Liz McKeon writes: Invest in your salon’s greatest asset
Salon business expert, Liz McKeon, highlights the importance of advanced education and training of your salon team.
I can never stress enough how important it is for therapists and managers, indeed all staff - from the receptionist and the apprentice to your top manager - to continue developing their skills.
Training isn't just about the techniques or sales method, it's vitally important to invest in them because only advanced training will keep them growing and passionately doing their job.
Training will help to give every person working in the salon an understanding of each specific aspects of day to day management and administrative functions, along with their beauty career skills. Good training produces guaranteed quantifiable benefits.
To the client it indicates that you care about obtaining and retaining their business. To the employee, salon training indicates that you are willing to make an investment in them and the future of the salon. Yes, you are asking them to accomplish more, but you are willing to give them something in return – the training to enhance their skills to that they can serve the client better.
There is always an excuse for not providing employees with training opportunities. When the economy is good and employees scarce, the excuse is ‘staff turnover is so high, why should we train staff to go elsewhere?‘ And, when the economy is poor the excuse is ‘we may be laying off staff – we can't justify the expense of training'…
At a time when every client is precious, you are expecting more of your employees following a downturn, how can you not justify training? Your commitment to training goes beyond just the promotion of your products and services and extends into helping you grow your business.
True managers train
Salon managers and owners cannot expect that their staff can naturally retail or that they can manage the reception area nor have excellent customer service skills. These vital aspects of effective salon management are unfortunately not a priority at college, which means that they need in-house salon training.
There are enormous amounts of revenue lost in salons from staff not being able to convert enquiries at the front of house or failing to recommend home care products to clients that will buy from somewhere else. Most salon owners see training as an expense. Yes, it costs time and money, but if you change your thinking about it from an expense to an investment, you will see the benefits of better prepared staff, higher salon customer service and increased beauty retail sales, greater rebooking rates, a more professional environment and most importantly, more profit.
The training itself
A way for staff to keep their training up to date is to have regular staff information sharing meetings and in-salon training sessions. It is necessary to provide both regular team training and individualised training plans for all staff members.
If you want your staff members to improve their performance, you simply must provide regular, specific salon training for every staff member. Research indicates that staff who receive fantastic training and personal development opportunities tend to be far more loyal because they see the commitment their employers have made to furthering their professional education. They also see the results in their performance figures, and in most salons that means extra money in commission and bonuses.
Continuous training allows your team to keep up with the environment they operate in, enables them to stay alert, curious and passionate about the job; this means that if they are doing something that makes them happy, this happiness gets transferred to the clients by proxy. New challenges keep therapists inspired and force them to leave their comfort zone while meeting like-minded people, sharing ideas and suggestions.
It is important to regard your staff as professionals because they are. They are the core of your business and possibly your greatest asset. By investing in their continuous learning, we are investing in the future, reigniting their passion and future-proofing our businesses.
Well trained staff are becoming a point of difference for top salons – without a doubt the best salons have the best trained staff! The extra mile is the only mile that matters!
Liz McKeon is a successful Business Coach, Trainer, Author and Mentor, whose expertise lies in growing small businesses from scratch and taking existing companies to profitability.