Ask any married couple what the most important thing in their relationship is and there’s a good chance they’ll say ‘trust’. The reasoning is simple: in order to live with someone and rely on them, and believe that they’ve got your back, there needs to be a substantial amount of trust involved.

“It’s the same in your salon,” says business expert Sharlene Caron. “If your staff and business partners don’t trust you, it won’t be long before it all falls apart.”

Gaining your staff’s trust
Your staff need to know that they can rely on you, sure, but they also need to trust that you’ll do everything in your power to have their backs. “There are few things worse than not being able to trust your boss,” says Sharlene. “No one said being a boss was easy, but if you’re not honest with your staff, then you can’t expect them to stick around.” Sharlene recommends regular meetings where staff can ask about or query anything about the salon, and where you will be transparent in your answers. “You don’t need to give them facts and figures, but you do need to tell them how the business is tracking. Are you struggling? Are their jobs safe?” 

You also need to assure them that you’re on their side. “If they come to you with a problem, don’t brush it aside. Get as much detail as you can and come up with an action plan. And keep them updated. They’ll come to know that you can be trusted to work with them on something that directly affects their happiness at work.”

Keeping it real with business partners
For starters, if you cant trust a business partner, there are bugger questions that need to be answered, like why are you in business with them in the first place? And just as importantly, they need to be able to trust you. “Transparency is key in any business partnership,” says Sharlene. “About everything from finances to staffing, treatments and training, even how each of you are feeling emotionally about the state of things.” The thing with businesses is that so much rides on them: your livelihood and that of your family, a certain amount of your identity, your reputation, the list goes on. “There will always be disagreements in how to do things when there’s more than one person involved, but how you handle those disputes and how well you move on from them will determine how successful your partnership will ultimately be.”

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