Are you Ready to Grow your Individual Salon into a Salon Chain?
Create a salon chain by following this advice from co-director of Spirit Hair Co Mikaela Martin on how to expand your individual salon business while keeping your brand’s core values.
The Spirit Hair Co has three successful salons – two in Buckinghamshire and one in Oxfordshire. Mikaela Martin helps you discover how to overcome the challenges and enjoy the rewards of growing your business this year.
The key questions to ask before starting a salon chain
Once you’ve decided to open a new salon, you need to make sure the location will provide a strong foundation for growth. The questions we asked ourselves when we decided to open another salon included:
– Is our brand presence strong enough to open a second salon?
– Is our salon trading at capacity?
– Have we got a strong team?
– Do we have all our policies in place?
– Have we got the necessary funds?
– Do we have a solid marketing plan?
Create consistency when you start a salon chain
Ensuring your brand ethos is clear to everyone employed at the company is essential. We decided to develop a company handbook outlining all of our company’s brand values and the standards expected from all team members. I’d recommend updating the book every six months.
Keeping everyone informed is also vital as a brand grows. We have WhatsApp groups set up for each salon with day-to-day updates, which can include details of training days, new products, new team members starting and any absence through sickness. This is a great way of ensuring everyone is aware of what is going on and ensuring the smooth running of our salons.
We have a team social Facebook page which we use for highlighting any group events, such as charity days. This page also allows team members to share ideas they’ve seen elsewhere on social media.
Use people power to expand your salon business
Having key team members in place across your new group is a must. We have an office manager, Samantha, who makes everything happen. She collates all of the performance figures for our one-to-one meetings with team members. She issues health and safety updates and pays all our bills, while looking into ways the group can save money on all those background costs like utilities and business rates.
We also have assistant managers who look after the wellbeing of the team, oversee our brand values and standards and provide updates on any issues. They each work closely with their front of house teams to ensure everything runs like clockwork. We invest in regular training for our managers and front of house teams to ensure they have all the skills and up-to-date knowledge they need.
Measure your new salon chain’s performance
Staff performance across all three salons is monitored via one-to-one meetings, covering how time has been used, performance levels, client footfall and retention, and retail sales. We also use these meetings to offer advice and support if a team member needs help to grow in a certain area.
Develop skills for your salon team
Ongoing training for all of your team members is also essential for consistency across your new group. Each quarter we close the salons to carry out customer training. We tailor each session to ‘the now’. We look at how people are spending their money, understanding clients’ needs, the importance of a consultation, retail and overcoming online competition, and generally how we can make Spirit Hair Co stand out from the crowd and become the go-to salon brand.
Ask yourself if you need to expand your business?
My final piece of advice if you are looking to expand from one salon to two or more would be to consider whether you have used all the time and space in your existing salon. Could you create more styling stations or extend your opening hours, rather than opening a second salon and doubling your overheads?
Mikaela’s 7 tips for growing your salon into a salon chain
- Make sure your existing salon is trading at full capacity before making the jump to two.
- Ensure you have strong managers in place at each establishment.
- Monitor your team member’s performance and offer regular support.
- Invest in ongoing training to motivate and develop your team and delight your clients.
- Have your brand values and standards clearly outlined and updated in a company handbook.
- Employ someone to look after the background work so you can focus on developing your team.
- Encourage interaction between salon teams through social media and training days.
This article was originally published in the March 2019 issue of Hairdressers Journal