So y’all know I recently hired a new nail tech.
I had been planning on doing it next year — giving myself a year to herd my ducks into a row and arm myself with all the pertinent information I would need to properly manage an employee, know what I would have to comply with legally, and design a training program that would result in a associate nail tech who would be able to reasonably emulate my work style in order to ensure the integrity of the salon brand and reputation I’ve spent 22 years establishing.
Sounds easy, right?
Except then I found myself in over my head, turning away new business on a daily basis. I was working 55-hour weeks and falling behind on all the non-service parts of running a business — like making it to the bank, buying supplies, keeping track of paperwork, staying on top of the social media marketing...and blogging, of course.
It just so happened that I knew someone who had recently gotten her license, who I already knew would be a good personality fit for the salon and who already did aesthetically nice nails.
I knew she’d need practice, but it seemed like the stars were lined up right to take the leap and kick-start the hiring project.
Yeegads, what was I thinking?
Naturally, by the time I had another station set up and outfitted with everything she would need to get started, all that new business I was turning away daily dwindled and things slowed down again. I’m still too busy personally to spend quality time with Baby Bird so I haven’t been able to sit with her and walk her through the practice exercises that I know will do wonders for improving her product control, consistency, and time. And my personal income is still tied up in “stuff” that means I don’t have the cash flow to give her as many hours as I’d like. Which means I can’t write her schedule and insist she be here doing things that I could use her for and making her do these practice exercises.
This is why I wasn’t going to do this just yet.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s great. OK, so she isn’t as obsessed with all things nails as I am. As it turns out, most people aren’t. I might be a little spoiled by having the good fortune to be networked with so many other nail techs who are. I often forget that those nail techs actually make up a pretty small group and are scattered all over the world.
I just wish I had more time for her. I wish I had a better budget to put toward payroll. I wish I had better resources for bringing in clients for her.
It’s been a huge learning experience so far. I know what I’ll do differently when hiring future employees. I’m learning which parts of the labor laws I think are good things, and which parts do more harm than good. I’m learning more about using social media as an aggressive marketing tool. I’m learning about working with a younger generation.
And we’re only one month in. I can’t wait to see what I’ll know by this time next year.
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