Phil Smith Talks Business

by bathamm / last updated February 15, 2010

phil-smith-headshot.jpgToni and Guy franchisee, Phil Smith, is known for his stunning collections, and his business acumen.

What are the biggest issues affecting you right now?

Banks are reluctant to support small businesses, so trying to keep everything balanced is proving tricky. The past year has been the most testing time in the years I have been running a salon, but, hopefully, we are moving in the right direction again. 

Outside of hairdressing, who do you admire in business and why?

It has to be Simon Cowell. The respect, power and control he has is incredible and all from being good at his job and knowing his stuff. He isn’t afraid to speak honestly and this has resulted in an impeccable reputation for being fearless in business.

What do you see as your unique approach to business?

I believe I have faced business with a common sense approach. I always try to make sure that I don’t get emotionally involved, but look at things from all angles and work out the best way to move forward to benefit the most people and the business.

What’s the best career advice you have been given and from whom?

My dad used to tell me as a young boy to: “Spend half, save half”. I have to admit I haven’t always stuck to his advice, but I do try.

What ambitions do you still have?

To win HJ’s British Hairdresser of the Year. I have achieved all my other professional goals but this one will mean the most to me.

Has there ever been a crossroads in your career and did you make the right decision?

Yes, when I qualified as a stylist I came to a crossroad when deciding to open a salon. I had to decide whether to do it myself or as part of a franchise operation. I had a meeting with Toni Mascolo and decided to join Toni & Guy as a franchisee, which was one of the best decisions I have made.

What was your first job and did you learn anything that you use today?

I used to be a paperboy when I was at school, and my friend and I used to go in early and stuff magazines into the newspapers. We got 20p a day more for this, but it taught me that by going that extra bit further you can make more money.

What’s the best part of your job and why?

Seeing my team exceed and achieve their goals, professionally and personally.

What’s the worst part of your job?

For me, this career can be 24/7 so I find it difficult to switch off, but I still wouldn’t change it for anything.

If you could give yourself advice as a 20-year-old what would it be?

Invest in property, not flash cars.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?

I would be the winner of HJ’s British Hairdresser of the Year 2009. Sorry Akin, it’s nothing personal. 

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