September 2011

Charlene Abretske

Beauty Business Buzz | Charlene Abretske


Coaching: Is Help on the Way?

Opening a business has a sort of romantic connotation to it, not unlike falling in love.

You dream about it, celebrate the beginning of it, and tell yourself what you would do differently than your past employers.

You overlook its flaws because of its potential, and hope it will grow and flourish into a profit-making machine for you and your future.

Many salon professionals have great ideas about what their salon or spa would be like.

They dream about what the reception area would look like; how happy their clients would be after services; the effortlessness of excited clients referring new business; employing their "dream team" and most of all knowing what a great job they would provide to beauty to members of their community.

Yes, those things do exist in many salons and spas and are the cornerstones of pride for many business owners. Some people seem to stumble on a winning formula, but for most of us, it is like a romantic relationship. You may make many mistakes, but you rely on trial and error to learn about what works and what does not.

When you are faced with the reality of day-to-day tasks and distractions that keep you from reaching your potential rewards as a business owner, your vision and business can slip away.

It is important to have someone on your side, looking out for the interest of the business, and keep you focused on carrying out your vision.

So, where do you find people that will help make your dream a reality? One of the best ways to get a feel for a business coach is to venture into the business education classes offered at trade shows.

You will spend anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours with them in a classroom and get a general feel for their style of coaching. You can find other resources from your distributor and by networking with other salons that have achieved the success you would like to have.

Deb Hunt, owner of Salon Spa Business Solutions, is a salon and spa coach who has been in the beauty industry for 24 years, first as a stylist, then a salon owner, and has been coaching salons and spas for the last 15 years. Here are her four simple guidelines on what to look for in choosing a coach, as well as if you need one.

Find a Specialist: Look for someone who has experience with unique challenges salon and spa owners face; there is no one size that fits all approach to business coaching. The challenges each salon owner faces are different than other small businesses and finding someone who specializes in salons and spas is incredibly important to your success.

Save The Emotions: A successful business has measurements for success that are in black and white on your balance sheet; emotions are seen and felt in Technicolor. When you are interviewing coaches, make sure they are talking about taking the emotion out of how you operate your salon or spa and managing your business logically, by the numbers.

You Will Not Always Like Your Coach: Most of us don't like to be pushed out of our comfort zone, but in order to achieve success we must be pushed. When you are growing new muscles, it will be painful and uncomfortable and you will want to revert to your comfort zone. Finding a coach that supports you and has your best interests at heart is necessary. I often tell my clients you will not always like me and may even hate me during the process, but you will love me when your coaching is complete, seeing the results and growth as a business owner.

Go With A Plan: A coach should go through your numbers with you until you understand them fully so YOU can make the choices necessary to improve your business. A detailed plan of action should be laid out about the issues that are most important, priority of issues and what skills, and how much growth can be expected, as well as what you will need to acquire to get to where you want your business to be.

You Do The Work: You want to look for a coach that will teach you what to do on a daily, weekly, monthly, basis so you can continue running your business effectively after your coaching is complete. If you have your coach do the work for you, then they are not coaching you, they are carrying the ball for you, and that is not what coaches should do.

How Committed Are You: The best time to choose business coaching is when you are truly committed to the process. Coaching and being coached test the coach and the client's patience, but when done correctly with truth, trust and respect, the rewards are great. Choose a coach that will be honest with you about your ability, really be ready for the process, and who will be ready to release you if you are not fully 100 percent committed to changing your business. This is not a week or two of commitment, it takes several months to go through a comprehensive program with a qualified coach.

Go to for further information or call (760)536-9012.

Charlene Abretske is an independent business advisor. To reach her email or call (760)453-1882.