salon mutiny

The dreaded salon mutiny. The ultimate betrayal. Don’t beat yourself up too badly; employee walkouts happen to every salon owner at least once in their career. Here are some tips to help you regroup, reassess, and rebuild after your employees ditch you in search of greener pastures.

1.) Don’t Panic I know, everything in you is screaming, “DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!” Just chill. Everything is going to be fine.

You aren’t going to let this break you.

Let’s face it, you can’t afford to let it break you and you don’t want to give those traitorous bitches the satisfaction.
2.) Analyze Yourself
What issues drove your employees to leave? Do you need to make some changes? A lot of the time, the problem isn’t you–but sometimes, it is you. Take an honest look at yourself and assess your management skills objectively. Maybe it’s time you reevaluate the way you run your business.
3.) Damage Control If your employees signed contracts restricting them from contacting the salon’s clients, contact your lawyer and have them on standby, ready to send out Cease and Desist letters if necessary. Send an email blast to the clients letting them know which staff members are no longer with the salon, and explain how their currently booked appointments are going to be handled.

Wish your former staff well in all of their future endeavors.

Keep it cordial and don’t look bitter. Do not give too much information and do not slander your ex-employees. If the clients ask where their favorite stylist has gone, do not withhold the information. clients won’t appreciate being kept from their preferred stylist. (We all know how hard it is to find someone that can give us that perfect cut or color. Respect the client’s right to choose.)
4.) Fill Those Chairs
Start looking for employees. Get those chairs filled back up!

The important thing is to hire the right people, not people that are good for right now.

Encourage your new employees to come to you with any problems they may have and help you to be a better owner. Happy employees will rarely mutiny against an owner they enjoy working for. Focus on becoming that person.
5.) Advertise
If you’re not doing so already (or even if you are) ramp up your advertising.
6.) Encourage Client Loyalty
Send out coupons, newsletters, and thank you cards. Establish a loyalty reward system and a referral reward system. Develop new services and introduce new products. Keep clients talking about your business and keep them coming to you.
7.) Move On
Don’t let this define you. Don’t spend the next couple of months hurt, sad, or angry. Even if the reason you lost your staff had to do with a poor management decision on your part, admit to yourself that you made a mistake, learn from it, and let it go. Sometimes, a staff mutiny is not due to your own actions.

In all instances, a salon mutiny is completely out of your control.

Focus on your business, your clients, and yourself. Nothing else matters.

Have you ever experienced a walkout? How did you recover? Tell us in the comments!

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Beauty industry survivalist, salon crisis interventionist, tactical verb-weapon specialist, and the leader of at least a hundred workplace revolutions, Tina Alberino is known as much for her extensive knowledge as for her sarcastic wit and mercilessly straightforward style. She’s the author of the book The Beauty Industry Survival Guide and the blog This Ugly Beauty Business. When she’s not writing, educating, or consulting, she can be found overthinking everything, identifying problems people didn’t know existed, and stubbornly working to change the things she cannot accept.

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