Nothing can replace learning by experience, but being informed and aware of pitfalls can help with damage limitation often reducing the cost and impact of any mistakes. Below are a few of the common pitfalls facing people when opening a salon in today’s market: 


1.     Insufficient market research - carry out market research, and keep an eye on the market to identify upcoming trends, new salon equipment, competition, prices and understand what your customers want and expect.


2.     Being at the salon all the time - it shouldn't be necessary for you to be at the salon all the time, the salon should continue to run efficiently and smoothly. If it doesn't then there maybe something a miss in the procedures, processes or staff that you have in place.


3.     Not reviewing progress - be sure to have a clear plan with clear achievable goals set out and communicate the plan to your staff to ensure buy in, so everyone is working towards the same goal. As part of the plan ensure all responsibilities of the staff are set out and understood. Continually measure how your business is doing against the plan.


4.     Not offering the correct treatments - offering the correct most up to date treatments helps to re-assure clients that they are receiving the latest, most effective treatments. Before investing in the latest salon equipment or service, carry out a thorough investigation to ensure you are investing in a service your clients want. The wrong investment can be an expensive mistake.


5.     Not carrying out the correct tasks - if you are in a position where you have to carry out treatments on clients, ensure you have sufficient time and energy to concentrate on developing and growing your business. If you only have time to carry out services, your business will not continue to grow and evolve, therefore the goals will not be met.


6.     Only market when setting up the salon - marketing your business is an going task to keep working toward goals, increasing profitability and staying ahead of your competitors. Have a marketing plan and send a consistent message, do not try to be all things to all clients, decide on what is going to make you unique from your competitors and build your marketing plan around this. Do not send mixed messages have a consistent message on all your marketing material whether it be your website, social media or leaflets etc.


7.     Not having a realistic annual budget - ensure you have sufficient in your budget to fulfil your plans, these budgets need to be reviewed on a regular basis, whether you are growing or maintaining your client base.


8.     Incorrect pricing for services - you need to be competitive but you need to be profitable also. If prices are too high, this may deter new clients trying your salon, too low and you wont be able to pay your bills. Investigate what prices your local competitors are charging and what customer service are they offering.


9.     Not having a realistic start up budget - carry out research before setting up and set a realistic budget for setting up the salon and the experience you would like to offer. Do not overspend purchase, good quality furniture and equipment, making savings where possible and ensure there is sufficient budget left to promote your business, you will not get new clients if no-one knows about you.

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