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10 | SEPTEMBER 2017 | NORTHWEST STYLIST & SALON |

WWW.NWSTYLIST.COM

Mission: Business Beautiful

Ali Davidson

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Is Your Livelihood At Risk?

In life we’re always at risk in some way, but we

continually make adjustments to lessen everyday

risks with hardly a second thought. These are

things like using pot holders to take things out of

the oven, wearing shoes, eating vegetables, main-

taining the tires on our cars, etc.

Part of being a smart professional is about

mitigating risks to your livelihood. When it comes

to our livelihood and the risk of losing our careers

as hairstylists, we often think things like proper

ergonomics and staying relevant with clients will

reduce the risk of a career ending too soon. But

there are far greater risks to our livelihood as hair

professionals than achy backs and stale skills.

There are three things that could literally end

your career this afternoon: the government, a

litigious client, and a lack of community support.

What are you doing to alleviate those risks? Here

are three non-negotiables every beauty profes-

sional can do to keep her/his livelihood intact and

all three are as simple as wearing shoes.

Run your business legally.

This should be a

no-brainer, but the number of beauty profession-

als practicing illegally is astounding. They may not

even know they are illegal — but ignorance is no

defense. Know your scope of practice, and for the

love of all that is good, stay within it! Read up on

your tax laws. The number of misclassified employ-

ees and independent contractors in our industry

puts a bright target on all of our backs for tax

audits. Keep your licenses current and salons com-

pliant with all state board and business bureau/

board/ community/ property rules in your location.

Have insurance.

Licensed professionals deal-

ing with the public need to be insured — that’s all

there is to it. We live in a litigious society, and any-

one can sue anyone, whether it’s right or wrong.

You can lose your business, your home, your car,

and your tax returns, even have future earnings

garnished. Accidents happen, be it your fault or

not, and people get hurt, people get scorned, and

people sue.

Protect your livelihood with liability insurance

to cover your professional, general, and product

liability. Regardless of where you work, it’s a smart

idea to have your own individual liability insur-

ance so you’re 100 percent certain your career is

protected. It doesn’t have to be intimidating to buy

insurance, and an individual policy for a hairstylist

is surprisingly inexpensive—especially when com-

pared to all the potential loss it protects you from.

A great route is to go through a professional as-

sociation that is looking out for your best interests

and knows what you need in an insurance policy.