Salon Owners: Who’s Keeping You on Task and on Track?

Lisa Conway
Salon Coach
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Accountability is the fuel for success. Let me explain why and how accountability can turbocharge your salon business.

In the salon, accountability determines every outcome – from your client satisfaction levels to your financials, your team morale and your own sense of fulfilment. From the time we arrive in this world, we’re accountable to someone. First it’s our parents, then our school teachers. For many, the first little step-off is university, where there are no parent-teacher interviews and no one insisting you attend tutorials or submit assignments. It’s where many stumble for the first time.

Entering the workforce is a whole new level of accountability. Your employer invests in YOU and expects a return. But when you decide to be a business owner, you step back from accountability. In fact, for entrepreneurial types, not having to answer to anyone else is often a big part of the attraction.

Owning a business is a whole new game – and it’s a game for grown-ups. The equation flips: now your team is accountable to you. Who are you accountable to? Who’s keeping you on task and on track? Who’s exciting you, driving you to perform at your best?

A great business coach fills that role, gets you doing what you need to do to get the results you want. They’re like your new unreasonable friend who calls you out on your limiting beliefs, the BS you tell yourself. You know what I mean – someone to walk hand-in-hand with you into the room of mirrors so you can have an honest conversation with yourself and decide where the truth is in your business.

As a salon coach, I see lack of accountability working in two extremes. In one version, the salon owner has settled into the lazy lane of life. I’m not accountable to anyone. If I want to bugger off early (most days) I do. It’s my call. It’s not long before the laziness shows up in the profit margin. Like it does in your results transcript at uni if you haven’t learnt the art of self-discipline.

At the other end of the scale, the salon owner overstays their welcome at work, is the first one to arrive and last one to leave and everything is urgent! It might feel like accountability, but it’s not. Being on deck fifty-plus hours a week to stamp out fires is not running a business; it’s letting it happen around you. It’s not sustainable and always ends in tears.

Being top dog doesn’t guarantee top return on your investment in your salon. More time working in your business doesn’t always mean you make more money. The smart money is in having systems and processes that work efficiently without you micro-managing every little detail.

The most successful salons I see – the ones who’ve expanded to two or three locations, have big, happy teams, and systems that work hard every day, with or without the owner on deck – have all been coached at some stage. They’ve embraced the guidance and feedback, but mostly the accountability. Because it works! It’s why a jogging buddy or a diet pal help your health and fitness resolutions stick. It’s why a sports team responds to an experienced coach who sets collective and individual expectations. It’s why you handed in your homework on time at school – because when you disappoint whoever you’re accountable to, you also disappoint yourself.

A solid plan in place and being accountable to someone else to follow that plan – it’s a sure-fire recipe for success. There’s a reflection process or critique that insists you look at and assess your results. You’re pushed to test and measure. Test and measure. Tweak it, then test and measure again.

Not in a way that feels uncomfortable or like you’re handing over control. ZING’s style of coaching is never about telling you what to do. We show you what your options are, present you with evidence and ideas. We empower you to choose the path. It’s like fishing. If I handed you a fish, caught and filleted, you’d feed yourself for one meal, right? If I gave you a rod, a line and some bait and showed you where the fish are biting (and why), you could feed yourself forever. That’s what a great coach does for you. It’s like putting you in the driver’s seat, with your coach as your GPS, steering you around roadblocks and dead-ends.

The entrepreneur (who generally has a creative, problem-solving brain) is not always process-driven. If you’re not answerable to someone, you need to be super disciplined and have ninja organisational skills to succeed in business. If not, you’re likely start lots of projects, have lots of great ideas but not have any processes or systems to get them across the line. It’s so frustrating!

A sense of success is a basic human need. Unfinished tasks mean dwindling morale and motivation. In contrast, the success that comes from accountability is all feel-good. You get to enjoy the dopamine-rush generated by ticking off multiple tasks. It tops up your energy tank and you feel inspired and motivated to do more. Now, that’s how business should feel!

At ZING, we start our weekly meetings by sharing a recent win for everyone on team. We do that because it sets the mood for success. Big or small we all should be accountable to someone. Set your goals and crystal clear plans so you can tick off your achievements, your wins and even your small victories. The feel-good rush of accountability will catapult you to the next, even bigger challenge and set you up for your next, even bigger win.

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