Could it have been because her staff didn't have the basic training needed to assist a nail technician, let alone be one? Since Tabatha's a hair dresser and not a nail expert, she brought in a top-notch trainer to assess the skill level of the workers at Manikir Royale. Out of a ten, the expert said that as a group, they fell somewhere between a one and a two.
This is in an industry that is known for sending clients home with dangerous infections due to poor sanitary conditions and improper use of tools.
Tabatha wondered how the staff could perform so badly, but she quickly got to the root of the problem. Most of them had little to no professional nail training before being hired. The owner, CJ “Meowww” Barnes acted surprised by this. She herself was a Human Resources manager who enjoyed getting her nails done. That's why she bought the salon.
What about training? How do you learn new techniques? From YouTube, said the staff. Whenever a client came in requesting a technique they weren't familiar with, Meowww told them to go learn it from YouTube.
Thinking the employees were exaggerating, Tabatha asked Meowww why she didn't have regular classes for her staff. She replied that it was their responsibility to take classes on their days off; after all, you can only get so far with YouTube videos.
So. . . no, they were not exaggerating.
YouTube is a gold mine of information. It's an excellent place to get a quick tutorial on a piece of software that has you stumped. It's even a good place to find new nail art designs. Some of the teenagers who post their work are very creative and inspiring. But it's not the place to learn a hands-on skill like applying gels or performing a pedicure. Meowww and many of the other business owners that Tabatha met believe that it's the employee's responsibility to keep up with their craft.
There's also the cost. A brush-up course can cost more than $100 per employee. But the small business owner has to look at the return on the investment. In the case of Manikir Royale, a lack of education was driving away business. The salon would likely recoup the cost in just a few months once the technicians had a chance to show off their brand new skills.
To test the theory, Tabatha treated the salon employees to an afternoon with an expert trainer. They not only came back better at their jobs, but they had a renewed enthusiasm and at positive outlook about their work. They also returned to the salon feeling like a team. Unfortunately, the team lost their coach only a few weeks later.
In an unprecedented move, Manikir Royale salon owner Meoww sold the salon just a few weeks after Tabatha's visit. Though it's not unheard of for a profiled company to go out of business, it's the rare owner who takes advantage of the show's pricey renovation to line her own pockets.
Looks like Meoww learned her lessons from a YouTube video on how to flip a failing biz without spending your own money.
What Do You Think?
How do you feel about YouTube as a training tool? It has its uses or it has no place in a business?
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Photo courtesy of Bravo