Offering the highest standard of salon consultancy, salon coaching and skills development

Client retention and service.



Client retention and service.

It is my goal to create a platform that over time will become a place to share thoughts review hair colour and products. Offer advice share experience on matters related to salon owners and stylists alike.

All stylist from actively working in a salon are a apart of a team unless choosing to be mobile or freelance. Client retention and service. Being self employed running your own niche business has it’s own set of challenges on top of all the normal ones faced in business today.

I have been involved in the hair industry for many years. Having been fortunate enough to have experienced so many aspects of our industry. I now strive to share some of my knowledge and experiences with other like minded stylists. I was so pleased to be asked to share some thoughts on client retention and service as it relates to to all area’s of our industry, I don’t have all the answers. I have at one time run a very successful home based business.


The challenges that you face when not being salon based are many. Some say the advantages are also many personal choice.

The expectations you have when you start out that vision you have may change.As a mobile or freelance Stylistwhat really dictates how successful you are? What dictates how much you might earn? How profitable you might be? The hours you work. The number of clients you can do? As a mobile or freelance stylist you are offering a very special personalised service.

However personalised it is do not cross the line between business friendship and mates rates or discounts! just because your not in a salon environment does not mean or make you any less professional. How you present your self from appearance to pricing to service all reflects this. Do not get drawn into cash deals and giving discounts it cheapens you and your business. The key to client retention is offering the highest standard of Service at all times.This starts with a consultation. It involves keeping up to date client records so when your day starts you have those record cards with you. Part of this service is time management allowing enough time between appointments to face the unexpected. It also involves having clear policy relating to cancellation and clients being on time, its about have mutual respect setting clear boundaries of what acceptable. This might seem odd but it no different to working in a salon you are in charge and boundaries should be set.


Developing a strong client base and client retention is built on recommendation takes time be patient. Involve your self in the community. Have a business plan a strategy. Remember You are the product ! Success in is your hands develop your Target Market the people you want to build your business around  if you are a chair renter or freelance stylist you are in charge of all aspects of your business. You are your own boss! you are also. The Receptionist. Stock controller. Marketing promoter. Book keeper. Trainer! Great service staying current building honest trusting relationships this is what leads to success. Caring! Service Something we as stylists provide in some case the service we don’t offer! We forget! We get lazy.Complacent !! Its so easy to do especially when working alone as a freelance or mobile stylist.

Quite simply: After a bad experience to a highly recommended salon or from poor service offered by a mobile or freelance stylists would you expect a client to return re book you?  Would she or he recommend. You your skill . The experience ? Maybe but it would not be in a positive way! The answer is a Big NO ! So can you see where we are going with this?
Mobile and Freelance hairdressing services are no different to those offered in The Salon no different to any other service related business. How many times are we on a role that busy day fully booked up and yet we keep fitting people in doing that extra service that busy day becomes an exceptional day! or so we think but was it?  In these very competitive times offering exceptional ‘Service’ That totally special experience is key to having and more importantly retaining clients and indeed getting new recommendations.
That Busy day: When you ran from house to house appointment to appointment fitted in those extra little things. By the end of the day your running late something has to give someone has to suffer the problem with that busy day that big money earner it’s a short term view to success and reaching a consistent level of steady bookings.
When we over book, keep clients waiting. We compromise the service in some cases we take short cuts we have to seek the help of others. Time management is key you cannot get a junior to blow dry for you you don’t have help around you You are the product you are delivering the service  {Having strict policy of booking and sticking to it gains respect sets boundaries}
 On reflection: Although it was a busy day a big earner it was chaos you fitted unplanned service but at the end of the day how many did you loose through chaos and running late? A happy client recommends an unhappy client does not!
You will never reach a level steady busy days with good client retention when you take short cuts and over book money should not be the motivator! Concentrate on the client the busy days the higher salary will follow! We all have to sometimes take a look in that mirror and remind ourselves that no one is indispensable and that service and the client retention recommendation are key to success.



The Key to success is the time you take with that consultation it is important to note that a consultation should not be limited to new clients that little bit of time spent for that quick review with a returning clients puts then at ease makes them feel special.
This is your time to introduce your self to put your client at ease share thoughts ideas, educate them with your knowledge. Most Importantly be Honest! In some cases this honesty could be a recommendation that a colour service at this time might not be a good idea but conditioning and working toward that service would. Trust me this works! you have been honest explained why this may not be a good idea you are building trust,respect, A relationship! We are in the business of offering service advise solving problems solving solutions. A tall order far removed from just standing behind a chair talking about yourself in a flaky none caring manner!

Things to think about! 

Consider clients skin tone, eye colour, how they present themselves!
*Never put a shade chart on a clients lap and say! What colour would you like today!
*Never Compromise your standard.
*Have Boundaries.
* Honesty is best Policy.

* Take the time to listen, be educated, well informed, creative and skilled! Maybe as a stylist your the owner of your own small freelance business maybe your home based or make house calls in many ways some of the above does and will relate to you. The main thing here is you often work alone, yes you are very busy, but how often do you really interact with other stylist’s and industry professional? How current are you really be honest? How often do you take the time find the time and say.Time for a tune up ! I need to step things up? I need a refresher i’m feeling a little stale ! well? it happens to the best of us. My bet would be not very often if ever? your either to busy or convince your self that it’s not important! ego talking you know it all!!!

Be warned not addressing this visiting it can in the long term effect your business and so be something you will regret! We all need to look in the mirror from time to time a little one on one, so often the demands on day to day life make this impossible. Make that time find that time to reflect on your goals be honest about how current you are is your vision still on track! How up to date are your skills, techniques, even product knowledge.
However much the rewards are working alone is very isolating even if your booth or chair renting unless you make  a point of having interaction with others. We need to share and interact with other like minded professional it’s how we grow and learn and develop.
The skill the techniques the standard of service should not change or be effected because we work alone or in a small team, yet in so many cases the need the want to stay updated and current gets pushed aside priorities !!
The key contributors to this is ourselves our own ‘EGO’ and fears we can so easily convince our selves that we know everything. We did our training got qualified we know it all. Hum to that! Talking with others asking or seeking help or advise form others indeed just sharing thoughts can give a whole new focus and out look on things. Remember it’s about you your vision of what really is success.
These days we have so many ways to connect with others,through internet groups and forums,get informed read reviews on shows and education events, no more excuses! Hang out for  awhile at your local distributor it’s a great way to meet stylist just like your self,chat about colour lines and products.With so many products available to us and so many coming to the market all the time it’s no wonder we could do with a little refresher form time to time. I know i do ! Be it technical work .Cutting techniques. Salon service and consultation skills. All aspects of running a small or independent business. Communicating with other industry professional it’s all these things that we need to address keep up to date with and be honest about.
We need to put ‘EGO’ aside seek out the right source of help and be prepared to take constructive advise.Critical comments on how to improve work with some one you respect seek out a mentor who can work with you on the key investment in self personal development and growth.

Are you ready to walk a new path? Invest in your own future. Market that product that is you? No matter what your current situation is be it Mobile or Freelance self employed. Be and stay current take those steps to shine and excel. Be in demand fully booked successful and happy all possible. Make sure you have the skills to run your business to be profitable     It will not serve you to call around other salons to see what they charge and price yourself accordingly. Nor will it serve you to see what other freelance or module operators are doing or charging. Be what you want to be!  There are a few reason why most salons run at no or little Profit . They are busy copying one another! Or driving pricing down by competing in a discount driven market, the discount driven market is not sustainable and is doomed to failure. There are formulas to set your prices that do not involve emotion We can show you how. Let’s face it – it costs the same to run a salon no matter where you are. So why not let us help you look at your salon and your target market let is show you how to have your salon in  healthy profit.

I also think that we need to always look at the Why. Ask the question Why are we in business whats it for? OrWhy do we want to go into to business what is success? Why do I suggest this I think by asking and exploring the why we get to the motive behind why we want to be in business what is true success. Why the will also help us to understand our true values this in turn helps us to follow the path to the success we want  and desire. It will help us to surround ourselves with the right team ,those who share our values and vision. Remember. Salon success. Stylist success. Business success are all linked together it’s Team success. Its never about any destination only ever about a journey taking the right people on that journey makes it enjoyable maybe even fun!

The ‘Three R’s’ 
”Reputation. Recommendation. Retention”. 
It’s not built on that constant looking for new clients it’s looking after what you have! It’s investing in your self and your business and those around you.


This journey, this career, is wonderful – challenging, inspiring, and yes, hard work.

Our industry is in constant change and is sometimes criticised. For lacking vision in some areas. However there is an ever growing body of professionals. That have a firm commitment to our industry, they have a passion for change, to raise standards through education and sharing. Leadership, education and team incentives.Will over time and with commitment give any individual that ability to do exceptional work and to be more creative. Leadership and management help create an amazing work environment for all concerned. So key for success for all concerned.
This journey. This career, is wonderful – Challenging. Inspiring and yes can and will be hard work. but the rewards are worth all the effort.
Thank you all for letting me share some thoughts with you today.These are inspirational, passionate, industry professionals.They have a vision. These are the people I want on my bus to learn from, share with, take a journey with. Get inspired. Connect with driven motivated industry professional. challenge your self. invest in ones /your self 

Are you driver or passenger !

 There are no guarantees in life and ones career and career choice is no different thing happen and its how we deal with them that defines us. Jobs change relationships come and go the one thing that remains after training is our skill both hands on creative and the ones we learn about people and communication about caring about being a team player. Constantly developing new skills staying current is so very important.

I also think that we need to always look at the WhyAsk the question Why are we in business whats it for? OrWhy do we want to go into to business what is success? Why do I suggest this I think by asking and exploring the why we get to the motive behind why we want to be in business what is true success. Why the will also help us to understand our true values this in turn helps us to follow the path to the success we want  and desire. It will help us to surround ourselves with the right team those who share our values and vision.


Remember. Salon success. Stylist success. Business success are all linked together it’s Team success. Its never about any destination only ever about a journey taking the right people on that journey makes it enjoyable maybe even fun!

The salon and the S word now available in book and e book format for links to purchase and reviews Click here or on the image. 


 The Salon & the ‘S’ Word

 Written by Mike Vallance

Essential for success: commitment, focus, drive, a willingness to make change keeping an open mind. planning. taking responsibility for ones choices making and taking hard decisions. Honesty and staying creatively challenged.

My web site is Back2myroots: B2MR feel free to check in

You can also find me here on LinkedIn on Twitter MikeB2MR and Facebook Back2myroots B2MR

Mike B2MR











Comments are closed.