3 Business Lessons I Learned While Getting my Haircut

I got my hair cut this afternoon. A lot of people that know me, think I am very particular of my hair. I guess because I act and model, and have to have my hair in a contemporary, professional and commercial style; people think I spend quite a bit of money on a hairstylist.

In fact, on a photo set, I often have compliments on my hair from the stylists. But I have a secret.

I go to any hair cutting place with a coupon. I hate spending much more than $10 on a haircut.

And I don’t think I’ve had any more than 1 or 2 bad haircuts along the way. Knock on wood.

Today as I waited in the front area of the Great Clips I went to with my $2 coupon, I observed some things that every business owner needs to hear and understand.

  1. Waiting Areas: The place I go to has a slogan of “walk right in, sit right down”. I guess that has two possible meanings, “there’s no wait” or “there is a wait (that requires a seat)”. I guess they have themselves covered! Outside this location, they had a sign that said “Low wait times” but inside, the waiting area was full (as well as all the stylists’ areas). One child was upset that they didn’t have any toys for boys (and the girl’s toys were weak at that!), adults were seemingly bored, and we could hear the personal conversations from the stylists. In most businesses, sadly we have to make people wait: be sure to manage their time, better to overestimate and deliver early.And, make it enjoyable. All this hair place needed was a TV set, entertaining music, or a better selection of books/magazines. Realize your client doesn’t want to wait — consider them and what would make them happier as they wait.
  2. The right tools: While my hair was being cut, all the stylists were talking about their broken hair vacuum. My stylist explained that it took twice as long to sweep the hair and pick it up rather than their shopvac system that collected the cut hair easily. They said that the business owner probably wouldn’t replace it. I’m sure they haven’t explained what it does to the business: it takes additional time when they could be making more money and, because they all hate sweeping, the floors had quite a bit of hair cluttering the floor. Ick. In businesses we need to make sure our employees have the right tools to do their jobs well — and profitably!
  3. Use Coupons Wisely: When I handed my coupon to the stylist as she rang me up, she looked at me with “that look”. Then she said, “I wish you would have given that to me before I rang you up. I can’t add it to your order now”. She handed it back to me and told me to use it next time. I explained that it expires next week (and I won’t need another cut next week, I hope!). She shrugged and said, “Oh well”. Needless to say, she didn’t get a big tip. In business, consider (in light of the new “value” economy) coupons, be sure to make it easy on the customer and make sure that your employees understand why couponing is important: bringing customers to you (over your competition) and rewarding your current clientele with a bonus. Make sure your customers are happy using them, or it’s not worth it ever!

Well, I got a good haircut but I left feeling like I paid too much. Not what I usually feel, so I’ll probably go back. Unless I get a coupon for another place in the next 3 weeks.

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