Opening a salon is an amazing accomplishment, but as many would say, also quite the stressful experience. At the time, all sorts of questions run through your mind:
- Will I have enough clients?
- Will I be able to pay the bills, my staff?
- What if people don’t like the salon?
The list goes on.
Fortunately, salon or spa ownership is nothing new, and as it turns out, many current salon owners have also asked themselves the same questions. So, we spoke to a few of them and asked: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
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‘What Would You Tell Your Younger Self’ Salon Tips
1. There Are No Silly Questions
“Never be too embarrassed or proud to ask how to do things. If you don’t know, ask. If you treat your business as you would your child, you’ll quickly grasp it’s there to be nurtured and cared for. People want to be part of a nice business, so create that.” Ken Picton, Ken Picton Salon, Cardiff
2. Choose With Your Head, Not Your Heart
“Don’t introduce products and services solely because YOU like them. I dread to think of all the money I wasted over the years, buying into the latest fad product or treatment without doing my research first. Do your customers actually want what you are proposing to offer and, more importantly, are they prepared to pay for it? Note to younger self: pubic hair dye is never going to take off.” Andy Rouillard, Axiom Bodyworks, Hampshire
3. Look After Number 1
“Take good care of your health. You can’t work every hour and expect to be a brilliant therapist. We work in a very giving industry, so it’s important that you eat well and take time out to be with your family and friends.” Maria Mason, Beauty Time, Bristol
4. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
“Our advice to our younger selves would be to stay focused in your business. It’s important to be there all the time and immerse yourself in the salon from an early age. Artistic and creative work can still be an integral part of the salon but it’s important to invest in your business first. Also, surround yourself with great people.” Gary Hooker and Michael Young, Hooker & Young, Newcastle and County Durham
5. Take Time To Recruit
“When building a successful team, build it slowly and take the time to look for people who have passion and creativity. When a business is growing fast, it is easy to expand the team to meet the demand. But for a longer term view, build your team slowly and invest in those around you. Follow your gut instinct and surround yourself with people you trust.” Sarah McKenna, Vixen & Blush, London
6. Don’t Put Off The Boring Stuff
“Stay on top of your paperwork. Last minute tax returns are no fun when all your friends are down the pub, and you’re trying to find a receipt for a nail lamp you bought last June. Oh, and get a good accountant, they’ll save you so much time and hassle in the long run.” Andy Rouillard, Axiom Body Works, Hampshire
7. Get Techy
“Ditch the manual systems and go automated. My client database would have been much larger if I’d realised the advantages of investing in a good software system from the outset. It’s an essential tool for keeping track of your clients’ details all in one place and can send automatic reminders and email offers, which helps to grow and nurture your clients.” Lisa Connell, B Inspired Hair & Beauty, London
8. Work Hard, But Not Only At Treatments
“I worked very hard in treatments and was always eager to please. Looking back I wish I’d learned to systemise things sooner and also to give myself more time out of the treatment room to work on the business. I’ve thought up some of my best ideas when I’ve had some time out.” Laura Dicken, Podology, Yorkshire
9. You Get What You Pay For
“Plan for the long term! In the very early days, I remember buying a second-hand couch because it was a good price. I paid the price dearly because it wasn’t light and portable and when I worked as a mobile therapist it was my most important tool.” Maria Mason, Beauty Time, Bristol
10. Reach Out To Others
“If I could turn back the clock and tell myself what I know now, it would be, don’t be afraid to take risks and build a strong network of relevant professionals and collaborate with more companies to expand opportunities.” Michelle Duberry, Nice Nails Baby, London
11. Don’t Compare Yourself
“There’s nothing wrong with staying small. Growth is good, but don’t constantly compare yourself to other salons or feel you have to own the biggest, shiniest shop in town. Never let anyone make you feel rubbish for having a one-room business. Grow at your own pace.” Andy Rouillard, Axiom Body Works, Hampshire
12. Give Back
“Be different. Giving back to the community is a great way of differentiating your business and fosters goodwill. I now donate free pamper treatments to brain tumour sufferers which sends out a caring and ethical message to my existing and potential clients and the public in general.” Lisa Connell, B Inspired Hair & Beauty, London
How about yourself? What advice or salon tips would you tell your younger self? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, let us know either in the comments below or tweet us @ThePhorestWord! (Pssst! We’re on Instagram too!)
Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow