Women love to style their hair. Zimbabweans import artificial hair worth more than 8 million dollars every year. The average women changes hairstyle 1-2 times every month, thus the demand for hair salon services is huge. Fashion goes hand in hand with changes in hair trends. Hair products have become a very huge market all over the world especially in Africa. Operating a hair salon business in Zimbabwe is very profitable.
A lot of women and men have realized how lucrative this business is and are starting their own hair salon businesses. You need to be very organized to be successful in the hair salon business. The good thing about this business is that you can start at a small scale and grow your hair salon business over time. You need to carry out market research and have a good hair salon business plan before you start this business.
What you need
You need premises to operate from. Depending on where your salon will be operating from, the amount of rent will vary. Choose a high foot traffic area e.g. in the CBD. Some hair salons businesses differentiate by locating their salons in malls such as Joina City, Avondale, Sam Levy Village etc. These want to capture the high income earning class. If you are starting small you can rent a chair, and then expand later till you have your own hair salon and employees who work under you. Renting a chair costs $70-$150 / month depending on the location.
Design and salon setup
Some hairstyles take longer hours and a client may end up spending half of their day at your salon. In refurbishing your salon, put this in mind and try to make it as comfortable as possible. Use attractive and colorful paints, put different types of couches and buy comfortable chairs which are welcoming to clients and make them feel at home. Customers should be comfortable in your salon. Your may also have a small reception area with a sitting area and different types of magazines, books and newspapers. Clients may preoccupy themselves whilst they wait to meet their hairdresser. You make also put a coffee or tea station.
Equipment and furniture for Hair Salon Business
Furnish your salon with good long mirrors, tables, chairs, sofas. You will also need shampoo bowls, dryers, drying lamps and sanitation stations e.t.c.. Scissors/shears,Electric Clippers, Straight razors, Combs, Brushes, Neck Dusters, sterilizing machines, shaving machines and hair clippers are also required especially if you are operating a barber along with your hair salon. Buy complementary items to make the environment nicer by putting small vases with flowers.
This service is highly personalized and not being able to satisfy a single client can be frustrating. Therefore invest your time in acquiring the skill of pleating braiding, weaving (short and long), hair relaxing, dread locking and hair treatment. All your employees should be good at plaiting, and they should be experienced. If you don’t have the skill then a mentor is what you need.
Find a mentor hairdresser whom you can work with. This will help you gain all the skills you require to be successful in the hair salon business. Yes you may be good at pleating but you need to be a perfectionist if you are to get a big market. After working under a mentor for at least a year you may proceed to start your own hair salon business.
You need to apply for a shop license from the Local government authority/City council. Your hair salon should have a licence as this is a requirement by the Zimbabwe Government, otherwise you will have problems in your hair salon business.
Management and employees
You need to employ hairdressers and barbers for your hair saloon business. You will need assistants to un-pleat, wash and blow dry the hair of your clients. The assistants may also carry out any other errands as requested. There are many fashionable hair cutting styles loved by women and men. This is another market which you can tap into. Hire barbers and hairdressers who are experienced. The interview for hiring employees should be a practical one. You can also have interns who you can train till they reach your required standard.
Explore other sources of income
To increase your income you need to be creative enough and tap in on other gaps. For example you may purchase hair products, weaves, braids, hair relaxers and you can suggest and sell to your clients. Some clients may not even know what suit them but you can advertise the products you have and select the type of hairstyle that suits them. You may also come up with a booking system where clients can just call and book instead of having to just come but find their hairdresser swamped with other clients. Bookings make your life easier and it is more of planning ahead. You can also offer manicure and pedicure services in your hair salon so that it becomes a 1 stop shop for the clients.
This is the center of it all for your hair salon business. If you cannot continuously improve customer service then you are doomed to fail. Attend to customer complaints promptly. You should keep a customer complaints or comments book. This is a simpler version of a help desk which will help you understand the views of your clients concerning your business. Speed of service also feeds into the number of clients you receive. Make sure that you always try to serve them as fast as you can.
Manage your income and inventory properly
Track all your income and expenses. This will help you to be able to project whether there is any growth in this industry. Therefore you need a simple accounting system or program which will facilitate all this. Stocks also affect your income. You should know how to effectively manage your stock. The first step would be to do daily count before the start of the day and at the end of the day. Deduct your daily usage and check the recorded closing stocks against the physical stock in the hair salon.
Profitability and Costs for Hair Salon Business
When running a hair salon business, you make profits through volumes. The more clients you serve the more you make money. Your hairdressers should not spend a lot of time while they are idle. Thus it is important to have a robust marketing strategy for your hair salon business. Word of mouth and referrals are one source of clients who will be loyal to your business. This is why it is important to provide quality services plus good customer service. You should ensure that your hair salon business has a high customer retention rate.
Hair styles vary in pricing. The average price is between $15-$40. Thus if you serve at least twenty clients in a day you make an income of at least $300 per day. Monthly expenses relate to water and electricity, salaries, rent and stock purchases. Your hairdressers may also be paid on a commission based but a better package commission plus fixed salary would be better.
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