Working Smarter, Not Harder: Creating Systems that Work


We have all heard a million times that if you work hard enough you can have anything you desire. I am not sure this is true. We have all heard various cliches around this subject. 

I have spent many years working hard, especially early on in my career. Upon reflection, I can see that when you are launching yourself into a career that is a natural consequence of inexperience. As we gain experience and competency we begin to develop more effective and efficient ways of working. Working smarter becomes the natural progression throughout our career as we gain experience through trial and error.

In the salon industry, some of the ways in which we do this are by developing systems. Systems are a tried and true process by which we develop ways and means of producing a service or product with consistent predictable results. This is essential for any business as it should be the function and purpose of any business to identify and solve consumer problems.

WorkPhoto by Christina Morillo

Here are a few examples of systems in the salon industry that allow us to work smarter:

1) Hair cutting systems allow us to be efficient with maximum creativity and allow us the ability to recreate the style for the stylist and guest.

2) Shampoo and conditioning systems allow us to be consistent with our technique, timing and overall guest experience.

3) Guest consultation is a specific and specialized series of questions that reveal a guest's needs and wants.

4) Hospitality systems build consistency and an overall respectful and enjoyable guest experience.

5) Telephone, social media and marketing systems. Consistent messaging, brand continuity, posting times, content alignment and scheduling.

6) Hair colour systems ensure consistent, healthy creative results. Measuring and record-keeping allow for maximum creativity and guest satisfaction.

7) Financial systems ensure the health of the business. Generally accepted accounting and bookkeeping principles allow for great data. Forecasting and budgeting are essential for the proper growth and development of any business.

brushing hairPhoto by cottonbro from Pexels

These are a few examples of systems that allow us to work smarter not harder. You can imagine how hard and how precarious a business would be if we only worked hard. 

Businesses and people have the work smart attitude in common. Both start out throwing anything at the wall to see what sticks. This is the natural progression, or we look at what was successful for others and give that a try. Either way, it's a process.

Bottom line, systematize as much as you can and as soon as possible. Look at the mistakes and don't point fingers or dwell on them. Get the gold out of the muck and build the palace.