Expert Advice: Why education is a great way to face the future
ABT's Dave Horton discusses how education can bring positives to 2021, not only enabling you to expand your services but also boosting morale and giving you a great sense of personal achievement.
As we approach the end of 2020, to say it has been a year like no other is an understatement. Our businesses have experienced nothing like this before, with enforced closures, restricted and reduced footfall, investment in PPE and salon hygiene products, job insecurity and months of uncertainty.
With the news that COVID-19 vaccinations are imminent, although it may take months for us all to benefit, it is a light at the end of the tunnel.
So, as we work through December, it is time to think about how you will build your business in 2021. Think about the positives from this year – and however bleak it may have seemed, there will be some - and plan for what you want to accomplish in the new year, and education is a great option.
Training not only enables you to expand your services, introduce treatments to refresh your menu and generate additional income to your business, it is also a great morale booster and gives you a great sense of personal achievement.
Whether you are a business owner, or work as a professional therapist, hairdresser, barber or nail tech in a salon or mobile, there is always something to learn. Whatever our career, whilst we can gain the necessary qualifications for us to work professionally, I don't believe that we can ever say that we are fully trained.
This is particularly relevant when you are working in an industry like ours which is fast moving and demands the absolute best in customer service and delivering consistent results that cultivate loyalty. Afterall, it's so much easier to build a business based around loyal clients who return time and again, than it is to be constantly fighting for new business from your competitors.
Education is so key to our industry; and it's important to realise that, although you might have passed your Level 2 or 3 qualifications, you can never really evolve and grow as a professional without continued training.
Not only does training ensure that your treatment skills using the most innovative techniques and products are the freshest they can be, the feeling of achievement once you have completed a course and received your certificate is immense. Plus, if you are ever having a bad day at work – and let's face it, we all have them – knowing what you have achieved during your last training course, or what you're about to learn on a forthcoming class, is a real boost to your self-esteem.
Constantly learning also gives you more options. If you feel stuck in a rut, your job options are limited or you find yourself in a position of job insecurity, then adding to your CV and skills base can only be positive.
Undertaking training by choice shows your commitment to the industry and your career, and is certainly attractive to employers. It also shows that you are open to learning new things, so even if you are not qualified in the treatments that a particular salon is looking for, a range of different recognised courses on your CV demonstrates that you are willing and capable of learning to a high standard.
How to choose a training provider that's right for you
ABT's Accreditation service enables us to share with you all of the beauty and hair training providers and courses that we have approved and endorsed. There are more than 1,000 training providers internationally that have gained ABT Accreditation.
In addition, this year we were able to introduce digital accreditation, meaning that a number of courses are now ABT accredited to be delivered and assessed live online.
The accreditation process means that all training materials are reviewed, and our team of accreditation experts check that they meet all the criteria required under ABT insurance standards. What this means to you as an ABT member is that you can undertake any of these ABT Accredited courses with the confidence that you will be able to add the treatment to your ABT membership and insurance policy once you have successfully qualified, and thus offer the treatment or service in your salon or business. Most treatments can be added to existing ABT memberships for no extra charge (additional charges apply to some advanced treatments – see our website for more details).
Locating an ABT Accredited training provider or college is easy; you can do it on your phone, laptop or device. To search for a training provider near to you, visit the ABT website and search for the schools located geographically closest to you or search by course; you can even contact training providers via our handy link.
So, take this opportunity and consider how you could grow your career, or business, or both, by investing some time in yourself and your knowledge that could bring you a real boost in 2021.
Dave Horton is Director of Associated Beauty Therapists (ABT), the industry's leading membership and insurance provider representing over 18,000 beauty, nail and hair professionals. For more information visit www.abtinsurance.ie.