The 7 questions you must ask yourself while opening a Salon – Sneha Jain.

Story

Sneha Jain is the founder of the Basil chain of Beauty Salons, one of the most trusted beauty solution brands in Mumbai. She also has more than 10 years of experience as a banker. Here she shares insights about the most important aspects of starting a beauty salon business.

Beauty salon
1. How did you begin with your first Basil outlet?

Initially, it was a huge task to be competitive with pricing and get the services right. Assembling the right kind of team and getting them to work together was also a challenge.
Footfalls were very low in the initial few months and covering even operational costs was difficult. Thankfully, A background in banking was a huge help in managing economics effectively. But we had a certain deadline to make things work. Turning business profitable before the deadline looked very difficult at a point, but thankfully we sailed through.

What you should do: Starting a salon business is a lot more than just an idea. There ate certain things which are most important to figure out like, the name, creating a trustworthy and efficient team.

2. How did you decide where to locate your business?

The location of an offline B2C business is obviously always one of the most important factors of generating footfalls and eventually sales. One cannot afford to get the location part wrong. Hence, we did a lot of research and looked for a place that had a wide entrance with maximum visibility and was situated at the crossroads of a busy place. Fortunately, we got one which was perfect for our needs. We zeroed on it immediately.

What you should do: Select a place with decent enough traffic around and one which is closer to a crossroads. Having a little space outside the door is a plus point but should not hamper the visibility. A wide entrance gives you space to put up a comparatively bigger brand board. It’s all about getting noticed in a populated area that has your target audience.

3. How did you make your business stand out from the crowd?

Customer satisfaction is the only goal. Happy customers bring in more customers. It is important to remember its all about the people you serve and not you. Giving the best possible services and products, while listening to their grievances and acting on it is was our only strategy to stand out from the crowd.

What you should do: Nobody looks forward to going for a below-par service which is cheap in the beauty salon business. While it is important to keep the pricing competitive, the quality of your services should not be compromised.

4. How did you want your customers to feel after an experience with you in your salon?

Refreshed and rejuvenated are the two words that come to my mind. Service is not just for a makeover only, they are also an experience to the customer. I always want them to have a good experience at the salon too. Hence, right from the behavior of your team members to decor becomes crucial.

What you should do: In the service industry, a business is required to have well-trained team members. One should hire people who share the same values and vision about customer experience.

5. How did you decide what you were going to offer your customers?

Researching what services customers lookout for most is crucial. We also took a lot of feedback from people who visited us initially. According to me, your decision in this regard can only be based on what people need the most and how exclusively can you provide the service

What you should do: Look for services that are in demand and has the scope of being better than what others are offering. Introducing new but tested products and techniques also helps a lot in gaining customer traction.

6. What kind of work environment did you want to create for your customers?

Vibrant, yet peaceful enough to give space for being creative.

What you should do: Work on the decor and maintain a certain decorum in the Salon which is light and fun but also elegant.

7. How did you decide to price your products and services?

Study the market around you and see what best you can offer to your customer. Keeping the viability in mind, give regular offers and monthly packages. Your price should give value for money to the client.

Top tip: Pricing of the products needs to be fair to the customers. Driving high-profit margins sometimes end up giving a bad deal to the customer, avoid doing that.

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Finding Your True Career Calling – Part 2 – Finding Who You Are!

Who am I? how many of us have asked ourselves this question? We all need to understand what makes us happy, what are our priorities, what is our forte and what are we best at doing. To give you a personal example, all the years of my corporate life, I always wanted to do a desk job like an operations or a service role and whenever I went for an interview or looked out for new opportunities I got selected for either Front End or Sales Roles. This made me feel very unhappy and I remember having an intense conversation with one of my ex boss about a role that was available in operations and she just wouldn’t give me an opportunity to try it. She always said that I wasn’t suitable for the role. It created questions in my mind as to why do they feel that I am not capable of managing that role. But now when I look back I realise that yes I was not a good fit when it comes to an operations role. By nature, I am a very social person. I need people around me. I have qualities of mixing up with any group, making friends and socialising Having interactive sessions makes me happy. I have a natural Knack of convincing people about a certain situation, person, product or place that I am sure of. So in short after much introspection about myself, I know today that all those who interviewed me in the past or put me in a front end role or thought I was suitable for a sales position were absolutely correct. I successfully run 5 Salons in Mumbai and cater to more than one 2500 clients per month. So as I say please find out your strengths, take feedback from people who matter you, do what you are best at doing and be successful in life.

Finding Your True Career Calling – Part 1

It is not of any relevance that I talk about the achievements of my life in this blog if it fails to inspire you to do better in life or to teach the importance of common practices we sometimes fail to implement in order to realize our true potential.
We come from a background which teaches us to no to follow our instincts and rely more on tried and tested formulas in a career. The way our education system worked, it is sometimes disheartening to see many talents being wasted in doing things which they do not enjoy or are passionate about. It becomes the responsibility of the parents of a child, studying in school, or the individual himself, trying to make a successful career, to realize talents he or she has been blessed with. This self-contemplation about the one’s natural likings and passions should be done with a willingness to accept what one is not good at. This open-minded approach of accepting your flaws along with the strengths gives you a space of self-awareness to explore your capabilities and take things forward from there. It is very important to make informed decisions, taking into account the current scenarios and demands of the industry or profession you chose for yourself. But, it is equally important to do what you feel brings out the best in you. My personal experiences, which I will share in my next blog, about exploring operations before switching to sales proved to me that it is ok not to get it right in the first attempt. One has to keep exploring with a steady mind, honest approach and willingness to work hard in order to realize one’s true calling.
It is my wish that everybody gets to do what they like doing and what brings out the best in them. Hope this brings about a positive change in the approach of people who are finding it difficult in deciding what career option would be best for them. I look forward to sharing more such experiences in the future. All the very best from my side to all of you!

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Decide What Is Good For Your Child’s Future!

Good marks or confidence to face the world, What would you choose for your child? Any one of them or both? Ask yourself a question and you will have the answer and the question would be what has really helped you. Well, having the confidence to face the world in whatever circumstance is what the future generation should strive to get. Application of academics in daily life is much more important than just securing marks. Do we ask our kids to study to secure marks or to understand the subject, build interest in that subject and apply the subject into their daily life. Most of us even today want to see marks only on the paper to satisfy our own selfish needs to feel proud of having a child who is brilliant even if the same child can’t talk 10 words in a group of 10 people. Are we for ever going to be subjects to this rat race or are we going to get the future generation to change the outlook and move forward as global citizens is the important question. Global citizens hold a lot of responsibility than just marks or securing admission in an A grade college. Schools must strive to create confident global citizens. Yes some of the students will be brilliant in academics too and will surely find a place for themselves in A grade schools and universities which will never stop, however schools and parents have to strive to make a place for all those students who are average in academics in various other positions globally which don’t just come by academics but self confidence and self introspection of what they are best at. The day each child of the country will know exactly what they are good at and passionate about, will be the day when we can say we are successful as parents and have a great education system in the country. Let’s make a promise to ourselves today to just consider marks to be a tool for us to know if the child has understood the topic or not. According to me less marks just indicate that the topic needs to be re done and is no measurement to decide if the child is going to be successful or not in future. In fact scoring the best all the time could create overconfidence which again could make one complacent. Let’s learn confidence to face the complex world and focus on the better aspects of life. I personally have been an average student all throughout my school and college life and am doing extremely well for myself. Quiet honestly, marks are an indication of just how much you know and how much more you could know and that’s it. let’s not use it to kill the confidence of a growing child.
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How Life Teaches Us, Change Is The Only Constant!

Life changes every moment and we all hear that change is the only constant. Let’s embrace each change that comes in life, making short term plans and goals is the key to being successful. You get things the way you like and then suddenly something beyond your imagination bumps you off. Not everyone you meet will stay with you for a lifetime. You will grow up and learn new things you would have never imagine to learn otherwise. Life plays lots of games with you and sometimes you feel that you are about to give it up. Adaptability to change in life and it’s circumstances will give you peace, the spirit to fight and happiness. Remember from now on that change is the only constant and let go of all that needs to change.

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A Blog Full Of Questions For Mothers!

Are we really responsible mothers? Have we really given it a thought? Do we really practice what we preach? Do we really avoid junk food when kids are around? Do we avoid aerated drinks when kids are with us? Do we avoid watching TV or being on our mobile phones while eating? Do we really speak to all our elders with respect and love? Do we fight when kids are around? Do we back answer in front of our children? Do we keep our own things clean? Do we make an effort to be perfect everywhere? How do we then expect them to be perfect. We could argue that there is an age for everything, But there is no age or excuse to not be respectful, clean, avoid junk for good health. So young mother’s if you don’t practise what you preach, avoid having expectations from the next generation as they will replicate all that you do. Observe you and just replicate. So if you want to bring in a change, change yourself first!

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Foundation Is More Than Just Makeup!

We always hear that wearing make up could have adverse effects on your skin, well according to a recent study Dr. Phillip Artemi says and I quote “make up is your second defense against those environmental aging effects”. While sunscreens do a lot, they don’t do enough and shouldnt be relied on solely for Skin health”. A little Make up like a soft BB ( beauty balm) or a CC ( colour correcting cream ) can actually protect your skin by giving it a layer. It can reduce the risk of skin cancer, premature aging and also air pollution! Wearing basic make up for skin care is the key going forward, Personal favourite being Lakme 9 to 5 keeps my skin protected.

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Birthday Blog!

Yesterday was my birthday and I complete 37 years of my life. Obviously in these 37 years I have made wonderful friends and I have been fortunate to have a wonderful family by my side. All of them did make my birthday very very special. But what did I do for myself? I decided to celebrate it to the fullest and have a birthday week this time. I shopped for myself till I felt satisfied, well this time I gave budgets a miss. I decided to feel good about myself. Made decisions about how fit I want to see myself in the coming year. By fit I don’t mean “thin”, I mean Fit! decided to let go of the past and smile for the future. I decided to ignore things I don’t like and cheer-up, moreover I decided to spend lot of time with my family this year. So I did end up making a few birthday resolutions. I wish you guys make yourself a few too on your birthdays and do those little things which make you happy. Look after yourself, You come on top of your list. If we can manage to keep ourselves happy when we are alone, we have conquered the world!

Make Cleansing Of The Face A Ritual!

Cleansing of the face is a very important ritual to follow to keep your face Blemish free and healthy. Do not forget to cleanse your face before going to bed.

My personal favorite is the Cetaphil Cleanser!

Take few drops of Cetaphil on your palm. Rub it on all sides of the face gently. Take a cotton ball and wipe off all the dirt on the face before you go to sleep. You could also try Honey Drops as a natural Cleanser. Few drops of honey and then washing the face with warm water can be a great natural way of cleaning the face.

But Cetaphil is my personal choice. Cetaphil cleansing lotion is a non-soap and liquid free lotion that allows gentle and through cleansing without the irritation associated with harsh soaps and cleansers. Cetaphil cleansing lotion is fragrance free and non comedogenic. It has emollient properties, which leave the cleansed skin soft and supple. It is easily available in all leading stores.

Please note – If you are getting treated by any dermatologist ,please consult the doctor prior to using the product.

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