For many small business start-ups, working from home is the best option. Your home provides a low cost solution whilst building up a customer base. We looked previously at starting a catering business and craft business from home and many beauty therapists/massage therapists also adopt this route. But what happens when you outgrow your spare room salon or cabin in the garden? There is a lot to consider when moving to a high street salon from premises to pricing, make sure your business plan is water tight and you have done all your research.
Starting at a the beginning and finding suitable premises. Location will be key for growing your business, think about the footfall of the local area, what other businesses surround you, parking facilities and distance from where you live. Most importantly is it fit for purpose? Will the council allow a salon license for that building? Also be aware of lead time, especially in larger cities like London. Kanjana, Thai Kosai Massage Therapy, “It took us 18 months just to find somewhere and agree the lease then another and 6 months to fit it out.” This is a crucial factor to consider as during this 18 month period you will still need to be servicing your regular customers from home!
Expense planning :
Know what you do best ie. Beauty Therapy/Massage and invest in the the things you don’t know. It’s well worth spending money on a good solicitor who can organise, liaise and keep your move on track.
Compared to a home salon where overheads are plain sailing a high street salon incurs a boat load of other overheads that will need to be carefully planned. For example : business rates, higher insurance costs, any licences that you will need from the council, along with staff wages. It is much better to over estimate these costs than under and suddenly be faced with a situation which isn’t viable.
Employing therapists is a mixed bag. On one hand it will be exciting to work with people instead of being alone and yet on the other hand you get used to doing things alone. Team working again is a mental adjustment and it will take a while for you to get comfortable. Attracting good and well qualified staff might be harder, despite paying top-of-the-market wages, consider flexible working hours which will appeal to freelancers and parents. Also consider any perks and use these in your job description ie. offering a free tab at the coffee shop next door.
It’s worth considering too how your role will change once you are a manager rather than therapist. Kanjana says “it’s far less glamorous than you’d imagine I spend a lot of my time on admin and doing the laundry rather than actually giving massages. But I get to unwind cooking and like to provide the staff with meals.”
Photo Credit | Thai-Kosai Massage Therapy
You will need to have in mind a minimum amount of treatments needed daily to cover all outgoing costs as this will be much larger than your home salon. Keep your current clients informed of the move and progress from the very beginning, and consider special offers, VIP events to show your gratitude and thank them for their continued support. However be aware that some may not move with you based upon price, location, accessibility to them. Create a buzz in the local area, through social media, signage and flyers building up to your opening. Without clients you won’t have a viable business.
A salon cleaning checklist might not be the top of your list but it’s crucial when you have multiple clients coming through your doors on a daily basis. Having a clear checklist means that all staff can take responsibility for ensuring that each job has been completed plus everyone has a clear understanding. If you are struggling Brosch Direct, have created a superb checklist for keeping your salon clean and hygienic.
Have you moved from a home salon on to your local high street? I’d love to hear about your journey. Are there any points I might have missed?
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