Unless you have a mega salon or spa, chances are that your shop would fall into the “small business category”. It also means that you have a small number of employees, and a shop where everybody knows everyone else.
This can result in a great family atmosphere, or it could cause friction. Your job is to make sure that everything runs smoothly, profitably, and to make that sure your employees, as well as your clients, are happy campers. In short, in a small business, you have to lead by example.
Yes, managing is an integral part of leading, but it’s only one part. The rest is setting a good example that your employees will want to follow. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Top Tips to Lead Instead of Manage
Have regular meetings with your staff to let them know what’s going on, and what may be coming up. Encourage them to ask questions. An informed staff is a productive staff.
- Put an emphasis on quality! You’re in a very competitive business. Make certain that you set quality standards for your employees to follow. If they don’t, your clients will eventually walk out the door, never to return.
- Never assign blame, but rather concentrate on fixing the problem. We all make mistakes, and instead or reprimanding a staff member, help that employee find how to fix the problem so it won’t occur in the future.
- A simple “thank you,” means a lot to your employees. When they do something that’s outstanding, be sure to thank them. They’ll really appreciate it.
- Avoid asking your staff to do personal things for you, like picking up your laundry, or running an errand. Nothing irks an employee more than being treated like a “gofer”.
- Do acts of kindness for your employees. If their car is broken down, ask if you can give them a ride. If they’re having a birthday, get a cake and have a little party for staff and clients.
- Think about putting in some sort of an incentive plan for your employees. It’s always good to give them something to strive for. But make your plan realistic and reachable.
- Always put on a pleasant face. Yes, we all have days when things go wrong and we’d like to scream. By maintaining your cool, you’ll set an example for your people to follow.
- Make sure your employees know you’re there to help them, not chastise them. Be positive and upbeat whenever possible.
- Handle new employees with a good dose of extra attention. Make sure that they know all the ropes and how you want your salon/spa to run. Get it straight in the beginning, so you don’t have to go back over it again and again.
- Always explain why you are doing things and what you expect the result will be. If your staff understands your motives and goals, they’ll be more apt to work to help you achieve them.
- Be properly dressed and made up at all times. Do not allow your employees to get untidy. Be a positive role model.
- Walk around whenever you can. See what’s going on in your salon/spa. If you catch a glitch, fix it. If someone is doing a great job, tell them.
- Encourage your employees to come to you with ideas and suggestions. They’re the ones on the firing line every day, and have a wealth of experience. If their idea or suggestion works, compliment and thank them. If it doesn’t, take the time to explain why.
- Have regular, short meetings with your staff. Do it daily, first thing in the morning, or weekly. It’s always a good thing to get everyone together.
- Ask instead of order. No one likes taking orders, you included. Ask an employee if they can help you with something. It’s a lot nicer saying, “Can you give me a hand with this?” and opposed to, “Take this over there.”
- Remember “please and thank you,” are little keys, but they open big doors.
- Smile as much as you can. Nobody likes a grumpy person, especially if it’s their boss.
- If an employee has done something wrong, wait for the appropriate time and tell them in private, not in front of others. Also, explain how they can correct the mistake in the future.
- Never, ever play favorites.
- Take a few minutes and talk to each employee every day. You can chat while they’re working on a client. You can even praise them in front of the client by saying something akin to, “I really like what you’re doing with that swept back look.” Being praised by a boss in front of a client is especially nice.
Finally, the best thing you can do is lead by example. If you practice what you preach, you’ll have a very happy and productive staff!