Business Class For Cosmetologist and Barbers

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  •  Market Yourself:
 Be on time, whether you are going for an interview, or to work every day. If you are going for an interview, make sure that your hair, make-up and nails are perfect and that you are neatly and professionally dressed. Know as much as you can about the salon, so that you can demonstrate that you believe YOU can be the employee who will enhance their business.
  • Be reliable. If you cannot make an appointment, let the salon and your client know as soon as possible.

 Go the extra mile. Come to work every day ready to do your BEST job. Help out when you can, even if you are not asked, by making sure the entire salon is neat and clean, not just your station. Answer a phone if everyone else is busier than you. Make sure all of the customers have been waited on, have a magazine or something to drink, if you don’t have a client at the time.

Be cooperative with the boss and co-workers. Remember, this is a business that is all about looking good and feeling good. You can help create a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere by choosing to be cheerful and cooperative with all of your co-workers.


  • Avoid gossip. Be respectful: if you borrow something, make sure you return it in perfect condition as soon as you are finished with it. Especially if it is a scissor you borrowed and dropped and nicked, make sure it is sharpened as soon as possible and that you paid for the service.

  •  Be professional by making sure that your hair and make-up are “done”. If you look like you don’t care about how YOU look, your clients are not going to be confident that you care how THEY look, either. Don’t take personal calls or eat while you are with clients. They are paying you to pay attention ONLY to them. You CANNOT afford to have a “bad day” with either your clients or your co-workers. Be aware of the type of customer that comes into the salon. If the salon caters to men and women, teenagers and children, then your appearance should be suitable for all ages of people. If the salon is on Haight Street in San Francisco and every customer has tattoos, then you can dress like they do.

Remember, even if your first job is at Great Clips, you are building a private book of clients who will follow you to other salons and be the basis of a successful career if they like you and the work you do.
Remember The Client:

* Listen to the client and show that you care. Ask them what they want done, and then help them analyze if that color, length, style, or treatment will actually work for them, and on their hair. Be honest: if you don’t think it will turn out well, then they should know that before you start. Of course, they are the boss, so try to do your best with whatever decision they make, unless you know that it will cause permanent damage to their hair.

* Keep track of client’s preferences. Keep records on styles they prefer, their color formulas, what size rods they like if they perm their hair, any detail that will show your client that you really care about them.

*Make suggestions that your clients might like. To do this you need to keep up on the latest styles and trends in hair and fashion. You also need to keep current on different products and colors.


  • Remember The Client:

 Offer coupons and special offers to your clients if you can. Everyone likes a “sale”, so offer money discounts on certain services (like $10.00 Off on any color treatment in the month of March or a free bottle of conditioner or shampoo with a perm or color, etc.).

It is also an excellent idea to offer discounts or free products to clients for referring other people to you. Make sure you have complete (salon name, your name, full address, salon phone number, your cell number) and professional looking business cards ready to hand out to clients who are happy with your work, so they can hand them out to their friends when they receive compliments on their hair.

Try new products out on yourself, if possible, so that you know how to use them and so that you can recommend them to your clients. There are many products that make claims about what they do that are just hype, but many new products actually do make color cover grey better, make your hair shinier or add volume, but you won’t know for sure, unless you have tried them out or seen them used successfully on other stylist’s clients. Don’t be shy about letting clients know about a product that you believe will work well for them. You don’t want to be pushy, just informative and concerned.

Running Your Own Salon:
 Make sure your location fits the style of your salon and is conveniently located for most of your clientele. If you rent space that is close to the local retirement community, your customers will be conservative and your salon had better be, too. This would not be a good location for a children’s salon, either. Convenient, free parking is always a plus.

 Make sure that the rent is affordable. This applies even if you decide to rent a chair in a salon. Find out what your costs would be for other services such as towels and back bar supplies and if they are included in your space rental. Sign a contract in which everything is spelled out so there are no surprises.


  • Running Your Salon:

If you are going into business with a partner, make sure there is a formal contract written by an attorney. Both parties should have their own attorney to protect their interests. The contract should cover how everyone gets paid, what work schedules are, what responsibilities each partner has, how disputes will be settled, buy-out terms, etc.

Running Your Salon:

 Make sure that your salon is ALWAYS clean, presentable and inviting. Floors and windows should always be clean, shelves and product should be dust-free. Stations should also be neat and not cluttered with too many personal items. If the back room is visible, it should always look clean, too. And, of course, bathrooms should always be clean and well stocked with toilet paper, hand soap and towels, etc. Decorating should reflect your style, but not be too extreme. Music should not be too loud. If your customers are not comfortable, they will find another place to go. Don’t take up too much space with a large reception desk or administrative areas on the styling floor; front area real estate is too expensive to waste it. More chairs and more product display means more money earned.

* Stock the salon with products you use and can endorse. Don’t be afraid to stock new products if you feel they will meet the needs of your customers, and then recommend them to customers who need them.

*Order enough products so that you are not constantly running out, but be careful not to over-order. Styles change and so do product needs. Salons can make very good money on point-of-sale purchases by customers, so recommending, properly displaying and careful inventory control are important to your bottom profit line.

Running Your Salon:
* Meet regularly with your staff. Communication with your staff is VERY important. They need to know that they can come to you with problems or suggestions, and that they will be listened to and treated fairly. Involve them in running the salon, so that they care about the business, too.

* Be encouraging. Especially when the staff helps keep things neat, or makes an effort to recommend product, make sure they know you appreciate their efforts.

Running Your Salon:
*Sponsor events for clients such as monthly or quarterly “Customer Appreciation Days” and offer discounts on services. Get involved in charity events such as school auctions, cut-a-thons or donate services to those in need. Your enthusiasm for these events will make them fun for your staff and the recipients.

* Host educational events at your salon, or band together with a few other salons and take advantage of the many educational seminars offered by wet line and color companies. Ask your scissor sharpener to come in to talk to stylists about how to choose a scissor and how to maintain their shears. The more education everyone has, the easier their job will be and the more enjoyable it will be.

Running Your Salon:

* Remember, most employees and customers don’t leave a company; they leave the manager or owner. If you decide to hire a salon manager, make sure that they have the same standards that you do concerning neatness, work ethic and treatment of clients and staff. Managers should be given enough authority to run the salon smoothly, without making the staff feel that they cannot come to you with problems the manager may not be able to solve. Good managers can help you run a successful salon and free up your time to work more with clients. Bad managers can ruin your business.

Manage Your Finances:
* The best offense is a good defense, and in the world of finances, this means to AVOID DEBT. If you use a credit card, try to only buy what you can pay off each month. If you can do this, use a card that has no monthly fees and offers a percentage of cash back, and you can actually make money on your credit card purchases.

* Make goals and try to meet them. Especially if you rent a chair or own your own salon, save money if you have a good month. Not every month will be good and you will need a cushion for those leaner months. Website:
* This is a great website that will help you understand your personal and business finances. Most businesses fail because they were undercapitalized. You may be the best stylist in the world, but if you cannot afford to pay your rent because you spent too much on advertising or product, you will not be able to keep your doors open. Also, many young stylists would like to take a chance and work in a private salon, instead of a chain, but they are in debt and need a salary and get discouraged because they feel stifled and end up quitting the business. This website will help you understand how you can achieve your financial goals, which will help you achieve your career goals.

Manage Your Finances:
The first step in managing your finances is really knowing what you spend on things each month. Take the time to carefully list every purchase you make and everything you spend. Make sure you keep all of your receipts. Make keeping receipts a habit and it will also save you money at tax time.

Manage Your Finances:
 Make a weekly or monthly budget. Be realistic about your income and your expenses. Also keep in mind future expenditures such as taxes, the purchase of a more reliable car, and retirement, etc.

* A budget helps you plan and evaluate your expenditures. Many times people don’t realize how much money they spend on unnecessary things. Budget for a specific time period that is tied to your pay schedule. If you are paid
weekly, then have a weekly budget, so that you know if you are on target.

*Balance your income with expenditures and try to always spend LESS than what you make.

Manage Your Finances:
This handout will help you budget your finances.

Manage Your Finances:
 Whenever possible, AVOID debt. Sometimes debt is unavoidable, such as school tuition or buying a house. But even if debt is necessary, get out as quickly as possible. Mortgage financing cost are tax deductible, but credit card debt financing is not, it is just wasted money.

If you are in debt, use the Debt Elimination Calendar to help you systematically payyour debts off.

Before you spend money on ANYTHING, analyze whether it is a WANT or a NEED. The beauty business can be a very successful and rewarding career. It offers a chance to be creative and make other people feel good about themselves. Even as a part-time situation,