A hairdresser’s is a business that deals with the maintaining and styling of hair. Those that deal with male customers only are known as barbers. You could even choose to specialise in colourings. But there is also a vast array of other services on offer at hairdressing salons from manicures to electrolysis, body piercing to sunbeds.
Anyone that you employ has to be trained before they can go near someone’s scalp. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and wait until they are fully trained.
Hairdressing businesses are a common sight on the high street but you don’t have to rent expensive shop premises. Many businesses are mobile, where the hairdresser goes into customer’s home. Whichever you opt for, there are several rules that you need to follow before you wield those scissors.
Who is it suited to?
You may be drawn to the idea but are you suited for a life of shampooing and shaving? Before you even start to think about setting up, you should have several years’ hairdressing experience of your own. It is a busy profession, particularly towards Christmas. Many hairdressers find they have no free appointments from mid-November.
“It’s not a business that will make you a millionaire.” This is according to Anita Barlow, owner of The Cottage Barber’s in Great Barr, Birmingham. It is, however, a business which tends to inspire a great deal of loyalty from its customers who will often visit the same branch for years. Many people will even follow a particular hairdresser if they move to a new business. From that point of view, it’s probably better to be a ‘people person’.
You may well be cutting children’s hair as well, many of the younger customers may well hate the experience of sitting in the chair swathed in a gown, so its important to keep your cool in the face of any possible tantrums.
Having said that, there’s more to it than just standing there and asking the customer where they’re going for their holidays. Things can get fraught, particularly on Saturday mornings or around Christmas and it’s best to be able to stay calm in stressful situations. Making mistakes with people’s hair is not one they’ll forgive easily.
Planning, rules and regulations
As with any business, when you start up a hairdressers you will need a certain amount of capital behind you. However, you may be in the position that Linda Heald, owner of Keeping Up Appearances found herself in, three years ago, when she took over a business following the death of a friend. As she says: “It all happened so quickly and unexpectedly that I was swept along by events.”
However, it was still necessary to formulate a business plan. “Right from the start we drew up a contract stating the responsibilities of each of us and detailed how the business would be divided in the event of a split. We knew from the age and needs of our clients and the kind of clientele we wanted to attract. As so many ‘upmarket’ salons only do cut and finish we decided to target the older customers who could not do their own hair. This gave us a guaranteed weekly income that other salons were turning away.”
There are many different types of salon out there, which attract and cater for different sectors of the market. For example, there will be those that mainly have young urban professional customers on their books, those that attract families and those, like Linda Heald’s that attract the older generation. If you’re running a female salon, bridal packages can be very profitable.
A typical hairdressing salon will contain a wealth of electrical items, from shavers and hairdryers to curling and possibly electrolysis equipment. Portable electrical equipment must be checked to see that they are suitably maintained every two years. This is your responsibility. A reliable electrician must carry out the check.
Obviously, its good to keep a check yourself and it may not be as difficult as you might think. Just by looking at an electrical appliance – the wiring and the socket pins especially – you should often be able to judge its safety. If you’re worried, don’t use it and call an electrician out.
One of the most important laws which hairdressers must abide by relates to hair dyes and shampoos, some of which can be hazardous, causing such conditions as dermatitis. Care also needs to be taken in the handling of chemicals, in some cases protective clothing must be worn to protect skin or to prevent inhaling toxic fumes. Again, it is down to the business owner to make the necessary arrangements.
How much does it cost to start?
A number of hairdressing businesses currently for sale over the internet indicate that purchasing a business can cost anywhere between P 100,000 to P 1M.
In most hairdressers’ that are up for sale, fixtures and fittings are almost always bought up with the shop itself. If yours is the exception, or you are going to refurbish the place and start again then there are rough guidelines to what you could expect to pay. Estimated startup cost is around P100,000 for fitting out units, mirror units, partitions and a reception area, flooring and signage. For all other salon equipment, you could stagger these costs though and just get essentials and then buy extras as you begin to make a profit.
What equipment do you need and how much will it cost?
- Pair of clippers
- Small neck clippers
- Hand dryer
- Set of heated rollers
- Hot brushes (one small, one large)
- Two pairs of tongs
- Hood dryer
- Steamer or
- Infra/Solar (for the bleaching of hair)
- Trolley (mid range) for rollers etc
- Trolley for tinting/perming equipment
- Hand mirror
- Child’s chair
- Hydraulic cutting/styling chair
- Scissors (Mid range – important purchase)
- Selection of brushes, combs, clips etc)
- Colours, Shampoos, styling products etc
- Appointment book
- Disposable gloves
- Rollers and perm wave curlers
- A dozen towels
- Basin & Backwash chair
Total estimated cost P 50,000 - 100,000
How much can I earn?
Geographical location will also affect your pricing. Aside from high street rents, one of your biggest expenses will be staff. But how much should you pay them? Although technically anyone can work in a hairdressing salon, any business worth its salt will only employ those who are qualified. The other thing to remember is that you will have to comply with the minimum wage.
For a medium-sized salon, your monthly fixed costs should typically include rent and rates, wages and utilities. That would be approximately P50,000. On a good week, you can earn around P 30,000. But when you take away the costs outlined above, you will be left with a figure more likely to be between P 50,000-70,000.
So hairdressing is not a business that will make you a millionaire, unless you operate on the scale of Ricky Reyes or Fanny Serrano. If you’re in business purely for the money, then hairdressing is probably not the way to go.
However, running a good salon isn’t really about the money. A good salon should inspire real loyalty from its clients. A trip to have a haircut or a new style is often the way that many people go to relax or to de-stress and pamper themselves. Particularly among the older generation, it is considered a luxury. So on a personal level it can be a highly rewarding business to go into.
Tips for Success
- Always be passionate about learning and training as new practices and styles become popular
- Jargon words they may be, but being customer focused and investing in your team will reap you benefits
- It’s always worth considering alternative agencies for appropriate financial backing – it won’t do any harm
- It may be worth investing in attending an accountancy course. If you could complete your tax returns yourself, it could save you a good deal of money on accountants’ bills.
- Vet your staff – qualifications are important
- Many salons are in rented premises. It sounds obvious, but to avoid headaches make sure you have a written agreement with your landlords that you understand.
Note: All the above cost was originally estimated in British pounds, it was only converted in a much lower Philippine peso costing for a rough estimates.
source: startups.co.uk, picture from www.huonggiangtourist.com