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Posted By:seurich on: 11/19/2007 7:58:42 AM

Author: Thread: * I Feel Like Quitting
Posts: 17

* I Feel Like Quitting
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2007 7:58:42 AM

Hello everyone.  I need some advice from those of you that have been in this business for a while.  I graduated school last Feb. at the age of 51.  My first salon was busy, but the owner was not professional and totally humiliated me in front of clients, downing my education.  So, I left.  I started at a small local salon in September, the owners are really wonderful, I feel much more comfortable, however, I am not busy.  I am going crazy with the down time.  In 2 months, I have 11 repeat clients, but I am making only about an average of $100 per week - from clients and tips.  I can't afford to continue like this............and feel like quitting...............thought I'd seek advice here before I do so.  Thanks for the ear.

Posts: 1174
Platinum Member

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2007 12:27:37 PM
These past two months epartment stores have had their worst sales in over 12 years. It is the news about mortgage crisis and people holding onto their cash that is the problem. Every salon I have been by has been SLOW.

If your clientele is in advertising, financial, or media careers, most of them are very nervous about being laid off or spending a lot of time at work to clean up the economic mess.

You need to push this out of your mindset and focus instead on getting busy, the very best way is to encourage chemical services and referrals. Take the time to say thank you to your regular clients, perform more add on services, sell products, and plant seeds to people to come in for some other reason than just a haircut, such as a blowout or conditioning treatment.

Don't let yourself fall into debt. Curb your spending as best as you can. I have had to leave salons because there simply wasn't enough walk in clients, so you do need to know when it is time to pack things up if it is really that slow. I had a boss who kept hiring people even though there was no need for anyone else and he couldn't guarantee a decent wage.

The very worst thing you could do is to take your focus away from cosmetology. Have you considered taking a job inside a school as an instructor or some other career related to hair? Check your local craigslist.org for openings that would compliment your current position.

Good Luck!

Posts: 31

here's what I did...
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 2:37:01 AM

on my downtime I when around the current neighbourhood and met all the local storeowners.  After introducing myself many of them asked what I thought about their current hairstyle etc.....hand out the business cards like candy and in time you'll reap the rewards of your efforts.....

I've also offered those who express interest a complimentary consultation in salon...takes just a few minutes and gets them comfortable in your surroundings....

Good Luck!

Posts: 5

just need more
Posted: Friday, December 28, 2007 9:21:58 PM
well, I have been doing hair for almost five years now and I LOVE it . Th e Salon I am at now is one of my favorite laces in the worls to be. My Boss is amazing and the people I work with have all become dear friends of mine. I have a good "base" clientelle, but I feel like Im stuck. I try doing referals and no one ever sends them to me, or they do and I only see them once or twice a year. I toyed with the idea of moving to a upscale salon, but I will lose all of my clients and Im not sure Im ready to make a move quite yet. I am not sure what to do. I need some good ideas on getting some more people in my chair! does anyone have any good ideas??

Posts: 11

Here's my two cents plus a nickel :-)
Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2007 8:54:20 PM
First, if you are new to the industry and are at a slow salon and have only been there for about 60 days and have 11 repeat clients, you are off to an okay start. If you stick to it and don't jump just when you are about to hit your next level you will be surprised at how fast you can grow!!! If you are a booth renter, get out there and hand out some flyers or business cards. Strike up conversations with women who are in the hair care isle of the closest grocery store and give them some helpful advice and invite them to sit in your chair. One of the biggest mistakes I see new stylists make is raising up prices when it slows down to try and make more money. What a customer wants from a stylist is consistancy, not sporadic or implusive prices.

Other ideas: Buy some samples from Maly's or Cosmoprof and hand them out with a come back type coupon.

Sit in your chair and look real close at your station. Is it clean and inviting or is a cluttered, unsanitary mess.

Are you doing your hair everyday?

Are you dressing better than you best customer?

Is there a toxic stylist in the shop who is poisoning the atmosphere?

Okay, I'll stop here for now. :-) Hang in there!


Posts: 198
Bronze Member

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2007 11:42:35 AM

This business is really hard to start out in if you need to make enough money to support yourself. You might want to consider talking to the salon owner about getting paid hourly to assume other responsibilities in the shop while you build your clientele.

Maybe you can start out assisting or doing reception three days and being on the floor only on weekends. The owner signs your checks, and should easily see that you will not be able to work for them if you're checks are so low. Just make sure that the days that you take clients are totally seperate from the other days, you should never be doing both jobs at once.

Also, don't get trapped in to being paid hourly for the days you are on the floor. In a short period of time this will work out to their advantage, and can be very hard to get out of in the future. Sell it to them as two part time jobs under their roof.

If they won't go for it, cut your hours to weekends only and take a part time job doing something completely different. The goal is always to maximize your time in the salon, there is no sense at all in sitting in a chair for 30 hours a week and only working 5.  

Posts: 262
Bronze Member

Everyone has to start somewhere.
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2007 7:41:06 AM
It takes at least a year to build a clientele. I have seen stylists leave early or come in late because it is slow. Are you in a good location? Location is very important. The ideas on the other post sound like good ones. What are the prices like? 11 regulars is good. 2 months? It takes about 6 weeks to complete a haircut cycle. I feel like some schools mislead students. People are coming back. Hang in there. If you like it there give it more time.

Posts: 92

Another Idea
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2007 9:27:39 AM
Popgyrl has a great idea about working part time. Personally, I would suggest doing your part time outside of your shop. Sometimes the other stylists will see you as their lacky and start bossing you around, even when you are on your "booth day."

One of the things I do is hire self employed stylists to work Sundays at my shop because Sundays are the one day of the week it's really hard to get anyone to work, no matter the industry. :-) Of course they need to be out of the immediate area so there is no conflict of interest for either shop. It benefits us both. My stylists are able to see and hear how a self employed stylist works the chair and the part-timers are able to share knowledge, gain knowledge and everyone is happy. Not all salon owners will do this and I am VERY picky about who I will let do this on Sundays. Of course I have had the occassional stylist who was just there to gather a new following but over the years I have a few stylists who come back for about four to six months during the peak seasons or when they need extra money.

How do I know they are honest and are not taking customers? They help to build the chemical services and fill out the cards properly and always encourage the client to sit in everyones chair. They truly are a part of our team, even if it's part time. They earn a good commission and are able to keep their booth during the slow times or earn extra holiday dough.

Plug along, you will prevail! :-)

Posts: 1

just say no
Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2008 11:50:11 AM
Just say no to all people who think you don't have it. Look in your inerself ,there you will find that person that has worked very hard, an has  great awareness of this tough field we are all in. Keep your head high an think positive ............ you will make IT.                             

Posts: 20

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 1:43:47 PM

Dear seurich,

                  I cannot agree more with the previous comments.Ours is a wonderful industry.Stick with it. I also think that 11 repeats in two months is v.good.I think I too about a year to get that many.

   My suggestions would certainly be to ask for referalls with some kind of incentive and to thank your clients.

Are you building up a database? Very useful.We send out flyers 3/4 times a year as well as christmas cards.

  I heard of a stylist who wrote a postcard to each client after each visit.It seemed to work for them.And it sounds like you have the time.

    I would also recommend some of the books /dvds on the site.If you can't afford to but on your own maybe you could share with some one.

  One of the best things I was told was to be different. If you do what everyone else does you'll get what every one else gets

All the best,


Posts: 48

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2008 9:49:39 PM

Everyone has given you great advice, but I just wanted to add one thing that worked for me. See if there is a mommy club/play group in your area and advertise in their newsletter, or hand out business cards to all the members of the group. As someone that has done a LOT of kids before I got where I am now, I'll tell you that it takes a special kind of stylist to do kids' hair and do it well and patiently. If you can master it, you will reap the benefits.

When I first started at my salon I had no clients because I had just moved from another state. My boss started giving me all the kids cuts and all it took was me being patient and friendly and chatting with mom during the cuts for me to start getting a reputation as a great stylist for kids. Well it didn't take long before I caught wind that a client in a local mommy club was singing my praises and sending everyone in the group to me! Yeah, I started out doing mostly toddlers, and yes some of them scream and cry and thrash around, but I always kept my cool and impressed the pants off these moms! It all payed off though because now all those moms are coming to me as well, several of them are color clients, and I even have some of the dads!

So...it's definitely something to think about :)

curl up & dye
Posts: 15

Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 2:05:09 PM
when I started @ the second salon I worked @ my boss rented a sign for me and wrote on it welcome (my name) new clients recieve 10% off it worked and the boss just wrote off the price of the sign rental I'm on my third salon and 15 yrs later I still have those clients

Posts: 5

Its a Tuff Business
Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 5:32:20 PM

 Hi , I would like to give you my opinion of this discussion . I'm a 20 year veteran of the hair dressing industry ! I have owned salons in the past and worked for many . Today's hair designing industry has taken a 360 from what it was when I first started in the business in the 80's -- Vidal Sassoon was hot -- GQ hair cuts were all the rage for men - the BUZZ cut was a no no and frowned upon by most people . Today the 35 dollar mans hair cut has flown the coop replaced by 6 to 8 dollar buzz cuts . This scenario has been caused I feel by the change in economy and the economy does have influence in our style, and the fact that the US is at war . For instants, the BUZZ cut is now a popular IN STYLE cut for men ,where as in the 80's you would have been frowned upon and called a jar head ( sorry, just a figure of speech , I support our military !) by your pears for wearing that style. Today its cool to where a military type cut because of the fact that we are at war, and its cool to be a marine ( or a member of any other military service ).

So, I feel that unfortunately right now its a hard business to be in, but , we have been here before ( before Sassoon brought professional hairdressing to the US ) there were mostly only barber shops to go to for your hair , even the woman had to go to the barber . So,  theoretically things should return to the days of high style - high priced hair dressing and the hair dresser/cosmetologist will once again be looked up to .

Everything in this universe rotates including style  :)

what goes around will come around again , usually with a slightly different twist to it .

Well, back to the lab !!   see ya   -- Franko/Jose





Posts: 8

God's word for Cosmetologist and barbers
Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 11:07:25 PM
Be encouraged start honoring God with the little you have, those who are faithful over little he will give much, don't give up, speak positive. Get you some referrals cards, discunt cards, offer free service and get busy. You can order my book online to help you, godswordforstylist1.com  Be blessed