Two steps forward

I talk to other stylists, and it would seem that my work history is unique in the way I am prepared to tackle a number of tasks a lot of stylists with my tenure simply aren't.


I hate math, but it's one of those things that came naturally to me, and likely one of the reasons I was able to graduate high school 2 years early. Numbers annoy me, so I taught myself how to use excel in one of my first jobs so I could move numbers around with greater ease. That knowledge earned me some attention and moved me into staffing analytics and workforce management, where I was taught a much more in-depth, complete approach towards manipulating numbers in spreadsheets. Being responsible for a management team of 120 agents, all with their own individual set of KPI metrics that had to be addressed with their individual supervisors, allowed me to understand a corporate hierarchy and how to approach scenarios from every angle with consideration to the customer, the employees, and owners.

These are what the doom and gloom scenarios look like to the 23-year old hair school student facing the real world in those last moments leading up to their graduation. Since the very first weeks of barber school, I've listened to everyone around me make complaints about what other people had, and what they didn't have. On and on about the unfair opportunities other were being provided and how it would never happen to them. I don't think you will ever escape this because I had been listened to it for the past decade in my call center life as well. But while others were complaining, I decided to build what I knew I'd need. 

Step One. Do it yourself.
Both of my parents worked while my brother and I went through our home-school curriculum, and that entire experience taught me the one lesson that hangs over every other decision made in my life. If you need to do something, you can't rely on someone else to do it for you. It's up to you to figure out how it gets done.

Step Two. Your first version sucks. Give them something they can use, not something you already know how to use.
I'm not posting my first version. It's not very intuitive and I want to ensure it's automated to the extent someone who isn't me can use it with ease, and then incorporate functionality into later versions. Right now it's a lot of me going through the realization, "Oh, hey......I need to add such and such," and adding it in as an additional tab. Right now it's a lot of manual entry because I need to understand the baseline data before I can automate it. I mean, it's just not very pretty, yet. I want to throw a few more weeks of restocking and adding new inventory to find out what I need to change. So far it has the current functionality.

  • Profile
    Define yourself as an employee of your business. Decide how much you pay yourself, and how much of a % you make off of retail markup.
  • Service List
    A list of every service you offer, as well as the prices you charge your clients.
  • Retail List
    An inventory list that outlines your wholesale vs. retail cost to base your commission percentage off of.
  • Monthly Service Tracking
    12 individual monthly tabs to help you keep track of your individual transactions as an end of day report. To be used in conjunction with your P.O.S. to automatically calculate the discounts and fees applied to individual transactions, as well as the markup off any retail sold, splitting the total value of the transaction into an employee commission and shop cut based off of the profile set.
  • Expenses
    Keeping track of all the receipts that I've been trying to keep track of throughout the year. Categorized into Barbershop, Retail, Backbar, Utility, Travel, Marketing, Wardrobe, & Meals.
  • Barber Payroll
    Detailed amounts that are due to you as an individual from the payroll of your company. In order for this system to work, you can never pay more than the company owes you as an employee, but you can pay yourself as frequently or infrequently as you need.
  • Barbershop Capital
    This is the area that I'm currently developing. This allows you to plan out the money that your company is making separately from you as an individual. This is where you decide if you have enough to run a marketing campaign. This is where you replenish your back bar and retail inventory to further build the business. This is a beast all on its own, and I'm still figuring it out.
  • Taxes
    I haven't even started to build this portion yet, but it's on the agenda.

My goal in all of this is to provide an easy to use all-in-one tool for any hair stylist considering a lease option in a salon or a barbershop. It's like I've said before, you don't know what you don't know until you know it, and then it's what you do with that knowledge that counts, and I believe that knowledge should be shared. What I'm building is being built to the high standards set by myself for a tool that I will rely on to navigate my own business management and success. Since I'm building it for myself anyways, why wouldn't I want others to have a leg up in outlining their own success? This tool does not build passion or motivation, it simply manipulates numbers away from the important stuff. As we shift into the era of our new President-Elect, I have a deep concern with what will become of other small business owners in the industry, so I hope to have a full-featured version of this tool out before the end of the year for others with similar concerns.

I would love any feedback from other stylists that lease if there are any areas that I should look into early on. Until then, I'm going to get back to work.