One of the world’s leading hairdressing practitioners believes the main reason why salons fail to succeed is because stylists are not equipped with the skills they need to run a successful business.
Antony Whitaker, two-time Australian Hairdresser of the Year and former Creative Director of Vidal Sassoon, visited the Isle of Man recently to train staff at the leading Douglas hairdresser, Salon 3, in the business metrics behind running a successful salon. Internationally acclaimed as one of the world’s best hairdressing motivators and academics, his seminars are designed to equip individuals with the skills to grow and develop their trade-specific business acumen alongside their cutting and colouring skills.
He commented: “Most hairdressers leave school at 16 to train, and whilst it’s excellent they’re learning a valuable trade and beginning their career, they aren’t being exposed to working in, say, a large multinational company that has a finance, marketing or sales department so they don’t develop this awareness. Essentially when a salon owner goes into business they are buying themselves a job, and no matter how amazing a stylist they may be, they often don’t end up making any money and put themselves under immense stress because they don’t have the economic skills they also need. I should know because that was me a long time ago.”
Antony’s ‘Grow’ seminar was designed to instil business principles in all of Salon 3’s participants, from its trainees through to its owners, Janet Lancaster and Yvonne Karran, and covered management, staff development and training, motivation and empowerment, business forecasting, marketing, financial planning, mentoring and retailing – all key elements to success. He used a number of personal anecdotes from his time in the industry, all of which its staff could relate to.
Stylists were encouraged to take ownership of their individual success by considering how they can increase their productivity and development, whilst also doing the same for Salon 3.
Antony continued: “We live in a competitive world, particularly at the moment given the current economic climate, where we can shop around for best value products and services. It never ceases to amaze me that hairdressers everywhere very often fail to recognise the link between productivity, earnings and business success, and the importance of building up a long and trusting relationship, offering their clients the ultimate experience. This, and the associated ‘word of mouth’, can be the difference between retaining clients and earning referrals, or a business failing.”
Salon 3 firmly believes in investing in its staff through training and Creative Director, Janet Lancaster, commented: “Surviving in business is more challenging than ever before and speaking from personal experience, the skills I need to run a successful salon are very different from those I learned whilst training to be a stylist.
“Both my staff and I found Antony’s seminar to be invaluable, particularly the way he used his real-life salon stories to highlight examples of what he was teaching us. What we learned was really thought provoking, and I for one have come away from it with a very different perspective on running my business and training my staff to deliver exceptional service to our clients.
“I am really looking forward to watching Salon 3’s clients benefitting from my staff putting Antony’s words into practice!”