sue_carter (3)

How The Threat of Staff Tribunals Saved My Salon…

Connor Keppel

Sometimes we get shaken in our business and that is what motivates us to move forward. If I am perfectly honest I was shaken. A few years ago, I found out that one of my girls was not doing her job. She was answering the phone and turning clients away even when she had availability. Basically, she was being lazy. It took me a while to realise but when I did I had a lot of proof. I was upset that she would go behind my back; this was someone that I trusted in my business. Doing the last thing I would expect from any of my valued members of staff.

I hate to fire someone, but there was no reasonable way for me to be able to trust that she would do her job properly. I fired her. Before I did so I made sure I had evidence of her lies and what she was doing. I checked the ACAD rules and made sure to fire her with all the correct legal procedure.

Even though I did all this she decided to take me to tribunal. I was already stressed out between dealing with the problem and I was shocked to think she would take me to the next level. It was free for her to take me to court and I felt suddenly very vulnerable in my business. In the end she withdrew, I had an excellent solicitor who was confident in my evidence and she really didn’t stand much of a chance. But the thing is if I had not gathered that proof she could have dragged me to court over at what at the end of the day was a lie.

It made me realise just how vulnerable we can be as salon owners: if we conduct an interview in the wrong way or are accused of doing so, if a staff member gets fired, if a staff member decided to lie and say you discriminate against them…all these thoughts were running through my head. So I made a decision to sell my business. That might sound a little funny but let me explain.

I was scared of being in that position and I didn’t want to go through that hassle again. I didn’t like the stress or even the thought of legal implications so I decided I would make my salon the best it could be so that I could sell it for a decent price. I was shaken but I was going to make the most of it by selling out when I got my business booming.

So you might wonder what happened between now and then to make me want to expand rather than sell up. To be honest a lot has changed and that I believe is a whole other blog post. The point is that sometimes it stakes someone stirring the pot, a kick in the teeth or just a little shake to get us on the right track. All I know is that a few years ago all I wanted to sell my business so I would never be in a vulnerable position again…and today I wouldn’t dream of selling it to anyone.

Sue Carter is the owner of Image Salon in Ipswich Suffolk which has been going for 11 years. She has been using Phorest Salon Software for two years. The Phorest Blog is going to be following Sue’s salon business over the next 6 months.

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