It may be every beauty therapist’s dream: opening their own store after potentially working for years from an adapted room in their own home. You may have ventured into beauty with that exact same dream, or expansion has come into your plans through copious amounts of unexpected success. If your bookings are constantly full and you are starting to feel like you need extra hands to cover the amount of business coming your way, it may be time to start looking for a commercial property to move your business into. This, of course, will take a lot of in-depth planning, budgeting, and time. Below is a useful checklist of things to consider to help your business transition be as smooth and successful as possible.
If your home business is already well-known, you may already have some loyal customers who will follow your business to its store location. However, you need to ask yourself if your business is going to be in a location where it will thrive and survive? If you live in the suburbs you may be one of the only businesses of your type, so have little competition, and therefore customers will seek you out. Unfortunately, this also means you cannot rely on footfall of walk-in customers. If you live in the centre of a town or city, you may have quite a healthy amount of competition, but the demand may be there since other businesses may be over-saturated with clients. It comes down to the question: what is different about your business? If you have plenty of services that other beauty salons do not offer in your local area, then you have an edge on the competition. If you find you are going to be sandwiched between plenty of businesses all offering the same thing, you may want to look further afield to where your services are more in demand. This can be quite a brutal industry, but the scrutiny will make up for the increased profit margins if you decide on the location that suits your business best.
You may have been running your business solo since you started out, or you may have had a few employees for your home business – either way a store is going to need an abundance of staff. This is not to say you should hire twenty people all in one go, but it is a good idea to get a small but highly-qualified team together that you can rely on to sell your business well in its crucial first couple of weeks in a new location. This will include quite a rigorous recruitment process – as you will want to set a minimum requirement for both qualifications and experience in beauty therapy. You may also want to include trials or tests of different treatments you offer to ensure that they are up to the standard you and your business requires. This will obviously add to the time of the recruitment process. However, it may significantly cut down the time (and money) needed to train new employees up. When opening a new store, you will need to ensure all training is carried out before your opening. This means that as well as learning the techniques you prefer your treatments to be carried out with, your employees will need to be trained in the booking systems, the tills, the cleaning rota, how to greet new customers, any loyalty schemes you have in place etc. All of which will need to be carefully planned out beforehand.
You may already have a trusted supplier that you purchased your equipment from to start your home business off, and be able to use your previously formed relationship to negotiate a good deal for a bulk buy. However, depending on your budget, it is a good idea to research into favoured industry brands that offer reliable, efficient and high-quality equipment. It may be tempting to go for a cheaper option due to the cost of expansion; however, investing will save you money in the long run. As your business (Source)
becomes more popular you will have an increased demand on your equipment and cheaper options are more likely to break under the pressure, or become inefficient over time. You may find that you are paying out for replacements quicker than you expected. Investing from the get-go will not only avoid any unexpected outgoings, but it will also set a precedent for your business for customers to encourage word of mouth marketing.
Marketing And Launch Event
This will be the bread and butter of your store success. You can spend an incredibly long time planning and creating your dream store, and putting together the perfect in-store team, but if no one knows your store is there – it will all go to waste. As previously mentioned, you may already have loyal customers that will follow you from home to store business – if you have decided to stay local. Asking them to share your social media marketing as much as possible will help you to reach a large audience platform overnight without having to put any legwork in yourself. If you are organised and have a team of employees ready in advance of opening day, you can employ them to leaflet and poster the local area for a few hours day leading up to your launch. Having an attractive launch event that offers samples of treatments and a goody bag of product samples will not only help to put your store on the map, but show customers what you have to offer and why you are different from your competition. You could even offer a free glass of bubbly and a percentage off of a first-time treatment as an enticement. You can also use your event to sign customers up to your email newsletter, your loyalty scheme, and ask them to follow all your media accounts. This ensures that when they leave the store on that opening night, they will see you in their inbox or Facebook timeline shortly after and be more likely to return. Be sure to brief your employees on certain buzz words and phrases that will give your customers a grand first impression, and cater your business marketing to each individual customer that has come to see what the fuss is all about.
Hopefully, this has provided you with a good idea of the basics to begin building on for your business transition. It can be a time-consuming and costly process, but every second and penny will be worth it when you have your grand opening and have customer queuing to make appointments.