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  • #978682
    Paul B.
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    Hello soloists!

    New to the forum and thought I would break the ice by outlaying my thoughts for a home salon business myself and my partner are exploring.

    A little context:
    My girlfriend and I both work full-time as a hairdresser and development consultant. We have just bought our first house and recognised the opportunity to convert the back room into a hair salon.

    As we are paying off a mortgage, my girlfriend is considering retaining her salon position (consistent income) but dropping her salon hours back to 4 days and doing a 5th day at home. I will continue to work full-time and assist with the salon operations on weekends.

    Our roles:
    My girlfriend would undertake the position as hairdresser offering relatively limited services being cuts, colours and styles (both male and female). She would also be responsible for ordering stock and maintaining equipment.

    I would undertake administrative tasks, for example booking clients, organising promotional material, monitoring and maintaining social network activity. I would also asist with providing beverages for clients and maintaining the workstation between clients.

    Outsourcing:
    While operations are small I would maintain the books. However, soon enough I would require assistance and look to outsource to a small-business accountant.

    Marketing:
    Our target market would be anyone pressed for time/money in our local area, for example mothers with children who do not want the stress of going up to a retail salon, young adults who cannot afford salon prices, professionals who are unable to get to a salon during typical salon hours.

    Promoting the services may include social media, letterbox drop, flyers to local business/schools etc

    Value adding opportunities:
    We have conversed with a friend who is trained up in spray tanning and would be interested in operating from our house. We are thinking we would take a commission from her services.

    Also exploring the idea of selling retail (Shampoos, treatment, conditioners etc) which would provide an opportunity to upsell during services. Would need a reliable and affordable supplier.

    Future prospects:
    Intially we would limit services to family and friends. As we expand to the general public we would implement business registration and insurance measures. Ideally, we would develop a loyal clientele and business model which we could integrate into an independent salon operation.

    So there are my initial thoughts. I am a little uncertain of how compatible a salon is with social media but if you have any suggestions on this, or any other aspects of my (vague) business plan please speak up!

    #1108807
    SavvySME
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    If you are asking about how this relates to social media, you may want to try Facebook ads and target to your local area :) It’s a smaller portion of people to target, but at least you won’t be wasting your ad budget :)!

    Best of luck for your venture! It sounds exciting!

    Thanks for reading,

    Wendy

    #1108808
    Paul B.
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    Hi Wendy,

    Thanks for your well wishes – and yes we are very excited!

    As for social media, my thoughts of how I would utilise it is through promoting specials and lining up appointments.There is an opportunity to engage customers through offering advice and discussing industry related topics, however my girlfriend holds the knowledge regarding the industry and ill be maintaning the social network outlets.

    The issue here is my ability to engage customers through social media is limited by the delivery of information from my girlfriend. I would feel much more confident if I had the knowledge and could respond to discussions without going past her first. Basically it reduces the efficiency of communicating online and makes that version of customer relations less feasible.

    So there lies the problem – how would I keep users active on social media when all we use it for is promotions and bookings? Is social media in this instance a waste of marketing resources?

    #1108809
    MatthewKeath
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    Penzel, post: 120891 wrote:
    So there lies the problem – how would I keep users active on social media when all we use it for is promotions and bookings? Is social media in this instance a waste of marketing resources?It would be hard. Why not bring your girlfriend into Facebook and get her posting?
    #1108810
    gen Y advantage
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    My sister worked in a salon for about 6 years, then did it at home for about 2 to save up for her own salon.

    She got clients that followed her through her work and it grew really big through word of mouth. Also that she was vietnamese, her market was the vietnamese community – customers felt comfortable because they could speak to her in another language, and it was convenient for them.

    I think a home salon has lots of opportunity with local marketing – flyers at local supermarkets, libraries, in letterboxes. When clients come in, offer them a discount (for next time) or something for referring people to the hair salon.

    Facebook can be useful, however in terms of locality and for a home business where people connect with your services more privately, I think word-of-mouth and referral strategies would work best. If you do a great job, the salon will fill in pretty quickly.

    Good luck. :)

    #1108811
    Divert To Mobile
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    Penzel, post: 120891 wrote:
    Hi Wendy,

    Thanks for your well wishes – and yes we are very excited!

    As for social media, my thoughts of how I would utilise it is through promoting specials and lining up appointments.There is an opportunity to engage customers through offering advice and discussing industry related topics, however my girlfriend holds the knowledge regarding the industry and ill be maintaning the social network outlets.

    The issue here is my ability to engage customers through social media is limited by the delivery of information from my girlfriend. I would feel much more confident if I had the knowledge and could respond to discussions without going past her first. Basically it reduces the efficiency of communicating online and makes that version of customer relations less feasible.

    So there lies the problem – how would I keep users active on social media when all we use it for is promotions and bookings? Is social media in this instance a waste of marketing resources?

    Cant she respond to fb questions using her phone – from anywhere?

    #1108812
    Paul B.
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    • Total posts: 119
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    MatthewKeath, post: 120911 wrote:
    It would be hard. Why not bring your girlfriend into Facebook and get her posting?

    Divert To Mobile, post: 120980 wrote:
    Cant she respond to fb questions using her phone – from anywhere?

    Yeah she could write now and then. Her access to her phone is extremely limited while she is at work – where as im in front of a computer every day.

    My concern would be inconsistencies in our branding by having two different responders. Our writing styles are very different and I am very particular about being consistent when dealing with clients online (and anywhere else for that matter!).

    #1108813
    Paul B.
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    • Total posts: 119
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    gen Y advantage, post: 120926 wrote:
    My sister worked in a salon for about 6 years, then did it at home for about 2 to save up for her own salon.

    She got clients that followed her through her work and it grew really big through word of mouth. Also that she was vietnamese, her market was the vietnamese community – customers felt comfortable because they could speak to her in another language, and it was convenient for them.

    I think a home salon has lots of opportunity with local marketing – flyers at local supermarkets, libraries, in letterboxes. When clients come in, offer them a discount (for next time) or something for referring people to the hair salon.

    Facebook can be useful, however in terms of locality and for a home business where people connect with your services more privately, I think word-of-mouth and referral strategies would work best. If you do a great job, the salon will fill in pretty quickly.

    Good luck. :)

    Hi Gen Y,

    Thats fantastic. Taking advantage of her Vietnamese nationality to connect with the local Vietnamese community is very perceptive on her part.

    My girlfriend has had many clients express that if she was to leave the salon to notify them. She even had one client that traveled an hour to her salon, then when she moved, they followed her which added another 15 min onto their trip! I have no doubt we would have a notable client base from very early in the process.

    In terms of marketing im very ‘green’. I understand that we need to target the local residential market. Other potential markets may be to partner up with photographers and target local models, or partner up with florists or limo hire services and target weddings and formals. Need to be careful not to be too broad in defining our market.

    Regarding facebook, I agree, I see it more as a portal to connect with clients rather than the advertising aspect of it (although through connecting we would promote services). Our business is geographically limited and spending money advertising on facebook would not be economical.

    Are there any other social media (or similar) that I am overlooking that could be just as effective as facebook? Im interested to find out more about pinterest…

    #1108814
    Avatar Consulting
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    Running a Home hair salon requires more than using social media

    Hi

    Excellent outine and summary of your proposed idea.

    I would start looking at the more important questions instead of the social media angle, as this will only be a small part of your business anyway.

    1. How many customers will you need to pay for all your expenses
    2. How will you get council permission to run a hair salon from home
    3. Its against the law in most states to take a commission from other businesses working from your premises. This is known as sham contracting and face huge fines as the inspectors focus on this type of business
    4. What is your plan to manage customers coming to your private house
    5. Will you comply with the Public Health legislation requirements for hair salon services in regards to biological waste and hygiene controls
    6. If your relationship breaks apart who will own what? This happens more than enough to have a legal partnership contract started before you worry about advertising

    Consider drawing up a business plan first to uncover any of the real issues you have in running a home hair salon.

    #1108815
    gen Y advantage
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    Paul B., post: 120985 wrote:
    Hi Gen Y,

    Thats fantastic. Taking advantage of her Vietnamese nationality to connect with the local Vietnamese community is very perceptive on her part.

    My girlfriend has had many clients express that if she was to leave the salon to notify them. She even had one client that traveled an hour to her salon, then when she moved, they followed her which added another 15 min onto their trip! I have no doubt we would have a notable client base from very early in the process.

    In terms of marketing im very ‘green’. I understand that we need to target the local residential market. Other potential markets may be to partner up with photographers and target local models, or partner up with florists or limo hire services and target weddings and formals. Need to be careful not to be too broad in defining our market.

    Regarding facebook, I agree, I see it more as a portal to connect with clients rather than the advertising aspect of it (although through connecting we would promote services). Our business is geographically limited and spending money advertising on facebook would not be economical.

    Are there any other social media (or similar) that I am overlooking that could be just as effective as facebook? Im interested to find out more about pinterest…

    Hi,

    Pinterest is great and is growing rapidly in Australia (currently it’s a huge hit in the US). Pinterest alone drives more traffic to websites and blogs than YouTube, Google + and LinkedIn combined – so there is definitely potential
    for your girlfriend’s business. (And to mention the users are about 70% female).

    If you are considering social media – I’d suggest defining your target market/audience, what you are hoping to achieve from it and making a plan. There is lots that can be done, however going in blindly is time consuming and may not provide you with the results you want.

    Other social media/web ‘stuff’ that can be considered for her business:
    – create a website first – even if it’s a one pager, social media is very distracting, so you need to drive people out of it and to your blog or site
    – add the business on google maps
    – list the business on free online business listings – the more you have the more searchable you are (search free business listings on google, or there is a forum post on here somewhere)
    – make a facebook page for the business and add a google map on it
    – use pinterest with a lot of visuals (maybe before and after – if clients are happy) — this can also be done on facebook
    – use google + is a possibility
    – make a short video to add to the website and facebook and YouTube – add a website link on the youtube video
    – get visible on the social media platforms by liking, sharing and commenting on other pages
    – add the business/service on http://www.gumtree.com.au — local people will find this
    – write blogs/add videos about hair styling or keeping hair healthy…
    – ask customers to post a review of the business/service on Google
    – add tags that are more specific about location – i.e. “Newcastle Hairdresser”
    – an industry like hairdressing – consider connecting with lots of visual media, and connecting with the clients more personally

    That’s just quickly from the top of my head. There’s LOTS and LOTS that can be done, however some of them you can set up and leave, and others – you need to manage to make it active and engaging. This all will add up significant amounts of time, hence having a plan and a strategy can work out for her.

    Best wishes.

    #1108816
    Paul B.
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    • Total posts: 119
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    Re: Running a Home hair salon requires more than using social media

    Avatar Consulting, post: 121244 wrote:
    Hi

    Excellent outine and summary of your proposed idea.

    I would start looking at the more important questions instead of the social media angle, as this will only be a small part of your business anyway.

    1. How many customers will you need to pay for all your expenses
    2. How will you get council permission to run a hair salon from home
    3. Its against the law in most states to take a commission from other businesses working from your premises. This is known as sham contracting and face huge fines as the inspectors focus on this type of business
    4. What is your plan to manage customers coming to your private house
    5. Will you comply with the Public Health legislation requirements for hair salon services in regards to biological waste and hygiene controls
    6. If your relationship breaks apart who will own what? This happens more than enough to have a legal partnership contract started before you worry about advertising

    Consider drawing up a business plan first to uncover any of the real issues you have in running a home hair salon.

    Avatar,

    Thank you so much for that advice! I had no idea of sham contracting. To be honest I plan on nutting out the legal aspects of the business when we are ready to expand our services from friends and family to the general public. At the moment we are buying equipment as we conduct services so it is in its preliminary stages.

    I will be sure to have more targeted questions regarding legal technicalities after I have done a bit more research :)

    #1108817
    Paul B.
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    • Total posts: 119
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    gen Y advantage, post: 121264 wrote:
    Hi,

    Pinterest is great and is growing rapidly in Australia (currently it’s a huge hit in the US). Pinterest alone drives more traffic to websites and blogs than YouTube, Google + and LinkedIn combined – so there is definitely potential
    for your girlfriend’s business. (And to mention the users are about 70% female).

    If you are considering social media – I’d suggest defining your target market/audience, what you are hoping to achieve from it and making a plan. There is lots that can be done, however going in blindly is time consuming and may not provide you with the results you want.

    Other social media/web ‘stuff’ that can be considered for her business:
    – create a website first – even if it’s a one pager, social media is very distracting, so you need to drive people out of it and to your blog or site
    – add the business on google maps
    – list the business on free online business listings – the more you have the more searchable you are (search free business listings on google, or there is a forum post on here somewhere)
    – make a facebook page for the business and add a google map on it
    – use pinterest with a lot of visuals (maybe before and after – if clients are happy) — this can also be done on facebook
    – use google + is a possibility
    – make a short video to add to the website and facebook and YouTube – add a website link on the youtube video
    – get visible on the social media platforms by liking, sharing and commenting on other pages
    – add the business/service on http://www.gumtree.com.au — local people will find this
    – write blogs/add videos about hair styling or keeping hair healthy…
    – ask customers to post a review of the business/service on Google
    – add tags that are more specific about location – i.e. “Newcastle Hairdresser”
    – an industry like hairdressing – consider connecting with lots of visual media, and connecting with the clients more personally

    That’s just quickly from the top of my head. There’s LOTS and LOTS that can be done, however some of them you can set up and leave, and others – you need to manage to make it active and engaging. This all will add up significant amounts of time, hence having a plan and a strategy can work out for her.

    Best wishes.

    Yes plenty of food for thought there. I am establishing an e-commerce website too which I will take your advice and use it to expose my products.

    I have liked you on facebook to keep up to date with the latest social media news. Thanks again.

    #1108818
    Shine
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    Another consideration that deserves attention are the tools that you may need – beyond the obvious tools of trade – consider your computing, and CRM tools, will you be using ‘salon management software’, or running on paper.

    I’m a bit late to the post so perhaps you’ve already got this covered, but just in case I’d suggest you check out http://yournextvisit.com.au – online appointment contact and appointment management with SMS appointment reminders – ideal for appointment based businesses.

    Hope it’s going according to plan.

    All the best.

    Simon

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