Being in this industry for 21 years, I have made my fair share of mistakes. Let me start off by saying no one path is perfect, but there are some bumps in the road that, if avoided, could lead to success sooner. I always think : if I could go back in time, I'd want to knock some sense into my younger self. Today, I want to highlight 3 career crushing mistakes that I've seen both in rookie and veteran stylists, and how you can avoid them and clear your path to success.
Ready? Here we go.
Mistake # 1: YOU ALREADY KNOW
Having an "I already know" attitude will make it very difficult for you to level-up in this industry. Zero growth can happen for you if you already know everything. I don't want to discredit, or offend anyone, but I have met so many stylists who are so hard pressed about being right and "already knowing" that it's almost unfortunate because it will be detrimental to their careers. There is always, always, ALWAYS something new to learn and if you close yourself off to the possibilities of that, you're closing the door on your own growth.
-There are things that you already know.
-There are things that you KNOW you don't know.
-There are things that you DON'T know.
- There are things that you don't know that you don't know.
That last one...oh that's so g-o-o-d.
Anytime you find yourself even thinking "oh I already know this" stop yourself right away and listen to what's being said. You might be surprised to find that you'll learn something new.
Mistake # 2: DISCOUNTING CLIENTS
Are you guilty of this? I know I was for a looong time. Here's the thing, you are usually discounting for a few reasons:
You don't think they can afford it.
You feel bad for charging them full price.
They are family, friends etc...
Let's break these down real quick.
1. You don't think they can afford it.
What your client CAN and CANNOT afford is NONE of your business. You, my love, are providing a service. Period. End of story. You are not your clients accountant. You are not their bookkeeper. And at the end of the day, getting their hair done is a luxury and it's their choice to sit in your chair.
Be upfront about what the services will cost, OR provide services within their budget. Do not cut yourself short.
2. You feel bad for charging them full price.
Baby, business and feelings go together almost as well and vinegar and oil. THEY. DON'T. MIX. WELL.
We've all been there: Client is sitting in your chair, complaining about money or finances. Times are tough for some people, I get it. But you are running a business. If you let your feeling get in the way of how you price and charge for your services, you will 100% get taken advantage of. Once again, be upfront with what the services will cost. Getting their hair done is a luxury. Let them make the decision on wether or not they want to invest. You don't see department stores and luxury brands feeling bad for charging a shit ton of money for certain things. Same goes for you, babe.
3. They are family, friends, etc...
The discounting for family, friends and etc. is a very personal choice. My issue with this is where do you draw the line. I don't know about you, but many of my clients have turned in to friends over the years. So do I just give everyone a discount? If I did, I'd be broke. Its 100% your choice to discount for friends and family but I'd be cautious with it. Once again, you can get taken advantage of if you go about it the wrong way.
Mistake # 3: NOT SELLING RETAIL
There are SO many stylists I know who will not sell retail and the reason why is usually rooted in FEAR.
"They are already spending so much money on their hair, I don't want to add another $50-$100 to their ticket"
"I don't want to seem pushy"
"I don't know how to bring it up"
"It's always so awkward"
Any of these sound familiar? I bet they do because most of us HAVE BEEN THERE.
The solution to eliminating your fear of selling retail is really quite simple: PERSPECTIVE.
You maybe aren't seeing the BENEFITS of selling retail and how it could drastically help your business because your mind is so clouded with fear and uncertainty.
I said this earlier and i'll say this again, what your client CAN and CANNOT afford is NONE of your business. By recommending and selling your clients retail products, you are doing two things:
1: You are insuring your work by having them use professional products. This will increase the longevity of their color as well as maintain the integrity of their hair between salon visits. (BONUS; They'll also put forth effort to style their hair if they're using quality products --> their hair will look bomb more often than not --> walking advertisement for you --> client referrals!)
2: An additional source of revenue for you. ESPECIALLY if you are in a salon suite where YOU can retail the products. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The margins for retail product sales are massive.
Recommending and selling retail products has nothing to do with you and everything to do with your clients. Using professional products only helps them in the long run. If you're too afraid to SELL the products, why not just start with RECOMMENDING them? A good shampoo and conditioner at one visit. Maybe a leave-in and heat protection on their next visit? Educate your clients on why you recommend the products and watch them fly off your shelves.
Stay green and strive to always continue to grow.
Don't cut yourself short by discounting your services.
Sell retail. Seriously, get in to the habit and behavior while you're still green. you will thank yourself later.
Until next time,
Happy Hair Coloring