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What does a Salon Manager do?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A salon manager ensures the success of the business by providing top-notch customer relations, supreme and innovative services, and by hiring stylists who can meet the expectations of a diverse clientele. He or she is normally required to balance all of these amenities in an upscale and professional environment. Good business and personnel management skills are typically required to be well-honed to effectively contend in a highly-competitive industry.

A salon may provide only one beauty service, but many of the more successful personal grooming businesses provide one-stop shopping for their customers. The menu of services traditionally includes hair cutting, coloring, and styling; waxing; manicures and pedicures; and skin treatments. Larger locations may commonly offer packages that combine services and often include massages and sauna treatments.

Customer service, as in most personal enhancement industries, is generally viewed as the salon manager’s focal point. The satisfaction with services, as well as the sincere attempt to correct any real or imagined infractions experienced by customers, is generally considered the key to a salon’s success. Effective management of the salon normally helps guarantee repeat business as well as referrals from satisfied clients.

Effective budget and inventory management can also be crucial to a salon’s prosperity. The manager is generally expected to know his or her customers’ preferences and buying habits and keep their favorite products in stock. He or she is traditionally expected to effectively plan the budget in consideration of economic trends and fluctuating costs in advertising and promotion.

Another major monetary consideration of a salon manager are the costs of salaries and training his staff. Since cosmetology traditionally is a volatile business and frequently influenced by pop culture and media trends, retaining skilled stylists is typically vital to the salon’s success. Regular training on new techniques and methods is a cost of doing business that many managers consider a mandatory expense.

To run a profitable business, the manager needs to demonstrate good training and communication skills. He or she is often the main instructor for the staff, and his or her ability to motivate them to excellence is commonly a key part of this role. This person is also generally expected to communicate well with both stylists and customers.

The qualifications for this job normally include a cosmetology license that may be issued by a local or regional regulatory agency. A minimum of two years salon management background is commonly required as well. Additional training in cosmetology and aesthetics is strongly preferred.

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Discussion Comments
By anon326954 — On Mar 25, 2013

Can someone please explain how you would find relevant information about other people's area of responsibility in a salon environment?

By anon263027 — On Apr 23, 2012

I would like to run a hair and beauty salon. and I want to invest a quite large amount of money. I need a lady salon manager. However, as I am new to this country, I do not know how to find a good manager. Are there any clues on where to start searching?

By Clairdelune — On May 25, 2011

@live2shop - I've been a salon manager for about 2 years. It's a big challenge, but so worth it. Every day is different and you get to know some fabulous people.

A college degree isn't necessary. But, you do need to take a variety of courses in both cosmetology and the business side of the business. These courses will help you develop your management and organization skills.

You said you were well-liked at your present salon, so, you probably get along very well with others.

In a full-service salon, you are responsible for many areas. You will need to order supplies, manage the finances, manage employees and deal with complaints from clients.

A salon manager needs to have a lot of energy and the ability to make decisions that will benefit the salon. It's a competitive field.

As far as men having all the salon manager jobs, they may be in the majority, but there are a lot of women salon managers too. So, don't let that stop you.

By live2shop — On May 24, 2011

My best friend is a cosmetologist for a small hair salon. She is interested in training for a position as a salon manager. At her salon, she has a very good client base, and is well-liked by her co-workers and clients.

She's a little concerned about going for this position, because she hasn't been to college at all. So, anything about running the business end of the salon scares her a little. Also she has noticed that most of the salon managers are men. Can anyone give her some advice?

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