This past week I was blessed to travel with my husband and friends to Colorado for some skiing. The weather was a gorgeous 30-40 degrees, with light snow flurry’s in the evening.
I’m not an expert skier by all means, but I do make my way up and down a slope okay.  

My friends hooked up with me at one point, and the 3 of us headed up to the Lumberjack lift. As we were coming upon the drop-off point I proceeded to get up off the lift when I suddenly found myself 5 feet to the left of the lift with the skies planted nicely in about 4 ft of snow, under my legs. LOL

Here I was laying flat on my back laughing my ass off because I had just realized I got kicked in the ass by the chair when it started to come around to go back. I was thrown a good 5 feet to the left. What I had determined is, I only lifted my ass 1/2 way up, not enough to clear the way and ski down the lift hill.  
By only making it 1/2 way up, I got booted like a ping pong ball.
This may be one of those “have to be there things”, but honestly, it was kinda hysterical.
As I continued the rest of my day, I couldn’t help but think how what had just happened relates to our every day life. I only got my ass 1/2 way up. I was lazy (probably exhausted) and I suffered the consequence.

How many times have you done things 1/2 fast, only to fall flat because of it?  As difficult as it was for me in my most exhaustive state, the rest of the day, I made a conscious effort to make sure I got all the way up, as quickly as I could.

I think about things I’ve witnessed over the years.  In my own several years as a Salon owner, I think back to personnel.  I could probably go through my entire old database and tell you who were my 1/2 ass staff and who weren’t.  In fact, in my last few years of owning my Salon, I know I was 1/2 assed.  I settled.  Help was harder and harder to find, so I settled for whoever came in the door or answered an ad.

I settled because I was tired of the struggle.  I was exhausted.

Don’t be 1/2 assed and get lazy on hiring the right team.  Be patient and trust me on this one…..no staff is so much better than the wrong staff.

I know through talking with many of you, finding staff is a huge undertaking.  When new Technicians/Stylist are graduating, they mostly have somewhere to go….Family or friends.  This is because they are being put through school, specifically for hire.

Find someone you know who could be a potential, think about putting them through school.  Groom them.

I think about my clients and some of the things I put up with.  When I read stories on SM about questions regarding on “how a certain client should be handled”, I remember the days of not wanting to lose a client.  I took the lazy way out (I put up with it), I settled and I was miserable for it.

Don’t put up with clients who are costing you money and time.  I know 1st hand….losing one client will gain you 3 more.  When we let go of the bad….the good always happens.

It doesn’t matter what type of work you do, there will always be THAT client.  When you have THAT client, it’s important to know how to communicate in an effort to either make them realize they are costing you money and/or time, or it’s time to fire this client.  Yes, I mean fire.  This doesn’t come easy.  Knowing how to communicate is important.  

In fact, I think it’s as important to make a communications class, as it is a nail art class, if not more.  Taking classes outside of your bubble is always beneficial.

I can also tell you, an area where many Technicians are 1/2 assed is when it comes to cleaning and disinfection procedures.  Sadly, most do just what they are told or are required by their State.

Cleaning and Disinfection procedures should be universal in your Salon.  Your Stylist should be doing the same things as your Nail Technicians.  Everyone on your team should be following the same procedures.

Cleaning should be done daily, this involves wiping of exposed product bottles, desks, lamps……all hard goods on or around your service area

Disinfection should be over what the standards are of your State Boards.  Doing JUST what they require, I’m sorry is not adequate enough for our environment anymore. 

Another area where I think being 1/2 assed is prominent, is retail.  I could never understand why we would send our clients to purchase over the counter products or supplies when you could be selling them what they need and YOU make the money.

Retail is an area I think many Salons are afraid to put their money.  They don’t see it as a revenue stream, they see it as an inventory stream.  The most successful Salons pay their rent (and some) with the sales of their retail.  It CAN be done.

If you are performing your service properly and educating your client along the way, you should have products you can recommend.  Without having to break the bank.

Start slowly with 3-4 items.  Most Distributors ship rather quickly (at least I do), 3-6 of each item is all you need.  You can make 100% profit on retail.  Start selling, start banking.

If you needed a little push and maybe you felt like you were moving 1/2 assed…….here’s a little check list for you

  1. Looking for help?  Change your way of thinking.  Instead of finding that “right” person….find that person which you can make “right”.  Groom someone, mentor…share you expertise.  It make take a little longer, but good things do come to those who wait.
  2. Not the first time I’ve said this.  Get your disinfection procedures into a manual.  Train your staff….all of them.  Your team needs to know what they are using, what the instructions are and all, if any of the medical alerts needed in the event of an accident.  Knowledge is power.  The more informed your team is, the more Professional they will portray.
  3. Retail..  If you haven’t started, start now.  Open a separate account just for your retail and watch it grow.  If you paid $12.00 for a product, sell it for $24.00+.  Take the $12.00 profit and move it into a “profit” account.  Eventually, you will see the growth and realize the value of selling retail.

We’ve all been there….just don’t go where I went.  1/2 way up and booted 5 feet away.

CJ Murray, President