Five Steps to Defining a Successful Salon Culture: A Workbook

bySUSIE FIELDS | June 2, 2015

Culture is a way of being, a way of life, it dictates how decision are made, what roles people play, and how you team relates to you as a leader. Whether you are an independent contractor, an owner, or a salon professional, you need to have a vision that lights you up - something that calls to you and yanks you out of bed in the morning.


It is also important to realize that just because a vision or mission statement is on the wall, it doesn’t mean that it’s relevant to today. The past is the past and if you have a new team members it’s important to realign with each other to make sure the mission and vision is working for everyone. Below is a series of exercises that will help you either reinvent your mission or vision or create a new one. If you decide to take this oh, my request is that you e-mail me what you have written so we can share it with everyone in the industry. Good luck.



SECTION 1: Create a Bold Statement

A bold statement is one sentence that powerfully deliver who you are in the community.


Here are some samples:

“Global Leaders Delivering World Class Business Education”

“:We are a team of enthusiastic, successful, artistic leaders who provide outstanding service to our clients.”

“Beauty and science coming together to make difference.”

“Coke is the real thing.”


What is your bold statement?

SECTION 2: Create a Vision

Your vision explains in detail, how you will deliver the bold statement. It declares the future you are going to create each and every day. It is something that calls you forth to be bigger than you know yourself to be.


Here is an example of a vision:

Passion: A salon is a model that all salons aspire to replicate. We honor the human spirit and take pride in the dignity of mankind. We are financially abundant company that provides our owners, shareholders, and employees with a vehicle to discover their financial dreams. We provide a workplace atmosphere for our people that successfully blends family commitment, unimaginable careers, personal growth, teamwork, financial prosperity, and an opportunity to live their dreams. Our teamwork is legendary. Our foundation is generosity and education, being students in the world. We touch the lives of every person we come in contact with in a positive way - our customer, our vendors, our neighborhood business, our community. We are making a contribution to humanity.


What is your vision?




SECTION 3: Creating Values

Your values are the core beliefs the salon will always consider when making business decisions, staff decision, and customer-related decision. They are something you can stand behind. They will give you clarity when making decisions. Ideally you will have no less than three and no more than six. Keep them simple and concise. Often a single word is sufficient.


Example of values:

Teamwork, integrity, creativity, prosperity, communication


What are your company values?



SECTION 4: Declare a Purpose

Your purpose will give you that what, why, and how of your business. It’s a way of declaring your promises to yourself, your team, and the clients.


Example of a purpose:


Our purpose is to provide an experience for each client that is so outstanding it has then telling their friends and family. Our commodity is haircuts, color, perms, shampoo, conditioners, nail care, and facials.


  1. Our greeting makes people feel at home and welcome in our business.
  2. Our needs assessment unfolds our clients’ needs and allows us the opportunity to recommend service that will enhance the beauty of each client.
  3. Our manicure experience builds trust with our clients while offering them a chance to relax and experience a brief sanctuary from their busy day.
  4. Our service are delivered to our clients by expertly trained technicians who provide a magical experience of expertise and precision.
  5. Our atmosphere provides our clients with a feeling of comfort, cleanliness, beauty, relaxation, service, efficiency, love, and generosity.
  6. Our check-out offers respect and appreciation to each clients and is timely and accurate. It allows each client a chance to happily pay for a job well done and to schedule their next experience.


What is your purpose? (fill in each area)


General Statement:




Needs assessment/ client consultation:


Technician experience:






Customer service:






SECTION 5: Create your WOW Factor


Are your WOWing your clients?

Consider this: Customer service begins only when you exceed a client’s expectation.


Think about it:

  • l When you walk into a store, restaurant, dealership, or gym, you have an expectation of what you will receive in terms of service, correct?
  • l When you walk into a dollar store what type of service do you expect?
  • l When you walk into a Nordstorm what do you expect?
  • l When a customer walks into your business what do you think she expects?


I know for me, as a client, I expect to be clean, i expect a courteous person at the front desk i expect to be offered something to drink and a beautiful environment.


If your clients already expects all of this, then in order to exceed their expectations you need to do something more. If a guest walked into your salon today and she was going to spend $100 in order to exceed her expectation. Your job would be to give her an expensive worth $500. What would a $500-dollar experience look like? Can you say you are currently providing an experience that exceeds expectations all the time? Take a moment and find out what you are or are not currently doing to exceed your customers’ expectations.


Wow Assessment


Begin b y rating yourself on whether or not you are WOW your customers


In each category, give yourself a number on a scale of 1-10 (one is poor and 10 is awesome).


  1. Greeting the client _________
  2. Needs assessment/consultation _________
  3. Music and environment _________
  4. Team coaching / meetings _________
  5. Goal setting and tracking success _________
  6. Charging correct prices consistently _________
  7. Rebooking _________
  8. Product recommendations _________
  9. Dressing professionally _________
  10. Excellence/ consistency in service _________


Grand total        _________





Based on my rating, I commit to focus on the following two areas within the next month:



















Creating your bold statement, vision, values, purpose, and WOW factor and making sure your employees know them is the most effective way to create a thriving culture in your business. Remember, managing the culture, managing the culture of your business is doable and will prove essential to the success of your business.


Susie Fields is CEO of Salon Training International (Carlsbad, Calif.), as well as co-founder of Your Beauty Network, a business support service for salon professionals. She is also the author of Passion: A Salon Professional’s Handbook. She has more than 24 years experience as a hairstylist, salon owner, distributor sales consultants, and business trainer. You can contact her at


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