Today a question ran across my LinkedIn news feed that immediately caught my attention; one of my LinkedIn salon and spa group connections asked:
Is it an individual’s responsibility to learn how to market themselves,
or that of their employer?
While the question was asked specifically about stylists (or estheticians, massage therapists, nail technicians and other booth renters or independent beauty professionals) it is a question that could be asked in any service-based or sales oriented business where professionals within that business work to build their own client base at the same time as the owner or manager uses those professionals to build a successful business.
That said, it’s a question that bears scrutiny; and of course the answer is, “both.”
In order to build a successful business, the owner must be active in marketing the brand of their business overall and in creating an organizational culture with the shared values needed to deliver exceptional client experiences and customer service. Without leadership and marketing in this area, customer experiences are going to be fragmented and inconsistent.
Whether they are leading actual ‘employees’ or managing booth renters or independent sales agents, business owners still bear the same responsibility when it comes to creating a mission and vision for their business and establishing shared values which employees should support. They bear the same responsibility to hire – or rent to- individuals whose personal values are a match with the objectives, mission and vision of the business overall. And they bear the same responsibility to hold people accountable – whether those individuals report to them or rent from them.
Business owners who neglect the responsibilities of building a healthy business overall are more likely not only to fail but they are also more likely to have independent professionals who work against one another, damage the brand of the business overall, walk out and take clients with them or any number of other negative results.
And stylists, estheticians, massage therapists, make up artists, nail and waxing technicians and other independent professionals within a salon must also be active in marketing themselves. Obviously — they must do so in order to build clientele and pay the bills. But there are other benefits to being active participants in their own marketing as well.
Independent agents, booth renters and representatives who take responsibility for their own marketing will have much more ability to control their own destiny. They are more likely to receive promotions and will be the first people an owner turns to when it comes to servicing most important clients. And if they ultimately desire to own their own salon, spa (or other service based business), then they are also getting valuable marketing practice that will serve them well later on.
Beyond the answer, “both,” this topic also begs the question of shared values and objectives.
For instance, a salon owner can create “success” but do so at the expense of the individual stylists that work in the salon, or they can create success in such a way that it supports and rewards booth renters and stylists that work for them.
Likewise, stylists can work for their own success in ways that benefit themselves but actually undermine co-workers or the overall salon or build their own success and then “walk out.” with it. Or they can build success for themselves in a way that also gives back, spilling good things out into the salon they work at and upon co-workers (who will love them for it).
To build a successful business, you must decide what kind of employee culture you want, put strategies and programs into place to support your desired culture and attract booth renters and independent agents who possess the values most likely to help you fulfill the mission and vision of your business.