Having an assistant will lighten your workload and enable you to focus on your next goals. Your assistant will help you clean and organize; he/she will wash and blow dry your clients, get you coffee, and just MAKE YOUR LIFE THAT MUCH EASIER! It is necessary to treat your assistant as an equal, not as an inferior. Since I neither had a fruitful assisting experience nor a helpful mentor, I want to be the best mentor to my new assistant. If you have an assistant, no matter what profession you are in, you need to encourage them and become their MENTOR not just their BOSS. You have the ability to train them from day one and shape them into a professional. Let them become a mini version of yourself so when they are out in the "real world," they will be 100% prepared!!
1. TRAIN THEM
I conduct a one-on-one class with my assistant every month. He brings in a model, and he performs one of the techniques that I previously taught him. If he doesn't perfect it to my HIGH standards, then he will redo the technique the next month on another model until he perfects it beyond perfection.
2. GIVE THEM RESPECT
It’s easy to resort to "bossing your assistant around;" but don’t! Yes, they are there to help you, but more importantly, you are there to help them grow! If you give respect to your assistant, then they have no reason to not respect you in return. And once they respect you, they will want to go out of their way for you, and they will complete their tasks with love.
3. BE THEIR MENTOR & ALSO THEIR FRIEND
Your assistant is your second pair of hands, eyes, and ears. With that being said, when you are at the salon, have a good time and enjoy working together. It doesn't have to be a black and white relationship. You can be a mentor as well as a friend!
Ever since I hired Andres, my assistant, I can only think: Why didn't I hire him sooner?! Not only is he very talented and passionate about his work, but he also gives the most amazing head massages, and my clients are in love with him! It is so incredible to have an individual like him helping me with my needs at the salon. He will be my full-time assistant for the next two years, and I can't wait for you to meet him!
Remember to give LOVE to your assistant and they will give you MORE love in return!
If you can't see the video below, click here to watch it!
My answers to three of your "Ask Larisa" questions:
1) Alysia M. asked:
"How do you handle a rate increase with your clients? I rent a chair and have a full clientele. I am fully booked consistently about 6 weeks out, and I don't take new clients so, that I can accommodate my current ones. So I am confident it is time for an increase. Not to mention the price of my supplies keeps going up. HOWEVER, I get sick thinking about that moment at the end of the appointment when I have to tell the client the new price!! Do you do small increases often? Or a big price increase not very often? Thanks for your advice!"
LL: As you develop your skill and train your eye to colors and formulas then your rates will go up as you get better at your skill. My rates go up every year. The more I learn and educate myself, the higher my rates will become. Xo
2) Jessica P. asked:
"Hello Larisa! I have been following your for quite a bit now and I love your work! I hope you can answer both questions I have. First I was wondering if you have any tips for women, like me, who are wanting to venture out from a salon and who are wanting to go into freelancing? Also I am in the process of making business cards for myself becoming a freelance hairstylist and makeup artist. What should I include and not include? Thank you so much, you're amazing xoxo"
LL: If you have the clientele and guts to venture out on your own, then DO IT! As for the business cards: Be sure to add your social media plug ins and your phone number. Don't overcrowd the card. Keep it professional and classy. Xo
3) Sarah E. asked:
"Hi! As an Independent hairstylist myself in Chicago, I'm finding it difficult & almost insulting that some of my clients will buy the same hair product that I sell, online because they can find it cheaper. It's always after I prescribe them which product is best for their hair, and they literally look it up online in front of me..How can I explain in a professional way, that it's important to support their stylist's small business instead of these counterfeit eBay/Amazon sites that sell the same professional products? I've tried everything :/ "
LL: It's not even about supporting small businesses, but if people purchase professional products at a drug store, then they are being scammed. It is a black market that dilutes the product and/or sells expired product by changing the bottle date. They are not purchasing the same product that you would at the salon or Ulta. Xo