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The Big Picture

Tamara Forrest-Smith

Know the big picture for your hairdressing salon

The big what… Yes, the Big picture.

For example, you don’t start a training program or an apprenticeship without knowing the end product. Who wants to go through all that stuff Juniors go through ( not me again ) without knowing that one day you will be a top hair stylist.

The home I used to live in when I saw it I knew it would be ideal to bring up my 4 kids in. The house had two Tractors in it, a shire horse, a couple of tons of onions and potatoes and half the roof had gone.

Everyone thought I was mad ( so did I ) but we could see the finish in our minds before I had even started…The Big Picture.

There are two things you need for your salon

1) Know where you are now and

2) Where you want to go.

Learn about the ‘best practices’ in our industry. Knowing what these are will allow you to compete.

Awareness is a passive exercise yet it can give your salon the cutting edge you need. You can read books, watch videos, listen to tapes. Awareness will give you something most salons do not possess.

In other words, you will be doing those things that are best practices and not things that will shoot down your efforts. You can also bring in Best Practices in other industries.

I actually used an idea I got from Ipswich Football Club. It was about pre-selling small 3 game tickets instead of full season tickets…I did the same in our salon…it worked well…:-)

Insight — comes when you are aware and then pursue to go beyond the obvious. It gives you the ability to see things well in advance and helps you plan ahead. It is an active effort and will require time and maybe other resources. Insight could allow you to develop a competitive advantage.

As an example, if you were 100% sure that the next big thing on the street for Hair was to be such and such a thing and most salons knew nothing about it well you can plan, train and create a killer campaign for your salon to raise you to number one status in your town.

I remember Simon Forbes doing exactly that with Antenna in London with hair extensions. Before he knew it everyone was coming to him for Training and so on… good insight.

Zoom-in and out–.

One of the secrets of successful managers is the ability to look at minute details in a business and then zoom back out to look at the bigger picture.

Often well-established businesses start out with a good premise such as providing quality workmanship. Then they make another premise and another and another. Usually, these actions are designed to solve a problem or meet a need. Then they go on to the next problem.

After 5,10,15 years they say something to the effect ‘we are stagnant’. What they often did not do was go back to the Big Picture.

They forgot that each premise, even though logical and well thought out, must go in the direction of the business goals. If not, then the business has no direction and goes in circles.

When we focus on The Big Picture we can put ourselves in a position to meet goals.

Do What Others won’t do —

Walk the extra mile.

A friend of mine put this together whilst we were chatting. His tale was this.

He is the Manager of a large fish specialist restaurant in Manchester England. His problem is that the staff they have ” will not” walk the extra mile.

” extra mile ” Yes what happens is this… Steve wants his waiters to do something simple. Ask the customer if they are having a good meal and would they like anything else.

So they walk up and in that voice ( you know that one ) says ” is it ok if you need anything… just ask.

Do customers ever ask? I have seen Clients over the years sit there for hours and not have the courage just to say ” may I have a coffee “.

So what Steve wants and we need to do is walk the extra mile for our salon clients.

Go up to the Client and become the client… see what the client sees. Don’t ask… JUST DO IT. If there is no drink don’t ask just get it if they don’t drink it so what.

Where are you going?

Eagles are amazing creatures. Did you know that An eagle flying two miles in the air can see a fish in a lake all the way down there?

You know what that is called…Far-sighted vision.

You need far-sighted vision for your salon. Although the outcome you want may be a long way off… you still need to see the end product in your mind.

So what are your plans for your hair salon? How much vision can you display?. Can you see your self there now. Your towns number one salon, producing top stylists, the best salon furniture… good wages… good profits great fun.

You need to know YOUR big picture.

Alan Forrest Smith



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