Ekaterina Lobanova decided to do what many only dream of - to open their own business. Today she runs a thriving Emirate beauty salon and is ready to share her experience with beginners.
- I am the director of the Emirate Beauty Salon in St. Petersburg. We have been on the market for 2.5 years. Our salon is a premium salon. We provide all types of hairdressing and cosmetology services. Often ask a question, where did the name of the salon come from? The answer is quite simple. I wanted an oasis in our city, where there is not much sun and heat, where our guests could enjoy the warm atmosphere at any time of the year.
- Did you find it easy to become an entrepreneur? How did you come up with the idea of starting this particular business?
- Before the opening of the salon, I worked as a manicurist. When the opportunity arose to open my own business, I considered various options, explored various directions. As a result, I came to the conclusion that this type of business will be the most profitable. Also, I consider it important that when starting your own business, you must first study it from the inside, see the pitfalls, so that there will be less surprises in the future.
The decision to open your own business was easy, but the opening itself required considerable effort. I worked on a business plan for a long time, calculated risks, thought over advertising activities. As they say, the eyes are afraid, and the hands are doing. I think the main thing is to decide, move from desires to actions, then everything will go on by itself.
- What difficulties did you encounter in the initial stages of doing business?
- Firstly, it was important to find a good room. It was necessary to think over many trifles. Secondly, the market has a huge amount of various products offered for work, equipment and it is often difficult to determine. The masters working in the salon are people of creative professions, it was not easy to manage the team, it was important to find your own approach to each. Here, management is very different from other areas of activity.
- What should be taken into account when planning the starting costs for opening?
- When calculating the costs, it is important to calculate that at first the salon may not bring a lot of profit, so you need to have a margin for rent. Almost all cosmetic companies sell their products in packages, that is, it’s unlikely that they will be able to buy “only everything they need to get started.” And if we are talking about well-known brands, we should understand that the cost of such packages will be rather big.
Salon equipment is also not the last moment. When buying it, you should understand that it should be convenient for both the client and the master. And again, there should be free money on employee salaries, as well as advertising. Good advertising requires about 30% of the total cost of investing in a business.
- What can you save on and what should you save on?
- The answer to this question depends on what clientele you are counting on, which is important for her. But to summarize, I would say that you can save on the decoration of the room and not invest crazy money in it. But I would never save on consumables. Paints, creams, decorative cosmetics should be high-quality, professional, and, accordingly, not cheap.
- What profit can be expected in your business? How long have you paid back your initial investment?
- It took me at least two years to recoup the initial investment in the business. In this business, the normal payback period is 3-4 years. As for profitability, the average income from one hairdressing chair is 30, 000 rubles, then it depends on the number of places.
In cosmetology it is more difficult to consider, because the services may be provided different. It is one thing if a salon provides the most basic services - cleaning, wrapping, etc., but it is completely different medical services (for this you need an appropriate license). Medical services are much more expensive and bring great profit at a relatively small time cost. If the salon has been on the market for several years, then with a good load, the profit will be at least $ 10, 000.
- Which experts should you pay special attention to? How did you select key employees and organize their work?
- Masters are almost the key figures in this business. Most of the success depends on them. I searched most of my masters through friends. Of course, it is desirable that the master was with his clientele, then it will be much easier for the new salon to start, until its own clientele has been developed.
At the beginning of the activity, it is probably easier to attract the master for a salary, as failure months are possible, and then the team will simply scatter at a percentage. Then, piecework payment is more profitable for everyone.
As for the work schedule, in my opinion, the well-established 2/2 scheme is optimal. With this schedule, the client will not wait for the master, and the master is most often convenient. We have just such a schedule in our salon + if there is an opportunity and the client urgently needs another day, the master will always go out for his client.
- How do you solve the problem of left orders and theft, which is typical for many beauty salons?
- We have no problem of “left orders”. This is due to the fact that our client will not go home to the master, say, to do hair coloring. The house does not have adequate working conditions, safety standards such as sterilization of instruments, etc. are not respected.
Accordingly, no self-respecting client will do this. As for consumables, then again there is a question regarding the master's attitude to work and to the salon. If the employee is interested in development, then he will not engage in petty theft, you will not earn much on this anyway.
I have a very friendly team and everyone treats our salon as if it were his own, and they support everyone with a soul. It is important to create such an atmosphere and success is guaranteed!
- What can you say about competition in your business?
- The competition today is really great, especially since all the salons offer the plus or minus the same services, but still, each product has its own buyer. Each client finds his own salon, which is cozy and good.
- Does seasonality exist in your business?
- We feel seasonality quite strongly. In the low season, we try to hold more promotions, give more advertising, offer customers various “packages” of services. But even in the high season we don’t overestimate the prices, because the competition is great, and it’s important not to lose the client, but on the contrary, at the time of a large influx of customers to offer something new, which was not there before, it is important to interest.
- Obviously, during your work you tried various advertising methods. Which advertising media have proven their effectiveness, and which ones did you end up with?
- Any advertising works in one way or another. There are more specialized publications, for example, when we focus on brides and advertise in wedding magazines, if we need to promote a certain service, or simply we want to remind about the salon.
We also take part in promotions, cooperate with fashion shows (fashion shows on the Neva), and participate in contests (Nevsky Charm). Any advertising brings results, just its purpose is different each time - image-oriented, aimed at increasing the customer base or just the announcement of new services.
- How do you see the prospects for the further development of your business? Are you planning to expand or open related areas?
- There is no limit to perfection. Any business should grow and develop. First of all, we try to constantly increase both the number of services and quality. Masters regularly undergo training and advanced training. Soon we plan to open a second salon.
- Based on your experience, what would you advise to those who are just planning to start this business?
- The main thing, in my opinion, is to study everything from the inside out well enough, to understand all the little things, they are not afraid of anything and boldly go forward!
Get up-to-date calculations for a business plan08/18/2019