Guest blog: the important business lessons I’ve learned as a salon owner

Lindsay Thompson, owner of Tranquillity Beauty Studio in Pwllheli, Wales, which won Professional Beauty’s Beauty Salon of the Year: Wales 2016 Regional Award, reveals the important business lessons she’s learned since opening her salon 10 years ago.  

I’ve always had a passion for the industry and a hunger to learn as much as I can about it. I launched my salon Tranquillity Beauty Studio from scratch 10 years ago and during those years I’ve learned some important business lessons.

After winning the PB Regional Award, I wanted to share the experiences that have helped me grow my business, and develop as a salon owner, in a bid to help those with their own premises flourish and grow.

The six lessons I’ve learned as a salon owner are…

Lesson one – it’s all about location
I was keen to find a salon that was central to the town but just off the main street. However, I found the right place after a lot of searching – when I saw it the look was just right and its position, which was close to parking, was perfect. Make sure you don’t lose sight of exactly what you’re looking for.

Lesson two – plan, plan and plan some more
It’s important to have a plan in place, from where you want to set up to what treatments you’ll be offering and how much you’re going to charge. I started off with a small treatment menu and grew it as the salon grew.

Lesson three – do your research
You have to do your research before you invest in anything. I wanted products and treatments that fitted into my salon ethos but I also needed to know if they work and could give the results that I wanted.

It was important that the treatments could deliver client expectations too – it’s so important to get the full facts. It’s a big investment so you have to get it right.

Lesson four – invest in reputable companies
It’s worth investing in a reputable company with the documents to back up their claims. It’s also important to gain a good relationship with your company rep.

I found this especially invaluable at the time I was setting up my Lipofirm and Geneo treatments. These are my salon’s specialist treatments and I knew they would be its bestsellers. Invest in your treatments and build from there.

Lesson five – know your market
Before I invested in a treatment or product I would ask my clients if it’s something they would like to see in the salon. There’s no point in something sitting there if it’s not going to be used. I now know which products and treatments my clients will love and are most likely to choose. A good relationship with your customer base can steer your salon in the right direction.

Lesson six – use the best names out there
Using the best products available is a huge part of my salon ethos. For instance, I wanted to invest in a good skincare range that was organic and natural but also worked nicely alongside my aesthetic facials.

I found Heaven Skincare to be the best range for my client’s needs and as a result, it has helped my salon reach the next level. It was also about providing something that was exclusive to the salon.

So, before leaping in and opening your first salon, take your time and choose everything wisely. You also have to keep that passion, drive and love for what you do alive, perfect your treatments and be prepared to put in the hours to build up a fabulous business.

Images: ©TranquillityBeautyStudio – Lead: Lindsay Thompson; second: Tranquillity Beauty Studio in Wales; third: inside one of Tranquility's treatment rooms.