Being your own boss and owning your own business is a rewarding career choice. It’s one that often affords beauty industry professionals more freedom to explore their own personal vision of how a beauty business can best serve its customers. But deciding to take the path toward your unique dream doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel to get there. Getting a salon industry mentor can be a great way for any new small-business owner to learn helpful tricks of the trade and/or “hacks” from a seasoned professional who’s been there. Whether you need inspiration on how to expand or guidance on how to get started, a mentor can be a huge help.
Here are five ways how a salon industry mentor can be of help to you:
- You get highly-personalized advice from a mentor.
- A salon industry mentor can help accelerate your success.
- A mentor will help you navigate the pitfalls.
- You’ll begin to build your network of salon industry professionals.
- And working with a mentor will help make you money, not cost you money.
Need a real-world example of the benefits of mentoring? Look at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Did you know he was mentored by Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple? Yep! While we may have the idea in our heads that we ought to be a “self-made businessperson,” industry mentors have been helping up-and-coming businesspeople since the dawn of commerce. After all, that’s what apprenticeships were back in the olden days: an opportunity for those new to a business to learn from those with more experience. Having a mentor doesn’t mean you can’t follow your own instincts and gut feelings. Those are important to anyone who wants to succeed in small business. But people who have been there and done that can help you avoid some common—and not-so-common—pitfalls that can be sidestepped if you know how.
In the health and beauty world, there’s often a great deal of training and learning and lived practice that has to happen before you strike out on your own to become your own boss. But being an experienced professional who is up to date on certifications doesn’t necessarily equate to real-life business experience. Read on to learn more about the ways a salon industry mentor might benefit you!
You Gain Experience Not Shared in Beauty or Cosmetology Schools
Seminars, classes, books, and certification trainings are all crucial parts of becoming an experienced and knowledgeable health and beauty professional, but we all know that there’s no substitute for experience. Personalized advice from a seasoned professional who’s stood where you’re standing—and has succeeded—is invaluable. Whether you’re concerned about what to expect from an average day, week, month, or season or if you’re looking for a personalized answer to a specific question, a mentor will have experience and advice to offer. Some things have to be experienced to be learned, and even the best books will go quickly out of date in a fast-moving industry like health and beauty. Take it from someone who’s “been there!”
You’re More Likely to Succeed with Help from a Salon Mentor
Multiple studies have shown that successful businesspeople take advantage of mentorship opportunities. Do you have someone you look up to? Is it someone whose salon is #goals or whose business model seems profitable while still allowing her free time to live her life? Talking to her could be life-changing, because those sorts of mentorship opportunities are crucial to your becoming the business owner you want to be. And they increase your chances of success!
A Salon Industry Mentor Offers Encouragement and Reassurance
Owning your own business is not easy. Everything is on your shoulders. It can feel isolating and scary when you’re the one who cuts the checks. The bucks stops with you! Well, you’re not alone in feeling all that. Your mentor will likely have had to deal with the same sorts of struggles, anxieties, and troubles, and she’ll have made it through those to be successful! A good mentor will help you feel less alone and will relate to where you are by providing wisdom and solutions. Need a gut check? A mentor can provide that! Do you just need to vent and feel listened to? Mentorship provides a safe space for that. While your friends or your mom might tell you that you’re doing just fine, those words can be a lot more reassuring when they come from a respected mentor.
Your Mentor is Someone You Can Turn to When You Need Help
Everyone needs help sometimes. It can be hard to mess up, especially when your money, time, product, or client base is on the line. But accidents happen, and it’s okay to make mistakes. Your salon industry mentor will have advice for you during the tough times, because she’ll have gone through them, too. If you’re in a situation that’s unfamiliar to your mentor, she’ll know more professionals to ask about your conundrum. After all, she probably has a mentor, too, or at least a broader network of established, successful business owners who can provide answers when you’re experiencing a temporary setback or a bigger, unanticipated challenge.
A Salon Industry Mentor Can be a Strong Professional Reference
A reference you can count on is a good thing to have. Maybe you’re looking to take out a loan, or you need to sign a lease for a great location. Knowing you have a character reference familiar with your strengths and your abilities can be a big confidence boost as well as a professional asset! And we’re not just talking about a letter of reference, either. A mentor can sometimes attend meetings with you and give you on-the-spot assistance.