Over half of surveyed PrimePay clients said they’re in business today because they had a dream and acted on it. Elise White, owner of Central Beautique in Manheim, Pennsylvania, was no different…with a little extra support from her husband.
“My husband had always pushed me to open a salon. I had been doing hair for about nine years at that point and he had had always said ‘oh you should have your own salon.’ At first I thought it might be too much work, but I had some experience managing a salon for someone else so I knew I could do it,” White explained.
Now, operating a storefront called Central Beautique, White not only “can do it,” but she’s even in the works of opening a third location. She currently manages two salons – one in Manheim and one in a shopping center in Lancaster.
In order to continue on the path to success, for small business owners, it’s their employees who make the journey possible. From stylists to receptionists and anyone in between, salon employees are the lifeblood of what makes the shop thrive. The personalities that shine through and make connections are what makes any salon attract new clients and maintain relationships with current ones.
White has felt very lucky with her employees.
“I’ve never had any troublemakers or bad people. It’s always been really good,” she explained.
If someone leaves, her strategy for finding a replacement is fairly simple.
“There’s always word of mouth. Usually when I need someone, I’ll go to my girls and ask ‘hey do you have any friends who need a job?’ Within the industry, we all kind of know each other anyways,” said White.
As with growing a clientele base, referrals for employees is a great strategy. Not only are you gaining a potential candidate from someone you already trust, but it can serve as a way to boost employee morale. If you’re able to offer some sort of incentive for employee referrals, even better!
If nothing else, turn to social media. White explained how it’s really easy to reach out.
“It makes it a lot easier. I have run ads in the paper but that’s never been as successful as just finding someone that someone already knows.”
Though White has found much success and joy from running a salon, her true passion still lies within doing hair. And sometimes, that becomes a challenge when trying to maintain that work/life balance.
“I feel like I’m being pulled in so many directions, being a mother, a business owner and also a hairstylist. Doing hair is my favorite thing and I wouldn’t want to NOT do it ever. A lot of days I’ll come in and I’ll have this list of management things I should do and they get pushed aside because people will call and I’ll squeeze them in. But I’d rather do hair,” she admitted.
To maintain your balance (and sanity) amidst your passions, it’s okay to pull back the reigns and seek expertise from a mentor.
White’s husband also runs a business and she explains, “our businesses are where they are because of caring about the quality of the work that we do and working really hard and being good at what we do. As our businesses grow, so does the need for bringing on more HR people and I have a SCORE mentor.”
When you find yourself scrambling to manage all your employees in addition to the other daily salon necessities, seeking advice and help is not only okay, but encouraged. Remember that you don’t have to do it alone.
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