How to Become a Salon/Spa Manager!

For someone that is already working in cosmetology a step into a management position can make perfect sense. Many that get into the beauty industry want to be able to move up but often wonder how they can. A salon or spa management position would allow you to continue working in the industry you love while furthering your career and earning potential.

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What is a salon/spa manager?

As someone already working in the spa or salon industry you may already be somewhat familiar with salon managers but perhaps you don’t know the full extent of the job requirements. Generally speaking, the manager is the person that runs the salon or spa on a daily basis. They make sure that everything runs smoothly and that customers are happy. In addition to working with the regular employees at the business, they will also work closely with the owners to ensure that the establishment is continuing to run true to their expectations.

If you’re serious about becoming a salon or spa manager then you will need to possess a high degree of knowledge pertaining to beauty care. While a full degree may or may not be required for the position, you will almost certainly have to at least carry a cosmetologist’s certification. It is not uncommon for a manager to have begun their career working as a cosmetologist, stylist, manicurist, or makeup artist before being promoted. If you have not already pursued a cosmetologist certification it would be the logical first step as you will need to know much of the information you will learn from the courses in order to act as a manager.

What type of skills are required?

In addition to the beauty knowledge you must possess you will need to be a great multitasker. As the manager you can expect to do multiple tasks at a time, regularly. Part of your regular job will entail ordering the beauty products for the store, keeping the displays stocked, and meeting with various vendors. You might also be expected to hire new staff as necessary, conduct meetings, and be available for the staff as they need you for questions and other assistance. Due to this wide variety of tasks you may find yourself jumping from one to another very quickly and will need to be able to handle multitasking without becoming too stressed. If you like a fast paced environment that will keep you jumping this could be a great position for you.

Other skills might include being a people person. Working in a salon or spa you will work with a broad variety of personality types as well as a collection of customers. You will need to be able to manage all of the various personalities calmly and professionally. It is also important to be a great team leader as you will be the one person that everyone wants to speak with, employees and customers. This means that should there ever be a complaint of dissatisfaction you will be the face that the customer wants to address. You will need to be able to take their disapproval and do what you can to retain them as a customer while not becoming upset yourself.

You also need to consider that wherever you intend to work will also have needs and desires that are set by the owners. They may only want someone with a degree or they may be ok hiring someone with only work experience. Your best bet is to at least have a few years of experience and at least the cosmetology certification as this will usually please most businesses. Don’t be surprised if you come across a management position where the owners want someone with a business background. If you can fit in a few business classes they may be enough to convince these spas or salons that you have what it takes and are well-rounded overall.

Is there salon or spa management training?

There are spa and salon management courses available although you may not need them depending on your current level of experience. In the training you can expect to take courses in leadership, customer care and overall satisfaction, effective salesmanship, advertising, health and safety, business operations, business building, and money management. As you can see it relies more on the business side and less on the beauty side of things. Thankfully, if you already have a cosmetology certification and have been working in the field already you’ll be more than familiar with the non-business requirements.

Where can I find salon or spa management training?

The training or other certification courses will usually be found in the same places as general cosmetology certification. You can find them through community colleges or local vocational schools. Sometimes they will even take place in a cosmetology school that offers third party advanced courses. You may need to do a little bit of research to find a training opportunity in your area as they are not quite as common as the beginner courses that are in higher demand.

How much can I expect to make as a salon or spa manager?

With any job it is important to remember that salary will vary greatly depending on where you seek employment. The type of business and the city or state you are employed in will all factor into your overall wages. A larger city will often pay more than a smaller city but you will also have to contend with a higher cost of living. For some this is more than worth it but you will have to make the decision for yourself based on your own personal goals. In general you can expect to make anywhere between $30,000 and $50,000. Experience will also be a factor in your wages and the more experience you have the more you can demand. As a brand new manager it would be safe to expect somewhere around $38,000 a year. As you gain more experience and stay working for the same business you will see your wages improve.

Depending on where you work you may also make additional money from commission. It is not unheard of for managers to gain commission from selling certain products or services. If you’re a good salesman this can add up to a hefty sum over time and can be a nice way to help supplement your other wages.

Other good news is that the projected growth for spa and salon management is 16% which is actually higher than most other careers. This means that if you have experience and the right type of training you have a fairly good chance of finding a job. Depending on where you’re applying you may still face stiff competition if it is a particularly popular spa or salon. With these businesses the more hands on experience and business training you have, the better. Don’t let yourself be detoured though because there are plenty of other spas or salons right around the corner even if you don’t land your first choice.

How do I know if I’m a good fit?

Having an interest in the beauty industry is a great start but it may not be all you need. If you already work as a cosmetologist than you need to consider if you enjoy where you work. Enjoying the ins and outs of the beauty industry and the daily functioning of a spa or salon is necessary to enjoy work as a manager. You should be familiar with salon and spa procedures, the usual products, array of services, and the various technology used on a daily basis. You will also need to be able to keep up with current trends and fashions so that you can assist the customers when they ask about them. They may wish to have a consultation and you should be able to discuss how the current fashions would or would not work for them and be capable of suggesting other options if it is the latter.

Do you feel like you are able to create a relaxing environment for yourself and for the customers and employees? As a manager you will need to help create a pleasant atmosphere on a daily basis.

Are you ok with handing criticism and upset customers? As the manager you will need to keep a level head and if you have a hard time speaking with individuals that are angry or annoyed then management maybe isn’t the best option for you. While you may not have to deal with upset customers on a daily basis they are an important part of the management position. You will need to be capable of addressing their distress while maintaining a cool, calm, and professional demeanor that will put them at ease. Whenever possible you want to retain individuals as customers so you should be quick thinking and empathetic so that you can meet their needs while distilling trust in the spa or salon so that they will want to return despite the one negative visit.

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