Go through and analyse your needs, and make sure the supplier is able to provide what you need.

What are some ways you excite and motivate your staff?

Get the balance between recognition and accountability right. If you are the sort of boss that continually tells your team what they do wrong, and you never say all the good bits, you will always have a challenge retaining your team. It’s very easy to recognise the big achievements, but look for the little things. For example, thanking someone for helping another person finish up with a late client.

How do you ensure a high level of service in the salon?

Make sure you have your standards, procedures and expectations in place, and ensure everybody understands them clearly. When you see someone do something that isn’t right, ask them the reason why. It’s about setting and maintaining standards.. A policies and procedures manual is great because it’s in writing. Value is about wow customer service and everyone has got to deliver it. 

Your coach Faye Murray 



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