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.
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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