The Role of a Salon Manager: Skills and Responsibilities

By Darragh Timlin on November 7th, 2023

As a salon owner, one of your most important decisions is selecting the right salon manager.. The salon manager oversees day-to-day operations, leads staff, and helps accomplish your vision.

So what should you look for when hiring a salon manager? What are the key skills and responsibilities of this critical role? We explore what makes an effective salon manager, including essential skills like leadership, communication and business acumen.

Key Skills for an Effective Salon Manager

When hiring a salon manager, look for candidates possessing these essential abilities:

Leadership abilities

Strong leaders rally their team around a shared vision and values. They lead by example, model positive behaviours, and bring out the best in staff. Effective salon managers motivate stylists to grow professionally, boosting the salon’s performance.

Communication skills

Salon managers must master communication abilities like active listening, speaking clearly, and resolving conflicts. They should convey feedback sensitively to help stylists improve and be approachable so staff feel comfortable voicing concerns or creative suggestions.

Managers must also communicate salon promotions and updates proactively with customers.

Business knowledge

Familiarity with salon operations, goal-setting, budgeting, and metrics is a must. Look for financial acumen and experience tracking key performance indicators like revenue, profitability, retention and new client growth.

Knowledge of inventory management, ordering, human resources duties, and marketing are also vital for the manager role.

Multitasking and organisation

A capable manager can smoothly juggle multiple responsibilities while staying focused and composed. With many moving parts in a busy salon, organisation and time management abilities are crucial. The manager should have strong systems for tracking tasks, schedules, and follow-ups to keep operations running smoothly.


Issues inevitably arise in the salon environment – from plumbing emergencies to stylist disagreements to botched colour services. Effective managers troubleshoot these challenges creatively and calmly to find solutions.

They are careful listeners who proactively identify areas for salon improvement. Managers must also be able to think quickly to resolve customer dissatisfaction.


The ideal salon manager has a genuine passion for the beauty industry, motivating staff and helping to create a positive work culture. When managers are invested in helping the salon thrive, it shows through their high engagement, innovative thinking, and commitment to excellence.

Salon Manager Responsibilities

So what does a typical day look like for a salon manager? While duties vary by salon, here are some standard responsibilities:

  • Manage and train staff – Onboarding new hires, conducting performance reviews, addressing issues and developing team skills are daily tasks.
  • Set schedules – The manager creates work rosters balancing stylist availability with appointment bookings and salon hours.
  • Oversee salon operations – The manager ensures the reception area, break room, dispensary and workstations meet standards for cleanliness, organisation and functionality.
  • Order supplies and products – Stocking the proper hair, skin and nail care products at adequate levels is imperative. The manager places and reviews inventory orders.
  • Handle payroll – Managers track hours worked, process payroll and manage benefit programs like paid time off.
  • Resolve customer issues – Whether a late appointment or a botched balayage, the manager works to immediately resolve any customer dissatisfaction.
  • Enforce policies – Managers communicate and consistently enforce workplace rules around attendance, conduct, attire, health and safety.
  • Track metrics – Key performance indicators like new vs repeat booking percentages are monitored by the manager to identify areas for improvement.
  • Manage budget – Making purchases, controlling expenses and taking measures to increase profits are standard financial responsibilities.
  • Participate in services – Depending on salon needs and their own skills, some managers provide hair, nail or other services hands-on rather than solely performing administrative duties.
  • Uphold standards – Salon managers maintain standards for quality across all service offerings. They coach team members on suggested solutions to fulfil customer expectations.
  • Handle marketing – Managers assist with marketing initiatives to attract new customers such as social media, loyalty programs or community events.
  • Ensure compliance – Adhering to all legal and regulatory requirements in areas like health and safety, employment, and data protection falls under the manager’s purview.

Having the Ideal Salon Manager

As a salon owner, be thoughtful in your hiring process to find a manager with the right experience, attitude and abilities for your team. Invest time training managers not just on salon systems but also your culture, values and goals.

Additionally, schedule frequent check-ins to provide feedback, hear ideas, and ensure you and your manager stay aligned. Most importantly, show appreciation for their hard work and dedication to the success of your business.

Get Salon Insurance With Salon Saver Today

Finding and developing an excellent salon manager is key to the success of your business. This pivotal role requires a diverse skill set – from leadership abilities to technical expertise.

At Salon Saver, we understand the challenges of owning and operating a salon. Our bespoke salon insurance policies are designed to protect your business and staff so you can keep clients happy.

Contact us to protect against theft, property damage, and liability claims, or to discuss how we can support your continued success.

Darragh Timlin

With over 25 years’ experience, Darragh is an expert in all things insurance. Starting his career in commercial property underwriting, Darragh has worked for a number of global insurers and is now Managing Director of Salon Saver, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Darragh Timlin

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