Overcoming Challenges of Working in the Hairdressing Industry
• Competition to be the best in the trade
• Competition to gain a successful clientele
• Avoiding the stereotypical profile of a Hair Stylist and proving your ability
• Being able to multi-task
• Being strong in all the main areas of Hairdressing – Technical, Creative, Social
• Running a successful business in the economic down turn
• Keeping up to date with the latest technologies, products, fashion
• Having a business plan with a strategic approach and maintaining a competitive edge
In today’s society individuals that are not necessarily academic or ‘NEET’ (not in education, employment or training) are pushed towards completing a vocational course to include hairdressing.
This produces a variety of learners that are not 100% dedicated to the industry and just see it ‘as something to do’. This creates a caliber of individuals that leave college/training and go to work in your average back street salon creating a high level of competition to be the best in the trade.
To overcome this you MUST strive to be the best in your salon initially and continually develop your skills to a high standard making a strong awareness of yourself and benefiting from the wide-ranging opportunities that the industry offer.
Once you have gained experience in the salon and completed all the training available to you, you can then develop a different career in the industry for example:
• Colour technicians
• Managerial positions
• Photo Session Stylists
• Catwalk Stylists
• Theatrical Stylists
You could even develop new products to sell in your own salon and eventually worldwide. You can have the opportunity to travel around the world and have an amazing time doing it!
Competition to gain clients is a major upheaval in Hairdressing, you will see many salons opening up around you that are filled with glitz and glam but underneath it all they don’t have the skilled staff to complete consultations, make clients feel comfortable and welcome and are uncreative.
Consequently the owners cannot pay their rent/bills and have to close down.
To overcome your business closing and gain a strong and loyal clientele you must avoid the stereotype profile of a hairdresser and be strong in all areas.
Moreover you must be socially confident, presentable and confident that you are the ‘best’ and that your clients will leave wanting to return. You must master your trade and be self-disciplined at all times. Always remembering that new Hair Stylists are entering the industry that can easily take away your clientele from you.
In order to be the best and overcome the challenges that you will face in your journey you will need to continually work to your best ability, be inspired by your surroundings and inspire those around you. Keep up to date with the latest fashions, designs and love being around people.
You must have the courage and motivation to push yourself even if it appears scary and daunting.
In today’s economic down turn making money is hard so proving yourself and creating a long lasting business is tough.
Stepping away from the comfort of your salon and offering additional services like weddings/photo shoots will help to boost your bank balance and maintain the profession that you longed for growing up.
Although you must stay true to your original clients as they are your repeat business don’t ever push them aside and not make time for them as again they will just walk away.
Even the top Stylists that you see on TV and in magazines etc will have their loyal clients that they will make time for. At the end of the day if you have developed your career to work in the media industry and it all goes wrong you will always have your dedicated clients.
Many challenges come with age; as you grow up your clientele will get younger and they won’t want the average ‘normal’ haircut/style.
To overcome this always keep up to date with the latest fashions and trends, attend the hair shows and training courses and prove that you ‘still have the skills and knowledge’ to offer all ages, never turning away business.
The ever changing Hair industry will constantly introduce new products to the market and clients will want your advice and knowledge on what products to use at home. Developing your marketing/retail skills is vitally important as this is a great source of income, providing from 5 to 15% of revenue and in some cases the gross margins are higher for hair care products than for services.
Overcoming your barriers and developing your knowledge will increase your reputation and gain extra clientele.
Having a dedicated and strong business plan with a strategic approach is a major challenge in any business, keeping a competitive edge is something any business individual has to overcome. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses is as important as building and maintaining your clientele. Your strengths will help to maintain your success but your weaknesses will help to develop your business.
Overcoming your weaknesses will create improvements in your business. Always be aware of the law and regulations within the industry, never jeopardise your career.
Always be one step ahead of the competition, having promotions, special offers and promoting the salon/freelance business in the local paper and using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
These provide a great way to reach your old and new clients: who isn’t using social media in this day and age?
In conclusion all the challenges that exist in the hairdressing industry can be overcome if you remain true to your profession, dedicated and continually review your skills.
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