In a recent conversation with a fellow hair stylist, she explained to me the difficulties of finding a salon that "fits". She explained that she had tried a couple but none quiet worked for her. I can totally relate as I have worked in over 10 salons (as an assistant, stylist and manager) in my 7 years of being licensed (more so due to relocating state to state). Ive learned so much from each salon that I can now look back and see which was a blessing and which was a lesson. From my experience I have created 6 steps to finding the perfect salon for hair stylist.
Here are 6 steps to finding the perfect salon fit.
Decide what your salon needs are?
Whether you are entering the salon as a commissioned stylist or booth renter; you first need to decide what you need from the salon in order to be a success.
Here are some other needs to consider: having a receptionist to receive calls, having an assistant to help with double booking or maybe a salon that has posh decor with snack and beverages for the clients. Also consider styling hair at a salon that has a great location with plenty of walk-ins, if you need more clients. It does not matter how big or small your need is, if its a need to be successful then put it on your list of needs.
I recommend creating a list of 5-10 needs you have for a salon (no more than 10 as no salon will be perfect). Focus on your needs and start to research salons and pin point the ones that meet your needs.
Do your research!
So now that you are clear on the needs that you have for your desired salon and a salon that would be the perfect fit. Next you would need to do plenty of research. Search salon in the area that you would like to work in. Determine if they have high ratings, a great working atmosphere and/or qualities that would put them at the top of your search.
Search Yelp and google reviews to see what clients had to say about their experience while being serviced at the salon. Clients opinions really count, especially if you would like to be associated with the salon. You should have a good reputation and so should the salon that you are working at.
Don't over do the research as that can take time and possible slow down your progress of getting employed at a great salon. Do the research and move forward if you see what you need.
Word of mouth is golden! If its not a good salon with a good reputation you will hear about it. Ask other stylist that have worked there. If you are in school ask your teachers, maybe they know the salon, stylists or salon owner. You will be surprised as to how small the industry is. Everyone knows someone, lol!
Book an appointment at desired salon.
You can even go as far as to booking a hair appointment at the desired salon. By doing so you will be able to see how the salon is ran from time of booking the appointment to checking out once service has been rendered. Think as a client during the process. How was the initial conversation when booking appointment? Was there an option to book via online, was the receptionist/ stylist welcoming? Was the stylist on time once you arrived for your appoint? Was the salon clean and up to code? There are so many questions I could think of but focus on the questions that matter which would be the ones that answer the question, "Does the salon fulfill my needs"? If the answer is no...RUN lol, if the answer if YES ask if they are hiring and possible land your dream salon.
P.s Take your resume with you, you can give it to them while you are there and possibly land an interview on the spot or even get hired on the spot. Which has happened to me twice!
Shadow for a day.
So once you decide on a salon that possibly fits your needs. Ask the salon if you can shadow for a day. Go in and check the salon out. See how it is ran. See what type of clients come into the salon to be serviced. While shadowing check out the other stylists, can you work with them and better yet can you learn from them (thats a whole other blog post)? Also see if there is an overflow of clients, which would mean instant clients for you!
It is just as important to enjoy the salon as to enjoy those that also work there. So make sure while shadowing that you make an effort to interact with the other stylists, salon owner and even clients; as they could possible sitting in your chair one day.
Yes the salon is interviewing you to see if you are a good fit for their salon BUT you should interview them as well (don't tell them that though lol) Again make sure your needs are met. Ask if they market their salon, if they keep an email list, if they run promotions, etc. Do they have continued education? Ask what are their expectation of a stylist are and also express what your expectations/concerns are for a salon! Be upfront so there aren't any surprises down the road.
Do the work and you will find that landing a job at a salon that fits your personality, needs and professionals goals will be easier than just choosing a random salon. You need a plan of action to achieve success. Finding the perfect salon is just the start of mastering the beauty industry!