How to open a successful "out of town" beauty salon
Like many beauty therapists, it has always been a dream of mine to open my own salon. I’ve worked for many spas locally and always hoped that one day I could turn my dream into a reality.
I would regularly treat myself to a treatment and most of the time I left the room feeling not only disappointed but frustrated – in the sense that I knew I could do the same ritual but one hundred times better.
This feeling was what eventually motivated me to follow my dream, together with the support of my family and friends. I was lucky enough to have had the experience and training from working in many five-star spa establishments, and consequently knew the high standards in customer service, cleanliness and presentation that I wanted to achieve.
To me, it was obvious what these salons and spas were missing and I knew I could do it better. However, I had some very specific criteria when looking for the ideal location to turn my dream into a reality. I dismissed the stereotypical salon in the high street and instead identified that there were certain advantages of being out of a town.
5 advantages of opening a beauty salon away from the city:
- A quiet, beautiful, tranquil setting to allow guests to escape the hustle and bustle of modern living
- The importance of free parking directly outside the salon
- Easy access from local towns and villages without having to worry about parking tickets or traffic delays
- Somewhere different to our local competitors on the high street
- Somewhere special and magical.
After looking tirelessly, a former cowshed situated in a beautiful Cotswold countryside location became available. The building was situated over a tiny hump back bridge overlooking the smallest church in England, next to a field of beautiful grey horses. I immediately booked a viewing, where we found an empty barn with a huge amount of potential. We had struck gold.
Creating the brand
My husband, family and friends and I all worked around the clock seven days a week for three months solid without one day off to convert this neglected period barn into my dream salon.
After intense planning and hours of research on a small budget, I soon worked out everything from the strategic lighting, efficient under floor heating system, structure and layout of the salon (including the client journey), as well as the interior decoration and branding.
With 12 years’ experience in the spa industry, I knew the importance of avoiding the “silent irritants” – a word my team often hear me use which I learned from spa consultant Susie Santiago many years ago, referring to: clutter, trailing wires, extension leads, and general mess.
With this knowledge, I could replicate the same relaxing environment you’d expect to see in a leading destination spa. Choosing the professional products was the easy part as I had worked with most skincare brands. I knew straight away which products reflected the prestigious image I was trying to create and the importance of using high-quality, effective products.
I also understood the importance of finding and investing in dedicated, outstanding and passionate therapists who carry the same ethos as myself. Whom I would commit to continually develop, motivate and reward – together we could grow the business.
Reaping the benefits
The brand Perfection was born and having been shortlisted in the top five salons in the UK for Professional Beauty's Salon of the Year: Three Rooms or Fewer Award 2013 and 2016, and winning in 2015, the business has certainly raised the standards and expectations in the local proximity, with many salons seeking and replicating our ideas that we have carefully created over the past few years.
This is a testament to our committed, exceptionally talented and professional team, and our loyal and supportive clientele, as without either, this would not be possible. I am truly grateful and would like to thank everyone for their help and encouragement over the last seven years in making my dream come true.