Having a great team, awesome products and services, and a powerful vision for the future are key elements for the success of your salon. But there’s something equally important that many owners neglect. I’m talking about systems and procedures – the glue that holds your salon together, writes Kai Schnitzler
Too many salons fail to create systems and procedures to standardise the way things are done. Even where systems are in place, they’re often not written down and available for the whole team to understand and use.
If your goal is to provide each of your clients with a consistently high level of quality, service and experience, then systems and procedures are the tool you need to make it happen. Systems and procedures might sound like boring, easy-to-ignore activities, but believe me, they are central to a great salon and you need to learn to love them.
Think about Starbucks and McDonald’s. Every team member at McDonald’s makes a burger the same way. Every employee at Starbucks makes a latte macchiato the same way.
The goal is not to take away individual thinking and creativity. It’s to maintain consistency from day-to-day and month-to-month. This consistency builds reputation, retains existing clients and attracts new ones.
STOP REINVENTING THE WHEEL.
Salon owners are time-poor and it makes sense to streamline essential activities so they don’t have to be carried out by YOU. Stop reinventing the wheel every time. Instead, focus on putting great systems in place. Your salon will run more smoothly and you’ll have less hassle and more time.
Systems let you remove yourself from the salon floor without creating chaos. You just have to commit to leading your salon team to follow them. Without action, systems and procedures aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. It‘s up to you to get your team on board and keep them there.
Once you’re spending less time working on the floor, you’re free to do the most important task of all: working on your salon and not in it! You’ll have time to focus on planning, marketing and financial planning – the elements that will help you make your salon sing.
THE TRUE VALUE OF SYSTEMS.
Systems lead to greater client satisfaction. Your clients get consistent service and quality they can rely on every time they visit. And your salon productivity lifts because your team aren’t doing tasks incorrectly or wasting time asking for confirmation or clarity.
As you recruit more people to your salon team, having systems and procedures in place means you can easily communicate your expectations and methods to new employees. They learn faster and you can more easily measure their performance.
WHAT ARE SYSTEMS AND PROCEDURES?
They are the key elements for your salon success. They run your business. In fact, your entire business is a system in itself, requiring a certain number of steps be taken in order for it to work.
Here’s an example of how to approach applying a system to one of the many activities in your salon.
Look at your “Refer a Friend” scheme, your “Welcome pack” or your “Follow up” on new clients.
Get your team involved and brainstorm what you need to put in place for a system to work. It’s important that everyone agrees to the way you do things. Why? Because everyone’s expected to follow the system with every single client, every single day.
Document the individual steps, no matter how small, in an easy way to follow. Pin it on the wall in the back room and pop a laminated copy behind reception.
Once everything’s in place, launch your new system, empower your team and set out the standards.
Trial the system for a short while. This way you can tweak any gaps you discover or delete unnecessary steps.
WHATEVER IT IS, YOU CAN SYSTEMISE IT.
But don’t rush it! Systems take time to bed in. You don’t want to swamp your team with too many systems and procedures at once.
Pick one to start with, and work on it until it becomes a team habit. Then, and only then, move onto the next.
System by system, procedure by procedure, you’ll put yourself on the path to creating freedom of time, substantial money and an incredible team.
Kai Schnitzler is a Business Coach for the hair, beauty, salon and spa space at The ZING Project. For more wisdom email Kai at firstname.lastname@example.org