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My Salon Journey (Part 1)

So, you’re doing well, fully booked day after day, month after month, great! You’re suddenly thinking about that lifelong ambition about owning your very own salon or lash bar. Thinking how great it would be to have your own business, name above the door, have a fantastic team of likeminded people creating stunning lashes every day and making you lots of money.

Sound familiar? This is exactly what I did.

Expanding into a salon and having a team of your own isn’t for us all, not everyone wants this and more importantly not everyone has what it takes or can handle it. But no one really gives proper advice, whenever I would tell a salon owner I wanted my own salon they would look at me in shock horror and say no! Don’t do it.

But why?

I couldn’t work this out what could possibly be so bad. This was a childhood dream of mine, of one day having my own salon. This was something I wanted more than anything in the world and I worried that this might never happen for me.

From the age of 13 all I wanted was my own salon, at 21 I become self-employed with my beauty room and at the age of 30 I had my own salon.

What it takes

I’m writing this one year after I did just that. I moved out of a tiny beauty room and converted a huge 1000sqft space into a luxury boutique spa & lash bar.

So, If you want a salon, and I mean really want this read on, and see if you can handle it.

Firstly, in order for this to work you need to want it so badly that you struggle to sleep with the sheer worry it might not happen, that’s how badly you need to want it. It needs to be a burning desire deep inside.

I never studied business and I didn’t do that well at school. Everything I’ve learnt about business and the process of getting a salon has been self-taught and through finding amazing people in our industry to look up to.

That is one of the most important things, to seek out people you massively admire and have a successful journey themselves.

Putting in the ground work

Nothing happens overnight, all success takes time to build and grow. You need to be busy with clients, I know people who have opened a salon or lash bar when they are just starting out and it can be done but it’s actually a lot harder in reality. Be prepared to work harder than anyone else, be the first in, last out and work the hardest.

Love your clients. They are the ones who are supporting you financially and allowing you to grow your business and do what you love, without them you’re nothing. You have to go above and beyond for them; they can always go somewhere else.

Get busy with clients; you need to build a loyal cliental. I was fully booked every day of the week for 3 years before I took the plunge because once you have a salon the bills are thick and fast, you need to have cash in the bank to survive.

Depending upon location, size of building and if it’s an empty shell or an established beauty business already (you will of course pay a premium for such) will all be major determining factors of how much start up cash you require.

Get yourself a great solicitor, with robust business skills as you will need their negotiating powers. It’s imperative to make sure you read your lease and you fully understand every single word.

You’re signing this not your solicitor, so you need to understand it all. It can be like reading a foreign language and make no sense to anyone but get your solicitor to explain it in simple terms.

You might need planning permission, change of use, and the landlord’s solicitor fees you may be liable for depending upon the legalities involved.

I had to get all the above done and from my experience it was a very complicated affair. If you are lucky it might be a lot more straightforward depending on the shop you want. It’s incredibly stressful as other parties such as solicitors, landlords and builders are all involved and timelines will and can be delayed as a result.

There will be times you want to give up, I actually started going grey during this process, it was the stress, but you’ve come this far you have to keep going…

Kristina Shepard Insta @2726beauty Insta @ksla_london

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