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I’ve heard all of the excuses about why your clientele isn’t growing and you aren’t making more money more times than I can count.

The conversation usually goes something like this:

Britt: So, tell me why it is you think your business isn’t growing…

Stylist: Well, my case is really different than most because…(insert one of the same 8 excuses every single stylist on the planet makes to justify why their business isn’t growing)

Notice I said excuses, not reasons, because every stylist without a doubt has the potential to be incredibly successful, most just don’t do what it takes to make it happen.

What I’ve realized over the years is that most stylists don’t under perform because they aren’t motivated.  The vast majority actually want to do really well.  The problem is they’ve convinced themselves that one of these 8 excuses is their reality when the truth is that each of these things is easily overcome.

Here are the 8 big excuses stylists are telling themselves that are destroying their growth potential:

I would market myself, but I just can’t afford it.

The day you got your Cosmetology license you became an entrepreneur who lives and dies by their marketing decisions.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a booth renter, commissioned stylist, assistant on hourly pay, suite owner, etc, we are all in charge of building our own clientele so you need to start thinking of yourself as a small business owner.  

There isn’t a single small business on the planet that will grow without funding.  None.  We are so lucky that with a budget of about $500 a year we can create an entire marketing system around our business.  That would be impossible in any other industry.  Now I know for some of you, you’re thinking I don’t even have the extra $500.  $500 a year breaks down to $1.36 a day.  You could find  an extra $1.36 a day picking up change off the street in about 10 minutes if you needed to, but there is just no excuse as to why you can’t make this minimal investment.  

It takes money to make money so even if you have no extra cash left over at the end of every month, when there is a will there is a way to find that small financial investment.

I don’t have time to do things like social media or marketing.

Our two most finite resources are time and money.  We’ve got a limited amount of each and we all get to CHOOSE how we spend it.  That’s right, we all get 24 hours in a day and make choices as to how we spend them.  You are simply choosing not to spend the time you have on social media and marketing.  Instead you’re choosing things like watching TV, working a second job, hanging out with your family, etc.  And hey, I get it, those things are important, but that is a choice you’re making.

I established my coaching business when I was working as a Salon Director in the salon 50+ hours a week, I had a young daughter at home, I commuted nearly 2 hours a day, worked out 5 days a week, and had date night regularly.  I was running an entire side business while doing all of that and it was just about the way I chose to spend my time.  We all have choices.  You decide how you’re going to spend your 24 hours but to say you don’t have time isn’t a legitimate excuse.

Those with the drive to succeed make the time.

I’m not seeing results as quickly as I want so I’m going to take a break.

This is the tale as old as time and it’s a vicious cycle.  

You get excited, try something for a while, you don’t see results as quickly as you’d hoped, so you give up aka “take a break”.  Nobody ever became successful that way, nobody.  

I realize that we live in a world where Amazon Prime delivers anything we could have ever wanted to our doorstep overnight and we can now Google any question ever asked and have the answer in 2 seconds, but that isn’t how marketing works.  Marketing is all about momentum.  Consumers want consistency and continuity so every time to start and stop and start over again you’re losing any ounce of momentum you created.  Do the work, be patient, reap the rewards.

I would prefer my business just grow organically through referrals.

Yes….we all would prefer that.  That isn’t a strategy that is an excuse.  

It is incredibly rare in today’s market to find a stylist who grows solely on referrals without tools like social media or an established marketing strategy in place.  There is generally a secondary system like a social media presence that makes those referrals possible.

I teach to a system called The Hourglass that shows how a client finds you on social media or is referred to you, checks out your online presence and then finally decides to give you a shot once you’ve checked all of the boxes.

Very rarely in today’s world are your clients just handing your cards out left and right and your business just grows.  It happens, but those stylists are rare and it isn’t a strategy you can bank on.

I’ve asked my clients to send me referrals and they are just the type that won’t do it.

Nope.  I don’t believe this either.  I can’t tell you how often my female friends are complaining about their hair and it isn’t because they are fishing for referrals from me, it’s because it’s normal conversation.  I even complain about my hair to my friends, it just happens.  

The difference is that if your clients aren’t opening their mouths and saying “well you should try my girl Britt, she’s amazing and I know you’ll love her” that is your fault, not theirs.  

You need to have a juicy enough incentive to make them want to open their mouth of course, but you mostly have to be referral worthy.  Really think today about if your program is juicy enough and if the experience you provide is worth bragging about.

Real Talk: if your clientele really isn’t the type to send referrals, then I guess it’s time to try another strategy like social media or traditional marketing, right?!?

My clientele doesn’t use social media so today’s marketing won’t work for me.

With 81% of smartphone users using some form of social media, this is highly unlikely.  What is likely happening is you aren’t using the right social media platform or you’re using the right platform but you’re using it incorrectly so you aren’t seeing good results.  Either way, the issue is with your strategy not with your clientele.  

It’s time to really learn about how social media works and specifically what platform you should be focussing your marketing efforts on.  If you do find that you’re niche clientele truly doesn’t use smart phones or any type of social media, that’s okay because traditional marketing still does 100% work so you’ll just need to shift your strategy.

My salon location isn’t good and ownership makes it difficult to market myself.

Soooooo, why are you working there again?  This one really gets me.  If you don’t like your location, don’t like the way the salon is run, don’t like your co-workers, don’t like the kind of clients that come in, etc then why didn’t you leave 6 months ago?

I know there is the fear around losing clients or finding another salon that makes you happy, but again, when there is a will there is a way and stylists successfully navigate the leap year after year.

Let me ask you this...why are you choosing to stay stuck working in misery?  Life is short.  Don’t waste years living in fear of change.  Get smart, do your research and do whatever needs to be done to set yourself up for success.

I just don’t know where to start.

Just start.  Just do something.  I always say we are shooting for progress, not perfection.  If you do better today than you did yesterday and better tomorrow than you do today, you’re headed in the right direction.  

Staying here wishing things were different and dreaming about your future will only get you so far.  Take action to make the change and stick with it.  If you change nothing, nothing changes so if you want to shift the way your life is headed, it’s time to make a change.

I'll be hosting a Facebook Live broadcast about his topic on my page at 12pm PST today.  Click here to watch live or catch the replay anytime.


Britt Seva