Clive’s Top Tips on building a successful column

January 27, 2022

Much of the business advice given by industry experts is aimed at salon owners, but it’s important that every stylist in a salon takes control of their own column and sees this as a business within a business.

Just like a salon owner, stylists need to have objectives and financial targets to spur them on to be the best and busiest they can be. Clive Collins, one of the founding directors of HOB Salons, offers some top tips on building a successful column.


Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will have an impression of who you are and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes for them to determine traits like trustworthiness. Needless to say, pay particular attention to your hair and always dress to impress. You are working in a fashion, trend-led industry so you need to dress accordingly. Remember, you are an ambassador for yourself and the salon.


As a hairdresser, you are a skilled professional and your conduct should reflect this. From the moment your client enters the salon, you should behave professionally and with good manners. This doesn’t mean being stuffy, but just remember this is a client who is paying you for a professional service. Look after every client, give them the best possible service throughout their visit – from the refreshments you serve to the conversation you have. Treat them as a valued guest that you want to return again and again.


The consultation is the most important part of any client visit; it is your chance to get to know your client, their hair goals and aspirations and start working towards helping them achieve these. However well you think you know a client, carry out a consultation before every appointment. Don’t assume they still want the same as they did on their last visit.

During any consultation, always discuss the three Cs – cut, colour and condition – and don’t be afraid to make recommendations for additional services and take-home products.


Always advise a client to rebook before leaving the salon. Make a suggested time and talk about the next stage towards achieving their ultimate hair goals. Clients will feel like you are on a journey together and rebooking will become second nature for them.


Don’t be afraid of your column – as a stylist, your column is your business.

Keep an eye on your column and the work that you are getting booked in. If you never do short hair, try adding in some clients who want something shorter. This will attract new clients as well as stretch your skills.

Make sure your working station is clean, fresh and has the right products on it. No one wants to sit in a messy area for their appointment. Your chair and styling station is your responsibility.