CEO advises beauty industry members to develop brands
Sandra Samuels, chief executive officer of Totally Male Club Spa and Salon, has urged barbers, hairdressers, make-up artists and nail technicians to develop their brands as professionals and assist in raising the service-delivery standards of the beauty industry in Jamaica.
Samuels, a barber of 23 years, was guest presenter at the JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL) Barber and Beauty Seminar workshop, which was held at the JN Conference Centre in Kingston, earlier this week.
She told the participants that building a brand was essential if they wanted to be successful entrepreneurs.
"Your company's name must mean something. When people say your name, they should want to conduct business with you because it is synonymous with class, quality, honesty, professionalism. You should also seek to underscore the fact that you are fully compliant with Government regulations," Samuels said.
Samuels stated that being a brand also includes being an ambassadors for the industry and lamented the casual approach of some members of the profession.
"When you meet a doctor, he or she will say 'I am a physician,' or 'I am a doctor.' It's the same with a lawyer. However, you meet someone in the beauty industry and they tend to say 'mi do hair', or 'mi do nails'," she said.
"That is not the right approach. Lawyers and doctors present themselves in a professional manner and they want your business. In the same manner, your clients depend on you for your services, therefore, you need to present yourself professionally," Samuels said.
Dress for success
"In the United States of America, some barbers actually wear suits. However, some of our barbers believe that they don't need to dress presentably for work," she added.
She implored industry members to build positive relationships with their clients and provide value-added services. However, she cautioned that in establishing relationships, boundaries need to be established.
"Not all of your customers are your friends. If their hair is not done properly, they are gone. You are their friend as long as you are doing their hair properly. Also, those persons who come to your business to 'beg out your trade' are not your friends. You are in business to make a profit, and if you are not making a profit, might as well you go home," she advised.
At the same time, she urged industry members operating their own shops to consider employing a receptionist who also handles payment for services rendered.
Meanwhile, in her presentation, Thelma Yong, deputy general manager, JN Small Business Loans, noted that, as well as being flexible, the beauty industry engenders the development of lasting relationships.
"From our experience, many persons in the beauty and barber profession have had clients they have worked with since childhood, who are now adults; and they return because of the quality of service, the ambience, and the type of relationship they develop," Yong said.