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"HOW TO START AND OPERATE A SUCCESSFUL HAIR SALON" (Part I)

Welcome to the wonderful world of salon ownership. By reading this information, you have already started out on the right foot. However, if you follow the instructions contained herein, your chances of experiencing costly mistakes and miscalculations could be drastically reduced.

You think you know what it takes to be a beauty salon owner. You've built your clientele, raised your money, been encouraged by family and friends. Not to mention the fact that you know you can operate your own salon, much better than the owners you've rented your booths from in the past.
Or maybe your tired of paying a nominal percentage of your earnings to owners that seem to take your money and offer you little more than a place to work. If this sounds familiar to you, and you think its time to take the dip into salon ownership, consider these facts before you take the plunge.

More than 60% of salons started by hairstylists for these reasons, find themselves in danger of losing their own stylist for the very same reasons mentioned above.

New salon owners are constantly plagued with financial problems from the upstart, due to their miscalculations and bad decisions.

Many salon owners miscalculate the size of their salons based upon their expectations and dependency of other hairstylists. If the new owner survives this disaster, finding and keeping the right kind of employees or finding employees period has been a major barrier that has crippled thousands of entrepreneurs in the salon industry. Many owners end up with large salons and not enough help to make it profitable.

Several steps should be taken before you make your investment. You must take into consideration the area or location of your salon. Many salon owners choose a location based on the cost of the monthly rent. Alternatively, they move into an area that's saturated with other salons. These could be the most damaging reasons that their success is minimized. Cheap rent due to location often places hardships on the owner for lack of walk by traffic, visibility, and too many salons in one location. Stylist can easily change salons and often end up right in the same area as their former employer.


Often stylist conspires to exit a salon together, months before they make their move into competing salons. They often take a large percentage of clients and resources needed to operate without giving prior notice of their former employers

Many salon owners get frustrated and decide that they have been wronged by the very people they were trying to help. This owner should think back to the circumstances that prompted them to own a business.

Losing operators is inevitable in the salon business. Up to 90% of hairstylists have a desire to own a salon at some point of their careers. With this in mind, an owner must always look for new prospective operators.

Your primary source of keeping your salon staffed should be novice hairstylist. Recently graduated cosmetologist adds freshness to a salon and has a strong desire to get the training they need to become successful. Volunteering to do workshops at local beauty schools have always been the number one way to inform up coming stylist as to how you operate your business and the benefits they would receive working at your establishment.

Think back to when you graduated from beauty school. What were your expectations of the salon and the owner you chose? Did they fall short of what you had in mind? A stylist's first salon experience leaves an impression that could be carried throughout their careers. Professionalism or the lack thereof could start a new stylist on the road to great success or imminent failure.

What programs would you have liked the owners to have in place? Did training play a part in your choosing your place of employment? Did the program fall short of what you expected? Many stylist think that what they've learned in beauty school or working in a salon atmosphere is all they will need to know about this industry. They often end their careers in mediocrity and disappointment.

The salon business is intricate. Several factors must be considered before you make your initial investment.
 

Consider These Points:

1. Have you surveyed your market, competition, and availability of potential new clients, before   you
    signed your lease?
2. Have you incorporated your business with the state?
3. Have you had your attorney review & negotiate your lease agreement?
4. Does your business plan include all the elements that's needed to carry your salon through
    completion?
5. Have you engaged an architect to draw-up your building plans?
6. Have you negotiated the cost of your build-out with at least three contractors?
7. Will you lease or buy your equipment.
8. Is your clientele strong enough to carry your salon until you get the necessary help?
9. What about marketing materials such as advertising & promotion vehicles, business cards, flyers,
    brochures, letterhead, etc.?
10. Do you have your business professionals in place, accountants, attorneys, insurance agents,
      business managers and consultants?
11. Do you have oops money set aside, for the inevitable mistakes & miscalculations; you're bound to
      experience before your doors open?
12. Do you have your operators lined up?
 

The first step to opening any successful business, is the Business Plan.
About one million new businesses are started each year in the United States. Only one in five or two hundred and fifty thousand survive to see their fifth
anniversary. There are many reasons why; however; the primary reason is their lack of planning.

Business plans acts as the road map that guide the prospective entrepreneur through the turbulent times that may lie ahead for every new business venture. You will need to present this plan to lending institutions, investors and in some cases to secure lease space.

Your business plan could serve as the single most important part of your business life. A business plan is a description of your business, including its products, services, the markets, people involved, and your financing needs.
Your business plan is also designed to manage and keep you and your staff on track, by reminding you of your business goals, and by painting a picture that should be followed as closely as possible.

Your plan should project your business goals and activity for at least two years. Plans can be revised to fit any changes or improvements you might implement in the future.

Start by writing your vision down on paper, exactly how you perceive your business, it's operations, staff, After you have detailed your plan as you see it, hire a professional business plan writer with a strong background in financial projections.

This service could cost anywhere from $1500.00 to $5000.00, based on how intense you want the plan written. It's worth every penny, it can help you obtain financing from different funding sources and give interested parties, a clear picture of what you're trying to achieve.
If you need additional information on composing your plan, contact a business consultant.

While challenges may arise with all new business ventures, one of the most important factors is not to give up. Your endurance will overcome all obstacles that place themselves in your way. Business problems can seem overwhelming at times to lone entrepreneurs. The best way to battle this matter is to engage a consultant, whose responsibility would be to create and implement fresh & cutting edge ideas for your salon.

Successful salons in most cases are not a one-man show. A limited partnership should be considered to circumvent many of the problems related to startup. Two heads have proven time & time again, to be better than one in the salon business. Someone else that's as equally responsible for the day to day operations will release loads of pressure off a lone proprietor. Primarily, partners share in the 16 to 18 hours daily you personally would have to invest in the beginning of your upstart.

This step alone can prove to be invaluable because the majority of your startup takes place outside the salon. Sharing responsibilities gives the new owner the time and leverage that's needed to get the business sturdily on its feet.

Click here for Part II of "Starting and operating a Successful Salon."

For complete instructions on How to Own and Operate Successful Salons: Purchase ”Are You Running A Business OR Just Doin’ Hair”


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