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Change Is Hard

Tabatha Coffey reminds you not to take business so personally.

By Tabatha Coffey

Change is hard, especially when you are told that you are the one that needs to change. The truth is that the management and interior design at Ten Salon was not working, and Kwanna took it personally instead of using good business sense. When I first walked into the salon, I was amazed at how blocked off and cold it was. The circle design didn't work at all. People from the outside had no idea it was a salon and spa, and the people on the inside of the circle couldn't see any life or daylight. People are attracted to the buzz surrounding a salon, and Ten Salon wasn't generating buzz. Kwanna told me that she was passionate about the hairstyling industry, so I was surprised she wanted to hide it away.

The staff at Ten Salon are a good group, but they felt they were being micromanaged, picked on for the wrong reasons, and neglected when they wanted help. They felt pressure from Chris and Kwanna because of the endless rules and manuals. I agreed with the staff -- the manuals, rules and scripts that Kwanna and Chris devised were totally over-the-top and stifling. It depersonalized everyone and actually made the staff shut down. I think Kwanna and Chris focused on creating rules for the wrong reasons. They thought that by implemeting strict rules, the staff would be able to manage themselves. Kwanna was busy behind the chair with clients and really couldn't deal with a lot of day-to-day management issues.

Although he likes business, Chris had no experience or passion for the hairdressing industry. Some members of the staff were hungry for leadership -- others were just lazy and needed to be held accountable for their actions. They all needed more guidance and education. What I most enjoyed about the staff was their willingness to learn the new techniques I showed them. I was impressed that they not only wanted to improve for themselves, but also for Kwanna. It's really hard to build a good team and it takes a lot of work to keep them motivated, educated and enthusiastic. But the staff loves Kwanna and they know that she works hard, so it was easy to get everyone's support. Kwanna was dealing with a lot of pressure, so she needed to learn to trust her staff and delegate tasks. It's hard when you are a strong, passionate woman -- you want to do it all. Believe me, I know! But when you are in business, you need to surround yourself with a good team and lead them.

The changes at Ten Salon are remarkable. Physically the salon looks fantastic, and I know the staff changed for the better. They bonded with each other, they are pursuing outside education, and feel reenergized because of the salon renovations. Kwanna actually went on a mini-vacation to visit family and trusted everyone enough to be able to leave, which is a huge step for her. I'm really glad Chris is going to do something he can get excited about, besides taking down walls and shredding paper. He is definitely the type of guy that gets pumped by adrenaline. The best news is that Kwanna and Chris are happier now, and their business is growing. They have started doing great marketing events to promote Ten Salon, and they're getting so many new walk-in clients. All their hard work is really paying off.

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