Successful businesses all have one thing in common: they’re built and run by extraordinary people (like Shaughnessy & Kyle pictured above, from Studio Sashiko) with vast sets of entrepreneurial skills. So how do you know which entrepreneurial skills you need?

You learn from the industry leaders that have gone before.

Each section of this guide will introduce a hair and/or beauty industry leader, and the entrepreneurial skills that they’ve mastered in order to succeed.

 


 

1: Rae Morris – Willingness to Learn

entrepreneurial skills of Rae Morris

With a career spanning over 25 years, Rae Morris is one of the most influential makeup artists in the world. Four times Australian Makeup Artist of the Year, and the longest-serving makeup director for L’Oreal Paris, Rae’s work has graced the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, illuminating the faces of Naomi Campbell and Cate Blanchett. Rae shares her entrepreneurial skills, and tips on succeeding in this highly competitive industry.

How important is ongoing education for business owners?

Education is vital, but it’s more important to be picky about where and who you learn from.

Find a makeup artist that inspires you and train on the job. Be careful about who you choose, it has to be someone who rocks your world. Ask them for private lessons and learn to do makeup on a wide variety of faces, not just your own.

You can never ‘overtrain’. Don’t do long courses unless you need to learn discipline. The thing is, you can’t teach taste.

Educate yourself through practice. Take before and after shots, and perfect it time and time again. Practicing on yourself, you don’t get the skill. I only ever have had 24 hours of training. I have learned on the job. You have to be dedicated to the craft.

What are your top tips for up & coming entrepreneurs?

A good makeup artist knows when to put the brush down. It is as much about knowing what to do, as knowing what not to do. Before and after photos are a great way to track your progress, and truly see the difference you’ve made on a face.

The best artists are the slowest.

Never stop learning.

 


 

2: Estelle Oliveri – Passion for What You Do

entrepreneurial skills of Estelle Oliver
Estelle Oliveri is the driving force behind Hairpin Digital. Together with her team, she constantly tests, challenges and builds digital ideas for the beauty and hair industry. She draws inspiration from entrepreneurial skills outside of the beauty industry that allow her to think creatively and differently within it.

Why do the hair & beauty industries appeal to you?

I see hairdressers and beauty therapists as angels – people born with a passion to make someone’s day, week, month, and year brighter.

Hairdressers and beauty professionals provide confidence to women like me sitting in corporate meetings, rejuvenation to tired mothers, engagement and banter with the elderly etc. They are brilliant at igniting a spark with clients, and excellent with their hands and artistic vision.

Overall the hair industry appeals to me because if I can help another woman find a quality hair salon to evoke the confidence that I myself have needed on many occasions, then I’ve succeeded.

What are your top tips for up & coming entrepreneurs?

Social media is critical for every salon business. Your business is open 24-hours a day online. People are searching all the time to find quality service providers. Generation Y, X and baby boomers use it daily as this is how they connect and LEARN about the world around them.

I like to think of social media as your business’ online magazine. The quality of your magazine tells a lot to a viewer. Is it chaotic? Professional? Branded? If you are not on social media or not using it frequently it is difficult for someone to validate the authenticity and quality of your salon.

I see social media becoming more and more important in the appointment/booking process. With Generation Y using social media as a communication tool, Generation Z now surfacing and technology moving at the pace it does, I see additional features for social media coming in to play to funnel and fast track online bookings.

 


 

3: Anna Moine – Run Your Business Like a Boss

entrepreneurial skills of Anna Moine
Anna Moine combines an affinity for business with her passion for the spa industry to provide a comprehensive, strategic and motivated approach to the projects she undertakes. Overseeing the development process for a diverse group of clients, including Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors, Anna is hugely knowledgeable when it comes to helping businesses grow. Anna shares her entrepreneurial skills, and insights into the ever-developing hair and beauty industry.

What inspires you?

In the professional industry, it is all about creating a beautiful experience. In the retail industry, it is all about beautifying — creating an experience and incorporating a lifestyle change. For me, I saw that there was much more to this industry, and it wasn’t solely superficial. It can create significant changes in your lifestyle.

What are your top tips for up & coming entrepreneurs?

If salons aren’t offering retail products, they are losing a major share of revenue. Typically profit to margin for services is between 10-15% because you have to pay the practitioner, stylist or the beautician, overheads, etcetera. For retail, your profit margin is a minimum of 40% and you don’t have to train people. It is really easy to bring in added revenue.

Have a dedicated person in the spa who really loves products. Identify that product junky and give them that responsibility, including participating in the selection process of what is going to be sold. Engage them by making them part of the decision making process. Also, limiting the number of skews, and taking the Sephora approach where you are focusing on hero products. If you have a significant product assortment, change up the displays every three to four weeks.

 


 

4: Dario Cotroneo – Treat Clients Like Family

entrepreneurial skills of Dario Cotroneo
Dario’s passion for perfection and his uncompromising attention to detail has seen him become one of Australia’s most successful hairdressers. His sophisticated and sexy hairstyles have featured in the likes of Harpers Bazaar, Singapore Elle, New Woman, and Cosmopolitan. Dario Cotroneo shares his entrepreneurial skills, and tips on salon success.

What do you love about your clients?

I love connecting with our salon guests because guests become like family to me. Life has a bigger meaning to it when you’re a part of people’s lives and not just about looking after their hair. I believe my role is about lifting self-esteem and ensuring when a guest leaves they look rejuvenated, inspired and happy. This process is so addictive if done well.

My philosophy is that hairdressing is a lifestyle. You can decide what lifestyle you want based on how much you invest in your training, as well as how hard you want to work to create your desired lifestyle. It’s not about seeing the return on investment now, it is about changing your life in the next 10 years which will lead you to be a very successful hairdresser long term, not just a fad hairdresser that you never hear about after 1 or 2 years.

I truly love hairdressing and our ability to change people’s lives one appointment at a time.

What are your top tips for up & coming entrepreneurs?

My number 1 tip for excellent customer service is to care more!

We love using Timely to connect with our salon guests at the end of each day by sending them an SMS note such as “great seeing you today and have a great holiday.” I think we are now living in a world where we have to connect and engage with people, as most people are overwhelmed and not feeling loved.

I also recommend sending your salon guest a message after 3 weeks to check how the colour/cut is looking.

Also, send a guest a message after 6 weeks if she has not booked in to remind her she is due for a colour touch up in 2 weeks time. This shows you have her best interest at heart and this creates a growth culture and a growing business.

Lastly, if you haven’t seen your salon guest for 10 weeks send them a picture of what they looked like after their last appointment with you (it’s great to take a pic of your client’s hair each appointment!), and say in the message “just thinking of you”. At this stage, they may have gone somewhere else however you have shown them how good they looked at your salon last time and possibly they have just made a mistake going somewhere else. This may help you win the client back.

 


 

5. Caitlyn Menzel – Work/Life Balance

entrepreneurial skills of Caitlyn Menzel
At only 27, Caitlyn Menzel has built a strong industry presence. She has a reputation for being an amazing leader and an expert in salon management and mentoring. Her achievements have earned her numerous awards, the opportunity to speak at events and seminars, and allow her to continue to grow her loyal circle of coaching clients. Caitlyn shares her tips for gaining those important entrepreneurial skills.

What’s changed the most over the years?

When I did my apprenticeship I worked for two guys in their 50s with very classic beliefs. Everyone worked 50 hours a week, no-one left until they were finished. There wasn’t any love at the end of the day. No “thank-you”. They thought every other salon in the area was their competitor.

Nowadays, everyone is more supportive of one other. It might have something to do with social media bringing people together. The attitude is changing — hair stylists and beauty therapists now love and support each other. Recently we did training with two other salons and it was so great to mix up the teams. It is ever-changing, ever-growing, and there are always new things happening. It’s nice to be a part of something like that.

What are your top tips for up & coming entrepreneurs?

We have a really strong culture of health and wellbeing in our salon. Wellbeing isn’t just about the physical elements, but it’s about one’s inner self as well. I want staff to feel empowered, so I work with staff on setting and achieving their goals. I think that is something that is really forgotten about. Yeah, you’re the business owner and you have goals, but so do your staff. We revisit it twice a year on their 6 month anniversary. My manager Lauren for example, wants extra time to spend with her family. So, we worked out she gets time bonuses instead of cash bonuses. This keeps her working harder, and is a way to stop her from wanting to leave. Everyone is completely different — we must remember this.

You must make sure staff feel cared for. Make sure they have breaks! I also buy my staff all lunch on Saturdays. It is the little things. Everyone just wants to feel loved.

Don’t forget why you do what you do. Don’t lose sight of that. We do this because we love hair and beauty, we love making people feel good. For me, I love providing jobs for people. Don’t lose sight of your why!

“Entrepreneurial Skills of Those That Succeed” is part of Timely’s series of business guides written to help salon and spa owners run their businesses. If you found it helpful, why not share it with your colleagues!