Have you been thinking about implementing an education program into your salon? Have absolutely no idea where to start? One of the surest ways to build your team's strengths, and to attract new talent to your salon, is to offer an education program. This program will train your current assistants and apprentices and will most likely be led by you or a designated stylist from your team. Continued education for your stylists will translate into more clients and income for your salon. Below you'll find some simple steps to help you take action in creating your new education program.
1. Choose Your Leaders
When I worked at the Ted Gibson Salon in NYC, I was asked to teach the education program with another one of our stylists. Together we would train and mentor the new talent through demonstrations and live cutting on models that the stylists would bring in each week.
When choosing a stylist to lead your education team, look for someone who gets along with others, is eager to lead by example, and who is willing and able to work overtime. The last thing you want is a constant rotation of people who weren't right for the job. This will translate poorly to the new stylists.
2. Map Out a Plan
The first thing you'll want to cover with your educators is a lesson plan. Keep communication open with your teachers so you know what's being covered each week. When I was teaching, we would give a demonstration at the beginning of class, and then the stylists would bring in two models to work on what we had just covered.
Stylists were required to bring in their own models which they found through Craigslist, friends, and stopping people on the street. I also just found out about an awesome website called salonapprentice.com which connects students that are looking for hair models, and vice versa. I wish this site existed when I was an assistant!
3. Designate Time and Space
A very important decision when creating your education program is where and when to hold it. I've worked in salons where assistants were asked to come in early for classes, they were held on Sundays or Mondays, or we stayed late after the salon closed. What all of these times have in common is that they are not during normal working hours. Some people won't like this. As a salon owner, you know your team best, and you'll have to decide what will work for them. Don't make this decision lightly. You want your education program to be desirable and exciting for your team. This will make them eager to learn, and will build knowledge and moral while you invest in your salon.
4. Capitalize on Your Education Team
I used to travel around to different salons across the country and hold classes on behalf of Ted Gibson. They smartly advertised their education services, and other salons quickly jumped at the opportunity to have stylists from New York come train their team. This became passive income for Ted Gibson while also building his brand and spreading his name.
Don't have stylists that are willing to travel? Hold an education event in your salon and charge a small fee for the class. You can invite stylists from other salons in your city, and contact local beauty schools to get in touch with new talent. Holding an event like this once a month can bring in big revenue for your salon.