The Bristol Freighter and the Salon

Today as I sit down to write this piece my thoughts go to what am I going to say that will make a difference to hopefully a lot of salon owners – what secret gem can I share that will help move them from where they are to where they want to be? So what am I going to share with you in a short article that could make a huge difference for your business and my thoughts go to the similarities of an old aeroplane and a salon.

The simple truth is that success in business is much like an old aeroplane… have you heard of the Bristol Freighter? This is a bull nosed lumbering old workhorse that flew freight rattling and clanging from one place to another for years and years (there’s a pic below) –  Its best known use was as an air ferry to carry cars and their passengers over relatively short distances. You may be wondering what this has to do with business, well this is where the story gets interesting… When I was a lad these planes would regularly fly over our house and a very vivid memory of mine is dad always commenting (he was a creature of habit!) “There goes 40,000 nuts and bolts all flying together in close formation!” of course we always laughed at this and looking up tended to agree with him. How is this got anything to do with business I hear you ask? Well… you could almost say a successful business is just like a Bristol freighter, but instead of nuts and bolts it’s systems and procedures working together in close unison that truly gets the results.

If you really think about it, each piece of business success needs to fit into each other nicely and snuggly and each piece is reliant on the other performing its role at its best to be able to operate efficiently and effectively.

I often talk to salon owners who are experiencing a lot of challenges within their businesses, from low client numbers, retention issues of both customers and staff – essentially operating in a form of chaos when they are wanting control but they are typically suffering from a lack of clarity and a lack of any form of direction that is taking them forward and not holding them back. Of course there are many and varied reasons for this and not all salons are experiencing the exact same issues as the other, although breaking down the problem in its simplest form there is very little difference between each salon and their problems.

I have been in this game long enough to have analysed what and why these challenges and issues are happening often and more importantly why – as a result I have created the salon success model that frameworks how to create a successful salon. This very framework forms the basis of my work with salons and their results – and creating a successful salon is not as complicated as many make it.

Most salon owners know what they want for their salons, they know that they are capable of so much more, but there is something stooping them achieving the results they know they should be getting.

My Salon Success Model forms the basis of growing a successful and sustainable business and is incorporated into all of the trainings I do. It is simply the framework we use to get successful results with everyone we work with.

So what is one of the biggest issues that hold a salon back from being as successful as it could be? There is no real plan! Sure the owner has a dream, an idea, they certainly know they could have a better business than they’ve got, the simple truth is they haven’t devised a plan to get them there. Now don’t get me wrong and let’s not over simplify this. It’s not easy – especially when there is so much to do and there is also life outside the business!

So let’s look at the underlying issues of no plan, or in some cases negatively geared planning… what’s that? Well that’s where you’re plan is not to go bankrupt, you’ll do whatever you can to stop from losing your business so you’re focused on looking behind and that clouds your ability to be positively geared towards growth and development. Let me highlight a scenario… You own the salon you’ve got 2 or 3 staff members, you’re fully booked with clients (well you have to be to pay the bills aye) but you don’t have a lot of time for much else, you always seem to be chasing your tail… however your 2 or 3 team members seem to have plenty of time, not a full book, an almost carefree life… at your expense… however because you’re ‘doing clients’ all the time you struggle to help build their clientele, create structure, culture etc. and that just tires you out and leaves you no joy in owning you dream business and just with a job. Someone once told me they bought a salon because of three things in their last job… they didn’t like the long hours, they didn’t like the money and they didn’t like the boss… so they bought a salon, now a couple of years later they are in a job where they don’t like the long(er) hours, hate that they’ve taken a pay cut and unfortunately are starting to not like the boss (and they’re the boss!!).

So the issue is there is no plan, too easy… lets create a plan… that’s where the going gets tough, have you sat at your computer or moleskin notebook ready to write the plan only to be staring at blankness for a while then get distracted to doing something else because you simply cannot think of what you actually need to do? Or maybe you have ideas, but don’t really know how to implement so lose interest quickly and move on to doing something else (like another client)? Or you have a plan with strategies and tactics included but don’t actually get around to implementing because you (like most of us) really suck at being self-accountable? You are not alone with any of these as most other salon owners are struggling with the exact same things.

Clarity is Power

Imagine knowing precisely where you want your business to be in 90 days’ time. But perhaps more importantly, imagine knowing exactly how you are going to get there. 

Develop your Road-map to a brighter future!

If you’re a salon owner who’s tired of simply surviving in business and are ready to take more cash, win more clients, dramatically improve your bottom line and, to put it bluntly, get your business back on track in the next 12 months then maybe I can help you with some strategies to make that happen.

If you want your business to continue to grow in these challenging times you need to have a focused, clear and practical plan for you and your team to follow.

To chat with me about how I can help, go to or call me on 021 210 8950 for more information.


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