“If we are to find s0lutions to our challenges of salon ownership, we must clearly define our challenges.” – Jon Gonzales
If there are three words that best describe the beauty profession and in particular, the challenges of owning a successful and profitable business; I’d say apathy, change, and turmoil. I’m sure you will all agree that salon owners are facing many challenges and obstacles due to an uncertain economy and a changing and difficult business environment. While other professions have adapted to a changing and competitive economy, sadly in my opinion the beauty profession has not adapted to change.
Some of these challenges of owning a successful and profitable business are rising business costs, price and commission wars (we should be raising prices), finding and keeping committed hairdressers, lack of business management skills, increased competition, lack of information, turnover, price wars, an educational system that is outdated, staff pirating and competition from other industries offering better benefits to name a few of the obstacles affecting the beauty profession. The new generation of young hairdressers and salon owners are especially vulnerable during these difficult times.
So, who is at fault? Is it our profession, salon owner apathy, our beauty schools, government agencies, hairdressers, product companies? I’d say probably all of the above.
Salon owners face the following challenges on a daily basis in isolation and these challenges contribute to the failing of many salons:
Poor Salon Owner Business Management Skills — lack of business skills is one of the leading causes of salon failures.
Salon Owner Apathy and Denial — it is easier to stay in your comfort zone because it doesn’t require effort.
Poor Leadership and Mentoring skills on the part of the Salon Owner — excellence starts at the top.Your ability to inspire and motivate your team to share your vision and business goals requires great leadership skills.
Lack of Unity Among Salon Owners — as salon owners we have no voice that focuses on our business and educational needs. Our Salon Owners Alliance Network for Salon Owners will meet our needs.
A Gap between Employers and School Owners — a better dialogue between our beauty schools and salon owners.
Staff Turnover — how can we expect to raise prices and maintain business growth and stability with a merry go round of business instability ?
Create an Equal Playing Field — where everyone plays by the same rules.
Booth Rental Issues — causing a lot of turnover and business uncertainty.
Lack of an Apprenticeship Program — would help solve our labor challenges dramatically.
A Growing Gap between Hairdressers & Salon Owners — we need to open a better dialogue to better understand each others needs. We are all in this together.
Unrealistic career and earning expectations — by our young hairdressers (many who want to run before they walk)
Building a successful career in the beauty profession is a journey, not a sprint.
Lack of honesty and a code of ethics (among salon owners & hairdressers) — we must stop recruitment wars among one another. There is enough business for everyone.
The list of challenges go on and on. While other industries and professions are finding solutions and adapting to changes in the market place, sadly the beauty industry and salon owners and hairdressers in particular continue to struggle. Due to poor business management skills on the part of many salon owners;excellence does start at the top. Many of our hairdressers are just getting by ,far too many are leaving the profession . Most hairdressers and salon owners do not have meaningful health insurance, retirement plans or additional benefits compared to other professions. Most hairdressers and yes many salon owners are struggling to grow and build a profitable business,while many hairdressers walk on a financial tightrope living pay check to pay check.
The beauty industry is product driven and is not responding to the educational and business needs of the working hairdresser and salon owner. Everyone has their own self-interests. We need realistic educational content that also focuses on our educational and business needs. If we are to raise our standard of living,we must raise our standard of educational excellence.
As I travel throughout the United States and Canada, one of the top questions I’m asked by salon owners is, “how do I meet and overcome all of these challenges?” I feel that we need less glitter and hype within our industry and more substance in education and employee training in order to better meet job market and consumer demands. Without business education and employee training programs, the salon industry and salon owners will continue to struggle and fail at a disturbing rate. It is time for change and a new beginning.
Despite these challenges,I feel high end and well managed salons will be in high demand. Adversity always present fantastic opportunities for those of you who are well informed and determined to succeed. Hairdresser Career Development Systems is committed to help you address and overcome these challenges.
You are welcome to leave your comments or opinions.