At some point in your career as a stylist, you will probably ask yourself whether you are cut out to be a salon manager. And would becoming a manager fit your skills and personality. Can I manage people, schedules, and procedures? Am I ready to take total responsibility a salon’s success and profits?
With 739,042 salon managers in the United States, how do you set yourself apart and become the best manager in your community? If you want to be a fabulous manager, there is one piece of the puzzle that you must get right, according to Harold Beneen, former CEO at ITT.
It is a very simple credo, probably the closest thing to the secret of success in business, in professional life, in almost everything you undertake. The strange thing is that in one form or another everyone knows it, and somehow they forget it all the time. Or they think it too simple to be real: management must manage.
Defining our terms, management or “Manage” means to get something done, to accomplish something that you or the team, set out to do which presumably is worthy of your effort. “Must” means must. That is the active word in the credo: “must.”
In the business world, everyone is always working at legitimate cross-purposes, governed by self-interest. Customers plead for lower prices; suppliers demand higher prices; owners want more and more earnings. The competition is trying to market a better service at a lower cost. Your job as a manager is to manage all of that, and more, and to finish the year with results that satisfy those cross-purposes as well as the goals you set for yourself and your salon.
In business there always will be problems and your job as salon manager is to solve them. If you try twenty-two ways to solve one problem and still fail, then you must try the twenty-third way. But your attitude should be: “I’m going to stay here all night if I have to, but I’m going to solve that problem.”
Though I’ve done it often and recommend it at times to others, spending all night at work is not the essential point; solving the problem is. Results are important in management. If you can solve your problem with two winks and the wave of a hand, well and good. You work through the night only because it takes you that long to find an answer that will solve the problem and satisfy you. The results will show up on your P&L sheet at the end of the year.
“Management must manage” means that you must get results!
The primary difference between an entrepreneur and a business manager, generally speaking, is one of attitude. The entrepreneur, especially when starting out, knows that she is operating on the threshold of success or failure. A single mistake can ruin her. She can’t afford that single mistake. She has to reach a certain market, make a stipulated amount of sales, and earn enough money to carry her forward. While others leave the office at five o’clock, she stays behind and works to solve those problems that beset her business. She must manage. She takes her problems home with her. She lives her business twenty-four hours a day.
The professional business manager all too often loses that sense of commitment, if she had it in the first place. Too many times, she manages by the book. She relies upon the knowledge that she is working for a business large enough to absorb a number of mistakes. The professional manager does not set out to make mistakes or to succumb to a bad turn in the market place. She wants to succeed. Subconsciously she allows herself what she considers a reasonable margin of error. But that margin usually is far wider than that of the entrepreneur running his own business. And that margin of error is accepted!
So if you want to distinguish yourself as a manager, think differently than almost every manager in every industry. Manage like an owner. Manage like an entrepreneur. Manage and act like it is your money, your investment, and your business. Put the "must" back into management.
Logan is co-founder of Donna Bella Milan hair extensions and author of the Donna Bella blog.