How to fill a staff that works together well is no easy task. In fact I think it's one of the most difficult aspects of building the business. Here's my point of view; it only takes one bad apple to ruin a bunch and boy is that ever so true. The key is in figuring out how to identify a bad apple before you hire him. Of course everyone you interview always says the perfect things. The best Tattoo Artists are not always the best partners you want representing you on the front lines of the business. Sometimes the best Tattoo Artists have an ego and pride that have them forgetting the true value of customer service. I think customer service gets lost in most Tattoo Shops and there's really no cause for change when most of the problem comes from the shop owners themselves. It becomes a do what you want attitude because this is my shop, and this is my Industry, and if you don't like it you can get the hell out attitude!! This has been in the past what makes the Tattoo Industry the cause of its own suppression.
Now hiring Tattoo Artists from this school of old fashioned philosophy could be difficult. While you want that true feeling of an artist with an understanding of the culture and background of what Tattooing really is and where it came from, you also don't want the trouble of the old fashion behavior. Don't get me wrong, I think a Tattoo shop should respect its past and its pioneers and never forget what and where the Industry came from. But in thinking of the future I think its time to understand that we as an Industry can be as great if not greater then any Industry on the planet. And if we're gonna do it, we're gonna have to understand what it takes to operate a good business. And it starts with understanding customer service. When we learn how to do that, we will be invited to join other Industries that work tirelessly to achieve it because they know that that is the true key to success. And when we do achieve it we will all have successful shops, and in good locations around the better neighborhoods in this country instead of zoning us off into the warehouse districts of America where we fight for the leftovers of what the big companies leave behind.