If your passion is to open a hair salon as a hair stylist, now might be one of the best times to do it.
But like every other profession, successful business comes with passion , commitment, discipline and optimum focus.
The salon industry is growing and filled with loads of competition from the smallest to biggest guys in the industry. Since the recession, the industry seems to be the only one making head way because every lady and guy cares about their look and will always want to get their hair well kept and shinning. Researches have shown that for the next few years, the industry will continue to grow.
While the timing might be right, you’ll still face a lot of competition. As of last year there are over a million salons across the country no matter the size. But don’t let that number discourage you, those salons are also generating making good money every year.
PageOne startup desk asked two salon owners to offer some tips to get your shop up and running.While the two owners have different businesses, you’ll find that many of their tips for success are the same.
Planning your salon
1. Make a business plan
No business can function properly without a business plan. You need a document that will guide your business to success. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. In fact, you’ve probably already put together a lot of the information mentally, or even scribbled a few notes on paper. The point of a solid business plan is to figure out what your business is, how it will be successful, and how you’ll troubleshoot problems. If you dont plan to succeed, you automatically planned to fail.
2. Figure out funding
Realise that your type of business requires a lot of capital because there are a lot of things you need to buy, from getting a shop to furnishing the salon, to buying equipment ( Hair accessories, Dryers, attachments, combs, etc).You need to figure out how much money you need to get started, and where it will be coming from.Whether you have to save up money or borrow from a bank or rather get a sponsor.
3. Find a mentor
It’s best to find someone in the salon industry that can answer questions for you as you start and grow your business. Someone that can be trusted to lead you and show you how things are done in the industry professionally, so that you are not lost along the line.
4. Put an accounting book in place
To keep track of your money and business growth, it will be good to have an account book where you write the cost of everything you buy and how much you make in return. Keep record of your daily income, weekly income and annual income, so that at the end of the year, you can remove your cost price and know your profit. You also need to plan how to pay your assistance if you require any.
5. Find the right location
The right location is the difference between success and failure. Its best to select a spot with good traffic, high visibility, and is located where your target audience and the type of customers you want are located. Be fussy about your location.Try to drive around the areas that you want to be located in and look for vacant properties.
6. Know the area
You don’t just want the right storefront, you want to know everything about the place. Do your homework. Ask questions from people around , so that you can equip yourself for the challenges ahead, Know the local competitors, and think about how your customers will get to your salon. You want to know everything you can about the area before you select a place.
Opening your salon;
1. Design your salon around the clients you want
Before you start painting the walls and picking out furniture, make sure that your design matches the kind of clients you want to attract.If you want your customers to feel comfortable in your salon, so make it a place they want to visit.If your customer base is the younger generation, go with fun, bold colors and furniture. For a higher-end vibe, go for a modern and sophisticated look. In other words, tailor your look to your intended client base.
2. Provide excellent customer service
After you’ve created an environment that your clients will love, you have to follow through by offering excellent customer service.Provide an experience for your customers, not just a service.The overall experience is what keeps customers coming back.
3. Set aside money for marketing
To be successful, you need clients. To attract clients, you need a marketing plan. setting aside some money to market your business is important and necessary. Without it, you’ll struggle.
4. Set up and utilize social media accounts: For starters, you need a good platform where your market will sell fast. Use Instagram, Facebook to advertise your business.Your page should be attractive and ideally include helpful information for your customers, such as hours, location, contact info, and pricing. Setting up an online booking system is also a good thing to look into.Make sure you post regularly and engage with your customers. Follow the people that are important in your kind of business. You can introduce promos to attracts clients at first and with time they will stay with you.
5. Find creative, low-cost marketing ideas: Consider hosting an event like a ribbon cutting or a small charity event to attract more customers. For example, sponsor a school play or have the staff volunteer at a local baseball game. You want to get the word out about your salon, and getting involved in your community is a great way to do that.
Growing your salon;
1. Hire staff based on personality
When you’re first starting out, you might be the only employee, but hopefully your shop will be so popular that you’ll need to hire a stylist. When that happens, it good to hire someone based more on personality than skills. You want your clients to enjoy coming in. Of course, you want someone who knows their way around a head of hair, but you shouldn’t base your decision on skills alone. Personality matters.
2. Continue marketing efforts
When a customer finds a stylist he or she likes, they usually become repeat clients. However, this doesn’t mean you should let up on your marketing efforts. Even if you have a steady stream of customers, you should build on the marketing efforts that you’re already using.New client acquisition should be a full time job and should never be overlooked. Contentment will kill a salon.
A business plan should always be viewed as a work in progress. With each passing month, you learn more about your business and your customer base. It’s a good idea to go back to your plan, read it over, and make sure you’re still on track. If you need to make any changes, which is likely, do so now.
4. Check for ways to save
With your business established, review your account book and see if you can make any changes or cuts to save money. Take a look at your monthly expenses too—is there anything you can trim back or get rid of? Maybe you can downgrade your internet service, or cut back on the amount of product you’re buying each month.
Opening a salon is a bold endeavor. As with any new venture, it’s important to plan as much as you can and be willing to adapt as you learn what works best for your business. You’ll spend a lot of time and money to get your salon off the ground, but there is nothing like running a sought-after, successful salon.