What is your brand?

M-branding-web-illo-1If you’ve never thought about it – you should! Your personal brand is the one of the most important marketing elements in your marketing mix! Entrepreneurs, specifically beauty professionals, need to understand how to market themselves as individual companies, stay relevant, and build personal brands.

Check out my latest article in NAILS Magazine, Branding You — 4 Steps to Developing Your Personal Brand, to learn more about what personal branding is and steps for how to develop a personal brand.

Pay It Forward

Whenever you have the opportunity to do good, do great!

Clients always appreciate an understanding and considerate professional. You never know how they will one day help you — pay it forward!! come-back-again-sign-11100602

Independent Contractor Should Equal Independence

Are you an independent contractor working as an employee? If so you are part of a growing trend!

There are an increasing number of salon/spa employers that are hiring beauty professionals as independent contractors yet not granting them independence! Many salons are practicing this because it saves them thousands of dollars. By not hiring “employees”, employers are exempt from paying employee taxes that can often chip away at the bottom line. Additionally, studies have shown that the cost of a bad hire is two and a half to three times an employee’s salary. This loss is avoided by hiring contractors, who can be terminated with little cost if things don’t work out.


While it can be a win-win situation for salon/spa owners and beauty professionals, many times the owners are not playing fair. They are
reaping all the benefits of having an “employee” on staff, but not giving independent contractors total independence in exchange for perks or added benefits.

According to the IRS, those that are hired as independent contractors, are considered self-employed. That means they pay their own taxes, buy their own products and ultimately determine their own schedules.

Recently however, the employees vs. independent contractor lines have been blurred. Employers are now hiring “independent contractors” and offering perks such as the use of limited products, marketing help to build their businesses, towel services etc., all the while setting hours, controlling work schedules and denying time off.

The general rule as stated by the IRS is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer (employer) has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.

If you perform services for an employer and they control what you do and how you do it, you’re most likely an employee of that company. An employer controls the time, place and details of your work. That means they can schedule your hours, make you come into the salon as they wish, require you to ask permission to take time off, or supervise your work. Independent contractors; however, work where, when and how they choose. The hiring party does not have the right to tell them what order to do the job in, what hours to work, or when they can take off.

By law, even if you are accepting these perks from the salon, you are still entitled to your independence. You are not obligated to work as an employee if you are hired as an independent contractor just because the owners are offering perks to get you in the door.

While as an independent contractor you should be a responsible and reliable team player, you should also know your rights as such.

For more information or to determine whether you are an employee vs.
independent contractor visit:

A Matter of Trust: Trusting Salon Leadership

Like many of you, I have walked into numerous salons/spas over the years and the owner or manager sat me down and explained all the wonderful advantages of working in their spaces. I’ve been sold on everything from celebrities that frequent the establishment to the products and types of pedicure chairs they purchased to offer their clients “the ultimate experience.”

Once after moving to a new city, not knowing anything about the salon/spa landscape in that town, I met with a new salon owner who had taken over the business with a partner a few months prior. The salon/spa was established and was in a great location. Now, when I interview with salon owners/managers I am very clear — up front — about my financial goals, so I asked her how many techs they currently had, and why they were hiring another nail tech. She said although they had 3, that business was booming for nails and they needed another IMMEDIATELY! She even offered to show me the books! I was sold and agreed to start the following week.

When I arrived on my first day, I was ready to go to work immediately. I worked on two clients the whole day then sat. Then two more the next day then sat, and sat and sat while the ladies with established clientele were busy, busy, busy. This went on every day for two weeks! Now, keep in mind, that I was told there was an overwhelming number of walk-ins and I would be making great money…I was finding that not to be the case very quickly.

As it turned out the owner who interviewed me had a day job, and was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. Her partner was the face of the business and was there every day working alongside the staff trying to make the business a success. When I finally had an opportunity to speak with her, all of a sudden nobody knew where the once booming business had gone! Suddenly, I needed to “market myself” and was told “Just a couple weeks ago, we were turning people away!” (Sure you’ve heard those too).

After about a month of bringing home $150 checks, I decided to move on, but it left a really bad taste in my mouth and it left me questioning the integrity of the owner!

I have a million variations of these types of stories but one thing holds true, from the initial meeting, salon owners/managers need to understand that trust must be established with potential employees immediately! Trust means being able to predict what other people will do when situations occur based on their initial character and actions. Owners/managers’ words and actions are constantly setting the stage for a trustworthy environment and trusting relationships between owners and staff.

Words and actions must line up when you are in any leadership position in the salon. If people don’t trust you, they won’t work for you; it’s as simple as that! If employees think their leaders will lie to them, cheat them out of money, abuse their authority or play them against one another they will leave and so will that salon’s potential to make money. Turnover cost businesses money!

If you are a salon owner/manager ask yourself if you are fostering an environment of trust among your employees. If you don’t know ask them.

Do an anonymous survey and get their feedback. Because honestly if you are constantly having problems with turnover, attitudes, people not showing up for work or general overall success — the problem could be you!

Remember salon owners/managers, you are the common denominator among your staff – past, present and future!

My Favorite Trust Quotes:

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“Trust starts with truth and ends with truth.”
Santosh Kalwar, Quote Me Everyday

“I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
Maya Angelou

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan