Hair Salon Owner: Job Duties and Education Requirements
Whether it's a high-end, urban salon with a large team of stylists, nail technicians and aestheticians or a small, home-based operation with only a few employees, owning a hair salon allows appearance professionals to combine their passion for beauty with their business sense. Many hair salon owners do double duties, both working directly with customers and managing the operations side of the salon.
The specific duties of a hair salon owner vary according to the particular salon, but generally include interacting with clients, hairstyling and performing other beauty procedures. Additionally, salon owners may provide aesthetic services such as waxing, makeup application and skincare. Salon owners generally choose the specific product line that the salon will work with; in some cases, the owner receives specialized training in that product line, and arranges for employees to receive the training and certification as well.
On the business side, a salon owners' responsibilities may include accounting, staff management- including the hiring and management of a staff of stylists and other employees - marketing, and salon design. For example, the salon owner may acquire office space, design and decorate the salon, order supplies and advertise the salon's services. The salon owner may also ensure that the business is clean and sanitary, and confirm that all employees have up-to-date licenses and certifications.
Salon owners generally handle customer service responsibilities as well. If something goes wrong with a customer, the owner is the final authority in the matter and responsible for making the customer happy.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists could see a 16% increase in employment from 2010 to 2020. As of May 2012, the BLS stated that workers in this category earned a median salary of $22,700.
Because every state and the District of Columbia requires hair stylists to hold a valid license, a salon owner who also performs services on customers must be licensed. State license requirements vary, but in general, stylists need to complete a state-approved cosmetology or barbering program, a designated number of hours of practical experience and pass a state exam. In some cases, the barber or cosmetology school requires applicants to hold either a high school diploma or GED. In most cases, licensed stylists need to maintain their licenses through continuing education.
If the salon owner does not plan to provide hair or cosmetology services, but only intends to serve an owner or managerial role, there are no specific education requirements. However, a salon owner may benefit from studying business operations, accounting, marketing and advertising. Whether a salon owner styles hair or not, training in customer service and interpersonal communication may prove useful for managing a client base and employees. Informally, a salon owner should stay informed on current trends in hair styles, products and procedures to ensure that the salon remains on the cutting edge of fashion and retains a satisfied client base.
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