The questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to opening your second salon are optimistic ones. After all, it probably means your first location is working well, that your clients are satisfied and your brand is ready to grow. But choosing when and how to take this step isn’t something you can do on the spur of the moment. FAB went in search of the advice of a few professionals who’ve already made the leap.
Growing & Solidifying
Every business owner has their own story, and sometimes it’s one about making the most of the opportunities that come your way. For Brian and Karen Perdue, founders of the original Salon 124 in Grayson, Georgia in the USA, and now proud owners of three locations, nothing happened like they had planned.
“We hadn’t ever planned on opening a second salon,” Karen told FAB. “Back in 1998, a few employees had just left us and we were having a hard time replacing them, which put our original salon into a lot of danger. When the situation finally began to improve, we decided it was time to invest in another location. Since then, with more stylists working for us and more locations, we’ve made our business a lot more stable too.”
‘Focus On Your First Salon’s Efficiency & Profitability’
Most of the time, this sort of decision is made when an owner’s first salon is profitable enough to make strategic growth realistic. As Christian B. Toth, founder of London’s Eleven Hair and now owner of three salons, sees it, “you should never open a second location until the first one is operating at full capacity”. He recommends “focusing on your first salon’s efficiency and profitability before you even think about starting on a second project”.
Darryl Jenkins, a strategic management coach who specializes in the beauty sector, told FAB it was most important to have a good grasp of tried and tested administrative and financial management techniques: “Establish your provisional cash flow and a solid business plan: that will help you make sure your second location doesn’t cannibalize trade from your first one. This exercise can also help you be more confident and convincing when talking to business partners and potential investors.”
Trust Your Team
On top of the financial stakes, the decision to open a second salon needs to take into account another crucial element: your team. It’s impossible for you to be in two places at once, so now more than ever you’ll have to put your trust in your team and the people you’ve trained. For Brian Perdue, “a successful, well respected salon relies on very talented and highly trained staff to work well by itself, and developing a team like that takes time”.
“We decided to involve our styling teams at every step of the way and in every part of our salons’ management,” Brian explained to FAB. “Nowadays, our employees have a much better idea about the key issues facing our business. This expertise helps them live up to the responsibility we trust them with, but it also gives them more freedom too.” In the beauty sector, just like any other, growth is first and foremost about having the right people in your team.
Predicting your financial outlook, developing your management skills and training a team you’ll be able to rely on – these are the three crucial keys that, one day, will help you open the door to your own second salon.