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Running a beauty salon

The writers have over 25 years' experience each in running beauty salons and other businesses.

In recent years, people all over the world have become more aware and concerned about their health and looks and retaining their youth than ever before.

Whether to maintain their appearance or improve their looks, be it body, face, feet or hands, the desire to remain youthful and look good is here to stay, from the boardroom to the sports field and to the yummy mummy. 

Increased demand

Both men and women are looking after their appearance by going to beauty salons on a regular basis and spending millions of pounds on beauty and skin products. This in turn has meant an increased demand for beauty salons and spas.

Having trained and worked as a beauty therapist, Sally Medcalf decided to become self-employed and opened her first small salon in the West End of London over 18 years ago. I joined the business in 2004 and we opened our existing salon, West One Beauty, in Marylebone.

We tend to employ therapists with a minimum of two years' experience, preferably more, in beauty salons, as well as one or two areas of expertise in treatments that they enjoy doing. Emphasis is always placed on a high standard of cleanliness and customer care - essential, we believe, to any business, and in particular to beauty salons.

We've found that the majority of salons are run by beauticians with very little or no training in business management, sales, marketing or finance

During the past 25 years, both in beauty and in other retail ventures, we've found that the majority of salons are run by beauticians with very little or no training in business management, sales, marketing or finance - some of the most essential skills needed to make any business successful and profitable.

But our salon benefits from a lifetime of experience in high street businesses and other ventures. We try to keep a tight control on expenditure and finances.

Most of our clients come from recommendation and word of mouth. However, we also use carefully selected and necessary, but effective, advertising and marketing that ultimately helps with the growth and profitability of the business.

Lack of understanding

Lack of understanding of the basics of and the reality of just how much hard work is needed to succeed, eventually cause many start-ups to fail at the first hurdle, usually within the first two to three years. Many that do survive fail to make enough money to justify the enormous amount of time and effort invested.

Most of those who choose to study beauty and make a career in this field have a passion for their work and love what they do. This is immensely advantageous and the most essential ingredient of a successful business.

The love and passion for what one does combined with proper guidance and informed advice will greatly improve the prospects of success.

To start a beauty salon or improve the efficiency and profitability of an existing one involves not only hard work and commitment but a sense of purpose and clear aims and targets. Most beauticians' ultimate dream is to own and run their own beauty business, but unfortunately the training available does not equip them with the necessary management and business skills.

We've written a book, Start and Run a Successful Beauty Salon, to provide you with the guidance and information needed to achieve this, based on our own experiences and knowledge of the beauty industry and other sectors. It's an in-depth, step-by-step guide to starting and running a successful beauty salon (or improving an existing one), incorporating hundreds of our own life-experience tips and recommendations.

The contents cover all aspects involved, including Location, Buying a place, Name & Logo, Design and Building work, Furniture & Equipment, Staff & Employment, Training & Qualification, Clients, Treatment & Products, Salon Management, Finance, Money & Accounts, Marketing & Advertising, and Business Management. Finally it provides an analysis of the 'you factor', and lists all the Dos and don'ts to make sure the business is run successfully and profitably.

Sally Medcalf and I are both available for, lectures, seminars, workshops or discussions and guidance on all subject areas in this book.

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