How to be a Successful Business Director of a Salon

by charlottegw / last updated January 30, 2019

salon business director tips

Current Business Director of the Year Janet Maitland of Janet Maitland Hair Excellence Salons in Durham shares the secrets behind her success as a salon business director.

How did it feel to win Business Director of the Year at the British Hairdressing Business Awards?
I was delighted to win, especially as I’m the first independent woman to win the award and the first person to win the award in North East England. I started out in hairdressing a long time ago and I’ve dedicated my whole life to it so to get that recognition was incredible.

I’ve experienced many aspects of hairdressing from education and business to travel and working around the world. The interview with the three judges was really exciting for me as it gave me the opportunity to explain why I’ve made certain decisions and how I’ve moved the business forward. It was wonderful to speak to a panel who truly understood and appreciated how much I cared about hairdressing and my business.

Why do you think you won?
I care about my staff and we have great staff retention. I have a financially sound business and that came about because I decided a long time ago to own my properties. We have four properties now and it means the business is very secure. I think the judges could see that it means I have more money to pay my staff better wages, which is one of the reasons why my staff are extremely loyal to the business.

We’ve been open since 1979 so I think the judges were pleased with the longevity of the business. We’ve opened salons in areas where we can give young people jobs and training. The judges were impressed that I’m giving young people from a small village outside of Durham the opportunity to travel to London and be part of an art team.

What’s the secret to running a successful salon?
As a successful salon business director you need to care about every aspect of the business, from stocking quality products that you and the team believe in to recruiting the right staff. Your team also need to share your ethos and business philosophy. I’ve had people working with me since 1979 because we all believe in having the same working culture and share the same beliefs. It’s also about educating your team and letting them know that you care about them. All of my staff can use telephone counselling 24/7 and have the option to have six free one-to-one counselling sessions, which are all paid for by the company. I’ll never find out who’s used the facility, but they know at induction that if they need help with any aspect of their lives, they can access this helpline and can speak to professionally trained counsellors.

What are the benefits of being HJ’s Business Director of the Year?
Two excellent ex-members of staff who left the salon to try out different ventures got back in touch with me when they heard I’d won the award. It was an opportunity for them to message me and congratulate me on the award. This kick-started a conversation with both of them about how they were getting on and now they’re both back at the salon and our relationship is stronger than ever. This was a huge plus for me because I care deeply about both of them and I’m so happy to have them back in the team.

What have you learned during your career as a salon business director?
I’ve learned how to be happy every day with my business and my team, which creates a positive vibe for everyone. You need to enjoy every day because this is your life so why dwell on things that need to be adjusted or put right. This can be done but you must remember to be happy about all of the wonderful aspects of hairdressing, the people, the training, the products – the whole industry is wonderful!

Do you have any advice for future BHBA entrants?
Give yourself some thinking time about what the judges will be looking for and to assemble all of the information you need. The best piece of advice I can offer is don’t give up. I entered a few years ago and didn’t get through so always keep hold of previous entries and reflect on them to see how your business might have changed and build on that. You need to believe that it can happen. Even though I’ve entered twice, I was still completely stunned when they called out my name on the night!

For more information about how to enter go to

HJi & PB jobs

Get more hairdressing news, advice and exclusive competitions delivered straight to your inbox



Load more