Friday, 19 June 2009

Why Can Managing A Salon Team Be So Difficult?

Looking at the typical salon setup, where the business owner is also the salon manager, the job of management as well as leadership falls on one person.

Why is that worth pointing out? Well, because the skills and personality attributes required to manage and those required to lead are quite different but when properly combined can be the key to successfully owning a profitable and smooth running salon.

A manager is task orientated, they have daily jobs to complete, so they delegate tasks, tell people what to do, handle issues, complete paperwork and maintain processes. A leader on the other hand decides, based on an overall view of the business and its direction, what those jobs will be. A better way of explaining this is the ladder and wall example - The manager works out how best to climb the ladder and coordinates the climbing of the ladder while the leader makes sure it's leaning against the right wall! But there is something else a leader does, away from the ‘operations’ of a business, and that is to instill enthusiasm and passion in his/her followers; followers being people that have bought into their idea and want to be part of it.

Many salon owners, myself included, have not been to management school and so find themselves in deep water when faced with a full team of people as well as a salon to run and promote! It is usually a very steep learning curve! In my case, I learnt quite early on that I was a better leader than a manager and as such spent time seeking out people with skills that complemented my own to create a balance. I was lucky to have found some of the best managers and together we created salons that were both exciting and as well as organized.

Ultimately the best managers and leaders are the ones who realize that their team members are their 'customers' and that it is their job to help their people succeed in doing the work. By thinking in this way, managing the team is less about dishing-out instructions or being endlessly busy with paperwork, but more about winning hearts and minds and effectively sharing the work through planning, fair delegation and training. Be a better manager and leader today, try some of our products!