Updated: Sep 15, 2020
About the author:
LeeAnn Miley is a salon owner based in Hastings, Nebraska, and the President and Executive Director of The Sovereign Stylist. Her personal experiences led her to advocate and educate stylists on proper worker classification. LeeAnn’s blogs are typically focused on tax compliance, worker classification, and general business practices. LeeAnn believes that laws and business are powerful entities when one has knowledge of them and has dedicated herself to spreading such knowledge to the industry she loves.
Being an independent stylist can be liberating, but it also has a super stressful side. There's marketing, promoting, taxes, pricing, inventory, client retention, and so much more. OH! And don't forget, you're INDEPENDENT...you're on your own! But, that doesn't mean you can't take some pointers from veteran stylists to help you along the way. Check out these success tips we've compiled for you.
Own It! You are a business owner, everything comes down to YOU! You’re responsible for customer service, keeping a schedule, being on time, consistent results & staying in contact with clients.
Got Clients? The more clients you start out with, the higher your chances of success are.
Show Me The Money! Set your fees so that you are making $60-100 per hour. Book clients who only want a haircut with big ticket colors to even out.
Under-pricing Doesn’t Work. Cheaper prices doesn’t equal more clients, it equals more work. Work smarter not harder.
Confidence Not Cocky. Don’t undermine yourself, but also keep it classy. When you have confidence in your skills & provide good customer service you’ll keep clients.
Individualize. You can’t treat one client like the other because moods & attitudes differ. Everyone has a different personality, mold your service to each individual.
Be A Consultant. Pay attention to their hair. Take time to explain to them what’s going on with their hair and what they need. If they have damage from chemicals, don’t try to cover up the problem. Take the attitude, “together we can improve your hair.”
Don’t Sell, Educate. Don’t give them products just because they want it or to be trendy. If something isn’t good for their hair, let them know. Be their trusted adviser.
Be A Professional. Always remember: This is a client. Dress right, even though you own your own business.
Set Clear Boundaries. It is easy to forget that clients are clients & end up with a 3 hour gossip session. Your clients are there for hair care, so don’t spend a lot of time talking about other things.
Let It Go! Clients come and go, don’t take it personal. Be sure to welcome them when they do. Make your clients feel special, take a true interest in their hair care needs, and they’ll always come back to you.
Learn To Self-Promote. Follow my lead and market yourself to get more clients with business cards and fliers. Choose to do things that constantly keep you connected with people in other industries who can become a source of business.
Bust Some Ass. Talented hairstylists get out of this business, even when it’s their passion because they’re not making enough money. But a lot of time it’s because they haven’t fully applied themselves.
Don’t Give Up! You must be motivated and truly an independent hairstylist. You can’t depend on anyone else for your total success. You’ll have up times and down times – be patient!
Fall In Love With Numbers. Successful booth renting occurs for those who are business-savvy or willing to learn, and it works for those who are committed to professionalism while being intelligent about finances. Passion for the beauty industry will fund powerful futures and a rewarding life when working smart.
Be A Student: You are a lifelong student of hair, no matter your experience level.
Passion. Passion for art. Passion for hair. Passion for making people feel good about themselves. The passion has to be rooted somewhere!