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9 Things You Wish Someone Told You Before Becoming a Hairdresser

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9 Things You Wish Someone Told You Before Becoming a Hairdresser

9 Things You Wish Someone Told You Before Becoming a Hairdresser

  1. You Have To Set Yourself Apart
  2. It’s Pay to Play
  3. It’s a Feast or Famine Business
  4. You’ve Got To Commit To Succeed
  5. It’s About Sales, But It’s Not About Sales
  6. Find A Mentor You Can Trust
  7. People Cancel. People No Show. People Re-Schedule.
  8. Working Behind the Chair Can Be Extremely Fun and Profitable!
  9. Booth Rent vs. Commission vs. Something Completely Different

1. You Have To Set Yourself Apart

There are currently more than 400 hairdressers locally, because of that, there is a lot of competition for business. A key thing I’ve had to figure out is what sets me apart from the crowd. Is it work ethic? Is it skills in online and video marketing? Is it both? This is something I had to figure out very quickly. I then had to figure out how to market it and get it out into the public. Once you’ve done that effectively, business starts coming to you.

2. It’s Pay To Play

While this didn’t surprise me, it seems to surprise all of the hairdressers I’ve talked to, so I wanted to mention it. I came in expecting to spend $200-500/month on marketing and lead generation, and that strategy has worked. Don’t become a hairdresser and expect for your business to come to you. You have to go out and market yourself to get the business and make the leads come to you.

3. It’s a Feast or Famine Business

In the beginning, you’ll have back to back clients one week, wondering if you’ll be able to handle all the clients! The next week, crickets ?. The key is to live well below your means, budget your money, and let the leftovers from your feast carry you through the famine. This is something many people don’t understand when getting into the business. Consistency is hard to find so budgeting is important.

4. You’ve Got To Commit To Succeed

Many people think you can be a hairdresser part time, and while you may be able to in the beginning, unless you have a part time job, you won’t be able to survive in the beginning of your career only working part time. I’ve seen many hairdressers come in and fail because they weren’t committed to the work and hustle involved to building a successful business. The key is to to show up ready, market yourself everyday, and overall, focus everyday on your end goal. That is hard to do if you’re not focused on winning the prize.

5. It’s About Sales, But It’s Not About Sales

From my experience, there’s two types of hairdressers the ones who are sales oriented and the ones who aren’t. Many think it’s better to not sell, because clients don’t want to be sold to and you would be partly correct. The truth is that no one wants to be sold to, you want to be advised or for your problem to be solved. When you shift focus from making a sale to solving a problem, then you become a helpful expert and not a sleazy sales person.

6. Find A Mentor You Can Trust

There is one thing that has been invaluable to us from the beginning — a good mentor. We found an experienced agent in our office that we loved talking to and communicating with, and we got to know her. Now, we can ask her any question in the world big or small, and she will answer it. This person is separate from our broker — who we can also ask any question to. The best thing about having another agent to talk with is you can get a different perspective. You can learn things a broker might tell you about fees, commissions, etc. It’s important to find a friend in the office who has experience and can help you along the way.

7. People Cancel. People No Show. People Re-Schedule. 

When you book your first client, you’ll be so excited, and you may have dollar signs in your eyes! But people can disappoint, not that it’s always their fault or are malicious. Because of this excitement, you’ll grab their information but forget to cover yourself if they don’t show. To keep this from happening, it’s important to have a policy in place that ensures everyone stays honest and that you’re compensated in the event of a unexpected cancellation or no show. Some, even in 2021, still think it’s impolite to ask for a credit card to reserve their appointment, but if the Travel industry can do it, why not us? It is uncomfortable to ask someone to give up their credit card information, but what’s worse is feeling like you’ve been taken advantage of. It makes us not just resent the people doing it, but the industry as a whole.

8. Working Behind the Chair Can Be Extremely Fun and Profitable!

While in the beginning building a business can be stressful, it’s also the most fun.  When I’m behind the chair with my clients, I’m loving it. The relationships I have built with them are ones that I treasure! However, because I know I’m in business as well, I have created systems that help me run my business so that I can have fun behind the chair.

9. Booth Rent vs. Commission vs. Something Completely Different

If you live in an area like mine, 90% of the salons in the area are booth rent, 8% salon chains, and the rest are independent commission. It’s just always been that way. Every stylist will also have a war story to tell about their experiences in each one. I know I could. The best thing to do is to really research the best opportunities for you. Whether it’s booth rent, commission, or like my salon CANVAS, a commission salon with a booth rent vibe.

Learn more about us here at CANVAS and how we can help you build a Business and Life You’ll Love.

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