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Business lessons with Stacey Whyte

Can you believe Stacey Whyte is celebrating 10 years of Cheveux Salon? For Stacey, it’s been a whirlwind 10 years from opening the salon with nothing but a ‘I can and will’ attitude (and a paintbrush), to building a great busy salon, an ethos that aligns with her values, clients and the community, growing a team AND joining the Schwarzkopf SPK Collective in 2021 and shooting her first collection.

We’ve caught up with Stacey to find out her top tips for business success and some important lessons she’s learned along the way.

Take the advice and don’t be afraid to ask for it

“The people in this industry are the best, everyone is always willing to help. If there is something I have learned over the years it is how willing everyone is to see others exceed in the industry we are in, whether you have met someone or not. Over the years, more so since the beginning of the pandemic. Networking is one of the most valuable tools that you can utilise, whether that’s networking online or in person. A little black book of contacts can open up a world of opportunities. There is always something you can learn from every person you meet.”

Build a feeling, not a company

“Our salons are more than just a business, a company, we build feelings, our services, our staff, our ethos and everything in between. I look at my business now and think, how do I feel, how do I want my team to feel, how do I want my guests to feel. We have the ability to change how people feel about themselves, but we also need to build an environment that our staff are happy in. We work in a people focussed industry, so creating that feeling is hugely important, not just for clients but for staff too.”

Provide Value, not just service

“We are all great at our jobs, we all provide a service to our clients and a really good service at that I am so sure! But to be great we have to provide more value to our clients, many years ago I read ‘The Fantastic Hairdresser’ (I still gift these now to team members) after been given a copy by one of my friends and the advice has always stuck with me. Once you provide a lovely little extra onto your service or experience, let’s say it’s something simple like a biscuit with your coffee, its new, it’s great, then eventually it moves into something that is ‘expected’ If you take that small thing away, it’s a big downgrade as the client expects it. You need to try and keep your ‘new, exciting’ column active! Try something, if it doesn’t work then you can change it but you’d be surprised of the impact that little changes can have to creating an experience for clients.”

Do what you’re best at

“Don’t be afraid to get help on the areas you’re not as confident in, you can’t and will not be the best at everything when it comes to some part of running your business, the systems, analysing, the processes and marketing. Ask for help on the areas where might not be your best, but it is someone else. You can’t do it all, this is the golden key to being a business owner. Someone once told me a business owner doesn’t know how to do everything and doesn’t try to but knows who does, freeing physical and mental space for the tasks you excel at.”

Learn from those around you

“I have a saying, which is, forever the student. I am always and will always be looking to learn and upskill constantly, in life and business. I learn something new from everyone I meet and every person that comes into my salon. Even the brand-new assistant who has barely stepped foot in a salon teaches me so much.”

Without your team

“Where would I be? I am so gateful to have and have always had the best team around me (shout out to team Cheveux Salon). We really are a solid unit that work together, and all have the same goal in mind which is to service the client to the highest standard but also that we are here for each other, giving each other a helping hand, our values align, and everyone really does push each other to be their best.”

Face the fear and run towards it

“That’s where the magic happens. There have been many challenges in my business over the years, so I have learned to try and not procrastinate or end up firefighting but instead be logical and focused, take all the advice when you need it and tackle it head on. The breakdown comes just before the breakthrough.”

Adapt to change, move with the times

“When I opened my business it is very different to business now, adapting to new ways of doing things can be hard. I was very much a ‘if it’s not broken don’t fix it kind of person’ and I still am in many ways, but I have learned that although it works now, it can most certainly work better. Let’s just say for one example, if I can automate it, I’m in!’

Know your business

“I know my business inside out, always be one step ahead, forecast and plan. Stumbling blocks WILL happen (don’t we know it) but when you really do have control of all the aspects of your business these can feel a lot more controllable and easier to navigate.”

Goal Flexibility

“It is so important to have goals but we also need to be kind on ourselves, our goals can and will change, whether that’s the timescales, the whole goal. Life can get ahead of you; we can experience changes we never expected… PANDEMICS… let’s say my goal after the pandemic was just to make it through and to keep going! Something I am also still working on is learning to sit with any achievements or goals I hit, I feel as creatives we are always just right onto the next thing but it’s so important to stop and reflect.”

Live your life

“Do what makes you happy, what fulfils you. There isn’t much more to say than that. If you are happy, it will shine in everything that you do.”

Follow Stacey on Instagram  

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