Starting your own hairdressing salon in Wrexham can be fraught with difficulties and hurdles that need jumping. When Nat Cargius started his hairdressing business in Wrexham he took care to avoid some of the mistakes many salon owners make when starting a hairdressers.
Fear of failure may be preventing you from opening your own hairdressing salon in Wrexham, but take heart in the fact that every successful hairdresser has made their share of mistakes along the road to the top.
Here are some of the tips Nat Cargius has shared with us and for you to avoid
Avoid the temptation of overpaying stylists right at the start. A lot of hairdressing salon owners think that they need the best local talent and will offer inflated incentives to get that chair. A good stylist will bring clients but remember that they can leave your salon and take clients with them if they are unhappy and you’ll resent both them and your decision.
Don’t be lazy when recruiting and seek that “gem” looking for a chance rather than the established well known talent. Once you get established and the business is flourishing, the better stylists will come looking for a job. You’ll not need to chase them.
Inadequately Screening Prospective Stylists
Don’t rush into hiring new Stylists. Take the time to check their training, education, job history, and ability. Some hairdressing salon owners get into trouble when they trust the employee right off the bat and don’t screen them carefully. Hiring from word of mouth is also a major pitfall, what one person believes is a top stylist is someone elses nightmare “cropper”.
“I stylists by taking them at their word that they were reliable and new the latest techniques and they all outright lied to me and I had to re-employ new staff” said Nat Cargius.
Hiring Over-experienced Stylists
There are disadvantages to hiring Stylists with too much experience. Nat Cargius looked for stylists who had one year of experience and no clientele of their own. The reasoning behind this was simple, if someone works at a salon for too long, they pick up the corporate style of that salon as well as any bad habits that were condoned there. Their time keeping could be lax and the level of professionalism that you want to portray may be at odds with the ability of the stylists.
A stylist can be too good for your salon in the sense that they may be enamoured with their own creativity at the expense of the client. These stylists can, and often do, think they are the most important person when the client is the most important person. “Clients come to us because they like the way we make their hair look, not because we have the most creative people working here” added Nat Cargius.
Remember that it’s not the experience that’s important, it’s how much the person wants the job. Always look for someone who has some training and needs the job. People will come wanting something part-time or on the side, or they think they want the job and they really don’t. These people take the job but immediately start looking for something else. Instead, look for people who want a career – a full-time, 40-plus-hour-a-week job.
Hiring Stylists Without Trying Them Out
It’s a good idea to give a prospective employee a hands-on test. If you can, have them style a wig in front of you and or an experienced hairdresser. Remember, if you emply someone that can’t do the job, they are a lawsuit waiting to happen and that can be disaster for your new business.
Obscuring Your Business
Don’t set up your salon so that you’re invisible or obscured. The best places to set up are near primarily in or near shopping centres or main roads. Here you gain a high visibility and pedestrian traffic passes constantly. If the rent is too high and you need to be set back, make sure your salons name is everywhere close too and around it. Leaflet dropping is useful but not a great way of introducing your new business. Get out there and network among other business owners and potential clients.
A hairdressing salon sign will make a big difference in traffic. Make it simple to read from a distance, get the phone number on it larger than the name and make sure it’s facing the correct way.
Failing to Take Care of Business
Develop and use your business sense. Once you become a salon owner, you can no longer rely on your creative talents alone to keep your business going. The biggest mistake you will make is trying to run your salon as a creative venture rather than as a business venture.
Remember this, most hairdressers can be wonderfully creative, but most of them they don’t have a clue how to run a business. If they did they’d open their own salon and be a competitor. To run a successful hairdressing business make sure you have a system in place that works and suits YOUR needs.
One of the most important parts of taking care of business is being aware of your reputation. You can try every sort of marketing but the most successful and cost effective method is the tried and trusted – Word of Mouth.
Not having a web page
Being on the Internet is a necessity. According to one salon owner, even if you get no new clients from the web page, occasionally old clients need to look up your address or phone number. If you’re opening up and want people to know what you’re up to, a social media marketing campaign is the best way to go. For example, we use @NatCargius on Twitter and reach over 150,000 views per month. That’s more than I can guarantee we’d get using newspapers adverts or leaflet dropping. We also have @ReallyReally_Me on Twitter too.
Are you adequately advertising your salon? Although being close to a supermarket can get you plenty of walk-in clients, it doesn’t follow that advertising on the back of grocery receipts will bring you business, according to several salon owners we spoke with. Some people will advertise in a local church newsletter and others in bridal magazines. From our experience, Bridal always works. Brides want you to put together different deals and packages, and they don’t say no to expensive services.
Don’t forget the power of the computer. “When I had five salons back in the 1980s, we put large weekly ads in the local papers, which was expensive. But now we don’t have to. We use our database and website and it’s so effective and for a fraction of the cost” said Nat Cargius.
So get computerised.