5 Things I Learned About Business From Getting My Hair Done
Recently, I went from a fabulous brunette to a blonde bombshell. I had been wanting to make the switch for years now so needless to say, I was very excited that the time had come. As many of you know from my Instagram post, the appointment was not exactly the pleasure bucket I was expecting. Here are the 5 things I learned about business from getting my hair done:
1. Time Management Is Key
My appointment was at 11am. I didn't leave the shop until 6pm. What should've been maybe a 4 hour process was stretched almost double the time. As a frequent member of the Church of CP Time, I've made my share of late appearances. I will give myself exactly enough time to get places without accounting for any hang ups along the way. This hasn't been the wisest decision because as we all know, hang ups can rear their ugly heads quite frequently. In my case, it's mostly in the form of traffic but anyways, I digress. This is only one example of me not managing my time effectively. In business, time management is important. Not only can it cost you money- it can decrease your client base which essentially still costs you money! People like to know that their time is valued. It sends a good message about you and most importantly about your company.
2. Kindness Goes A Long Way
During my appointment, my hairstylist used a rat-tail comb to section and comb my hair from the roots before she flat ironed each part. Any black girl alive, with 4c hair knows that you need to use a wider toothed comb on their head. When I expressed my concern for this tugging on my hair- the stylist instead of being kind and open to discussion was very rude to me. Her exact words were, "Would you tell a doctor how to treat you?" followed by a host of other smart comments to express her dissatisfaction with my inquiries as well as a quip about not talking to her assistant about my hair. This would seem odd, right? To have such a degree of rudeness for someone who was paying you for a service? But, unfortunately in today's time, it isn't. We've all had a very rude waiter or sales clerk that "tried it" as if they were the one being serviced. Business is risky enough without you jeopardizing your clientele by being a jerk. In the words of Curtis Mayfield, "when it comes to those who support your business, "add a little sugar."
3. Practice Professionalism
The stylist was at least nice enough to offer me a glass of champagne during my visit (before she caught a major attitude). Even though I declined, I did appreciate the gesture. I also noticed her assistant having a few glasses. And then there was the burn on the side of my head as the stylist was turning her head to talk to someone behind her. Geez, I know this is 2017 but do people pay attention to how their customer perceives them anymore? Be intentional in business. Sometimes, I think we get a little comfortable, especially when we have a good relationship with the client. Drinking on the job and a whole lot of chatter among employees may seem harmless in this environment but be careful to keep the boundary of professionalism intact. Don't treat your client like your friend because after all, they aren't. And on the rear occasion that they are, they will respect you more if you maintain these boundaries in business transactions.
4. Remember People's Name
Repeatedly at the appointment, I was asked my name. There isn't a huge amount of judgement here because I'm actually really bad at remembering names myself. However, as an entrepreneur, I was reminded that from the other end of the table this can make a great impression in business relationships. Just remembering who a person is- making their name important is not only a way to go the extra mile for your clients but to expand upward and gain mobility for your enterprise.
5. First Impressions Matter
If you've ever had a bad experience with a business you're visiting for the first time, you are likely not to return. If you've ever had a bad experience with a business after several positive visits, you may give that business a pass. Be a wise business owner by never taking your client's first impression for granted.
With that said, I'll take my new blonde hair, bought and paid for and these enlightening business tips to the bank. The salon (which will for now remain unnamed) can keep the customer service. Best believe I wont be back!