Lessons Learned: Advice from Successful Hair, Beauty and Cosmetics Business Owners

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advice beauty

Running a hair, beauty or cosmetics franchise business can be incredibly rewarding; you get to see your customers leave with a smile on their face. But how can you make sure your business operates as efficiently as possible? Read on…

Why start a hair, beauty and cosmetics franchise?

You don’t need us to tell you the hair, beauty and cosmetics industry is booming. People all across the world walk into salons every day to get their hair cut, their nails polished or their eyebrows waxed – and these are just a few examples. Retail stores sell all kinds of beauty products and spas offer a whole swathe of different treatments.

The international beauty industry is currently valued at £410 billion and is on the increase. Skincare is particularly lucrative as a sector; in fact, it’s grown by £15.5 million since 2014. If you’re hoping to set up your beauty business in the UK, you’re in luck. The sector is just as lucrative here as it is across the world. At the moment, 43,000 companies contribute to the industry’s £7.5 billion revenue.

Want to be a part of this thriving industry? We’ve collected some of the best pieces of advice from franchisees who have set up their own profitable businesses in the beauty sector.

Advice from successful hair, beauty and cosmetics franchise owners

Before you get going…

“Think long and hard as to whether you think now is the right time to open your franchise, as you have to be able to give 110 percent of yourself to it.” – Leona, Rush Twickenham

“First, owning one’s own business is not for the faint of heart. The owner of a business has the 24-7 responsibility for every aspect of the business. Getting through the first two years can be likened to the first two years of raising a child. The business will cry a lot at first, and will not sleep through the night.

“Second, be prepared to invest oneself fully. The staff is critical to a business – whether the business requires one person, 50 or 500. Hire the best, and be prepared to invest in your staff.” – Kay Hechler and John Phillips, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, Maryland

“I would recommend anyone who is planning to open a business thoroughly research the opportunity before getting involved. It is essential that prospective buyers completely understand what they are getting into, whether it’s a restaurant, day care centre or salon. Along those same lines, prospective franchisees should understand which resources are available to them in the research phase of franchise ownership, such as franchise consultants, business coaches and similar advisors.” – Jay and Kerry Tolisano, MY SALON

“Look for a salon group with the same ethics and values as you and make sure that you sign up people that you respect and can work with.” – Robert Smith, Director, Haringtons

“Be prepared for the hard work ahead. You need to be business orientated as well as creative to make a franchise work.” – Andy Phouli, Rush Co-Founder

Setting up a franchise unit

“Always think about the area and location of your franchise salon. Having a strong position and high street presence is essential in building clients and your business. Try to position yourself near blue chip companies such as M&S and Boots to ensure optimum trade.” – Clive Collins, Director, Hob Salons

“Get team members who are from the local area. They will have detailed knowledge of the area and people’s attitudes.” – Phil Smith, Toni & Guy Salisbury franchisee

“Do your homework, create a detailed business plan, interview several current owners and then interview more. Find out what makes them successful and what challenges they have encountered. Understand all the pros and cons of that exact business.

“Make sure that you will have full support from your regional/national levels and that they are there to support you leading up to opening and beyond. Most of all, make sure that you pick a location that is set up for high traffic and other businesses that can build upon one another.” – Earl Wise, Fantastic Sams franchisee

Always remember to share the knowledge. Promote goodwill in your community. It goes a long way and it just makes you feel good!

Running your business

“Follow your gut. That’s where your own unique perspective and answer will present itself in life. It’s what makes you special and that creative nature is in your gut and in your heart.” – Jerrod Blandino, Too Faced Cosmetics Founder

“If you have the passion then everything else will follow, the rewards are endless and satisfying. You have to be full-hearted, dedicated and driven. I would recommend you … do thorough research and engage with existing franchisees to get a clear idea as to what is expected along the journey. Ask lots of questions before deciding if it’s right for you.” – Nita Brainch, Rush franchisee

“My best piece of advice is [to] maintain your confidence and self-esteem. If you believe you can do it, you will do it. If you are investing in a franchise, make sure you do thorough research to find the perfect match. Listen to your heart, but only when your mind is convinced as well. Investing in a franchise is like a marriage – an understanding partner in life. The perfect franchise will have systems in place to help, protect and stand behind you in thick and thin.” – Irfan Ali, Seva franchisee

“Be passionate about the franchise because you are going to make sacrifices and work long hours. However, these will be efficient and productive hours if you are working with a franchise that has systems and procedures in place like Waxing the City does.

“Don't be afraid to speak your mind to the franchise if it is for the greater good of the franchise. The good ones listen and work to make things a better place for everyone involved.

“Always remember to share the knowledge. Promote goodwill in your community. It goes a long way and it just makes you feel good!” – Sheetal Dalwadi, Waxing the City

“Love your franchise and the corporate team. Do your homework, and be sure that you align with the company philosophy and that you are comfortable with the corporate structure and dynamic. You will work closely with the corporate office. Communication is key.” – Kay Hechler and John Phillips, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, Maryland

Learn from others

Having other people’s advice can be incredibly useful – and reassuring – no matter how much experience you have. Reading testimonials from entrepreneurs across the industry is a great starting point, but we always recommend you talk to your chosen franchise’s existing franchisees before taking the leap. They’ll have no reason to hide facts from you, so you’ll be able to find out what it’s really like working as part of the business.

For more information, read our other articles on starting up a hair, beauty or cosmetics franchise:

>> Read more articles on the Beauty sector

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