If you’re a budding entrepreneur with an eye for style, you may have decided to get your first high street salon off the ground. Getting any business off the ground, however, can be hard work. There are many things to consider, which is why it’s often a good idea to talk things through with an experienced salon consultant.
There are nearly 30,000 salons in the UK alone, and they bring around £4bn into the economy. If you’re thinking of adding your business, here are a few basics to consider.
- Business vs Industry Savvy
Many new salon owners have a keen understanding of their industry – most have trained hard, and many will have worked in salons for some time. Knowing how your industry works, however, is not the same as running a business.
You will have to develop a few new skills quickly. The first thing you’ll need to do is create a business plan and, more importantly, explore how much setting up will cost you. You’ll need to find the right location for your salon on the high street and understand what the running costs are – for example, getting products in, hiring staff, paying business rates and how to pay tax.
Your business plan performs some essential functions. Not only does it set a road map for the next few years, but it also makes financing a lot easier.
- Salon Rules and Regulations
A lot will depend on what sort of salon you want to create. If you are offering hair styling and then there is little in the way of regulation, you don’t even need to have qualifications. However, it’s essential to look at all the products you may be using and what health and safety provisions need to be implemented.
For example, if you offer hair dying, you need to protect your staff by providing them with gloves and ensuring that there is clean, running water available nearby. If you are employing manicurists, then having an extractor fan nearby to help remove potentially harmful chemical fumes is also important.
- How to Stand Out
The key to success for any business is setting itself apart from the competition. A lot will depend on the location you choose to set up your salon and what other businesses surround it. Footfall is also going to be critical – some high streets are simply not as busy as they used to be.
You may want to choose a location, for example, near a business district where you know there is a good supply of customers. Pay special attention to how your salon is going to look from the high street. Is it welcoming? Does it strike the right tone? Can pedestrians see clearly what you do?
- Marketing and Costing
Two critical parts of setting up a new salon are how you are going to cost your services and how and who you are going to market to. When it comes to doing the costing, do your research and don’t sell yourself short. Marketing can be a little trial and error at first, but look at areas such as social media and traditional leaflet advertising and setting up a business website to start with.