It was interesting to observe the focus of the SalonLife’06 Forum, held by
the National Cosmetology Association on Life Balance, Personal Finance,
Health & Wellness and Energy and Connection. These are things not
normally highlighted in the Cosmetology industry and even with this venture
the concentration, as always, is on the Salon and Spa Owner.
The big question is WHY? Why only focus on those
who own a salon or own a spa? Does that mean that every hair stylist,
manicurist, esthetician and spa therapist works for a salon or spa owner?
Well that’s the approach taken by the industry to date.
I for one, being a CPA and CFO for several companies
before starting my own company, don’t understand why these cosmetologists
are not thinking of themselves as business owners. Certainly if they
rent a station they truly work for themselves, don’t they?
Make no mistake, the big money is in the salon, that’s
where the products are purchased and our major suppliers control the
industry media. But what of the individual in this industry?
In 2003 the NCA determined that there were over 1.6
million cosmetologists working in salons and spas across this country.
That’s a very large audience that is primarily focused, by the industry, on
the latest styles, color theory, product blends and so on. No one is
teaching them how to be a good business person. No one is teaching
them how to manage their finances, increase their hourly profit, farm for
more customers, up sell product, end the no shows, manage their customer
database, contact customers they think they may have lost and so on.
This is a very valuable lesson for each and every cosmetologist out there.
Paradigm Shift in the making? Yes, to have a
cosmetologist answer the question: “Who do you work for” without them naming
the salon or spa they work at is a paradigm shift for sure! They need
to answer “I work for myself!”
They must learn to distinguish where they work at from
who they work for. This will only come with training, information flow
and focus on the individual, not the salon.
I contend that if they can be exposed to products such
as my company’s software product Client Keeper
for the Beauty Professional the paradigm shift will occur.
If they can see that a computer software package can be
focused on them instead of the salon amazing things can happen. They
can improve their ability to advertise, relate to their current customers
and contact their customers with automated interactive email reminders to
manage their work calendar. They will begin to see themselves as self
sufficient income creators and yes, business persons. The theory that
the only way to make money is to open your own salon is yesterday’s
approach. Today, you can rent a station or two, hire your own
assistant’s create more hourly income for yourself and not spend the cost of
running the salon, just run your operation within the salon.
No one person or software product can make this happen
all at once. It’s going to take getting traction to the programs.
Its going to take the realization that yes, even the cosmetologist needs to
understand a computer, not just a paper calendar and index cards with
customer names on them. It’s going to take moving the hair stylist and
manicurist into the 21st Century!
So, I would like to challenge all the salon owners to
look at their crew and ask themselves “How can I make them better business
people?” The answer is let them be their own business person, bring
clients to the salon and spa with their own personal contact software
system, manage their calendars efficiently and effectively and make everyone
Diane Dutton, CEO
CK Systemz, LLC
Client Keeper for the Beauty Professional
Click here to visit