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are your clients and which clients are the employee’s

clients. Having salon software to track how a client

was referred is imperative such as New Client and

New Client Request.

A New Client Request means the client requested

the stylist. A New Client means the salon attracted

a new client (making it the salon’s client) and they

were placed with the stylist. Although a commission

salon should be helping fill a technician’s books,

they should always be reminding their team it is not

just the salons responsibility.

Technicians need to be coached on how to grow

their business through referrals, social media and

self promotion. (such as they should always be car-

rying their business card). Have a non-solicitation

agreement that clearly states any guests the techni-

cian brings to the salon directly or through referrals

are legally allowed for them to take with them if

they were to ever leave. So basically as a business

owner you are saying we will invest in you and help

fill your books and we encourage you to market

yourself and build your own clientele that you can

take with you.

Now as a hard working business owner you may

say, why would I encourage any teammembers to

leave and take clients? What I have found in the

past 15 years is nearly all applicants have some

desire to work for themselves. The industry attracts

people who want some form of independence;

perhaps it goes hand in hand with being creative.

Instead of fight it or fear this fact, my approach has

been to recognize and support it.

I have even gone as far as offering a Salon Own-

ership Mentorship program to employees. This two

year course (quarterly classes) teaches wannabe sa-

lon owners what it takes to open and operate a suc-

cessful salon. It is eye opening as you can imagine.

Many of my employees who are in the programmay

take what they learn and eventually leave my com-

pany and I will feel good I helped them be success-

ful. However the rest of the group (of mostly long

term employees) now have a better understanding

of what it takes to start and run a business and have

more appreciation for their positions within a com-

pany like ours and hopefully will remain as leaders

(who now have a better understanding of business)

in our salon family.

I strongly suggest you have an attorney review

your Employee Handbook and Non Solicitation

Agreement and make sure you have policies that

are legal and that you have not missed legally criti-

cal policies like compensation for working overtime,

family leave act, drug and alcohol policy etc. Your

attorney should also look at threats to your business

like wage claim suits, class action lawsuits and other

claims that might be made against your business.

Having clearly thought out policies and proce-

dures designed to protect you from legal night-

mares will help you not only sleep at night but also

help assure the longevity of your business.

Celeste Trapp is President and Founder of the MWY family of salons and barbershops including Hair M,

Hair W and Y-Chrome. Before founding Hair M in 2003, Celeste was VP of Business Development for a

marketing agency. Celeste can be reached at