How To Choose The Right Salon

Finding the right salon for you isn’t as easy as it sounds. Too often, professionals pick a business based on their emotions or out of desperation. Choosing a salon simply because they use your favorite product line and the interior designer really outdid herself isn’t wise. There are a lot of other, far more important factors that go into picking a place that will ensure your long-term happiness.

These are a few of your responsibilities at work:

  • to perform as well as you can,
  • to show up and make a positive contribution,
  • to be engaged,
  • to help good salons become great salons,
  • to use your talents wisely.

These are NOT your responsibilities at work:

  • to be the messiah, sacrificing yourself for the greater good,
  • to help bad salons be somewhat acceptable or mediocre,
  • to be the single voice of positive productivity in an ocean of negative crap,
  • to drag your employer’s salon into the 21st century,
  • to waste your time, talent and effort on people who will never appreciate them.

(To be fair, I consistently perform duties that are not my responsibility. Don’t feel bad if you’re the kind of employee that steps it up because you work under a poor manager or salon owner. Some of us are just programmed that way. The best we can do is try to refrain as much as possible from enabling their laziness.)

EVERY MINUTE YOU SPEND IN A TOXIC SALON IS WASTED TIME.

If you are willing to dedicate your life to this industry, you need to find a place that suits you; the place where you fit and where you’re excited to be every day, where people appreciate you and encourage you to grow and be the best, most successful salon professional you can be.

Don’t settle for less.
Every day in the salon, you make contacts. You meet people and perform services on them. They return to their jobs, their families, and their lives with your signature on their head, their hands, or their face. They are a walking work of art and you were the artist. Your name will come up. People will remember you when they’re ready for their next cut, color, manicure, or facial. Every day, you build a book, whether you know it or not.

YOUR CLIENTS ARE WALKING ADVERTISEMENTS; INVESTMENTS YOU MAY NOT SEE RETURNS ON FOR WEEKS OR MONTHS AFTER THEY’VE LEFT YOUR CHAIR.

What happens when you spend six months or a year building a book at a salon and then decide that the salon is not the salon for you? You leave the salon and realize that you have to start over from square one. If you moved to a local salon, you may have some clients follow you, but you can’t rely on that. That is why the initial process of selecting a salon to gain employment at is so important.

Ask questions:

  • “What are your service prices?”
  • “What is the compensation?”
  • “How will I be classified?”
  • “What products do you use? Are we required to use a certain line?”
  • “What is the dress code?”
  • “Do you have an employee handbook or contracts?”
  • “Can I see your job descriptions?”

I also strongly encourage everyone to ask the salon manager if you can view the scheduling book. Flip through and see how busy they are. Try and figure out how much traffic they’re seeing every day.

Observe the employees and how they interact with each other and their clients. Earnestly ask the salon manager about the relationships between the employees.

MAKE IT CLEAR THAT YOU’RE MAKING A CAREER DECISION.

You don’t want to waste their time and yours by attempting employment with them if you’re not going to mesh in their group. You’re not looking for a salon full of conflict and drama. You are a professional and you expect others to behave accordingly. Clients don’t want to go to a hostile, toxic salon, so this is crucial to your bottom line.

IN THIS INDUSTRY, TIME IS MONEY. DON’T MAKE A DECISION BASED ON NEED. YOU’LL PAY FOR IT LATER.