Beauty Salon Management: Complete Guide

Rugilė Uždavinytė
5 minutes
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Beauty salon management is as complicated as running any other business. You have numerous people working in the salon with lots of inventory to manage, high customer expectations, and constant uncertainty. Yet, salon owners can run an extremely lucrative business as their services are used by nearly every person on the planet.

Everything boils down to picking a management style, getting beauty salon management software, hiring the right staff, and retaining customers. Some of these are soft skills that have no easy solutions. Some of these, however, can be easily optimized and solved through software or strategies.

Managing the staff and the house

A major part of running a good business is ensuring you have the right professionals to do the job. In customer-facing companies, such as any in the beauty industry, the hiring process is doubly as important. A business owner that doesn’t understand how to build a great team will have a lot of continuing work and headaches due to conflicts, reduced efficiency, and failure to retain customers.

Building the team

Salon staff may come and go, but always focusing on building the right team is essential. Small changes, especially in business culture or environment may have a tremendous impact on overall performance.

There are two important criteria to consider when looking for beauty salon staff. First is, obviously, the skillset. Depending on your beauty salon type, experts will be required that can fulfill specific roles. You may need barbers, hair stylists, but have little need for nail specialists.

A common mistake, however, is focusing purely on the skillset. Character and communication skills are often even more important. A highly skilled professional you can’t trust or who causes conflicts within the team or with customers will cause more trouble than they’re worth.

When forming a team and accepting a new member into it, it’s best to think in terms of two questions: is that person skilled enough for your beauty salon and whether they will mesh well with the overall company culture. You can make concessions for the former as it’s not that hard to train up salon staff, but any exceptions for the latter should be done with extreme care. A single bad apple can ruin the entire business.

Maintaining productivity

In most beauty salons, the specialists are working as independent contractors and renting chairs, so they have their own customers, so maintaining productivity is a bit easier than in other business models. Nevertheless, there are multiple factors that can affect productivity.

A good rule of thumb is to have salon management software that helps not only the owner, but the personnel as well. Solutions such as Watalook have versions for all three involved parties - the beauty salon, the specialists, and the customers alike. Implementing these will not only help manage the productivity and time of the staff from the business owner end, but will also help the employees make the most out of their own time while reducing customer registration times.

Additionally, holding regular meetings in which you perform retrospectives (i.e., discuss what happened over several weeks or months), update staff on any news, and address concerns is essential to managing productivity. These regular meetings, however, should be held infrequently as a beauty salon is not an office and specialists aren’t too keen on coming to meetings every day.

Finally, one of the most important beauty salon management tips is to hold an open-door policy, which means that specialists can contact the salon owner at any time for any concern they have. Many beauty salons are small communities that are held together by a family-like feeling, so make sure to harness it to your benefit.

Getting and retaining customers

Salon software should be considered the norm nowadays. Most people have moved away from walk-in and phone call registration and prefer to use apps to get their bookings in. Make sure to take advantage of all the advanced beauty salon management solutions that are available that will not only make your, but your customer’s lives easier.

Additionally, salon management solutions usually provide ways to market your business, which is an essential part. While your specialists will have their own ways to attract customers, usually from previous workplaces, adding that extra push on your own will go a long way into maintaining a strong customer base.

Finally, running ads on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and others will often be one of the most effective ways to attract customers. If you mix up regular advertisements with influencer marketing, the reach will become massive and finding new customers should become a lot easier.

Managing the day-to-day

Even with the best team, a huge customer base, and a strong marketing presence, managing the salon will still not be without issue. Experienced salon owners know that building the foundation is as important as maintaining the same level of care throughout the years.

First, you’ll need to make sure the team is kept happy by implementing various team building activities, managing conflicts, and ensuring they have plenty of room for growth. No one wants to be stuck at a “dead-end” job that has no prospects and is purely a way to make money for today.

Additionally, a lot of revenue will come from selling beauty products. As such, inventory management will be essential to maximizing profits. While a large part of it will be managed by your team, you should be incentivized to ensure that all products are available all the time. Customers come into beauty salons comparatively infrequently, so if they can’t find what they want, they’ll likely buy the product from another salon or store.

Finally, keeping your customers happy is an obviously important aspect. While a large part of the job will be in the hands of your specialists, always stay on top of any customer feedback, reviews, or complaints. These are best handled by the top management as customers feel heard and understood better than when they can’t reach the more important people in the company.


Managing a beauty salon is a complicated process, some parts of which are harder than with any other business. Customer service has to absolutely be on point, the team culture has to be well put together, and the inventory has to be constantly maintained and managed.

Yet, beauty services have little upfront costs and the potential for huge profits when compared to other business models. As long as the service provided is great, customers may be willing to pay exorbitant amounts. Beauty salons can be scaled to great heights without ever increasing service expenses or even hiring additional personnel. It’s all about branding and providing the best possible service.

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