what should I do as a new stylist?

Hi Wanda!

I saw your post in The Behind The Chair Page on Facebook
Here is some suggestions. I am going to go against what everyone else suggests BUT if you want to fast track what you are doing AND make some better connections you have to think of your self as an independent entrepreneur (which you sound like you are already)

Firstly. To build your clientelle find a salon immediately that will let you rent a chair for one day a week. YOU should keep track of your customers. Figure out a way to keep track of their names, address, phone numbers & email so that if you ever move YOU have your list of customers NOT the salon because this is YOUR career. If you work for someone and they build it for you.. even though you have people coming to you.. it is still their business.

Secondly. How to build customers fast. Once you have a salon that you found that you can rent a chair. Yes this will cost you a few bucks in the first two months BUT this is how you will make your business grow… GET OUT THERE. Seriously. Go to businesses and offer the owner a free blow dry, consultation, something that doesn’t cost you anything but your time. Fill up your day with free stuff, give away your time. Trust me. You got nothing to lose.

I went from having no one in my chair, moved to a new area across the country and I built my salon with NO advertising (and I still don’t advertise as I harness the power of word of mouth).

If you aren’t making money then you making connections. Go to the banks and offer the tellers there and night out hair do for free, or go to the local gym and offer a free pony tail class for 15 minutes “hair training”. Teach the things that you have already learned to ANY one you can help.

One thing that I did was offer a one time only 2 for 1 special.
(2 people who book together for the price of 1).
YES! they have to come together AND book back to back (do not bend on this because it can get messy to keep track).

Once you have people in your chair and because you are working one day a week (so far) tell them that you book up in advance and you are going to open another day up in your schedule once this day fills up.  Which day would they like to pre-book for their next appointment? Don’t have appointments all over the place.. open one more day like Friday & Saturday.. or Thursday and Friday

This keeps you organized and the training of your bookings constant and busy. People will depend on you and you must depend on them. Once you have the bookings service them the following month by phoning them 2 days before to remind them of their appointment. NO MATTER WHAT!

The people who  you are already helping with their hair (mom & friends? ) give them gift certificates for free hair cuts to give away. YES FREE!. Tell them that when that person received the certificate comes back a third time you will pay them (mom & friends) $10. Have a expired date on the gift certificates with , no exchanges, refunds, etc on it.. just in case some one thinks they can harvest money out of you.

Ask your friends to search for the people who you want to specialize in. Thin hair? Updo’s? Weddings? etc? Give that Free Hair Cut  offer to the people you used to work with (or even offer the free hair cut to your previous co-workers -but you keep the $10 on that third hair cut and then give them gift certificates to hand out and the 3rd hair cut/$10)

Contact photographers. Check Kijiji, find people who would need your services in exchange for photographs of your work. Both of you can help each other, bring the models into the salon you are working in, they will see you in your environment and get the models contact info so that later you can offer them something as well. Give the models your cards when you have done their hair.

THIS works like a hot damn. The numbers may scare you BUT think of it this way. You are getting new customers for free.. you don’t have to pay for advertising AND you pay once when they have come back a third time.. so the second hair cut is where you make money and the third is the icing for the first and third appointment.

The best part is that you are helping someone to trust you by taking away the factor that scares people.. spending money on someone who may mess up their hair.. but if you offer 100% guarantee on your work (100% money back and they didn’t spend anything, then everyone is happy).

Also start phoning your product distributors in your area. Offer to help at hair shows, do they need anyone to help at EXPENSIVE hair classes in exchange for your help (free education in exchange for work). They will see you are motivated and may hire you.

OK. NOW! Go out there and get yourself a chair! Don’t wait.. HEY if you don’t have the money for a chair to rent offer a salon that isn’t busy, one day of work/help exchange for chair rental. The second day in the salon you do hair for those customers that you are building a foundation with. On your days off spend time on networking and looking for new people who you can help.  YOU keep your appointment book on you . If you got an iphone USE the schedule and make sure you back it up!

I KNOW that it IS scary not to make money (at first).. and that you don’t have a job BUT you are setting the foundation for your career, creating a base of stability where YOU can decide what business you are in.. not someone else deciding for you that you WORK FOR THEM.. YOU work FOR YOURSELF!

One book you must read is E-Myth. Get it from the library (save the cash for your chair). You are at the beginning of something SO exciting! Good for you!

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