Why Being A Salon Owner Is A Rollercoaster Ride



Richard McCabe

If you own a salon it has probably already happened to you, if it hasn’t it probably will, the question is, “Can you come back from it?”

Owning a salon can be many things, fun, exciting, challenging, rewarding, frustrating and a great education in life and business. It will be full of amazing ‘highs’, and inevitably there will be some ‘lows’. 

Stuff happens! 

From acts of nature beyond your control like floods and fires to human frailties like divorce, business partnerships breaking down, illness, bereavement and challenges with your team. Then, for whatever the reason, there will be ‘the occasional staff walk out’. 

Can you come back from it? 

Rare is the business whose growth is only forward without the occasional step backwards. 

Most businesses can handle the downside and manage to ‘roll with the punches‘ and come back bigger and better with lessons learnt and steps in place to prevent it happening again, or at least lessen the impact when it does.

It can wear you down… 

It’s not always easy to bounce back, especially if it’s a big thing that has really hit you hard. 

Let’s not pretend otherwise, ‘IT CAN WEAR YOU DOWN!’ It’s draining emotionally and financially and has an impact in every area of your life from your own health and relationships to your personal financial security.

Where is the lesson?

When ‘stuff happens’ you’re entitled to experience a range of emotions, after all, you are only human. The important thing is that you don’t let that negative state of mind last because it will destroy you and your business in the process, that’s where the real damage is done when you go into a downward spiral of negativity, resentment, anger and bitterness resulting in a state of defeat and hopelessness. 

It’s not over, till it’s over…

Inevitably there will be things that you have no control over, like the economy, acts of terror, the weather, rent increases or staff deciding to leave and open up down the street… 

The important thing is to focus on the things that you do have control over! 

1. What can you do?…

There will always be stuff that goes wrong, and if all you do is focus on what is wrong, you will feel depressed, bitter and powerless. I’m not saying ignore it, and it will go away, it won’t! But you can look at what you can do and what you do have control over. As soon as you start looking for a solution, you are at least in a positive mindset and heading in the right direction. 

2. What can you learn from it?

You have two choices, for example; ‘Staff have left and opened up around the corner’. It hurts emotionally and financially. So either you become obsessed with the injustice of it all and remain bitter, vengeful and angry, or you ask yourself, “What am I meant to learn from this to prevent [or at least lessen the damage] when it happens again?” 

There is always a lesson, and in my experience, if you don’t learn the lesson, the same thing will keep on happening until you do. 

3. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

Put your ego aside and ask yourself, “How have your actions or inactions contributed to the problem?”  Staying with the example of staff leaving to open up against you:

  • Do you know why they have left? What was it that they didn’t like about the way you ran the business, you personally or the lack of opportunity and is there something for you to learn from that?
  • Do you really know your team, their goals and aspirations, do you give them regular appraisals?
  • Have you created REAL opportunities for people to grow within the business?
  • Do you have suitable security measures in place to prevent the intellectual property of the business being compromised, i.e. clients contact details?
  • Do you have proper employment contracts in place with credible non-compete clauses?

Out of these questions come answers and depending on the answers will determine what your next proactive and positive steps are. 

4. Anticipation

If you own a salon, recognise that people will leave you, it’s just a matter of when, how many, who, why and what damage will they do to your business in the process. 

Accept that having some staff turnover can be a healthy thing for the constant rejuvenation of the business.

Acknowledge that if you are a salon owner, there was a time where you were that person ‘leaving’ and that you are not the only one with the ambition to be an owner. 

Finally, in future is there a way that you could create opportunities to expand with your team, are their opportunities for partnerships, franchising or some other arrangement that is a win for both parties?

Can you come back from it …again?

Being a salon owner isn’t for the faint-hearted, people will let you down, you will at times feel disillusioned, frustrated and lonely, but business is also a great education about who you are, what you really want in life and as the old adage goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Don’t feel that you have to do it alone, there are many great authors, consultants, presenters and other salon owners that share in your challenges and have ideas and possible solutions they are happy to share.  

If you enjoyed this free resource, come and join us in my salon lifestyle Facebook group by clicking on the link below… 


Top 10 things you should be doing…

1.      Start by getting some clarity about what you want in life and what you want from your career.

2.      You need to develop a commercial reality about your chosen occupation. What are the key skills to master? What results matter? What are the indicators of good performance?

3.      You need to understand and master selling. Why it’s important, how you do it, and how to bring about a change in your current habits so that it becomes as normal as offering a client a cup of coffee. Believe me, we are all selling something.

4.      You need to understand what you are really selling. It’s not just about your products or services, be it haircuts, colour, bottles of shampoo or anything else; it’s about selling relationships and experiences.

5.      You need to cultivate a repeat business or rebooking culture where at least 75% of your clients have made their next appointment before they walk out the door. You need to understand what that means to your income.

6.      You need to build a referral based business; you can’t afford to advertise your way to growth, so you need to get your existing clientele working for you… and it doesn’t just happen!

7.      You must begin the marketing of “You incorporated”. You are “The business” and everything you do and say and wear, EVERYTHING, creates an impression and has an impact

8.      You need to start inspiring people and adding value to whatever you do and maximising the opportunities that are in front of you.

9.      You must understand why you have the beliefs you have and how to change them to everyone’s advantage. Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t… you are probably right.

10.    You must learn to step outside of your comfort zone and set goals to become the person you want to become. 

Richard McCabe

‘The Lifestyle Salon Coach’


When you’re ready here are ways I can help you…


If you own a hair or beauty salon and you’re fed up with having no cash leftover then check out our group coaching programs. 

If you’re a new salon owner or have less than 2 employees then this just for you 


If you’re established and have 3 or more employees, this is perfect for you CHECK IT OUT HERE


Just send me an email with the subject line BOOK, and I’ll get that to you. rmccabe3@me.com


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