Guest Article by Gloria Murray, Accountant and Director of Murray Associates Accountants
You’ve opened your salon, you’ve got your staff team, and everything is trundling along nicely. So, you start to ask yourself, “Should I open a second location?” When I’m asked this question, my usual answer is “no,” because, inevitably, not enough thought has gone into it. Opening a second salon or spa involves more than meets the eye and many salon owners, unfortunately, get too excited, too quickly. Is your salon truly ready to expand?
5 Questions That Will Help You Determine If Your Salon Is Ready For A Second Location
1. Is It The Right Time?
I had a client last year who wanted to open a new beauty salon in January. When I pointed out to her that she was super busy with clients in December – plus she would have the extra stress of dealing with workmen and making decisions about the work – the shadow of a doubt made her reconsider. Also, if you add in the extra expenses of paying out for a salon that would be really quiet for the first couple of months, it really was not the best time to do it. That is, even though her husband, a fireman – not a businessman – was egging her on!
2. Is My Salon Running Like Clockwork?
If there are problems in your current salon, you can be sure they will be made worse by opening another location. If your team isn’t working well together, it will only get worse when you’ve got two locations to look after. The staff will feel like you’re spending all your time on the new one, and, inherently, neglecting them. Simultaneously, the new staff in the other location feel like you’re spending all your time in the old salon and neglecting them. Do you need that?
3. Do I Know The Important Numbers In My Business?
If your current salon’s staff utilisation rate is only 50%, don’t think you will make more money by opening a second location to your business. Make sure it’s near capacity before you start expansion projects, and also, make sure you know what percentage of your new clients come back time and time again. If you’re only retaining 50% of new clients, then you’ve got a leaky bucket. Perhaps you need to give your staff additional training to make sure your retention rate remains high? Find out why; if you can fix this by a small percentage, it will help you when you’re ready to open the new salon.
4. Do I Have A Plan?
It might take you 6-9 months to find the dream business premises, so while you’re looking, get yourself a plan. There’s nothing to stop you from planning ahead so you open your salon at the best time for you – particularly when you’ve got the resources in cash and staff. In fact, to get the maximum traction possible, you should start planning your opening launch and your marketing campaign at least 3 months in advance.
5. Do I Have A Plan B?
Things usually take longer than you expect, and they rarely go according to plan. What if you can’t get the staff, or what if the workmen burst a pipe ruining all the new decor? Have some contingencies in place and enough cash to sustain the second location while it gets up on its feet. It usually takes longer than you expect.
So, I return to the question: is your salon truly ready for expansion?
Thanks for reading,
Gloria Murray is an award-winning accountant, and Director of Murray Associates Accountants. Based in Glasgow, she specialises in helping small business owners grow sustainable and ethical companies that not only provide a better service to their customers, but also contribute to local employment. If you would like to get more business tips from Gloria, you can get a free copy of her printed business magazine by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just give your address, and it’ll be delivered it directly to your salon.