Better Safe Than Sorry
There are many moving parts to running a business, especially a hair business, and the larger you get, the harder it becomes.
As a business owner of a hair company, you are expected to have the most fabulous hair at the lowest price with the fastest shipping. And while those things are essential, there are some things behind the scenes that are even more critical to running your hair company like minimizing loss and protecting your merchandise.
Shifting Your Attitude
The first key to protecting your business is to shift your attitude.
You are the judge and jury, the employee and the owner, the God and the heavens! Okay, I got a little carried away, but my point is you are responsible for making your business great.
First, you need to change your mind and be able to understand that you are the boss. Later, I give some tips on what a boss should do in certain situations, but right now I'm saying this to say, no endeavor or additive is too much or too silly when it comes to protecting the brand and hair empire you've worked so hard to build. You must be willing to go the extra mile.
Second, recognize your business is targetable. While you may think 'who would do that,' or 'nobody is worried about me,' believe that there is someone out there who sees the flaws in your set up and is waiting for their moment!
And lastly, take note of behavior changes. Too often than not a good business suffers because owners do not have their eyes and ears to what is going on inside of their workplace.
Whether you have four storefronts or run the business out of your house, knowing who is working for you, what companies you deal with and their policies is priceless.
Protecting Your Business
What does that mean? Protecting your business says that you are looking out for your brand, your money, your merchandise and above all else your customers. You must have a system that keeps your revenue and the meat and potatoes of your work intact. One of the best ways to do this in the hair business is insurance.
Tackling Hair Insurance
Why You Need It
Insurance has the sole purpose of covering unforeseen events.
The case that something happens, when and if, you have the money to cover it. Running a hair business is tough, and while you have so many moving parts such as expectant customers, it can be easy to forget some logistics.
However, a crucial role in running a successful business means prepared for anything. Whether you have a storefront or an e-commerce shop, it is never a bad idea to have insurance. When you get, hair imported have insurance in case the shipment is lost, damaged or not what you ordered.
Having insurance will save time and money when you are scrambling to get your orders filled, but you're having issues with your vendor.
Furthermore, when shipping out to customers always attach a tracking number and insurance! Whether you lose a package, reported stolen, or you have someone trying to finesse their way into three free bundles and closure, you'll always have a paper trail and coverage for anything coming your way. A good business owner anticipates these kinds of events.
The insurance is not only about your hair, but you also want to have full coverage in case a store trashed, there is a natural disaster or someone slips and falls.
And that is what insurance is all about! What if it flood and all your hair are ruined? What is there's a robbery and the hair customers paid for and you invested in is stolen?
And what if you did not have insurance to afford you the time to restock and regroup?
How To Get It?
To get a hair insurance policy, you must call a company or visit their website to input your needs, receive quotes and decide on the best policy plan.
The Hartford is a company that provides hair salons that need a variety of insurance coverage types included in a business owners policy (BOP).
Nationwide provides customers with personalized insurance packages for barber shops, cosmetologists, and estheticians.
Next Insurance gives salon business owners the opportunity to complete from their phone in a matter of minutes. This company caters to small businesses and has a flexible payment plan.
Allstate is a more mainstream company that has a local agent to help you sign up and work through any claims on your policy. They provide business, commercial and liability insurance.
What Does It Cost?
The cost of insurance varies by circumstances such as what you are selling, your location, your experience and your ability to pay on time.
Typically for companies like hair stores, hair salons and barbershops full coverage insurance range from $500 to $1000 a year for a 1 Million dollar policy.
All About Hair Insurance
The dynamics of your business will decide what kind of insurance you need as well and the cost.
Do you only sell hair out of your storefront or do you do lashes and waxes as well? Is there expensive equipment inside and how are they being managed? These are all the questions you should ask yourself when choosing the company.
Essential Security Features For A Storefront
1. Alarm System
Ring the alarm! Alarm systems are meant to notify you when someone enters your business whether knowingly or unknowingly.
This system can allow a small 'ding' to go off each time a customer enters or exits the store building awareness for everyone. Additionally, at night you can set your alarm and if anything occurs be alerted immediately of who opened your store and what time.
An alarm system is an investment because it enhances security and provides a sense of comfort when leaving your store each day.
2. Live Recording
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million! Camera's are business owners best friend!
Having camera's in your storefront, whether you sell hair or something else, can save you a lot of drama, money and time down the road. While the camera may not catch everything, it is a good start to identifying a person or working through details of a situation.
In any given case, you will have proof of store activities like transactions, and incidents.
3. Hiring A Security Guard
Imagine this scenario: Amber walks into the store.
"Can I help you today?"
"Yes, I would like to try on your 613 40 inch wig. I've never tried this color before but my birthday is coming up."
"Aw sure." You proceed to place the display wig made out of four bundles of your Brazilian Straight 40 Inch 613 hair that typically cost $135 a bundle with the matching 115 dollar closure onto Amber's head for viewing.
Then Amber becomes a track star and jets out of your store while you're screaming and running after her regretting eating that Cinnabon and chipotle for lunch.
Don't let this be you. Although a security guard is an added expense it can pay off if your hair store is in a sketchy neighborhood, you make thousands of dollars a day, or you have heavy traffic.
A security guard makes people think twice about committing crimes in a store like stealing, fighting or committing fraud.
4. Training Employees On Lost Prevention
Lastly, training your employees on preventing loss is a major plus to your business.
Teaching your employees tips on stopping stealing or recognizing fraudulent cards or fake money can save you thousands of dollars a year. All it takes is regular employee training infused with some webinars or a special two hour paid training session for employees.
Extra Ways To Keep Your Investments Safe
1. Lock All Your Valuable Things In A Safe
One of the biggest things that inspired me to write this article was witnessing one woman who owns get all her display wigs stolen out of her storefront.
It was heartbreaking to see the actual footage of her expensive and flawless wigs beings snatched up at night while her store sat empty and pretty. One thing to consider, though it isn't exactly cute or ideal, is to take down your displays when your shop closes at night.
For instance, instead of leaving all of your display wigs, bundles and frontals in the window or throughout the store you would take them down and lock them in a safe and secure location. Although this can be tedious with the constant undoing and restaging of your store, it is easier than replacing all of your merchandise.
Furthermore, find other creative ways besides putting all your hair out to showcase the hair and wigs you have for sale. For instance, using pictures from a photoshoot, having all of your employees wear your hair, or providing live demonstrations once a month.
There are tons of ways to market safely, and creatively.
2. Keep Good Records
I'm not sure if your store filled with family and your two best friends.
But either way business is not personal, and everyone working in your store should be on a record. You want to run your store like a real business, and a real company has taxes, employee identification numbers, background checks and definitive clock in and out times.
Being mindful of the movement in your store- money, and people- will cut down on guesswork and help you pinpoint who or what the problem may be. Additionally, it makes paperwork easy, and in the long run, keeping records is beneficial to your business.
3. Take Inventory Every Night
You may have a good guess towards what you sold and when but it's always a good idea to take stock for security and monetary reasons.
Assign the role to a trusted employee, or you can do this yourself. The purpose of checking inventory is not only to see where your most significant sales were but to ensure that every item out of your store is paid and accounted for.
4. Have A Drop Box For Big Bills
You know as well as I do that there are tons of people pulling up to buy hair on hand who are getting prepped for their birthday, just got their taxes or are out for a Friday treat. And that means there's a lot of hundreds coming into your store.
Like grocery stores and most retail stores, it is a good idea to keep your bigger bills in a drop box so that if anything does occur a considerable part of your revenue is safe.
Additionally, this can be emptied out by only a trusted employee, or yourself.
5. Keep Information Confidential
It pays in all kinds of ways to be the boss! One of the best-kept secrets of being an effective boss is not telling anyone everything.
In your position, you know the ins-and-outs of your business and could run it in your sleep. Keeping some information confidential helps you quickly spot areas of concern or shifts in business flow or morale. It is important not to divulge everything you pick up on or what you know.
This is because you never know when you might need it later and wish that you had kept that information under lock and key.
Lock It Up!
Protecting your customers, employees, money, and merchandise is a huge task. But luckily you do not have to do it alone.
Although some of these suggestions may seem tedious or expensive, they are all good investments for the overall flow, safety, and success of your business. Don't be afraid to invest in yourself! Following these tips on changing your mindset, adapting tighter security, and getting insurance are all ways to secure the bag and protect your business.
What are some ways you keep your business up and running safely?