Our mantra for success: ‘it’s all about the re-book’

NHF member Victor Pajak owns the multi-award winning hair salon Headquarters in Kingston-upon-Thames. Here he shares his insights on running a business with 28 staff members.

What is your biggest business challenge?

It’s the age old problem of getting good staff. It was particularly difficult when we first opened and were not yet established.

We now train people up and promote internally. We have a training and model night and all our juniors go to Kingston College. I am closely linked to the college where I lecture and judge competitions. In return they recommend the best people from their cohort of school leavers.

What are your goals for the future?

I get very excited about success and am constantly looking at where we can grow.

Initially we wanted between three and five salons in as many years, but the challenge of finding good stylists with a good attitude caused us to re-evaluate. We are now focusing on growing one salon instead.
Ours is an unusual structure. We have two teams and stylists work alternate weekends.

Our culture is to always be grateful to our clients for choosing us and my mantra is, ‘it’s all about the re-book’.

How does NHF help you run your business?

It’s essential to use the right procedures as an employer. I always use NHF’s contracts with stylists and apprentices. I also use the legal helpline often for employment and HR issues.

When one of my employees broke his contract, NHF backed me up through its tribunal insurance. They assigned me a lawyer and we took the case to court – the costs were covered thanks to my membership. We won and I was awarded compensation.

What I learnt from the experience is that common sense contracts stand up in court. Other contracts I’ve seen contain unreasonable clauses, whereas NHF’s contracts are excellent - they protect employees as well as making good sense for employers.