Mind your own business! | Tina Hollis

July 07, 2022

Tina Hollis, aka The Lonely Boss Lady, is our business columnist with tons of practical advice born out of first-hand experience. A passionate and experienced colourist, Tina Hollis holds the Wella Master Colour Expert qualification and a giant waiting list – it’s a 6-month wait for a weekday appointment while those wanting to see Tina on a Saturday are currently booking for 2023! This month Tina tells you to Mind You Own Business, breaking down the business basics you shouldn’t be scared of…

Do you know your business? I mean REALLY know it?

If I were to ask you what your breakeven is for a week or month, would you know the answer? Do you keep track of your clients’ rebooking? Your client retention rates? Do you know how much it costs to deliver a service like a full head tint?

I remember the first time I was asked questions like this, I just sat with a blank look on my face thinking “OMG, how do I work all of this out?!!”

To be completely honest with you I was just going through the motions of running my salon, I worked behind the chair 5 days a week and spent my “days off” working out what bills needed paying, what stock needed ordering and basically I was just winging my way through!

I opened my salon because I was a busy stylist and I wanted to have a salon environment that was creative, motivational and inspiring, I never really looked into the “business” side of things.

I used to run staff meetings where I was saying things like “I just want clients to walk out of here after having the best service, loving their hair and with a smile on their face.” I actually cringe now when I recall those meetings. The bills didn’t get discussed, the salon’s targets were unknown, and because I didn’t know them my staff didn’t either! 

Like many business owners I’ve had some hard times, but I’ve got through them. I sometimes ask myself how! But in all honesty it’s down to hard work and educating myself. Speaking to fellow stylists and salon owners, it’s amazing how many are in the same boat that I was.

Why should you educate your business brain?

I believe that we should all educate ourselves to keep on top of not only our skill set, but also the business side of things. Your column is your business at the end of the day, be that as an employed stylist, self employed stylist or salon owner, if you don’t know your targets then how do you know if you’re doing well or not?

What’s your client rebook percentage like and what’s the average time between those appointments? What services are earning you more?

When I’ve worked with other stylists or salon owners they are all just like I was, basically working on the basis that if there’s money in the bank at the end of the month then it must have been a good month, if not then it wasn’t great. Hands up if that’s you!? If it’s been a good month you need to know why, what did you do that month to make things work? And if it’s not been great, what can you do to make it better? 

How can you educate yourself?

Nowadays there are so many ways to learn!

Since the pandemic we have lots of online courses out there that work well for those that want to learn but find it hard to commit to a full day course. Online education is something that in most cases you can dip in and out of at times that suit you, and a lot come as part of a membership programme that you commit to for a certain amount of time.

I personally prefer having education via a day or week-long course, or mentoring. Why? Because I love interacting with others. When I teach courses I’m not just the educator, I learn from the people attending too. When I go on courses, sharing experiences and ideas, making new contacts and learning with others is just something that I thrive from. Many of my hairdressing friends are people I’ve met on courses, some I speak to regularly and others I catch up with at events, but meeting other people on the same journey as you is just fun!

Likewise, I enjoy the personal approach of mentoring. It’s tailored to mine or the clients’ needs, it has a much more unique approach and for me that means I retain a lot more information.

Courses and mentoring is interactive, us hairdressers aren’t used to just sitting down watching someone speak, and that’s why we can shy away from business education courses.

1 – Business stuff is scary. 

2 – Business is boring.

3 – Business education means we can’t bury our head in the sand.

But finding the right educator for you is paramount, if you like how that person is, if you click, you’ll learn so much more. When I teach business courses I prefer it to be a conversation, I want everyone involved, bouncing ideas off of each other, I want the room buzzing!

With mentoring, I’m fully committed to my customer. I know I’m there for a reason and I’m there to deliver and help them learn their business without it being scary. Tea, biscuits and a friendly approach help!

Reality hits…

When I learnt what I needed to do to make my business profitable, the reality hit that I had to make changes. And change is scary. You need to educate your team on running their columns properly, if you’re self employed you have to consistently monitor yourself and your column to achieve your set goals.

When the content is hard, any course, be it online or face to face should get you fired up. But it’s down to you to put the work in and take what you’ve learnt and put it into practice, otherwise what’s the point? It’s up to you to Mind Your Own Business!

Visit to book business and colour courses from £200, and one-to-one coaching from £50 a week. The next Mind Your Own Business courses with Tina run on September 12 and November 14.Evet