How ruthless would you be if you caught one of your staff members deliberately sabotaging your sales?
Some do it simply out of ignorance. Others do it because they just don’t care. Either way, it costs YOU money when your staff don’t sell your products, or worse, promote other people’s products…
But there can be few cases worse than this one, just posted on our private Members forum this week, from one of our salon marketing members in Ireland.
“Hi everyone I am very new to Worldwide Salon Marketing!! Just on the thirty day trial but I am amazed at the response I have gotten to an ad I ran last week so I think I am going to be joining for the long haul …
“I do have one dilemma that I would love some advise for…I over heard one of my staff members recommending a Clarins hand cream to a customer during her manicure and for the bad bit , “we don’t sell Clarins in our salon.”
Now to make a situation worse this staff member went to her handbag and got her Clarins handcream and used it on the client ….can you believe it ?
“I am so cross and upset and don’t know which is the best way to deal with this as she is very popular with clients. Any advice?”
Comment below if you have some advice for Maria, but if it was my money this employee was flushing down the toilet, she’d get an instant warning, and if she dared do it again she’d be out the door, with a swift boot up the backside for her trouble.
But the business owner must bear some responsibility for this. In most such cases, it comes back to a failure of the business owner to set the rules in the first place. It starts with a written Policies and Procedures manual which ALL employees must read, agree to and sign as part of a formal induction process.
And backed up firmly with a cover letter which in effect says “Here is how things are done here. If you agree to abide by these rules, please sign below. If not, go find another business to sabotage…”
If you’ve had similar situations arise, or can offer Maria some advice, comment below.
When hiring staff, most salon owners do so ONLY when they are
Someone just quit, gave a week’s notice, theft, had to fire someone on the spot, someone didn’t turn up, we have all heard the reasons many times.
Too many salon owners Hire fast, but Fire slow..
it needs to be the opposite!
Hire SLOW, fire fast!
I’ve been there often and man, did I learn the hard way how hiring in desperation costs far more than not having that one staff member there.
Desperately, we sit at the computer, on our phones, we get the ad out there everywhere we can possibly think of.
“Staff required, Immediate start’, regularly checking to see if any magical email inquiry delivers us the miracle staff member we so urgently need.
The whole process that lead to putting out this urgent ad is mentally draining and exhausting.
We get applicants, we make interview times, a couple don’t show, some dash our hopes as on paper they seemed great, a couple show up and freak us out (how do I get out of this interview stat!).
Finally we have someone – ‘she will do’.
By this stage we are so frazzled, drained, worked extra hours, long nights and bloody over it all.
So, we go through our checklist :
Can you do X treatment? tick
Oh and that’s wonderful timing… tick
Can you do this? tick
Can you do that? tick
Can you start tomorrow? tick
No, you can’t have Christmas off. tick
Great, fabulous, awesome, wear this, see you at 830am tomorrow.
Ummm.. phew! Thank god I found her.
But herein lies a massive problem so many of us are guilty of.
PROBLEM: We do not plan out our hiring process.
It can be confusing to some, wondering how you would plan it out when you don’t know when you will next need to hire.
If you hire staff you must know these 3 things.
1) How to attract interest: try to make it friendly, if not fun, no stiff upper lip. They want to know they can enjoy their new workplace. Even have some fun. (They do not need to know how stressed or desperate you are. They too are looking for their perfect work place, just as you are looking for the perfect new team member.
2) Meet them more than once before hiring!
When they do apply, I ask a few casual questions in email, to get interacting with them, see if I can get a feel for them.
Then I get them in for the first visit to chat.
Then the ones I short list, I get them in a second time to ask them to do X treatment on a model, from start to finish including how they recommend aftercare / home care.
Then I get them in a third time.
By this 3rd visit, you more than likely get to see the REAL them.
You will never see that person who interviewed the first day again!
After all, we are all on our best behaviour for that very first meeting, when they are more familiar with you and the salon, their true self will start to poke though.
Do you still like what you see?
3) Full training must be given!
It is SO important to ensure full training before they are put into client work. NO MATTER HOW DESPERATE YOU ARE.
At the very least a full day training them up, if not a few days. (Even if they can shadow a trusted staff member to learn the ropes and you cover the important steps)
Going through your salon policy & procedures manual, going through hands on treatment training with models and HOW to keep it consistent each and every treatment visit, every day.
Most salon owners hire so desperately and quickly, they do not train specifically
“HOW we do it HERE”
how we answer the phone
how we explain treatment A, B, C
how we up-sell
how we retail
these are OUR RULES here
… and then they wonder WHY they lose control of their staff, their business.
TIP: I used to randomly advertise for staff – especially if my staff were getting complacent and lazy – this would make current staff curious if someone was getting fired soon, so they would step up & stop being lazy.
IF I found someone worth hiring, but no one was leaving, I would do my best to actually create a job for them!
I would market my backside off to create work for them.
Be sure you learn how to HIRE and don’t just wait till you are desperate!
Did you know you can have 1 on 1 coaching to help you through your stressful times?
Just $295 and you can have 2 coaching sessions and 2 scripts for you to use in your salon. Call me on 08 9443 9327
Tearing your hair out over whether to rent chairs or treatment rooms?
There are traps aplenty, so before you go down the path of either employing staff or renting out space/chairs, or a combination of both, do some study.
It might save you much heartache, legal wrangles and costly mistakes down the track.
In most of the English speaking world, there are laws that govern what you can and can’t do, whether you’re taking on employees, or renting out your shop space to contractors.
The law is different for each situation, so it’s best to
Rent OR Employ. But not both.
If you try to do both, things start to get complicated. Based on our research, it’s clear that attempting to work on a mix of employed staff and contractors creates all sorts of problems.
Who gets the walk-ins? Who takes to the money? How is it accounted for? And a host of other complications that can be avoided by making a decision; do you want to be an employer, or a landlord?
There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
As an employer, you get complete control over everything. You decide
- How the business is marketed
- What the staff wear to work
- What hours are worked
- Your prices
- Your opening hours
- The branding of the business – colours, websites, logos, the works.
Equally, you’re responsible for everything too. Control = Responsibility, and Responsibility = Control.
But there are downsides. You pay the staff whether you have customers in the shop or not. You’re responsible for all the marketing. If there are no clients, it’s your fault. If staff are sick, it’s you who has to fill the gaps.
Renting out chairs or rooms eliminates a whole bunch of advantages and disadvantages. Essentially, you’re a landlord. You charge an agreed amount for the room or the chair, and that’s it.
Unfortunately, many salon owners find themselves compromising here and giving a little there, until the arrangement becomes so muddy, you’re drowning in what ifs.
So, here are some guidelines to make your decision a little clearer.
If you’re renting space or chairs, you cannot tell the contractors what to wear or when to work, apart from when your doors are open.
- Forget your salon branding. It’s meaningless, because the clients are coming in to see their preferred contractor, not the salon.
- Your only marketing should be to attract contractors. It’s not up to you to find clients for them.
- You don’t one phone number, unless it’s something like “Hi and Welcome to Hairdressers on Haynes, press 1 for Sharon, 2 for Jayne, 3 for Donna” etc.
- On your website, list the contractors with individual mobile numbers or extensions.
- Each renter has their own booking system and payment processing – ideally, an iPhone with a Paypal dongle. (Collecting payments used to the main stumbling block until this technology became available.)
- The owner of the salon should not pay the renter for anything.
- If possible, have no reception.
- Use written contracts that make it clear the renter is renting a chair or room with associated services of toilets, bowls, coffee machines etc.
- Determine who gets walk-ins. Whoever’s there, grabs them.
- This one is important – each renter must have their own Google My Business listing, their own Facebook page, Instagram account. No renter gets access to the salon’s social media platforms.
- Contracts should be 4 weeks notice either side.
- Don’t let the renter’s work creep. No letting them open and close and paying them for it, leading up to helping run the salon etc. That’s when the become an employee by stealth.
- Best if they have their own ABN. They don’t need to be a company to have an ABN.
Here are some test questions and answers from Fair Work Australia:
Q: Does the renter have the right to exercise detailed control over the way work is performed, so far as there is scope for such control?
A: If the renters can set their own times and turn up when they want within say a 9.00am to 6.30 time frame Monday to Saturday then that is a renter
Q: Is the worker ‘integrated’ into the hirer’s organisation?
A: If the chair hirer has their own booking system then no. Also if they take money themselves then no.
Q: Is the worker required to wear a uniform or display material that associates them with the hirer’s business?
A: They can be required to wear appropriate salon wear. But no uniforms.
Q: Must the worker supply and maintain any tools or equipment (especially if expensive)?
A: They need to supply tools but not sinks and basins.
Q: Is the worker paid according to task completion, rather than receiving wages based on time worked?
A: They are not paid and therefore not an employee they use their own PayPal etc
Q: Does the worker bear any risk of loss, or conversely have any chance of making a profit from the job?
A: Yes, if they get no clients they make no money, if they get loads then they make good money.
Q: Is the worker free to work for others at the same time?
A: There should be nothing in contract to say you cannot rent anywhere else.
Q: Can the worker subcontract the work or delegate performance to others?
A: They rent the chair and can put anybody in to do the work there (ad in contract about they have to be insured)
Q: Is taxation deducted by the hirer from the worker’s pay?
A: Nothing is paid to the chair renter from the Salon Owner
Q: Is the worker responsible for insuring against work-related injury they might suffer?
A: Yes they should have their own insurance.
Q: Does the worker receive paid holidays or sick leave?
A: Nope. Therefore they are not employed
Q: Does the contract of hiring describe the worker as a contractor?
A: The contract does not hire anybody but rents chairs. The renter pays for chair or room.
There are some serious benefits to all of this.
- You let go of all staff issues.
- Let go of all marketing issues.
- No payroll issues or payroll tax to pay.
- You charge in advance and never let them get behind. Take a deposit too. If the payments stop, they’re out.
- No training issues or costs.
- No need for software of your own.
- No stock to keep. The renters look after their own stock. (You might provide racks or shelves on which they can keep their retail products.)
- You don’t need a phone system or internet. The renters use their own phones and data plans.
- Organise nothing. No marketing, no Christmas parties, no industry functions.
Some must-haves in any renting contracts:
- The renter is responsible for cleaning their own room/area, and removing debris and rubbish to the salon’s garbage bin.
- All work areas must be left hygienic to meet environmental and health regulations.
- No tricky clauses about money and commissions. One fee for the room or the chair. That’s it.
- No sharing of products related to the job.
For reasons that will become obvious, we’re in no way identifying the victim in this report. I’ll call her Jenny. It’s a false name, but everything else you read here about her salon business happened exactly as described, in the latter half of 2016.
Jenny’s otherwise-successful beauty business has been brought to its knees – in real danger of going under – through theft, deception and outright lies by a ‘star’ staff member.
This employee was hired because of her reputation as a ‘gun’ saleswoman. And she was. Her retail sales and re-booking rates were through the roof. Products were flying off the shelves. New clients were coming through the door in rapidly-increasing numbers. It all looked good, on paper.
But Jenny was mystified. Where was the money?
To her absolute horror, Jenny discovered the awful truth. It was ALL a sham. The so-called star employee was ripping her off blind. Taking cash from clients and putting it straight into her purse. Stealing products.. Secretly contacting Jenny’s clients and offering them cheaper services from her home. Then came the last straw. The employee suddenly left after several months of covert larceny, walking out of the salon with Jenny’s entire database under her arm.
And Jenny can’t prove a thing. It’s her salon business, but it’s as though it had been hijacked.
A highly-developed sense of PARANOIA might have avoided much of the heartache.
There are risks in business at every turn. Competition. Changes in the market. Credit restrictions. Innovation and new technology. (Kodak? Ruined by digital photography. Video stores? The victim of Netflix and iTunes. The taxi industry? Crippled by Uber. It’s a long list.)
But it’s a much harder pill to swallow when the enemy comes from within.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
- Security cameras. They are cheap. And they can record everything. You can even view them from your tablet or phone remotely.
2. Database control. Any salon appointment software package worth its salt should be capable of producing logs showing who logged in, when they logged in, and what they did when they logged in. Your list of clients is THE most valuable asset you own. Protect it with every weapon you have at your disposal.
Inventory control. If you don’t rigorously reconcile – every day – product in with product out and money collected, then you’re allowing massive cracks to open up. Things will mysteriously fall through them, unnoticed.
3. Social media control. It’s all very well and lovely to have your clients interact with you via your social media channels. But who else has admin access to your Facebook and Instagram platforms? It’s all too easy to put trust in your staff to ‘run’ your social media for you. And it’s even easier for them to run amok inside those platforms, secretly contacting clients and ‘poaching’ them.
(Did you know that if somebody has NO admin rights to your FB business page, and you haven’t verified that page with Facebook, they can steal the page from you?)
4. Email & Website. Who has access to the business email account? It’s very easy, using email, to get access to your website logins, change the password, and suddenly, the website goes dark.
And they’re just the essentials. You can make a long list of your own.
Many owners in the ‘warm and fuzzy’ hair & beauty industry might find the above a little confronting, not wanting to appear to be Big Brother to their staff. But there is wisdom in that oft-quoted saying, “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
Another 16 salons & spas joined the Inner Circle marketing & mentoring program at our Road to Riches seminar in Perth this week – no doubt many of them attracted by not only the done-for-you marketing tools in the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit™ but also by the unique system we use to help them find quality staff.
The WSM Staff Finder service – free for Inner Circle members, $195 for non-members – uses a combination of offline and online systems to drive quality job prospects direct to the salon owner.
Mario Raia of Ethos Salon in Washington State – instant respones from Staff Finder system
One of our recently-joined members in the US, Mario Raia of Ethos Salon in Washington State, got an instant response when he used the system, starting with a small ad on the online classifieds services craigslist (www.craigslist.org)
“I already got 3 prospects today. Wow!! I used a service called www.craigslist.org in the Portland, Oregon Market.
Here is my copy:
Free Report for Stylist and Esthetician Jobs
Attention Hair Stylists & Estheticians! FREE Special Report – valued at $29 – reveals the crucial questions you MUST ask – and get answers for – BEFORE you agree to take on a different job. There are no obligations, and we will not be trying to sell you anything. This is just our commitment to try and improve the industry we are in. Download the report at: www.saloncentral.com/ethos-salon.html
IC member Carolyn Evans of Zash Hair Design in Sunnybank Hills, Queensland – 14 job applications from a single online ad.
IC member Carolyn Evans of Zash Hair Design in Sunnybank Hills, Queensland, had even better responses, when she placed her small ad on another online jobs service, driving prospective staff to the special web page we set up for her:
“Just to give you some feedback, I have had 14 contacts from my job ad – and the quality of applicants is much higher than any other means of advertising I have used in the past.”
To find out more about how the Staff Finder service works, go here.
MEMBERS: It’s FREE to use, all you have to do is contact Karan at our office, karan at worldwidesalonmarketing.com
NON Members: it’s a mere $195 to use the Staff Finder system, go here to find out more, complete the Order Form and we’ll instantly set it up for you.
Worldwide Salon Marketing: Hard to find Staff? Here’s how to get a flood of applications…
Peter Drucker is widely recognised as the world’s most famous business consultant, who declared that “Because its purpose is to create a customer, a business has two and only two functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results. All the rest are costs.”
Which is perfectly true, and in the beauty business, one of those costs is unavoidable; staff to deliver the innovation (or service) to the customers your marketing is bringing in.
Aside from marketing issues, finding the right staff is by far the biggest challenge facing 99% of salon owners. Which is why we developed a unique way to at least partly solve that challenge, and it’s brilliantly successful.
The Worldwide Salon Marketing Staff Finder Service
“We’ve used this method twice… both times, we had inquiries from prospective staff members within minutes of placing the ad. In fact the first time we used it, we had no fewer than 47 applications within two weeks, and hired two fantastic new team members right off the bat!” says Rachael D’Aguiar of D’Aguiar’s Hair.Skin.Nails in Auckland, NZ
And this works no matter where you are in the world. (And it’s FREE for Inner Circle members.) Here’s how it happens…
Step #1: you download a Free Report in Word format. The report is titled
“The Crucial Questions You MUST Ask – and the Answers You Need – Before You Sign Up for Any New Job.”
Step #2: You modify the report to suit your salon, and email it back to us.
Step #3: We upload the report to a special web page we create for you.
Step #4: You run a classified ad in the employment section of your local paper, and/or online. This ad (we give you the wording) directs prospective staff to the website where they can enter their name and contact number, and only then download your Free Report.
Step #5: You get an instant email with that person’s contact details.
Bingo! You’ve instantly captured the names and contact details of anybody who is obviously wanting a change of job!
We provide this service free for Inner Circle members. Non-members pay $329 and they can run the ad for as long as a month.
IF YOU WANT NEW STAFF NOW:
Inner Circle members: email Karan in our office karan @ worldwidesalonmarketing.com and he’ll organise it all for you, free.
Non-Members: call our office to inquire about pricing. Australia: 08 9381 6621, USA 602.490.0637.