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Giving up on my salon, advice please

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Anonbo

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hello all, ive been a watcher of this website for a while now but never posted but it seems you all give good advice so here goes..

ive owned a salon for 3 years and basically ive had enough, i opened it with an old friend who was a hairdresser we fell out after a year and i brought her out as she couldnt afford to buy me out. I was ment to be an invisible partner just really helping her with money to open. Anyway two years on, my phone doesnt stop going with salon (staff drama), i get no thanks, no respect, i get lied to, stolen from, back stabbed and i think im ready to give up. im not sure if its my fault for being no good at manageing/owning a salon or maybe its the people i have who work there, or maybe its both.

they seem only out for themselves, ive never met such a bunch of selfish people, they are constantly not able to come in/ stay all day due to argument with bf, baby sitter problem or the dog needs letting out, clients often get cancelled because of this and then call me to complain and no one but me seems to care, they all argue and bitch and try get each other in trouble or they stick together and cause me problems.

ive recently had issues you wouldnt believe so i got rid of alot of staff, my new lot seemed great (1 month in salon) and now today they all text me with in an hour of each other saying they cant seem to do the hours they said they could, im really short staffed now and turning away work.. if they all change the hours to what they now want then i end up 2 days with no staff except a receptionist and no one working after 5pm!! (were ment to be open till 9pm 5 days a week and we have the clients to fill this time) its a really busy salon offering pretty much everything, we have a good reputation and i enjoy it except for the staff constant problems, every day i have issues, its so tiring. i go away in dec on holiday and i dread it because i know me not being there will just be more problematic when i return.

is it normal that one seems to care about helping out the salon or owner or even each other? i do so much for these people in and out of work and no one ever does anything or even say thanks, i cant sack them as i cant seem to replace them, its taken months to find this new lot. im just so stressed i dont no what to do.

i came from another industry and own other companies that dont have these issues with staff, is hair/beauty this way inclinde? or have i created the monsters?
 

Haircutz

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I'm sorry you're having a rough time trying to manage the salon on your own. There's always a risk when gong into a business partnership that things won't work out and someone ends up leaving. It's like any relationship really, it needs working on constantly.

You probably have four options:
1. Sell the business as it stands (depending on whether you own the building/lease it etc.,or
2. Employ a good manager on a decent rate of pay. Preferably someone experienced in managing staff as well as having knowledge of the business, or
3. Decide to base yourself in the salon and manage the staff directly on a full-time basis. (Hard work particularly if you're not qualified in the trade)
4. Sack everyone and advertise for staff on a self employed basis, percentage split or rent a chair. This isn't without consequences though as you need to interview carefully and find stylists who are keen to build their own business and have the necessary drive and enthusiasm to succeed. Probably not any of your current staff though!

Sorry, but you really can't employ qualified staff and then expect to sit back and count the money rolling in. Unfortunately, staff don't manage themselves, and this is true of all industries, not just in Salons.
All staff need structure and firm direction. It's your business not theirs, so why would they care about it? Giving someone a job doesn't entitle you to slavish devotion these days. :)

Presumably when you employed your staff, you explained what hours they were required to work and they accepted the job on those terms? If they can no longer work those hours, you have to terminate their employment and find new staff. If you allow them to swap days/hours at whim, you will always be understaffed and at their mercy and you will feel permanently stressed by them. You have to take control of the situation.
 

Anonbo

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Thank you for replying.

I certainly don't sit back and "watch the money" I'm pretty much based in salon as it is, I also do reception as I'm not qualified in services. We open 80 hours a week. I'm there about half that and another load from home doing admin, website, promo etc.

Maybe I should go down the experienced manager route like you suggested. I don't like the idea of self employed staff as I believe it puts your reputation in their hands from what I've read on it.

Yes in interviews hours were agreed but suddenly now they want to change these. If they were honest from the start then no problem but to change now is a pain.

With a manager on a salary what kind of salary is expected? we are just outside west London. Maybe I'll give that a go and see how they get on.
 

Haircutz

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Re: salary, I've no idea what the current going rate is near London, but check out a range of job adverts online to give you some idea and a starting point for negotiation.

I'd incentivise the post so that they get regular reviews and salary increases or bonuses according to performance. It's up to you how you measure their performance but definitely take into account monthly turn-over and retention figures.

An excellent manager is worth paying good money for, especially if it considerably reduces your stress levels. Not everyone is in a position to or indeed wants to own their own salon but will happily work hard to build the business, if they are rewarded well.

Once you have a manager in place, DO NOT be tempted to micro manage them. Let them prove themselves and give them your support 100%. :)
 
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James294323

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Well said Haircutz. Completely agree a decent strong manager (also a hairdresser) is the only way forward to sort the staff out.

I worked in a london salon with similar problems. The owner was not a hairdresser (and wasn't around as much you are) and the staff hated each other. Because the owner wasn't a hairdresser no one respected him (especially when he used to tell us all how he liked haircuts to be done). The stylists came in when they had appointments and a couple of them did friends for free and some of their personal (home) clients and pocketed the money. It was kayos. In the end 4 of them all left at the same time and dispersed to neighbouring salons. So as you would imagine the clients when with them. After a few more very very quiet weeks the owner turned to me and said I can't afford to pay you this week. I will pay you next week. So the following week I collect my money and I left too. Not long after the shop closed down and he turned it into a shoe shop. That didn't work either and eventually he had no business.

Get someone in to take control before it gets way out of hand. Good luck!
 

daydreams01

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I think a manager who is also a working stylist would benefit you. If the staff can't do the hours they previously agreed then let them go, they have basically talked themselves out of a job! Maybe call a meeting independently with them and discuss the terms of their employment. Once one is told that the hours are non negotiable the rest may decide they don't want to risk losing their job and may suddenly decide that they can work the hours they were initially employed to do!

Good luck, I'm sure everything seems really bad at the moment because your so stressed but don't be too quick to jack it all in after all your hard work establishing yourself. I'm sure you can find a way to sort it out!
 

Anonbo

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Well said Haircutz. Completely agree a decent strong manager (also a hairdresser) is the only way forward to sort the staff out.

I worked in a london salon with similar problems. The owner was not a hairdresser (and wasn't around as much you are) and the staff hated each other. Because the owner wasn't a hairdresser no one respected him (especially when he used to tell us all how he liked haircuts to be done). The stylists came in when they had appointments and a couple of them did friends for free and some of their personal (home) clients and pocketed the money. It was kayos. In the end 4 of them all left at the same time and dispersed to neighbouring salons. So as you would imagine the clients when with them. After a few more very very quiet weeks the owner turned to me and said I can't afford to pay you this week. I will pay you next week. So the following week I collect my money and I left too. Not long after the shop closed down and he turned it into a shoe shop. That didn't work either and eventually he had no business.

Get someone in to take control before it gets way out of hand. Good luck!
Oh god that's like here. When I don't go in I find they've done freebies, gone to the bank for three hours and so on. I've ended up putting my 1 year old in near enough full time nursery because when I couldn't get in they all took the p**s.

I've put an advert up for stylist manager and hopefully can sort it quickly. My problem is possibly it's not my industry and they know it..All too often I hear "well in my old salon..." And it's their way of getting away with something which I'm sure no salon would allow. Thanks for all the replies so far.
 
J

James294323

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Oh god that's like here. When I don't go in I find they've done freebies, gone to the bank for three hours and so on. I've ended up putting my 1 year old in near enough full time nursery because when I couldn't get in they all took the p**s.

I've put an advert up for stylist manager and hopefully can sort it quickly. My problem is possibly it's not my industry and they know it..All too often I hear "well in my old salon..." And it's their way of getting away with something which I'm sure no salon would allow. Thanks for all the replies so far.
As soon as you get a good manager who is a hairdresser they will straighten out. But like the others said make sure it's a decent salary for them/market rate. That person will basically run your business and keep them all in check so give them the control and pay them well for it. You will be much happier [emoji4]
 

smallandcute

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I'm going to say before you do any more hiring to call a team meeting and read them all the riot act. Point out that hours have been agreed so they need to be worked etc etc. create a staff handbook outlining your rules in salon and get them all to sign it. Break the rules they can go on disciplinary etc. also have a good look at your business plan. If my boss was to tell me I had to stay till 9pm five nights a week I would be pretty peeved. Install cctv if you haven't already so you know exactly what they are up to when your not there. They will either shape up or ship out. If after all that your not getting anywhere then call in a manager. These things can be resolved by yourself you just need to grow a set and not get emotional about it. Yes it's business and it will hurt but don't show them. Good luck
 

byKaty

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As other posters have said, you probably need someone in there cracking the whip so to speak . Also agree that you should call a meeting, make a list of your grievances (don't single individuals out though ) and go through them with the team followed by how you all as a team are going to change things. Don't give up on it just yet. Time to stop trying to be the friend/agony aunt and time to get your big girl knickers on and show them you are the boss. Good luck.
 

redlottie13

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Wow! I would love to come in and manage your salon, they sound like a nightmare!

Totally agree, staff meeting is necessary. Be honest, tell them that you will bring someone in to manage them. Each staff member who is proving difficult for what ever reason will be on a 'personal improvement plan' (lateness, attitude to peers, professionalism, standard of work ect)
You need a manager who is not interested in making friends but equally has that lovely persona we should have in hairdressing.

How many staff do you have? I think two late nights a week per stylist/therapist (including manager) is acceptable, those with children should possibly get first priority on days (your discretion)
Salary I would expect 23k on a 40 hour week this is based on my experience.
CCTV is a must, and meetings once weekly where you attend x
 
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redlottie13

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When I say not there to make friends I mean doesn't have favourites/treats everyone equally.....previous management experience is a must too, ideally you want someone who can crack the whip but is also approachable. when my mum passed I text my owner and his reply was beautiful, he called all of my clients and I was also sent a bouquet of flowers with an individual note from each stylist. X
 

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Maybe not just sack everyone, if they are employed for more than 12 continuous months, getting rid of them would be difficult without the possibility of an employment tribunal. However, if you can prove theft, that's gross misconduct. If your staff lack respect, go down disciplinary proceedings.
Hold a team meeting and outline your expectations to take the business forward.
Watch what you say and do, be professional and take the emotion out of it.

I would recommend you find a manager you can TRUST, and is commercially aware, knows what needs to turn a business around and a leader. They can manage the individuals out of the business, but it has to be done professionally.

If you are earning a good wage, built a good reputation only you can decide what to do. I know it's tough, way up the pros and cons.... After 3 years and still in trade, that's brilliant.

Arguing with partners about work is not good.... Talk about it. Take a few days out and think about what YOU want.

Good luck xxx
 

Anonbo

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Thanks again all. The ones who stole or caused other issues have gone recently so pretty much all staff are new. I have 3 beauty and currently 3 hair staff (I did have 5- ideally need at least 1 more).

I say full time staff need to do at least two evenings a week, even if it means leaving at 8pm one day. My previous hair staff didn't have kids so used to love working evenings/weekends, however my new ones do so that's a big difference to me.

One of the newbies has YET AGAIN cut their hours. I left to pick up my son from nursery and forgot my phone. Went bk to salon and she's suddenly gone!! I called her and she said she can't work past 6 now, So since they been there for the month it's almost halved!! I'm annoyed I took her on as I did have other options at the time. .

I've got some hair manager cvs today some look quite positive. I'm excited on that front. :)
 

daydreams01

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I would say you need to do a disciplinary with the staff member that left early! Think I would want to dismiss her instantly as she is new anyway, just say trial period is not working out as she has refused to do the hours you agreed. She should have discussed it with you first, they can't just cut their hours on a whim without following procedures, I can't imagine any job being ok with staff coming & going as they please! ( unless they are self employed?).
 

redlottie13

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Completely agree, I just can't comprehend why any staff member would think its ok to do this!??
 

Anonbo

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Totally agree. But I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm so short staffed I can't get rid although I would if I had other options. I'm advertising for hair staff too and when I have more choices and a good full time manager it'll (fingers crossed) turn around. I think she went home because that's what some of them do when I'm not around- take the mick and she's probably learning the bad habits thinking it's ok. When the boss isn't around..
 

daydreams01

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We'll make sure you don't pay her for that time , would she have told you if you hadn't turned up? I bet not and then expected to get paid for hours not worked.
 

Anonbo

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We'll make sure you don't pay her for that time , would she have told you if you hadn't turned up? I bet not and then expected to get paid for hours not worked.
Of corse I won't. Yes I wouldn't have known.
 

wonderwoman

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why haven't you safeguarded yourself in terms of cctv? Have you got a employee handbook/policy. I think you been completely walked over and you need to be tough. Many people make these mistakes, sometimes you think oh you'll be their friend when you are their boss! Time to catch up on some empowering tabitha get your mojo back! highly recommend it!

In the meantime list out realistic goals of what you want to do, and if your heart is in it or not. Good luck xoxo
 

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