Stepping out of the salon: Working ON your business, not IN it

By Katie Godfrey on June 3rd, 2024

Katie Godfrey is the beauty entrepreneur behind numerous successful businesses, including her own beauty salon, and it was when she stepped away from delivering treatments and focused on the business that it really started to thrive. One of our go-to Salon Gold business mentors and an in-demand beauty boss coach, she tells us how to do it.

As a salon owner, the allure of being hands-on with treatments and interacting directly with clients is undeniable. After all, it’s often the passion for beauty therapy and hairdressing that drives us to open our own salon in the first place. Yet, as the business grows, there comes a pivotal moment when stepping out of the salon and focusing on the bigger picture becomes not just beneficial, but necessary for growth.

Transitioning from being a therapist to a business owner can be daunting. Many salon owners find themselves inundated with the day-to-day tasks of running a business, from managing finances to overseeing staff and marketing efforts. It’s a juggling act that can leave little time or energy for strategic planning and growth.

The reality is, for a salon to reach its full potential, the owner must step away from the treatment room and dedicate time to working on the business, rather than in it. This shift in focus allows for a more holistic approach to business management and opens up opportunities for expansion and innovation.

During the tumultuous period of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of achieving a work-life balance has become more apparent than ever. Balancing the demands of running a salon with personal and family life can feel overwhelming, especially when trying to maintain a client base and keep up with administrative tasks. Working on the business full-time not only allows for a better work-life balance but also enables salon owners to dedicate 100% of their energy to growing their business.

Stepping out of the salon also provides a unique perspective on customer experience. By observing the salon from a client’s viewpoint, owners can identify areas for improvement and ensure that every aspect of the salon, from cleanliness to customer service, is what’s needed within the business and no areas are slipping. 

A simple yet powerful tip for salon owners is to sit in the client’s chair and observe their surroundings. What do they see? This exercise can reveal overlooked areas that may need attention, such as cleanliness or decor, ultimately enhancing the overall client experience.

Moreover, stepping out of the salon gives owners the time and flexibility to invest in their team. Regular training sessions ensure that the team are equipped with the skills and knowledge to provide exceptional service, even in the owner’s absence. This not only benefits the salon’s reputation but also allows owners to step in and assist during busy periods or unforeseen staffing shortages.

While the temptation to return to the treatment room may be strong, it’s essential for salon owners to remain focused on the bigger picture. By delegating tasks, empowering their team, and letting go of some control, owners can create a business that thrives even in their absence.

Ultimately, transitioning from working in the salon to working on the business is a necessary step towards long-term success. It may feel daunting at first, but by trusting in their team and focusing on strategic growth, salon owners can see the full potential of their business. Stepping out of the salon may be scary, but it’s also the key to a brighter future for both the business and its owner. This is something I am working a lot on with some of my salon and clinic owners within my mastermind this year which is really exciting for them levelling up.

Katie Godfrey

Katie Godfrey is proud owner and director of KG Salon. KG is a multi award winning beauty salon based in Barton Le Clay, Bedfordshire which has been established since 2009. Katie also owns KG Professional which is a beauty training academy across the UK and product range that specialise in eyelash extensions, lash lift and brow lamination. Katie opened her first business at just 18 years old and has since grown to become a Business Mentor and entrepreneur.

All articles by Katie Godfrey

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