Stories, ideas and tips to help women build fabulous businesses and to help you build your best business.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Styling the hairdresser

My hairdresser, George, is great at cutting and colouring hair but he is hopeless at training and managing staff. So hopeless in fact that except for a lone hairwasher-tea-maker-general–sweeper-upper he works alone in his salon.

And he makes more profit than ever.

How has he done that? By skilfully changing his business model.

In the old days George made money in the traditional hairdresser sense by having a team of hairdressers working for him.

Now he makes money by selling niche, luxury, hard-to-find skin care and cosmetics to his customers.

Because George isn’t running around managing staff he can devote himself entirely to his clients which gives him ample opportunity to showcase his products and persuade his clients that they can’t possible live without Tracie Martyn cleanser and Eve Lom lip balm.

The model works for lots of reasons: the products that he sells earn him a very high margin; his clients trust that he will sell them only the best and he has the ultimate captive audience – the client is rather stuck in the chair/under the heater/prone at the basin

When George had staff they were a cost to the business - he couldn’t keep them long enough to be useful.

I think the message here is that if there is part of your business that you are really hopeless at one option might be to look at how you can change your model so that you play to your strengths.

No comments: