The hard thing about salon ownership

Let me guess:

  1. You opened your salon full of enthusiasm
  2. After you opened you started to realise how much work you needed to do that had nothing to do with being a stylist for your salon to be a great business.
  3. And slowly but surely, you started noticing how many aspects of your business were being neglected, wether it was marketing, sales training, your salon culture or another of the million things you’re responsible for as CEO.
  4. Leading to you being filled with doubt that you could get the most out of your business.

Luckily, the last part isn’t true!

At least not if you’re willing to put in the work and learn.

And by reading this article, you’re doing just that.

So, let’s make your salon owner life a bit easier - shall we?

Mindset - You’re the CEO of your salon

According to Britt Seva, one of the best salon owner coach out there, one of the main reasons salons fail is because salon owners don’t think of themselves as CEOs of a business.

Instead, many salon owners have their mindset fixed on them being stylists that own a salon instead of thinking of themselves as business leaders. Sound familiar?

Wether you like it or not, you are the CEO of your salon.

The success of your salon depends on you being able to fill that role effectively.

The role of CEO is a challenging one. There are so many things you need to keep track of and do right to be a great CEO.

And it’s not the role you trained for. You trained to be a stylist, but were thrust into the role of CEO because you followed your dream of opening your own salon.

It’s no wonder the role is overwhelming for many.

But with the right framework in place, it doesn’t have to be.

Enter the Areas of Responsibility (AOR) Framework

One attribute that all great salon CEOs share is that they’re great delegators.

Great salon CEOs know that they can’t do everything that makes their business go round and round.

They know that in order for them to succeed, they need to engage and activate their staff.

That’s what the AOR framework helps you do.

In other words, with the AOR framework, you no longer have to do everything yourself!

If used right, the AOR framework will help you:

  1. Make sure everything that needs to happen for your salon to be great will happen
  2. Give your team the opportunity to grow and to own important areas of the business
  3. Make it obvious to you who is responsible if an area of the business is being neglected
  4. Remove the burden of the world off your shoulders

How does that sound?

How to use the AOR framework in your salon

In its simplest form, the AOR Framework is a straightforward list of all the tasks that need to be done for your salon to run great, with somebody designated as the directly responsible individual (DRI) for that task.

It’s as simple as that!

But a list in and of itself is hardly useful. To make the AOR framework impactful, you have to consistently follow up on the AORs with your staff.

The best way to do so is through your monthly 1v1s.


Not sure how to host great 1v1s? 

Coming Soon: Our guide to having effective 1v1s with your salon team


If you don’t currently have a 1v1 setup, or for some reason don’t want to have 1v1s, you can also bring up the topic of the AORs on staff meetings and get a status update from everyone on what’s happening with everybody’s AORs.

Whatever meeting you use, every AOR should at least be mentioned and followed up on a monthly basis until you trust your staff 100% to follow through and take care of their AORs.

If you have no meetings scheduled on a regular basis, your last resort is to constantly ask your people about their AORs in passing.

Even if you could remember to regularly ask your people in passing about their AORs, unless you’re a super smooth conversationalist, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Asking people about their responsibilities in the wrong set and setting can make people feel like you don’t trust them, and most often simply invokes bad feelings towards you. Especially if you ask some individuals more often than others.

A similar feeling as you get when your spouse asks you: Did you remember to take the laundry out of the washing machine?


Not sure what meetings to have?

Coming soon: The complete salon meeting guide.


Setting up the perfect AOR Framework for your salon

To make the most of the AORs, I recommend you start by creating two separate lists:

The Floor - a list of things that absolutely need to happen for your business to survive

  1. Send receipts to accountant on a monthly basis
  2. Answering the phone
  3. Make sure there’s always enough coffee available for customers (and staff!)

The Roof - a list of things you know you need to do in order for your business to reach it’s potential.

  1. Post on a weekly basis on Instagram
  2. Host an annual event with all customers
  3. Send monthly newsletters to customers

From there, you just need to assign a DRI and continuously follow up.

You can use any internal tool you like to set up your AORs, but if you need any inspiration you can check out our idea here:

The AOR Framework setup

PS: If you want to use it, but don't know where to start, feel free to book a short meeting with me where I can help you create one of these custom designed for you 🤓

Book a meeting with me and let's build your AOR Framework (Free of course!)

Assigning DRIs

In some cases, it’s obvious who is responsible for certain areas of the business.

If you have a receptionist, it’s likely that they’ll be responsible for answering the phone for example.

But in other cases, it won’t be obvious.

For those, you need to have a quick chat with each individual and ask them what responsibilities they’d like to have.

I’d recommend preparing for those conversations a bit. You want to enter those meetings with an idea of what tasks you think the individual you’re going to talk to would be suited for.

Create the effortless salon owner life you deserve

The AOR framework will help you get the most out of your business. I guarantee it.

But you need to put in the work to create it, consistently maintain it, and ruthlessly follow up on it.

If you do, I promise that in a year your salon will operate on a completely different level.

Your people will get better at doing their AORs. And you’ll be rewarded for it with a much easier salon owner life.

So, what’s keeping you here?

Go get it!