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My Accountant The Bee Gee

Tamara Forrest-Smith

My salon accountant, Graham, looked like one of the Bee Gees. His hair was perfectly coiffured with every 120,000 hairs held in place with at least 3 layers of falcon hairspray for men.

His shirt was always open almost to his navel exposing his thinning grey chest hairs and a huge cheap gold medallion with a St Christopher stamped into it.

His trousers were usually black tight straight-legged viscous and would reflect any light that touched them.

I don’t know if it was a sock but he always made sure the lumps and bumps always stood out.

He was my first salon accountant.

My annual visit to him always took place in his house. Actually in his snooker room. The room was lined in cheap velvet, cheap crystal and huge snooker table in the middle.

As I arrived we walked into the room where he would offer me a whiskey in preparation for my annual account reading.

I know it sounds more 70s porn than an accountant but that was Graham.

As we began the meeting it would start the same.

He would always say ‘Alan you need to cut back, you’re spending too much’.

I would sit silent dreaming about being the biggest and best salon somehow.

He talked about cutbacks in the salon business, saving cash, overspending and never mentioned possibility and dreams. I would leave that one hour initially thinking I had made a huge mistake in opening my salon. After 30 minutes I would go back to my own thoughts and dreams and forget my Bee Gee accountant until the next year.

One hour later after I didn’t listen to a depressing word he said I went away ready to build my salon. I was back on fire and my resistance to his words only strengthened.

My first year I took £34,000 in the salon

My last year in that same salon I took around £240,000

I never had a single year the turnover dropped. Every year climbed and climbed.

Here’s what I learned.

Others will keep telling you what can’t be done. Others will remind you that there are problems. Some will even be hoping for your salon’s failure. And some are not that interested in what you’re doing with anything as long as they are ok.

But that is them and not me.

That was my Bee Gee accountant and not me.

You have to keep the outcome in your mind’s eye always. But dreaming and thinking about it isn’t enough. You have to take actions. You have to learn what you need to know to hit those goals. You have to train yourself, educate yourself and look for solutions.

If you don’t … Nothing will change in your salon.

After a few years of seeing my Saturday night fever accountant, his remarks changed. He had now started to say, “Alan I don’t know how you’re doing it but well done”

I knew how I was doing it and it was through sheer hard work that paid off.

It was through a series of systems, strategies, tactics and plenty of accidents.

The lesson is simple, stay focused on your outcome for your salon and listen less to others.

I wish I had a photo of Graham to show you. The one above is close enough apart from the fact he wore yellow tinted glasses in true 70s style!


Alan The Salon Punk

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