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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted April 14, 2021

Building a successful salon business is a challenge that many of us were less-than-prepared for when we first started our business. But that’s no excuse to continue going the way we are – instead, it’s time to make sure you are not making the 5 biggest mistakes we see in salon businesses and get on top of your key areas of improvement!


  1. Not getting the right advice

The absolute BIGGEST mistake that we see salon owners making is in getting the right advice. Whether it’s advice on finances and bookkeeping, IR, HR + WR Advice or advice on insurances and business structure – salon owners are absolutely guilty of just diving head-first into business, without thinking about the consequences and what that might mean for your business down the line. WE know that being in business is not really what salon owners are focussed on – instead, we are worried about offering fantastic service, great hair or beauty outcomes and having the right kind of clients on our books. That’s why we always recommend that salon owners create a team of trusted advisors, from legal advice, to a HABA Membership to cover all IR, HR + WR requirements, and fantastic financial advice to keep you focussed. Getting the right advice takes that stress off YOUR shoulders and helps you make the right decisions in business every time.


  1. Not focusing on your marketing

In an industry where Instagram seems irreplaceable, salon owners can be forgiven for putting all their marketing eggs into that basket. But marketing your salon and getting clients in the door is so much more than the followers on your Instagram profile. As we have seen with the recent shut down of news channels on Facebook (who owns Instagram by the way), these platforms can and will remove your audience from you. We need to focus on carefully dedicating to different facets of the marketing mix, from your website to text messages, to email marketing, community-level marketing, and yes social media marketing, at all times. This is another opportunity for you to outsource and get the right advice – find a local marketing agency or specialist, who has experience in our industry and let them worry about the nitty-gritty of your marketing strategy, while you focus on the business. Historically, word of mouth marketing was a salon’s most important marketing strategy, and for many salons, it was their only marketing strategy, a happy client would tell their friends. Nowadays, with more tools on offer, it is now even more important to understand who your target clients are and making sure you are reaching them wherever they are.


  1. Working IN your business, rather than ON your business

This is SO key to success and relates to the next few points really closely. Many of us are both working in our salons and working on our business – and sometimes, there’s simply not enough time for both. As a business owner, you have moved on from being a gorgeous, creative butterfly, and instead need to also wear a strong, business hard hat every day. This means dedicating time each and every week to working ON your business, whether that’s meetings with your advisers, training with your team, taking time, and dedicating to recruitment and working on your marketing. It’s important to make the time to work ON your business because we know that great things only come by appointment – so if you don’t mark the time in your diary, you will never get there. Your business is worth it, make the time.


  1. Being the ‘Star’ of the salon – and not focusing on your team

This is such a touchy subject with salon owners, but it’s got to be said. We all went into business because we knew we were great at what we did and wanted to run a salon OUR way and do the work to the best of OUR ability – and we all wanted to be the reason that people chose OUR salon. Unfortunately, we can’t do it all. The best way to build a truly successful salon business is to build a team that are all the ‘Star’ in their own way – maybe you have a specialist in a particular technique or someone who gives incredible service or a really dedicated following of customers. To achieve true success in your business, you have to allow others to shine. This could look like having limited appointments available or transitioning long-term clients over to other team members while not taking on new clients. It could look like you stepping back from services altogether and simply running the business – this is a great proposition for those of us who are starting to suffer from the health implications of our craft. It requires a dedication to training in your team, dedication to recruiting and building a phenomenal team. The best indication of a successful business is that it runs smoothly when you’re not there – you don’t want your business to completely stop if you decide you desperately need a holiday. That’s not the way to have longevity in business.


  1. Skimping on training

Finally, we come to training. This aspect is so important when it comes to building up your team and ensuring that your business is running smoothly and that your team are all operating at peak efficiency. We all need training to continue to improve in our craft and that absolutely goes for your team. Consider both technique training and business operations training – your team need to own the salon system, understand your sustainability initiatives and how to order more materials. By continuing to work with them on technique, you also decrease dependency on you as the ‘Star’ of the salon. Continual training on retail sales and processes will yield greater income for you and keep you successfully operational. Training can only be a good thing for your team, and both making time and funds available for it will be of amazing benefit to you in the long run.


As a member of HABA, you can be sure that all aspects of IR, HR + WR are covered in your salon. Our team of advisers are here to help salon owners in a wide range of areas within their business, and we can recommend services to you from our network of partners, to cover areas like legal and financial advice. PLUS, we are always here to lend a helping hand and a listening ear to our members. If you’re not a member of HABA you can join ONLINE for a single low fee each week + get access to member services IMMEDIATELY upon joining. No waiting periods, no stress, and all the right advice from the leading Hair + Beauty Association in Australia.


For further advice or assistance on this topic, or any workplace relations matter, please #AskHABA by calling the HABA Advice Line on 02 9221 9911, 8:30am – 5:30pm AEDT Monday to Friday.


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