Avoid building an echo chamber—create an advisory board, link up with a networking group, and seek mentorship to become an experienced salon owner and leader.
They say it’s lonely at the top. Being a salon owner can be even lonelier because many in our industry feel reluctant to share with other salons within their region. Personally, there is nothing worse than feeling like you don’t have a sound support system to help coach you as a leader
. Ultimately, I believe lonely leaders are less effective leaders.
I would encourage every salon leader to evaluate the network they have to help generate ideas, test their assumptions, and keep them on track. Here are some ways you can achieve this:
Create an Advisory Board for Your Business
This is an informal board of directors that meets regularly (typically once a quarter). The committee should consist of three to five people in addition to you. They should have different backgrounds with different experiences. Most importantly, you should respect their insights and the experience they can offer you as a leader.
Advisory boards can serve several vital functions. Most importantly, they hold the leader accountable. Everyone needs to be held responsible, even business owners. Additionally, a board can offer access to a growing network of people, wisdom in areas where the owner is inexperienced, and many more benefits.
Build a Networking Group
Whether it’s a self-created group or a formal group (I am in an organization called YPO that has been invaluable to me.), the benefits can be similar to that of a board. You can join organizations of people in your industry (Ex: Eufora Salon Owner Networks, Professional Beauty Association) or others that span across sectors—like the one I’m in. The best part of these groups is the educational opportunities and the sharing that occurs between members. However, networking groups don’t give you the same level of accountability that comes with the board.
Having a formal mentor can be a fantastic growth opportunity. A mentor can be great at giving you unbiased feedback, seeing your blind spots
, and holding you accountable for your actions.
Ideally, a mentor is someone with more significant experience than yourself and someone you hold in high regard. They do not have to be in our industry necessarily. Also, be careful to avoid a mentor that is tied to your personal networks of friends, family, or work network. This helps in preventing potential conflicts of interest. You and your mentor should have a very formal schedule of meetings and agendas to maximize the time.
However you do it, make sure you climb out of your shell and tap into the experience of others. It will no doubt make you a better leader.
President of Art of Business