If you are thinking you may be ready to bring on a new team member into your salon, your first thought may be to search for staff that has an existing clientele to bring to your business. I get it, I really do. On one hand, you know that this kind of a staff member will bring a quick influx of cash into your business bank account; however, you may be quickly putting yourself in a very expensive and frustrating position.
The reality of hiring staff with a clientele is they are coming to you with their own baggage: THEIR way of giving their services, THEIR own culture of interacting with clients (and owners!) and THEIR ideas of how ‘things should be done, all of which causes huge disruptions in your salon business both financially & emotionally.
This issue is rampant in the salon and spa industry. And after making this mistake myself, I went back to what works: hiring staff straight out of cosmetology school.
You can always train skill, but you can’t train attitude. ☚ Click to Tweet
Yes, it meant that I had to be super organized and create a training protocol & schedules, but I only had to make it once because then I could use the same one over & over again for new recruits.
And yes, I had to step away from being in the treatment room giving services so much. But as an owner, that’s what I needed to do to grow my business AND create dynamic staff that would be absolutely capable of generating the bulk of the salon revenues in the near future.
I didn’t want have the (so very common) problem of being an owner who is stuck giving services because the business can’t stay open on their staff revenues alone. There is NO freedom in this kind of situation.
It meant that I needed to get serious about what my business values were, what kind of employee behavior I wanted to cultivate and how I could create a business that would not only sustain itself without me, but would continue to grow & flourish.
Most staff that arrive with a clientele are very difficult to retrain in company culture; they have very high expectations from the salon owner and usually aren’t interested in building a business as a team.
Your salon business is YOUR baby and anything that pulls you away from your original company vision should not be considered (well consider it, but weigh the pro’s & con’s carefully).
Don’t get sucked into hiring someone who’s resume and client list looks tempting, only to realize they are taking advantage of your facility, your marketing and your goodwill without giving anything in return (the revenues they generate for you are NOT enough of a return!) Otherwise, you will be on the hunt for new staff shortly after you’ve hired them.
Staff turnover is incredibly expensive and unbelievably exhausting.☚ Click to Tweet
How can you tell if a prospective staff member (with a client list) has the company culture you are looking for? Do detailed reference checks.
Here is a ‘done-for-you’ script that includes 4 questions to encourage previous employers to give you a clear an idea how well this prospective staff member will fit in your salon culture:
"I’d like to know about [staff name]’s company culture.
1. Did they willing & openly help other staff members?
2. Where they open to sharing ‘their’ clients with another staff member when they were busy?
3. Were they willing to take part in ongoing professional development and training?
4. Did they conduct themselves in the salon for the good of the whole, or only for themselves?"
To sum up, this issue is ALL about thinking ahead and creating a sustainable business while not being tempted by quick fixes that will quickly bite you in the ass and fill you with regret.
I assure you, there are no quick fixes to poor cash flow. Don’t rely on hiring staff with a clientele to get you out of a financial mess.
Have you experienced hiring a staff member who came with a clientele and they had amazing company culture in your salon? What do you think made it so? Leave a comment below.