Employed Or Freelance Stylists? The Future of the Hairdressing Industry
What does the future hold for the working model in hairdressing? Whether you’re an employed stylist or freelance, Maria Evangelou, salon owner and business director at The Meraki Cabin and Consulting shares her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities the industry is currently facing…
Employed or Freelance Stylist? The Future of the Hairdressing Working Model
“It’s the great debate; the salon owner versus the freelance or self-employed. Are we all losing the war over what really matters? This era of massive disruption is a great opportunity to redefine our value as a profession and work towards long-term stability rather than react to short-term challenges.
Salons are important. They offer a valued experience and development for employees, but business is tough. Margins are squeezed so tight yet salon owners commit in bricks and mortar, bank loans and training programs. Equally, employees want to feel valued, that they matter and that they can contribute to the conversation. It’s not just about money and that they deserve a little respect and understanding when they want to drop a day.
It’s very simple – the only way you are financially rewarded as a hairdresser is with clients. There is no salon in the world that would not want a fully booked stylist, but there is no stylist in the world that wishes to be fully booked and not be rewarded for it. Transparency, communication, accountability, respect and understanding are the currency of a brave new world, and will help stylists and salon owners alike to navigate a working model that suits them both and allows for continued growth.
In a career spanning more than 35 years I have been employed, mobile, employed, a high street salon owner and a freelance hairdresser. And now as a consultant I can hand on heart say you can be successful any which way.
Let’s talk about how to be successful in hair and beauty. You need;
- Training programs and continuous learning to be confident and competent
- Product and brand loyalty. How do we get support from the product companies to support all hairdressers to successfully retail with profit?
- To build respect and collaboration within your local industry circle. A professional safe space to share knowledge without the fear of poaching of staff or intellectual property
- Financial wellness. Familiarize yourself with the value of the service and not just the time it takes.
- Health and nutrition. How to protect your health with the demands we place on stylists and salon owners
- Developing emotional intelligence and boundaries to protect mental health.
If you are equipped with the skill set, customer service and strive to consistently deliver a great service there will be plenty of rewards and challenges as an employed stylist or a freelancer. But, there is plenty of room for iconic salons to exist alongside the solo riders.
For me, the future lies in creative thinking, adapting our response to problem solving as an industry, learning from each other and sharing the challenge of business as well as the development of skills.”
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