Own It

Tabatha Coffey on adjusting the attitude of The Loft.

WOW. Why do people buy a business they know nothing about and then complain that they have to work? Tami's idea of being a business owner was to open the door and hope the staff acted like 'grownups' and did what they needed to do. REALLY!

The biggest challenge was to make Tami realize that she set the tone of the salon and she needed to be the leader. She needed to set rules and boundaries and hold her staff accountable. She needed to take care of her business, because it's not, as she called it, "babysitting" - it's OWNERSHIP. Luckily there were some hard-working staff in the salon who tried to do the right thing, but even a dedicated staff needs guidance.

Tami's lack of experience as a hairdresser was a problem, because she had no idea about the quality of the work in her salon. Richie was the obvious leader - he is talented and experienced and the staff respected him. He was the go to guy, and I knew he could lead the team, educate and guide the stylists, and help Tami. Melanie and Kelsey are young and needed training and mentoring. Kelsey was insecure and unsure of herself, but a quick learner and very eager - she just needed someone to help guide her. Melanie has only been out of beauty school for three months and she shouldn't have been allowed to work on clients without supervision. Her attitude came from not knowing what she was doing and being called out on it - her defensive attitude prevented her from learning anything.

I wanted to fire her after the first day, but the thing that changed my mind was that her attitude turned around and I saw a flicker of potential. I believe in teaching and giving staff the tools they need - tools that Melanie wasn't given until I came into the salon. The other stylists were eager to learn, especially Mark. He is a colorist and knew he needed help with cutting - his biggest obstacle was judging how much hair to cut off. As the week progressed the staff came together as a team - something they had never done before. Tami started to see that her lack of self-discipline and staff leadership were major problems in the salon. I was happy when I went back to the loft and saw that everyone was following through and staying professional. I hope they continue on that path.