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Starting a Salon.....


Market Research

Hairdressing is a very competitive business, and you are more than likely to be setting up where there are already salons established. It is therefore essential that you have a good marketing strategy to get yourself known in the area and entice clientele. The name of your salon is one of the most important things you should decide. Primarily it should be a name that when someone hears it they never forget it. This can take a lot of time to decide on your salon name so make sure you experiment with it and talk to people about it before you come to a decision (obviously make sure nobody you speak to is going to pinch your idea!).

It is important that you conduct your market research effectively. Work out a good sample range dependent on the population where you will be locating your salon and make sure you ask this number of people if they would welcome a salon in their area, as if you come up against public disapproval this can cause many problems. You can use focus groups to see what they will want from your salon, for example, will it be unisex and will you provide beauty treatments? Having this approach allows you to ask questions but also allows for discussion of the idea. Although time consuming, it will be hugely beneficial to get the opinions of your potential customer base. Questionnaires can also provide highly useful information. They allow you to ask direct closed questions that will be answered matter-of-factly and also you can ask open-ended questions where the respondent can expand if they wish. This also allows anonymity and so you are likely to get honest answers and an idea if there is great public disapproval. You could also speak to other businesses in the area and get their ideas, if of course they are willing to discuss.

An important decision that you will need to make when opening a salon will be whether you want to be unisex or just for women or just for men. There are pro’s and con’s of both. Being unisex means potentially more customers, but you will need to have the staff to cover a wider range of styles and services your customers may want. If your salon catered just for women, their cuts and styles commonly are less frequent, however they will usually require a higher standard and therefore cost more.

For men’s and unisex salons, generally custom is obtained by passing trade and therefore the expense of advertising is usually minimum. However, for a women’s only salon, this is usually operated via bookings and so it is generally essential to market yourself well and gain custom. The cheapest and most valuable form of advertising is word of mouth. Make sure that everybody who comes into your salon is more than satisfied and leaves with nothing more than good words to say about you. This can be enhanced by having friendly staff, making the salon look and feel comfortable and clean. Most women love having their hair done so look into making their experience as memorable and relaxing as possible.