In an intimate London setting, Sophia Hilton dished her secrets to better leadership; here’s what salon owners need to be doing to run a more successful, happier and extra mindful business today…
When Sophia Hilton, Not Another Salon owner, multi-entrepreneur, and influencer, (although ever the humble figure, she shies away from that term), opened her salon in the trendy East-London neighbourhood of Brick Lane, she went full throttle on the marketing.
She had her naysayers, team members included. They weren’t onboard with her more experimental methods which included handing out candyfloss on the street.
Then came the first few resignations, which Sophia recalled painfully to her audience at her recent ‘Leadership For a New Life’ event. Facing an enraptured crowd of salon owners and senior stylists in an exclusive riverside London location, she told them how she pushed on, took her PR opportunities where she could, and reaped the rewards.
It wasn’t long before she was gaining top shelf press coverage, and Not Another Salon went viral. Being a talking point on acting icon Whoopi Goldberg’s US talk show was the icing on the cake. The pair have never met. After this, Sophia no longer had resignation or recruitment issues. A great backstory indeed, but Sophia wasn’t at her event to spin her yarn, but to give others advice on effective leadership.
Here’s just some of what we took away…
- Staff aren’t mind readers – tell them if you need extra support.
- Don’t delegate social media to fully booked stylists, use an admin assistant.
- Staff notice your bad body language – from facial expressions to shoulder tension.
- Hold check-ins with staff weekly, ask how they are feeling.
- Set a premium price for your services. You need more time to run your business.
- When responding to a staff question, keep language and tone loving, ensure they feel seen, respected, and heard. Or introverted ones might not approach you again.
- If you’re busy ask them for the top-line problem. Then delegate it to senior staff.
- Ask them “how would you like this to be handled?” Put them in the driving seat.
- WhatsApp group overload? Hold a meeting, ask staff what they think.
- For big jobs – remove yourself from the business to get them done.
- Do you have other income streams? The average millionaire has more than one.
- Staff want change, improvement, and variety or they’ll leave. Think about sideways promotions if you’re money short like helping someone become a specialist.
Photography by Paul Khera