Monthly Archives: June 2017

Things to Do Before Opening a Salon

For many beauty-industry professionals, owning a salon is a dream come true. If you’ve got the styling skills and the capital needed to start your business, you’re already halfway there. However, just like with any other industry, opening your own business can be challenging, and it comes with a lot of tasks and responsibilities to complete.

A business plan is key to starting a salon. The plan offers a road map for salon owners to follow and helps entrepreneurs consider all areas of the business. A business plan makes sure you set up a metric for success and consider the financials before you invest huge amounts of time and money in a new salon.

With salons on every corner, even in small towns, entering into the market with a specialty or service niche can dramatically increase buzz and press about your opening. Most salons try to please everyone, offering a huge menu of services. But this does nothing to differentiate you in the market. Even if you do offer many services, promoting a niche or specialty service will help you attract not only a very loyal client base, but will [also] instantly lend credibility to your salon as the experts in your niche space.

Do your research. Ensure that you are complying with the state laws and regulations. If you have to make some adjustments to your plan because of regulations and laws, do so early so that you can avoid potentially having to stop your operation later or having to pay a fine. This will save you time and money.

Get in touch with major product distributors like Redken, Paul Mitchell, etc. Some of them offer support services such as training and consultants to salon owners and staff.

My number-one tip for aspiring entrepreneurs before they open up a salon is to have a number of professional clients of your own that will cover your overhead. Salon employees have an independent mind-set and will try to make power plays. With a solid client base of your own, you’ll be in a better position to call the shots.

“Secure a solid location with plenty of parking. If you make it convenient for clients to visit your salon, you’ll have more customers, which in turn means more revenue to pay off your initial loan and to put toward growth expenses.

  • Focus on your staff

I would advise any new salons to invest time in the training and motivation of the staff. Now, any technician is going to know their trade. However, they might need help with the selling and customer-retention side. Your salon will be built around your stylists and technicians, so ensuring they are comfortable with up-selling products and other treatments across the brand is the difference between success and failure. Spending time before launch training your key staff to learn these key skills and learn how to teach them to new employees will pay dividends once the salon is running, and will go a long way to help with the smooth operation of a successful business.

Create a vision for how you want clients to feel, what you want them to experience and what adjectives clients will use when describing their experience. This will help in developing a look, feel and atmosphere.

Work with a designer or space planner to ensure you are maximizing your revenue potential for the space. Keep in mind any plumbing needs, and take advantage of space in the center of the salon with double-sided stations or other uses. Know the dimensions you have for each area, so you can shop for salon equipment to fit the space or have it custom-ordered. If construction work is needed, try to negotiate those costs in your lease agreement.

Don’t go and see what others are charging in your area, because you don’t know anything about them or their skill set. I charged $60 a haircut when I first opened in a town where the most expensive haircut was $38. I had 25 years of training and education to get here. Some people thought I was crazy and wouldn’t get it — not only did I get it, but I have since raised prices to $70 and keep billing. If you are great at what you do, people will pay for it.

Free Business Plan Templates

Business plans can seem daunting to someone who has never written one. The business idea itself might be fairly simple to explain, but if you want to apply for a loan, raise investor capital, or simply have a solid, documented direction for your company, you’re going to need to write a business plan. Luckily for entrepreneurs, there are templates out there that allow you to plug in all of the information, instead of struggling with formatting and figuring out what you need to include. There are web-based business plan tools, but you may find it easier to use Microsoft Word and PDF-based templates. Here are 5 free templates you can download and use to create your first business plan.

Bplans.com, known as the authority on business plans, offers a free Word business plan template, complete with instructions and a table of contents. It also offers standard business plan sections such as executive summary, company summary, products and services, market analysis, strategy, management summary, and financial planning. Once you register, you will be able to download the materials and choose from a wide range of businesses in different industries in which to base your plan. Whether your business is online, service-based, or a food establishment, Bplan’s Word business plan templates are comprehensive and are a great option for beginners and new business owners.

Entrepreneur.com provides business tools, with a collection of business plansfree in PDF, PowerPoint and Word. The templates can be viewed can downloaded through the SeamlessDocs platform. The site includes a template for a variety of specific business types, a business plan model that outlines the different parts of a business plan, and customizable templates that allow users to add their logos and business information. If you need a guide to writing a business plan, Entrepreneur.com also provides a download for that.

This step-by-step business plan builder, offered by Law Depot, covers structure, product marketing, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), operations, and details specific to your business in their templates. Once the template is complete, you can download and print. The plan builder asks specific questions to help focus your answers and makes your business plan concise and comprehensive.

MOBI, or My Own Business Institute, is part of Santa Clara University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. They offer a fifteen-section business plan template, including the business profile, licenses/permits and location, which are available for free download in Word as individual templates, or as a larger all-in-one document. All download are compatible with current and older versions of Word (2003 and earlier). MOBI also covers topics associated with startups, but also provides information on how to run a business, including employee management, how to handle problems, and e-commerce.

Office Depot’s Business Resource Center contains free business plan samplesfor retailers, manufacturers and service providers. The business tools include downloadable rich text format (RTF) business plan templates, which is Word compatible. Excel business plan financials are also available for manufacturers and service providers, while the retailer business plan template is complete with forecasting and financial tables, but this requires Microsoft Word version 6.0 or later.

Wedding Businesses

Weddings bring families and friends together to celebrate a lifetime of love and happiness. There’s also, of course, a lot of planning that goes into the wedding activities and events. Many people plan their weddings long before they have a potential life partner, researching venues and browsing dresses on Pinterest. Because so much thought and time goes into weddings, most couples hire companies to assist their endeavors. Entrepreneurs in this thriving industry often feel that helping engaged couples plan their special day is a highly rewarding experience.

Though not all couples choose to have one or both spouses change their last name after marriage, those that do often find the legal process intimidating. MissNowMrs.com simplifies the cumbersome process by streamlining all of the paperwork you need in one place for a flat fee. Newlyweds looking to make the switch answer some questions about their current and married names and various accounts they hold. Then, these answers are used to complete the appropriate forms. Proofread, print, sign and file, and your legal name change is well underway.

Kristen Rocco, founder of Love Notery, has always been a communicator. Her passion for storytelling led to a fruitful public relations career (even working with Gary Sinise, better known as Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump). Like any good romance, she took a leap of faith with Love Notery to tell great love stories. Rocco’s journalistic skills help her craft a customized “love story” through in-depth interviews with couples. The stories are then printed out as an heirloom keepsake.

This app is a multilayered wedding tool, with checklists for the engaged couple leading up to the wedding, vendor lists, ways to stay on budget and tools to create a wedding site and registry. The Knot, which also published a print bridal magazine, even has answers to various social and etiquette questions answered by experts. In addition, the app provides a countdown to the day, so nearly newlyweds can stay excited and organized.

The quality of smartphone pictures has greatly improved, but collecting guests’ wedding photos, though worthwhile, can be a pain. WedPics is a free app that aggregates wedding photos captured by guests. Users can keep photos organized with the Albums feature, which is great for capturing photos of all wedding events, such as the engagement party, wedding shower, rehearsal dinner, reception, ceremony and more.

Registering for wedding items often means signing up with multiple brands to create the best registry. Zola consolidates the process by allowing couples to register for a variety of brands, curated experiences and cash funds on a single page, according to the site. Zola goes a step further by giving you autonomy with shipping: Each time you receive a gift, the site notifies you to ship now or later, or in the case of cash gifts, transfer to your bank or convert to a Zola store credit.

6. Bella Figura

Wedding invitations are a major detail of every wedding. Brides (and grooms) likely want to use sophisticated designs and unique stationery to send to their guests. Bella Figura creates vintage wedding invitations that cater to their customers’ preferences – couples can choose their color scheme, letterpress design as well other customizations to make their invites personal and intimate. Each invitation is envisioned to unfold the buyer’s love story.

 

Clever Businesses You Could Start

  • Medical interpreters

As the number of non-English speakers in the United States who are seeking health care continues to grow, so does the need for medical interpreters who can serve as a liaison between these patients and their doctors.  Medical interpreters have been in short supply, and the demand for them is expected to increase even more, because standards that went into effect Jan. 1 require health care organizations to provide an interpreter for patients who speak limited English. Even before the new standards were introduced, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted jobs for interpreters and translators would grow by 22 percent over the next decade, faster than for all other occupations.

  • Age management services

The first group of Baby Boomers turns 65 in 2011. It is the beginning of an aging wave being called “the silver tsunami.” In fact, the number of Americans 65 and older will double between 2010 and 2050, and the number of those at least 85 will increase fourfold. This new set of aging and moneyed boomers presents big opportunities for small businesses. Richard Allman, a professor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, said the need for specialized caregivers for geriatrics extends beyond physicians to include nurses, therapists, dietitians, social workers and community caregivers. Furthermore, there will be all sorts of business opportunities for people in a variety of related fields, from technology to product design to architecture.

  • Event planners

Like hungry bears awakening from hibernation, businesses will be eager this year to get back to schmoozing. Event planners are just the people to make it happen. “As companies slowly come out of the recession, it is now more important than ever to see your customer, motivate your team or allow people to experience the ‘serendipity’ effect of the randomness of the events,” said David Adler, founder and CEO of BizBash Media, an event-planning publication based in New York. Adler said event planners have to have an artistic eye as well as a talent for organizing. “Event planning has become an important art form as well as a skill. The bar has been raised, and when you take the time to create a face-to-face event, it better work perfectly and be effective,” he told BusinessNewsDaily. It’s not a one-person job, he added. You’ll need employees, even if only part-timers.

  • Celebrants

With the legalization of gay marriage in some states, the prevalence of civil unions and the general desire of people to find a unique way to mark and celebrate special events, there’s a growing demand for professional celebrants. Celebrants are part event planner and part spiritual adviser. They help people create ceremonies to mark events including marriage, divorce, birth and death. They officiate at all types of ceremonies and rituals of life, including baby namings,  adoption ceremonies, coming-of-age ceremonies, civil unions, commitment ceremonies, community and corporate events, funerals and memorials.