10 Salon Business Tips From Tabatha Coffey


1)If you don’t have a passion for the art and business of hairdressing, then you’re just cutting hair. [Click to Tweet this quote]

Tabatha has always said the number one key to success for Hair Stylists, and salon businesses alike, is passion.

Passion for art. Passion for hair. Passion for making people feel good about themselves. The passion has to be rooted somewhere!

If you or the people you’re hiring lack passion, then you’re missing the major component that drives a salon in a positive direction and gives it sustainable life!


2) You are a lifelong student of hair, no matter your experience level.

Education doesn’t end after cosmetology school, you’re a life long student of the craft.
[Click to Tweet this quote]

Trends and techniques are constantly changing and evolving, and it’s a part of your job description to stay updated.

Tabatha says she keeps up with trends by attending hair shows, subscribing to trade magazines, and forming friendships with distributors and manufacturers. Well, hello there. 😉

In addition, you should be challenging yourself a few times a year (at least) with hair classes and competitions.

These type of events keep us on our feet – I know, we’re always on our feet – but these outings help build better teams, make us better Hair Stylists and overall, facilitates better business.

Plus, there’s no greater fun than when a group of passionate beauty professionals get together, trust us.

 3) Create a memorable and repeatable client experience.

Salons should take a note from Aristotle:

“We are what we repeatedly do; therefore, excellence is a habit.”

So, in order to create the best experience for your clients, you should be staying as consistent and unique as possible.

Don’t worry, consistency doesn’t have to be expensive.

For example, Tabatha Coffey once worked in a salon where they repeatedly had a candy bowl at the reception desk for their clients.

One day, they took the delectable treats away (oh, the horror)!

To their surprise, clients started asking about the missing candy. Even though it was just a tiny detail of their experience, clients had begun to expect the additional pleasure of candy after their service.

Tabatha lists ‘attention to detail’ as one of her essential keys to success, with special attention given to the client experience.

But if we’re being honest, we want you to think outside the candy box and get creative!

Just remember:

Be unique, consistent & stay true to yourself and salon.

4) Exceptional leadership is key to a salon’s organizational success.

Tabatha says the main mistake she sees is the lack of leadership and accountability within salons.

She is an avid proponent of leading by example, and having fair, but firm policies and procedures in place.

Tabatha emphasizes that policies and procedures should be kept simple and precise, and shouldn’t overwhelm staff with a torrent of incomprehensible words and babbling.

She also suggests keeping rules and regulations in the break room or office, along with a signature of each team member, confirming they’ve read and understand each rule.

This helps set a standard in your salon, and everyone performs their tasks better when they have a good grasp on expectations.


5) Focus on hiring and working with the best team of Hair Stylists and employees.

Salon owners and booth renters alike, can benefit from this salon business tip.

The most successful salons have a team of stylists and employees behind them that share in the same mission and above all, value each other.

As an employee or booth renter, if you feel undervalued, taken advantage of, or you ‘just don’t mesh with your team’ you may want to consider looking for employment else where. Staying at a salon that drags you down daily isn’t good for your personal and professional development or for the salon.

As for salon owners, it’s your responsibility to hire people that can work well together, and most importantly, create a working environment that inspires and fosters good team work.


6) Own your role as an empowering and trustworthy leader of your local community.


“Like a therapist… hairdressers are in a position of trust. We are transforming not just how a person looks but how they feel.” Tabatha says. [Click to Tweet this quote]

How great is this position of trust?

In 2008, this study revealed that a hair stylist-delivered message regarding breast cancer health increased the likelihood of women taking preventative measures against it by 70%.

Moral of the Story: Hair salons have serious influence on the health and lives of clients.

And if Hair Stylists can inspire people to start thinking about their health with such effectiveness, can you imagine the greater implications for your community?

You could be using your influential power to organize and lead park clean ups, fundraisers, and other events that empower and help your community.

And trust us, the community role and job of you, the Hair Stylist, isn’t going anywhere.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics has revealed that Hairdressing jobs are expected to increase by 13% from year 2012-2022.

With your growing power and influence, you should be driving positive actions in your salon and beyond. Once you’ve decided to start building trust in your community, you transform yourself from a local business owner to a local business leader (there’s a difference), and people will take notice.


7) Working in a salon can be chaotic, but do NOT lose your professionalism.


Despite what Forbes may think about hairdressing being one of the ‘least stressful jobs,’ the majority of us disagree.

So, the next time you have a client under the dryer, while doing a haircut, and your next appointment arrives 15 minutes early, and you’ve managed to sustain yourself on hairspray coated coffee, remember this:

Do not lose your professionalism!

Professionalism is another crucial key to success according to Tabatha, and those who lack it, are eventually and rightfully ran out of business.

That’s not to say in order to have professionalism, you must be stiff and formal – stay human – but there are basic professional practices that should stay at the core of every business.


8) Always look for new marketing strategies that puts your work in the spotlight.

Salons and individual hair stylists should be looking for marketing strategies that keep the focus on your work.

When asked, “how do I increase the clientele in my salon?” Tabatha suggested the use of social media, “I think a lot of businesses underestimate it.”

Social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, are great visual and engaging displays of your work, as well as an open door for new and existing clients to check out your salon culture and ask questions.


9) Charge what you’re worth, and don’t feel guilty about it.


The costs of services can vary depending on factors like location and experience, but a big mistake many stylists still make is undercharging for their services.

Some feel guilty for charging more (even as they gain more experience), and some base their decisions on fear that they will lose out on business.

Stop doing this to yourself.

Here are some guidelines when it comes to figuring out your prices:

1) How much you want to make an hour (be realistic)
2) Find out the average price of services in your area
3) Look at the cost of your products

If you’re a salon owner, you’ll have to consider the greater picture, like how much overhead (cost of rent, electricity, etc) you have, and your quarterly and yearly revenue goals.


10) Pay it forward!


Important in life and important in business, paying it forward is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and others.

For example, if you’re a senior stylist at a salon, offer to mentor a new assistant. “It is important to give back and share your knowledge,” Tabatha says. “Remember where you came from.”