Thursday, May 29, 2014

Expanding hairdressers

     Free daily tips, information and advice for people in small businesses
     from someone who has been there, done that in several small operations.

     In yesterday's world, many hairdressers started their business working at a single station. The small operation served the neighborhood, and the owner of the shop did all the work.

     Such places still exist, but they are relatively rare. More commonly, today's hairdressers are salons. And the services offered cover much more than hair.

     Example: Mary began "doing hair" more than 30 years ago. Today, she has a six-station salon. The specialty is color and cut. Over the years she expanded with the times, carefully adding employees--no freelancers here. She sends her people to training sessions to keep up with the latest fashions and trends in styling and color. Not only do women drive considerable distances to her shop, but she is seeing an increasing number of men. 

     This example is fairly typical of expansions in the hairdressing business. A business must keep up with the changing times, or it will be left with a smaller and smaller customer base.

     Example: Janet also began as a single-operator hairdresser. Over several years, she successfully transformed her operation into a full-fledged spa. Both women and men come to her spa today. Customers can select from a menu, from an hour long refresher to a full day of total transformation. Hair is cut, skin is cleaned, nails are trimmed, bodies are massaged and waxed, and a nutritionist is on hand to counsel clients. Beginning as a single-station operation, Janet today employs more than two dozen specialists--and the referrals keep the appointment desk buzzing. 

     The decision to expand a hairdressing operation into a full-fledged spa takes lots of determination, space, funding, and a careful business plan. Clearly, spa services can include many different possibilities, and the appeal is to an up-scale clientele.  

     Example: John went through professional training and spent several years in a New York salon. His ambition was to become the hairdresser to male and female movie stars, politicians, CEOs and business magnates. During all those years of training and experience, John was building up his list of contacts and networking his way to many more. When he decided the time was right, he quit his position at the New York salon. His cell phone became his business office as he made calls to prospective clients. With a pocketful of appointments, he regularly boards a flight to meet the client--whenever and wherever. He does not have a bricks-and-mortar location, nor does he need one.

     Many avenues can open up for expanding a hairdressing business. These three examples are from people I have worked with--names changed, of course.

     All sorts of possibilities and opportunities are out there. It's a matter of deciding where you want to take your talents. And doing your business plan.

     Questions? I retired when I turned 75--these days, I write and coach. You can email me at with specific questions--put BLOG in the subject line so I don't delete. Quick answers from my 40+ years experience founding and operating small businesses. Your privacy is always respected.  


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