A Great Clips salon owner wanted to prove to his stylists that customer satisfaction went up when the stylists dressed up. How did he prove it?
It’s Throwback Thursday on the Great Clips Franchise Blog, so this post throws us back to one of my favorites. It’s about “first followers.” When applied to a business—in our case, a walk-in hair salon business—the concept of first followers is about identifying one person on your team who can help you turn an idea into a movement.
For one of our franchisees in our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania market, the idea he focused on was how stylists could up their tips by upping their attire. I’ve copied an excerpt from that original blog post below, along with a link to get you to the full article.
I’m intrigued by this first follower concept within the context of leadership. You can’t page through a business publication without seeing an inordinate amount of articles about how to develop and use leadership skills to drive a successful business. And we’ve certainly posted plenty of blogs about how leadership can be key to owning thriving hair salon franchise. (A few from the archives: Bad Bosses Buy Donuts, Four Leadership Lessons from Mister Rogers, and, one of my favorites: My Game of Thrones Leadership Style.)
What’s intriguing to me is that it shows the value and necessity of having followers on your team. And if they can step up to be a first follower—all the better. Here’s an excerpt from the original article first published in 2016. Make sure you click on the video link for a full understanding of first followers.
Want more tips? Dress like a professional
What, you may ask, is a “first follower”? Simply put, a first follower is the person who can help you turn an idea into a movement. Without that person and the next few followers, your idea may go nowhere.
I learned about first followers by watching entrepreneur Derek Sivers’ very vivid Ted Talk, “How to Start a Movement.” In a video lasting just three minutes, he demonstrates the significance of a movement’s first few followers—“underestimated leaders in their own right.”
I didn’t have to look far in the Great Clips constellation of franchisees to find an example of the first follower concept in action. From your own experience getting a haircut (at a Great Clips salon or another brand), you’ve probably noticed that a lot of hair stylists express their personalities—creative, out-of-the-box artists, thinkers, and individualists—in sometimes-unconventional apparel, make-up, and jewelry.
A Great Clips franchisee wanted his stylists to dress more professionally, but he knew that his staff often resisted change when it appeared it was just “change-for-change’s-sake.” They want proof that an idea worked before they would leave their comfort zones. So this franchisee created a “first follower” of the dress-for-success guideline.
He challenged one of his stylists to wear the professional look when she was working one weekend. He assured her that by looking more successful, she would be more successful—that she would see the results in increased tips.
The stylist accepted the challenge…
So what happened? Read the full article here. Happy Thursday!
There’s a lot of great content on our Great Clips Franchise blog, especially about leadership. Click around to find articles about what it takes to become a franchisee and what your life might be like if you decide to become one. Want to know more? Give me a call!