Salon Ownership: Crisis or Opportunity?

Originally printed here by Jon Gonzales

More and more concerns are being voiced about the crisis facing hairdressers and salon owners. These challenges affecting our profession have been haunting us for many years. Lack of apprenticeship programs, booth rental issues, rent wars, new minimum and overtime pay mandates, staff turnover, price and commission wars, lack of business management skills, staff pirating…the list goes on and on.

Without a doubt, compounding these challenges even further is changes within our profession that are causing so much stress, worry, and business challenges among many salon owners.

Virtually every industry and every profession – especially those of us in the beauty profession – has been affected in some cases quite drastically. These indeed are challenging and troubling times for salon owners. That’s the bad news.

Here’s the good news: despite the unique challenges these difficult times may bring, there are windows of tremendous opportunities for high-end, well managed salon owners who are well informed, committed to their business, open-minded, and willing to go the extra mile to seek a better life for themselves and their families.

Sadly, salons will struggle and continue to fail because many salon owners will not seek help or develop their business management skills; many more will continue to be in denial.

Without leadership skills on the part of salon owners, the staff will suffer; their future growth and development as well as their standard of living will also be affected. Excellence does start at the top.

As salons continue to fail, the demand for well-managed upscale salons will continue to grow and flourish.

Times of economic crisis will present fantastic opportunities for business minded professionals who are well informed and determined to succeed. Adversity will present many possibilities towards the growth of your business .

Most people will always be making excuses to fail. Take the phrase “I can’t” out of your vocabulary and replace it with “I can.”

Overcoming the Doom and Gloom Crowd

Most people fall into a gloomy mindset, which in turn leads to a negative attitude when it comes to everything else in your life, including your job, your business profession, and your happiness.

While we may not be able to change the overall state of the economy, you can control one very important thing – your attitude and desire to stand above the crowd. Opportunities and fantastic possibilities lie ahead for those of you who want a better life for you and your family.

You can view these challenges as money-making opportunities. I can tell you with absolute certainty after 40 years in this business, that attitude and a competitive spirit really is everything. Your attitude in the face of adversity will determine your own success or failure in your business.

In other words, if you believe you will fail, you probably will. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” That’s a powerful statement to keep in mind when it comes to how you choose to approach each day!

Everything is cyclical, including our economy. In my four plus decades as a working hairdresser and salon owner, I have seen my share of tough markets and survived each crisis. Not only was I able to overcome these difficult times, I was actually able to prosper, improve profits, and expand.

How did I do it? I’ve been asked that question at least a thousand times during my career and now as a professional speaker in our industry I always have the same answer. My motivation to succeed was my family. It was either sink or swim. Their future depended on me.

This is more than just thinking positively. It really has several elements. The biggest factor in dealing with adversity is probably your competitive spirit, learning from your mistakes, your willingness to commit 100 percent, seeking educational help, and even sacrifice when necessary.

If you take full responsibility for your own success or failure, and refuse to quit, you will take control of your own destiny.

Keeping a positive outlook on life and business will also allow you to see things differently from the crowd. Suddenly, you will see ways to turn every crisis into fantastic money making opportunities.

Have you ever noticed that most successful real estate moguls and sales professionals are the ones out there expanding, trying bold new marketing tactics or buying as much as they can right when the market is at its weakest? The same kind of mentality works in our profession.

Sadly we have not adapted to change in our profession. I’m not saying you should go out there and bet the farm during these troubling times, but keeping an open mind and proactively seeking out knowledge, especially in the business management sector of our profession, is critical to making informed decisions about your business or hairdressing career. Many people will argue that education is expensive; I say try ignorance.

Far too many of our colleagues refuse to take full responsibility for their own success or failure. This will ultimately eliminate many marginal salons or hairdressers not willing or able to view adversity as an opportunity.

This may be bad news for many in our profession, but it presents fantastic opportunities for those of us with the initiative and passion to succeed. And with less competition will come more customers and more prosperity. If you endure this crisis, you’ll be so far ahead of the game it’ll be difficult for those doom and gloomers to ever catch up.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Adversity will separate winners from losers. Remember, you and you alone hold the key to your own success or failure.