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chery19

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If you could go back and start your business again what would you do differently?

I'm looking for advice on opening a salon.

What did you do that worked and what would you change if you had to do it again?

What was a good investment and what was a waste of time?

Looking forward to hearing your ideas
 

Grace_Hair

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I would have read more about running a business first.

I read one book (just after the salon opened).
I've been open 18months and feel out of my depth and that I'm not growing my business enough.
 

chery19

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Thanks Tori,
Sometimes I think you need to take that leap of faith though.
I have been a mobile business for 4 years and have been looking for premises since I started, I've had several opportunities but felt like they weren't for me, I don't know whether that was fear talking and just making excuses but I still feel I'm not ready but is anyone ever ready for a commitment like that? I think sometimes you need to take a leap of faith.
I admire you for doing it, maybe you should look up business gateway? I've done loads of their seminars and they are free :)
Good luck for the future Tori <3
 

Beckybee

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If you could go back and start your business again what would you do differently?

I'm looking for advice on opening a salon.
Don't employ family or friends. Sooner or later there will be problems
 

surf girl

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I rent 2 chairs out to friends & I have a niece employed on Saturdays, were an awesome team, what sort of problems have you guys had with f&f's ?
 

squidgernetball

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Thanks for sharing @sana1. Sadly there are people in the world who are downright horrible in every walk of life. I hope things improve for you. It may be worth talking to someone about copyrighting your website etc.

Re working with family. I employ my daughter and have done for 2 years now. Together we have grown the business beyond our expectations. It was made very clear to her from the start that this is no free ride. She has to bring in at least her wages as I can't afford to carry someone. I've seen too many programmes where parents employ their children and use their savings to pay them(!). That was not going to happen. She now has a company car and more than makes her wages!

When I started looking at growing my business - so moving out from my home salon - I did a bit of networking. Breakfast meetings where business owners/aspiring business owners would get together and often try and flog each other stuff but occasionally you'd meet people who just wanted to help. I was told by an excellent accountant not to think too big. He said there's nothing worse than people who think they are going to be more successful than they are, sitting in an empty room with no customers, so I grew small. We were small for about 18 months. Then I took a leap of faith and leased the whole of our premises rather than the half that I had. It worked well for me. The other half had been empty for about 12 months and there was little interest. I got the whole building for a really great rent.

I also started using salon geek. I read some great posts about starting out.

My advice. Don't run before you can walk. Don't get into hideous debt. Don't employ staff until you have no other option. A receptionist is a major luxury. We still manage without one. When you think of what you want, dint expect it to be perfect before you even start. Doing clients and retailing is what brings money in. Looking at a slightly imperfect salon, wishing it was perfect doesn't. Start small. If you're that good, you'll soon grow. If you start big - even if you're great - the bills could cripple you before you're even up and running. Don't expect to make any money at least in the first two years. It all goes back into the business. Depending on your business, consider going Ltd to protect your personal assets (when I signed the lease on the whole barn we had been Ltd for about 4 months. The fiat thing my husband asked was "can they touch the house?" and of course the answer is no).

As your business grows, don't see vat registration as a big baddy. If you don't go vat registered you have no incentive to grow.

Some geeks may remember a fellow geek on here who proudly told us that she did all treatments for £1 through two months of the year to keep herself under the vat threshold. She'd done this for several years. I pointed out that if she'd pushed it, she could have absorbed the effect of the vat and hugely grown her business. If she'd done that her business could be flying but instead, it's stifled, and would probably become under investigation from hmrc!

Good luck with it

Vic x
 

QueenOfTheCouch

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimate-Salon-Management-Established-Vocational/dp/0851932134
This book and her other 2 are a great starting point.
Do your research, establish yourself with good regular clients before you invest in premises. Being mobile and owning a salon are too totally different things. Salon overheads can be very expensive, rent, rates, utilities, insurance etc be sure you know what your outgoings are going to be before you commit. When looking at premises look for somewhere with good parking facilities if possible as lots of clients comment on these things, people want ease of access not hassle when coming to be pampered.
I've been in business 15yrs and it comes with its high and lows so be prepared.
Stick with good reputable brands and keep your standards high which will keep the clients coming back again and again [emoji5]️
Good luck.
 

sana1

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Thanks for you advice @squidgernetball
Always read your posts and find them very useful. Thank you x
 

surf girl

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@sana1 when your ready to publish your site copyright it, I've just had my ideas pinched too it's so frustrating I really feel for you, my copycat is far away from me tho so If I was you I'd wanna go wreck her place! (Only kidding but u know what I mean) it's quite straight forward to copyright there are instructions online, I had the meaning of kahuna ready to go up on mine & low and behold my copycat beat me to it now I'm not allowed to use it because they copywrighted their site!
 

BannerPenguin

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@sana1 when your ready to publish your site copyright it, I've just had my ideas pinched too it's so frustrating I really feel for you, my copycat is far away from me tho so If I was you I'd wanna go wreck her place! (Only kidding but u know what I mean) it's quite straight forward to copyright there are instructions online, I had the meaning of kahuna ready to go up on mine & low and behold my copycat beat me to it now I'm not allowed to use it because they copywrighted their site!
I'm pretty sure the meaning of khuna isn't copyrightable as it's common knowledge. Similar to Artisan.
 

surf girl

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I'm pretty sure the meaning of khuna isn't copyrightable as it's common knowledge. Similar to Artisan.
@kahuna hair
These people obviously lack originality, creativity & talent, they can imitate you but can never get inside.
Lucky your copycat is not local! I have thought many times to confront mine with a email or get a solicitor to send her a letter of warning, I just don't want to make things worse as she is a nasty piece of work and can do anything.
I also feel if I don't do anything about it before my website launches Il never do it, will have to accept it and put up with it forever. I know for a fact she will take everything from my site maybe tweak it slightly. My web designer says the site will have copy write on it and any work that I have created in the past is automatically protected as I have dates and evidence that I created it originally.
The thing that worries me is the stuff she stole in the past was off my Facebook, this is now on her website and she has a copywrite on it , I hope she can't claim that I'm copying from her site once my site goes live!
(I changed my username it's still me :) ) what exactly has she copied?
 

WaxGirl

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Hi Guys now that you're asking il share my horror story about going into a partnership with a friend. Sorry for the long post.
My ONLY and BIGGEST regret ever, I was looking to open my own business working from home. This is 5 years back. I shared my business ideas and my vision with my neighbour who was also a friend. I was approached by her a couple of weeks later, She wanted to join forces, she was fed up with her current job at the bank as a business accounts advisor and was begging for this opportunity. She had no qualifications or any clue about this industry, what she had was business experience. I had my basic level 2 but no experience in this field. As I was a full time mum for the past 8 years my confidence was very low, the thought of going alone scared me. I booked myself on a couple of more courses to update. I did a lot of research about the latest treatments and also the best place to buy all the equipment from. She approached me again. Her plan was I would carry out the treatments and she would look after all the business side of it and once the business did well she would pack in her job. Unfortunately I accepted her offer. We registered the company as equal business partners. She had all my business contacts and we were all set to go. Couple of weeks before opening she asked me to meet her, I had a inkling as to what was coming next as there was a change in her behaviour. These are her exact words. " I apologise in advance for what I have to say, iv looked at all the figures and it isn't worth my while to go in 50% partnership with you, the best I an offer you is a job at £6 a hour, I will employ you and another therapist if I have to and you will work from my basement until I find a beauty room to rent"....
At this point I was thinking I'm better off out of this than in, I could clearly see her greed and evil Intensions. Also i thought maybe this is her calling and not mine.I didn't want any trouble or to ruin our relationship as neighbours.
So this was my reply. " there's no way I will work for you and I definitely can't do this on my own. Maybe it's not my time. I will just walk away and give you the chance to make a better life for yourself, i wish you all the best and promise I won't look back and you have to promise me that you won't let this effect our relationship. I will say one thing I have faith in God I could be opening up in 6 months or 6 years or maybe never, I Leave it up to God to decide that"
Obviously she was surprised at my decision. First thing next morning she was at my door. She had some forms from our accountant for me to resign from the company!
I signed them and hoped that was the end of it, how wrong could I have been. When my sister heard of this she offered to join me and help out with the kids. I refused at first because I lost all trust in relationships and didn't want a repeat of what had already happened, it took some persuading and eventually I agreed. 3 month later we leased a room and opened up in a business centre. I used all the same contacts I had passed on to my neighbour. These contacts called me saying she was threatening them and had asked them not to sell or lease out their equipment to me! I overlooked this.
Luckily she moved out from here she couldn't face me anymore. Since then she has been a total nightmare. She's turned out to be a poisonous snake. Shes always snooping at my Facebook page, (still haven't managed to do a website) she steals all my ideas, new treatments, whatever I am doing today- next minute she is doing the exact same, she will blatantly copy word by word. Sometimes I don't know wether to laugh or cry!!
Her website and all her marketing materials the colour scheme was black/brown/ white, she has changed this to lime green and white, exact same as mine. She is a duplicate of my business in every way. I have stopped advertising and don't use Facebook as I just can't get away from her. I'm constantly feeding this parasite. She has all the social media pages including a website, everything she has on these till date is stolen from me. She has a beauty room 10 minutes from me, offering all the latest beauty/ aesthetic treatments, has a couple of girls working for her, she has built her empire.
I'm currently working on my website, it is long overdue! I am just worried about her. I know for a fact she will change her whole website after seeing mine and will include all my new treatments and other ideas I have applied to it.
I am so passionate about my work and I work so hard, I have a dream but she seems to at a snap of a finger take it all away.
Sorry for the long post, never shared this with anyone other than my family. I hope you guys can learn from this.

Sana xx
Hold on to your faith, as you say it will all work out the way God wants it too, sometimes these things are sent to challenge us and its only after we see the reason why.

Focus your mind on yourself and your own business, do everything you can not to watch what she is doing... that girl has serious issues to behave in such a cold manipulative way towards a friend, its not normal.
 

KrisKross

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If you could go back and start your business again what would you do differently?
I'd make my prices higher. I started with prices just under the most expensive salon in my area, but I wish I'd have matched their prices.
 

Jody2412

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I am self employed and freelance. I wish I was tougher and said no more often. If I had my own salon I would need to be tougher. The Hubby says I'm too nice. So my advice would be to be nice but also toughen up. Go with your gut if you have a bad feeling about something you are probably right about it x
 

surf girl

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@surf girl. She's obsessed, shel copy anything and everything sometimes just for the sake of it. If I write about my vision or my aim or what my business stands for, she will say the exact same things word by word! It can't get any worse! Even anything new iv offered from day one, she will follow through any Offers, new treatments, adverts, quotes, Facebook posts whatever she sees she will do! I'm sure she looking for a reaction from my side.
What a weirdo! :confused: don't react in anger tho it'll backfire on you, you need to get clever with it ;)
 

Emm87

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Thanks for sharing @sana1. Sadly there are people in the world who are downright horrible in every walk of life. I hope things improve for you. It may be worth talking to someone about copyrighting your website etc.

Re working with family. I employ my daughter and have done for 2 years now. Together we have grown the business beyond our expectations. It was made very clear to her from the start that this is no free ride. She has to bring in at least her wages as I can't afford to carry someone. I've seen too many programmes where parents employ their children and use their savings to pay them(!). That was not going to happen. She now has a company car and more than makes her wages!

When I started looking at growing my business - so moving out from my home salon - I did a bit of networking. Breakfast meetings where business owners/aspiring business owners would get together and often try and flog each other stuff but occasionally you'd meet people who just wanted to help. I was told by an excellent accountant not to think too big. He said there's nothing worse than people who think they are going to be more successful than they are, sitting in an empty room with no customers, so I grew small. We were small for about 18 months. Then I took a leap of faith and leased the whole of our premises rather than the half that I had. It worked well for me. The other half had been empty for about 12 months and there was little interest. I got the whole building for a really great rent.

I also started using salon geek. I read some great posts about starting out.

My advice. Don't run before you can walk. Don't get into hideous debt. Don't employ staff until you have no other option. A receptionist is a major luxury. We still manage without one. When you think of what you want, dint expect it to be perfect before you even start. Doing clients and retailing is what brings money in. Looking at a slightly imperfect salon, wishing it was perfect doesn't. Start small. If you're that good, you'll soon grow. If you start big - even if you're great - the bills could cripple you before you're even up and running. Don't expect to make any money at least in the first two years. It all goes back into the business. Depending on your business, consider going Ltd to protect your personal assets (when I signed the lease on the whole barn we had been Ltd for about 4 months. The fiat thing my husband asked was "can they touch the house?" and of course the answer is no).

As your business grows, don't see vat registration as a big baddy. If you don't go vat registered you have no incentive to grow.

Some geeks may remember a fellow geek on here who proudly told us that she did all treatments for £1 through two months of the year to keep herself under the vat threshold. She'd done this for several years. I pointed out that if she'd pushed it, she could have absorbed the effect of the vat and hugely grown her business. If she'd done that her business could be flying but instead, it's stifled, and would probably become under investigation from hmrc!

Good luck with it

Vic x
I love your advice on growing your business Vic, so inspirational! I work from my salon at home, not even been a year yet so still relatively quiet but it is picking up all the time. I hope to have an actual salon in the future and really hope I can be so successful. I definitely have the passion for it.
In terms of wishing what I'd done differently when I started, I wish I had made my prices slightly higher. They're not stupidly low and I still make a decent profit from treatments, but wish I'd had the confidence back then to charge a bit more!
 

sana1

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Adam Chatterley

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This has gone on for nearly five years, just tried to ignore it.
Hi Sana,

I would just like to echo the support and sympathy that everyone here has given you. Sounds like you just had a REALLY bad experience and I prefer to believe that these people are by far in the minority. It is just very unlucky that this happened to you.

In terms of moving forward, you just have to try as hard as you can to ignore it. They say that "imitation is the most sincere form of flattery" so in a way you could take it as a compliment that she is trying to emulate you . . . although given what you have been through I imagine this might be difficult?

Just keep doing what you are doing, be creative, be inspirational and keep being strong. This person can copy what you do, but if all she is doing is copying you eventually she will fall behind, lose interest, fail or just give up.

You haven't mentioned anything particular that you are struggling with in your business right now, other than being copied/hounded, but if you are I am sure that if you just post anything here the whole community - certainly anyone on this thread that has read your story - would be falling over themselves to help you.

Keep Going, keep strong,

Adam
 

Adam Chatterley

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Hi Everyone,

This is a really interesting question for me . . . mainly because it is pretty much the whole focus of my own website! I am on a mission to help new and existing salon and beauty business owners get started successfully and stay successful in their businesses so they can focus on what they do best - helping people. Oh and all the articles are absolutely free!

A few of you have mentioned that you wish you would have known a bit more about business, read some more books, been to more business classes etc. Just out of curiosity, did anyone look online for this type of assistance either when you were starting out or even now you are in business?

Also, do you still feel - even after opening your own business/salon - that you would like to know more about the business aspect of running a salon?

I would be really, really interested to hear all your thoughts.

Hate to make a blatant plug . . . but it seems appropriate on this thread, check out http://salonbusinesssecrets.com and let me know what you think?

-Adam
 

Adam Chatterley

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I love your advice on growing your business Vic, so inspirational! I work from my salon at home, not even been a year yet so still relatively quiet but it is picking up all the time. I hope to have an actual salon in the future and really hope I can be so successful. I definitely have the passion for it.
In terms of wishing what I'd done differently when I started, I wish I had made my prices slightly higher. They're not stupidly low and I still make a decent profit from treatments, but wish I'd had the confidence back then to charge a bit more!
Hi Emm87 . . .

You say you wish you 'had' made your prices higher? Have you since raised them or do you still feel they are a bit low and would like to charge more?

-Adam
 

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