It looks easy doesnt it? Thats what most newly qualified Beauty Therapists think of running a beauty salon after they have been working for somebody else. The phone rings merrily all day, appointments fill up the book, the clients pay handsomely, and the salon owner makes a healthy profit. No wonder so many beauty therapists want to start a business of their own. Of course, what goes unnoticed is the many hours of administration and paperwork, the financial hardships in the early years, and the occasional sleepless night worrying about staff problems and other unforeseen hiccups. Running a beauty salon can be a fulfilling experience. A successful business can provide the chance to earn a good living and the freedom to practise the skills you have been trained in as you believe they should be practised. But opening a new business is a little like having a new baby; nothing can quite prepare you for the massive change it will make to your lifestyle. Most expectant mothers attend ante natal classes in preparation for their new arrivals. If beauty therapists made similar preparations before attempting to open a new business, fewer failures would occur. The key to business success lies in having the necessary skills to provide the high quality services that clients demand at a price which will produce a reasonable return. Like any other business, running a beauty salon requires skills which a wide ranging. Unfortunately, whilst all beauty therapists are adequately skilled in beauty therapy, most are poorly equipped in the skills required to manage a successful business. Sadly this is true for many small businesses and goes a long way to explain the large number of business failures. Just as being a highly skilled tradesman such as a builder or plumber is no guarantee of prosperity, being a good beauty therapist is not enough in itself to guarantee that your business will be successful. Why then are there not more beauty salon failures? Compared to most other small businesses, setting up a beauty salon is easy. A newly qualified therapist can begin trading with nothing more than a wax pot, whilst a fully equipped salon can be established for less than £25,000. Given the low investment required, the returns are very good, very few restrictions apply, and cashflow, which is the most common cause of all business failures, is reliable. With such favourable conditions, all but the worst businesses can survive. Unfortunately, only a handful of salons could honestly claim to be thriving. It would be madness to attempt an electrolysis treatment without proper training, and yet most current salon owners had no prior business or management training before setting up their salons. Is Self Employment For You? Working for yourself is quite different from working for an employer. In any organisation there are three types of people; the first type make things happen, the second type watch things happen, and the third type often ask what happened?. Not surprisingly, good managers come from the first category of people who make things happen that is what business management is all about. The following questionnaire has been designed to tell you how well suited you would be to becoming self employed. In each of the ten questions, pick the statement which most accurately describes you. 1. a) I am in excellent health, I can keep going both physically and mentally for long periods of time. b) I get tired easily, my concentration goes after a hard day at work. c) Im not in bad shape for my age. I can concentrate when I have to. 2. a) Once Ive set myself a target, I always get there, no matter what. b) I always give things a fair crack of the whip, but I believe that He who fights and walks away lives to fight another day. c) Mostly I go with the flow. 3. a) I dont suffer fools gladly. b) I rarely lose my temper. c) I tend to avoid people who frustrate me. 4. a) I need to know where I stand in life, I believe everyone and everything should have its place. b) I dont mind uncertainty, it can add a bit of spice to life. c) I prefer order to disorder, but I can endure disorder when I have to. 5. a) I think Im a bit of a loner. b) Some of my friends would describe me as the life and soul of the party. c) Im equally happy with friends or on my own. 6. a) I can concentrate on the things that interest me, I tend to ignore anything else. b) I just get on with whatever jobs need doing. c) I sometimes procrastinate when it comes to the chores in life, but I eventually get round to doing them. 7. a) I get demoralised quickly when things arent going my way. b) If things dont work out one way, then theres often an alternative course of action to follow. c) I dont like making mistakes, but when I do I learn something from them, and make sure I take steps to do it right next time. 8. a) I hate making decisions which are going to upset people. b) Hard decisions are a fact of life, its a tough job but someone has to do it. c) I have to go through a lot of heartache before I make a decision which will affect people. 9. a) Im fairly evenly tempered. I dont have great mood swings. b) I know I get moody, I cant help it. c) You have to take the lows in order to appreciate the highs. 10. a) If I go into business, nobody is going to tell me what to do again. b) Im going to need all the help and advice I can get if I go into business. c) If I went into business, Id listen to advice, but the final decision will be mine. Scoring For each of your answers, score either 0, 1, or 2 according to the chart. Scores: 14-20 You are level headed, analytical, and adaptable. You should find self employment suits you better than being an employee. You are hard working and do not shirk your responsibilities, even the ones which are unpleasant. When the going gets tough, you get going. 7-13 You will find yourself frustrated from time to time as an employee, however, you will need to work hard at being self employed. You sometimes shirk the less palatable jobs, and become frustrated when things dont go your way. 0-6 Think again before going self employed. You like to live life at a leisurely pace, and do not enjoy the challenge of the unexpected. You enjoy being told what to do, and hate uncertainty. Work for you is something that pays the bills and finances your social life.