• Lessons From Your First Job

    Beauty school is not an accurate reflection of your salon job, nope. Then again, education and gainful employment have different goals. I agree with those who feel they should be totally the same. Today’s beauty school builds confidence, gives second chances, and overlooks mistakes—how could you master something you’ve never seen, but by trial and error?

    Salons are competitive—at times cutthroat–not too many second chances. A profitable salon seeks to be ahead of the curve by offering high quality workmanship, outstanding service and cool team members, all in a slick environment.

    Schools could be slick, not because of pretention or stuffiness—I hate pretention, but because the behavior of both clients and staff is highly influenced by environment and surroundings. Your eating mannerism will differ when you eat on an elegant table or from a cafeteria tray.

    Your first salon job will probably not be your permanent job. Most of us decided on a job with minimal information, or for the wrong reasons. No matter how good or bad your first job is, it offers lessons missing in school that will stay with you for the rest of your career. Here are a few:

    1 . You Can Be Replaced —it takes a lot for a school to expel you—a salon could fire or replace you on the spot. How can you avoid being replaced? Hone your technical and people skills making it difficult to be replaced. Great skills also give you better negotiating skills.

    2 . Bookings Determine Pecking Order– Ask for time off with little or no clientele—and your supervisor might just ask you to stay home. A big clientele is like money in the bank and improves your negotiating leverage. Remember how to get busy? i-Fabulous Salon Success program points to marketing yourself on and offline. But this effort is useless unless you work the salon six days a week and late nights, at least the first year. Getting busy is a 24-hour job—do not confuse with a 9-5 job. Show me a salon professional who comes in only for appointments, and I will show you someone who is not really making any money.

    3. People You Don’t Like– School allows you to be yourself—and not deal with anyone you don’t like. In a salon, you need to work, with a smile, with people you may not stomach. What to do about this? find a salon where you mesh. Your struggle to succeed is intense enough without having to show up to a hostile environment. You don’t have to like everyone—but you must be able to overlook your feelings and work with everyone when necessary.

    Source: Carlos Valenzuela @ shopmodernsalon.com

  • Moving On!

    There is an old saying – If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. Now that might be great if you are content with your life, your finances, and your professional growth. But, what if being content just isn’t enough? What about when the need to grow becomes so strong that it pushes you to challenge yourself to something new? Where do you go next? Do you change professions? Go back to school to get a new degree? Quit? Don’t even think about it!

    The day you graduated from your beauty college was the day a world of opportunities opened up for you. You just forgot, because you limited yourself to only one aspect of our profession. And I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that – hairdressing is one of the best professions you could be in. But sometimes, even great hairdressers wonder what’s next? The time to think about your next move is when the day-to-day working behind the chair just isn’t as fulfilling as it once was. It is not that you don’t enjoy your work, or the clients; it is about the challenge within yourself that creates the need for a change. This happens to a lot of hairdressers, especially seasoned pros.

    But instead of looking outside of your profession, we suggest you sit down and evaluate your career with an open mind and remember that you have only tapped into one part of this dynamic industry. Being a beauty professional has many avenues for you to choose from and all you need is a friendly reminder of the other career opportunities that are available.

    Think About Your Needs Besides money, what is it that you need from your work that will challenge you and bring you daily happiness? Try to think about what you enjoy most about our field. Is it the artistry? The hands-on work, or do you prefer the connection with people? Knowing what it is that you like will help to take the guesswork out of your next move.

    Step Out Of Your Box Look into areas that interest you, but you were afraid to venture into. Perhaps you always admired platform artists but told yourself, “I could never do that”.

    Or, perhaps you always wanted to be a fashion-model makeup artist, or a show event coordinator. All of these careers are open for you to try. You simply have to find what it is that interests you and just do it.

    Make The Connection Our industry is filled with the right people who will gladly HELP you to get to where you need to go. You must make the first move, and that is to start networking with people in your profession who are already doing what you want to do.

    If you can’t find anyone then begin your journey by going to classes and seminars on the subject or career that interests you. Your peers would love to hook you up with what they love to do; it is part of our industry’s nature. When you’re excited, they’re excited to share with you.

    Which Way Do You Go? This is the hardest part- deciding a direction. The first thing to do is to review your choices. Of course, there are basic choices, such as stylist, colorist, nail tech, and esthetician. But there’s a world of other choices as well. You might have forgotten that our profession offers endless opportunities. And there are ways for the experienced professional to expand his or her career in a more challenging direction.

    Think about all the possibilities to utilize your cosmetology license. When you’re in the need for a change… sit quietly and ask yourself to think about what you want to send out to the world, your answer will be crystal clear. Most of the time you already know when it is time to be moving on!

    Source: Kathy Jager-educational solutions

  • Where Did That Client Go?

    Customer service is about getting the client where they want to go. In a day’s work you might have a client on a first date, another applying for a job, and the other down in the dumps needing a pat on the back. I don’t suggest you meddle in your client’s lives, for me, the less I know, the better. However, the big tip for worry-free relationships appear to be practicing the golden rule of understanding what someone wants to play at, and not necessarily going along, but certainly not be a major force of resistance—this is paramount in the salon. I have stories.

    If you are a salon professional, or a full-time educator teaching basic, advanced, or product knowledge, I ask you add one concept to your arsenal: only deliver topics that get your listener to where they want to go. Imagine yourself on an airplane, transporting people from one place to another–you pack only the essentials you will use at your destination–no winter parka for Hawaii, or skinny tees for Alaska.

    What to do? Review your professional communication strategy from a clear-road-to-success perspective, not just because you are a professional, but because you lose a client or learner’s respect and trust when you lack a connection with the immediacy of your client’s needs.

    How do I do this on a daily basis? Ask yourself, is this, what I am about to do or say, something my client or learner can use to get where they want to go? Is this comment or technique a winner, in my client’s view? If you can’t remember, try this, “Is this going to make me more or less money?” If not, and you were working in my salon or school, I would ask that you pass on it.

    This single strategy justifies practicing listening skills. Yes, you are going to have to speak less/ listen more in order to line up with client needs. Just last night someone said to me, “I ask my stylist not to cut the top and, at each visit, he cuts the top. I am going somewhere else”

    Here is where the rubber hits the road: it has been my experience that when professionals fail to connect with client goals, they sense the client losing interest, and this is when the professional works on befriending the client–which brings about the total breakdown of service and profitability. You can’t effectively sell to friends; you sell to clients who pay your bills.

    By Carlos Valenzuela | Source: ModernSalon.com

  • Top Five Tips to Build Your Guy Client Conversation Skills

    My latest haircut is a masterpiece. It would look this good if I cut it myself if I do say so.

    The overall experience was positive. The hair cutter did everything right as it relates to client conversation. They also did everything wrong as it relates to client conversations.

    My visit began with a warm and friendly greeting. The consultation brought forth the specifics of my desired look. I departed on a high note, too. Take home hair care product was suggested and offered. I was instructed as to how to book my next appointment and I was thanked sincerely. The beginning and the ending were solid. The middle was where things went awry.

    By the end of the experience I described above I knew way too much about this hair-cutter. The lists of categories covered in the chair-side monologue included, but were not limited to their personal life, their life partner, their finances, their health issues, their housing situation, their mortgage, and their family. I know about the part time job, the prior cities of residence, and their taste in music, clothing and food. The list goes on. Notice, too I did not describe the interaction as a conversation. It was a monologue. I did a lot of listening. Fortunately when I take my glasses off I do not hear so well. I might have heard a lot more.

    Client conversation is a skill. It is a skill we must work hard to learn. It is a skill we must practice and hone. Below I offer up my top five tips for building your guy client conversations skills so as to build business, not drive it away.

    1. Read the newspaper. Yes. I know you get your news on the Internet. Read the paper, too. Specifically, read the local paper that comes out once each week. Taking the few minutes needed to scan through the paper will have you up to date on the general idea of what all is going on in your town. The big local daily and the web will fill you in on the whole wide world. Conversations happen. You need not be an expert, but you should know about what the school board is fighting about even if you do not have kids in the district. Being up on local current events will allow you to comfortably join in on conversations or sit quietly and gain thoughts and ideas from different people and perspectives.

    2. Watch Sportscenter – Fifteen minutes of Sportscenter will not make you a super-fan. It will make you capable of engaging with guys in a comfortable way. I am not a basketball fan, but I am roughly aware of what is generally going on in the world of basketball. I can say the same thing about hockey, football, soccer, and NASCAR. I am a big baseball fan and have more than a rough idea about that. My point here is not to try to be an expert, just be aware. You should know when a major golf tournament is in progress. You should know what part of the world important tennis is taking place. Like it or not, guys dig sports (girls do, too) and sports conversations happen in the haircutting chair. Be able to at least know what the conversation is about. You need to know what game Lebron plays. You do not need to know his career stats. You need to know what happens at Churchill Downs, Martinsville and Augusta.

    By Ivan Zoot | Source: ModernSalon.com