I came across this article on my news feed and thought it had some great points to consider for building your business. Nothing earth shattering, yet worth reminding ourselves. The article featured a hairdresser that is a solopreneur, much like many of us. Working on and in her business. The author asked her these questions.
1. What makes you unique in your industry? She said she is consistently focused on her clients. She keeps up with trends, learning the latest to bring to her guests. She considers herself unique because she has been fortunate enough to train in London, Milan and New York. So are you keeping up with the latest trends? Colors? I often pick up a new color or art technique at shows and let my client know I had them in mind. Treat yourself to an amazing education event, soon!
2. How do you promote your brand? Since she is an independent contractor she took the initiative to create a website and promotes that website through social media. How’s your website coming? Still don’t have a Facebook page, website or Instagram account for your business? Looks like that will be on the top of your list for 2015.
3. What three tools help you find new clients? Still on top of the list is word of mouth, it is as important as ever. Her positive reviews on Yelp have brought in several new clients and she adds her website to her newsletter, business cards, Pinterest and Facebook. I recently added my Styleseat link to my Instagram account as well. Linking your social media accounts to one another is key to engaging current and future clients.
4. Do you need to be Tech-savvy to maintain a website? This stylist is smart enough to know to leave this to the experts. She engages the help of a friend and what takes this tech savvy friend an hour would steal much more precious time from her schedule.
5. How do you know when to ask for help? When her schedule is 85% books she brings on an assistant to pick up the slack. This allows her to focus on the client. I know this seems like a dream to many of us, but assistants can pay for themselves. If you bring on a licensed assistant she can upsell services like paraffin dips or extra nail art that she can perform. A non licensed assistant can help with taking payments, booking appointments and keeping things clean and organized throughout the day. Even if you bring one on for your busiest days they are worth the time and effort to train them.
How do you maintain a work life balance? This savvy stylist keeps things under control by working 4 days per week with two of those being 10-12 hour days. I have to admit I do this too. I’d rather work longer days and be busy than more days. This leaves two days off per week to attend to business affairs, spend time with friends and family or just take a day for you. Try to attend to business during business hours as well. I know many times it is so easy to just answer one text or email, but when you do your clients expect to hear from you 24-7. Because you’ve trained them that way. Try and put the computer away during family time and on time off, if you must, let them know you check at designated times like 10am and 5pm. Anything else can wait. As a recovering workaholic I can tell you this is a big one. Let your clients know they are certainly important, but so is your life.