Updated: Sep 27, 2022
How’s your hair braiding or natural hair styling business going? Are your clients loving your work and sending more people your way? Are you constantly finding yourself booked out a few weeks?
That’s a good thing, but it’s also a lot of work. You’re only one person and you can only braid hair so fast. You might think you’ve hit the ceiling when it comes to how much you can make from your business.
You would be wrong about that.
When you reach this point (or even before so you don’t stress too much) it’s time to hire an assistant. Every serious natural hair stylist or braider should have an assistant. Here’s why.
You already know this, but braiding takes a lot of time. Sure, it’s lots of fun chatting with your clients (you may have even made new friends) but it still takes a while to complete the work.
And it’s not just your time you should be concerned about, think about your clients as well. Given the choice of sitting for 8 hours or 4 hours to get their hair done, which do you think they’ll choose? Hiring an assistant allows you to cut down braiding time considerably and offer your clients better customer service in that sense.
You Make More Money
When you're just starting out it might seem silly to hire an assistant for tasks you can do yourself. However, as you make a name for yourself, you may find that you have more people wanting to book with you than you have time for.
That's why you need an assistant!
When you have an assistant, you can take on more clients because you don't have to spend time on small tasks like cleaning or answering the phone. More clients equal more money!
Residual Income from the Assistant
An assistant can also help you to expand your offerings while giving you a chance to earn residual income from them.
Perhaps you have a client looking for a style that you personally don’t have much experience with. If your assistant is the rockstar at that style, book the client with them and you don’t have to turn your client down. You can even assist your assistant with the style to get some practice yourself to expand your braiding repertoire.
Help an Up-and-Coming Stylist
You aren’t the only one who benefits from the stylist/assistant relationship. Hiring an assistant is a great way to help an up-and-coming stylist gain experience and learn how to run their own business one day.
Depending on how you go about it, hiring an assistant could be free or low cost. The government sponsors vocational training for young stylists looking to develop their skills. Depending on the type of business you own, a natural hair braid salon apprenticeship for 16-18-year-olds could be 100% funded by the government. For 19-23-year-olds, the government may supply half the funds. This can be a great way to get help
Keep in mind that this route requires more work on your part. You will be responsible for training them as a stylist, not just sending them to get coffee or have them answer the phone. An apprenticeship is supposed to be mutually beneficial in that they get on-the-job training while you get an extra pair of hands at your salon. If you only want a gofer, hire an assistant with your own money instead.
Expanding Your Natural Hair Styling or Braiding Business
The bottom line is that having help, whether you hire an assistant or take on an apprentice can help you be more productive. This allows you to grow your business and serve more clients.