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How to get your salon team taking more money - and have fun! : Salon Business Articles
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How to get your salon team taking more money - and have fun!

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How to get your salon team taking more money - and have fun!

Postby chris the limey » 05 Oct 2010 06:39 am

So here we go...

I haven't written an article for a while, but I did promise in the newsletter this week that I'd do a write up on something I call "Nominations" to get your salon team motivated and taking more money, whilst having fun at the same time! :D

This is a targets system that I personally thought up a few years ago after trying most of the different systems out there. I tried crazy American systems where teams were given a "team based bonus" and individuals could give each other "strikes" to make others forgo their share. I've tried the simple 3 tier target, i.e. Target 1 = X amount of money, Target 2 = Y amount of money and Target 3 = Z amount of money...when (or if) the stylists hit each target, they were given a cash bonus etc. I've pretty much tried everything, and nothing works for us as well as this simple little system.

It works for EVERYONE in the team, from your apprentice who has only 1 weeks experience to your salon manager with a lifetime of cuts behind her. Nobody will feel left out or demotivated, and most of's fun too!

This is the targets system we pull out time and time again if the manager is going to be off on holiday, or busy with clients or otherwise not fully able to focus on managing the team and it's problems for a short while. That manager might be you, or it might be an employee - either way, it doesn't matter. This system will work equally well for you.

The problem with targets

The problem with targets as you already know them, is that they are usually set as cash/takings goals i.e. Your target is to take £1000.00 this week.
I've found with most stylists over the years (especially the younger ones) that setting a target of £X,000.00 to hit either:

  • Makes them feel hopeless from the beginning as they are starting at £zero, or
  • Eventually (if they are hitting that target each week) makes them envious that they "took that much money for you" but only got "X amount back in return". Stylists will never understand overheads, tax, VAT, business rates etc. until they have their own salon, so please don't ask them to. As far as they are concerned, up until that day happens, it's YOU who's keeping THEIR money, and everyone around them (whose never owned a business) will back them up on that fact! :roll:

I've seen some managers try to be helpful with takings targets, and break them down into bills. e.g. "£1,000 seems very high, but just look at it like this. If you do X amount of clients at Y amount of money per day, and then multiply that by 5, you can easily reach that target".

These managers think they're doing a grand job of managing a team, and they may even have aspirations of appearing on "The Apprentice" one day with their brilliant methods, but don't they ever stop to ask themselves why they are trying to show a kid who can't work out how to mix a base 6 without using their fingers, how easy it is to divide 1000 by £23.65 and multiply it by 5? :?

They might get nods of agreement back from the targeted employee, but you can bet your life on the fact that as soon as the manager is out of sight, the employee will be asking the others, "How does this work"?

For the few who do understand a cash target, you can also bet your life that they'll take great pleasure in zooming ahead towards hitting/surpassing that target, whilst the rest of the team are still trying to work out how to divide £1000 up into little pieces. It creates disharmony within the team at best, and serious resentment/splits in the team at worst.

Here's my simple solution:

You need to set targets on:

  • 1) The amount of clients (heads) the stylist needs to aim for in one day;
  • 2) The amount of products you expect them to retail to those clients and;
  • 3) How helpful they have to be to the rest of the team whilst doing so.

I've attached 2 files that we use in our salons to do this. The first one takes care of numbers 1 and 2. The second one takes care of number 3.

The target sheet


Above, is an example of the target sheet.

This target sheet covers a period of 2 weeks where the manager is on holiday.

Looking at it, you can see some names. Rachel, Gemma and Alan are all stylists with 3-5 years experience. Olivia is a junior stylist who is still learning to cut. Janine and Jordanna are new apprentices who can just about shampoo and apply roots.

You can see some columns marked with the days of the week, Mo, Tu, We etc. and a column next to each day with a ?.

Let's discuss that now by looking at Rachel's column. On Monday, Rachel has been targeted to do at least 5 Cut and Blowdries. She is also targeted to retail at least 2 products that day. At the end of the day, Rachel simply has to count up how many cut and blowdries she managed to do that day, and write the number in the blank grey square (next to the number 5 and underneath the ?). She also does the same with the product sales.

Now lets say that Rachel only got to do 4 cut and blowdries that day. Fear not...Rachel can use her fingers to work out what 5 (her target) minus 4 (the amount she did) equals. The answer of course, is 1. So she adds a little "+1" on the next day's target (in her case Wednesday, as she's off on Tuesday). Rachel now knows that on Wednesday, she has to aim for 5+1 cut and blowdries.

This is so much easier and less stressful for Rachel than working out that from a target of £1000, she has taken £131.50, leaving just £868.50 left to go. :roll:

Let's take a look at Gemma's target next. Let's imagine that Gemma has a busy Monday, and does 8 cut and blowdries. Well done Gemma! ;-D Gemma immediately knows that she is 3 people OVER target, so she can proudly write -3 on her next day's target.

Why is this important? Well, it reminds Gemma that if a walk-in comes in on Wednesday, she can safely let Rachel have that walk-in (remember, Rachel needs to do one extra client on Wednesday to hit target) and this type of behavious promotes "team harmony" - i.e. everyone working together towards their individual goals and the overall goal of hitting the salon targets.

I'll quickly mention Olivia, Janine and Jordanna.

You can see that we have given Olivia a target of "blowdries" to do. Although Olivia isn't yet ready to cut on the floor, there's no reason why she cannot accept appointments for blowdries from walk-ins, or perhaps requests from the regular clients whom she would usually blowdry after the manager has finished cutting them.

Janine and Jordanna have been given a different target. Being so new and inexperienced, we can measure their "success" based on the value of tips they individually received from clients at the end of each day. We all know that the clients appreciate a brilliant shampoo at the backwash, being fussed over for magazines and refreshments or simply being made to feel really welcome - and they generally tip individuals for it when that happens. So we give the new junior staff the tools and lessons they need to make our clients feel fussed over, and then we measure how effectively they are doing it by measuring their tips! ;)

Now, the above should run pretty smoothly, but there'll always be one or 2 members of the team who only care about their own commissions and wouldn't ever dream of handing over a walk-in to another stylist.

That's where the next bit comes in VERY handy.

The nominations form


For each day the above targets are running, you need to end the day with a "round of nominations" using the form above. Print off enough so that every team member has one for EVERY DAY the target is running for. In our example above, we have 6 team members working for 2 weeks towards a target. We therefore need to print off 6 (team members) X 5 (working days in a week) x 2 (weeks the target runs for) = 60 forms. They're only small, and you can generally fit about 10 forms on one A4 sheet of paper and then just cut them up afterwards.

Next, you need to get a cardboard box (maybe an old box from some hairdressing foil or something?) and get creative. Cut a slot in one side (large enough to post one of the nomination forms into) and then sellotape the rest shut. In our salons, the manager then wraps it in plain paper (like a gift) and signs her signature across the sealed parts, to ensure it won't be opened by any nosy stylists until she gets back from her holidays. ;-D

At the end of each day that the target runs for, every team member takes one of the above slips and fills in their name and the date. They then fill in the name of a team member they would like to nominate as "most helpful team member that day", and briefly write out "Why?". This should be done in secret, before folding up the form and posting it in the nominations box.

It's important you use a sealed box, so that if 2 team members fall out one day, they cannot go back and change their nominations out of spite.

So what happens at the end of the 2 weeks?

Well, at the end of the 2 weeks, you will have an exhausted (but happily motivated) team, lots more money in the bank, stylists with more commissions in their wages come pay day and a nice little surprise when you open the nominations box.

Take an hour out on your own, and do the following:

  • Check who met or exceeded their overall targets from the target sheet. Write these names down, along with how many heads they were over target. Also write down anyone who just missed out on the target and by how many heads.
  • Sort out the nominations into piles (by name) and tally them up. Also, pick the best 3 nominations for each team member - you'll need them later on in your meeting.

In our salons, when the targets are set, we are very clear what the prizes are.
There is a prize for hitting, or going over target (this time it's a bottle of vodka for each team member who hits target), and there is an extra special prize for the person "with the most team nominations AND over target". That last bit's important - you don't want to reward sheer niceness, you want to reward those who can bring in more money AND be really nice about it at the same time. NEVER reward someone for getting the most nominations if they did not hit their target, no matter how many nominations they got!!

Sit everyone down in a team meeting, and begin by revealing those who hit target individually. Hand out their prizes as you do so and encourage some applause. They deserve it.
Next, give feedback to those who missed their target. e.g. "Well done Gemma who narrowly missed out on her target by just 2 cut and blowdries. You were almost there, and we have every faith you'll hit it next time. (Round of applause).

Finally, it will be time to reveal the winner of the nominations. Before you do this, you need to read out aloud the comments from the nomination forms that you selected earlier (3 for each team member), encouraging a round of applause after you have read out each group of 3.
Announce the overall winner (the person who received the most nominations out of the people who hit their targets) and give the prize.

In our salons, the prize is usually half a day's training one on one with the branch manager on whichever area of hairdressing the team member wants to personally improve on.

End the meeting with a round of applause for everyone and a well done.

Hope you enjoyed the article and it gives you some inspiration!


NOTES: If you want to post this article to any other site, please post the link to the article, and not the article itself. This is an original work written and designed by me especially for the benefit of members who visit I'm fine with it being shared for the good of hairdressers and salon owners whom I'm yet to meet, but not stolen from it's home where I'll gladly welcome them.

Many Thanks,
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Last edited by chris the limey on 06 Oct 2010 02:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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