Health & Beauty: Meet a Merchant – How I started out
7 lessons every hairdresser must learn
Nabeelah Almulad is an experienced hairdresser with more than 20 years of experience. But when she launched her very first own salon last year, she learned dozens of new things.
1. Don't stock up too much
– Don’t go crazy buying too many products! As retail products for salons and spas are known to be highly profitable, Nabeelah used to always buy the biggest package available from her colour reps. That left her sitting on too much expensive stock. Always keep your specific clients and their preferences in mind when purchasing retail products and purchase in reasonable quantities!
2. Customer loyalty is everything
It takes a while, and it certainly doesn’t come for free. Build relationships with your customer to secure your future as well as being able to plan your hours more flexibly. In the beginning you’re adapting to your customers – but in the end, your customers adapt to you. Remember that building relationships with your customers is ultimately an investment in your own financial future.
Always ask yourself what your customers would find interesting.
3. Be creative with your customers
You know your customers best – use that knowledge. Offer them samples of new products and suggest new hair styles that match their personalities and preferences. Nabeelah just got a new blond-me range. It’s perfect because most of her customers are blonde. Try to make each and every one of your customers feel special.
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4. Send newsletters to them
One way to help you build those important relationships with your customers is to stay in continuous contact with them. How? By sending out carefully crafted newsletters that are everything but spammy.
If you’re reading a lot of salon blogs and other sources to stay on top of trends, why not quickly store the links to your favourite articles – and add them as curated content in your monthly newsletter? Be sure, though, to add a personal touch to the newsletter – and always start by ask yourself what your customers find interesting.
Test the email initiative for five to six months; evaluate open rates, and tweak your content. If you’re doing it right – you’ll definitely boost customer loyalty. Make it an habit to collect the email addresses in your iZettle POS app system when the transaction takes place in a few easy clicks.
5. Learn from your mistakes – and focus on what you’re good at
– If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I try to embrace life as much as I can and be open, says Nabeelah. She didn’t really have any mentor or anyone to consult when launching The Hairboutique by Nabeelah – instead she has learnt from her own mistakes. Having never been a fan of accounting, today Nabeelah has found ways of improving in this niche area too.
– Now I put everything into files and give it to my accountant, I’m getting better with that side of the business though, she says.
I try to embrace life as much as I can and be open.
6. Leverage the location
How does your salon fit into the portfolio of other shops in the area? Nabeelah’s salon is located at Beckett’s Farm – where several independent shops, a cookery school, restaurant and conference centre are located. Her customers can thus start the day with breakfast in the farmhouse, do their hair at Nabeelah’s and then run some other errands – all in the very same place.
7. Make sure to love your work
Launching your very own salon gives you the opportunity to craft a concept that you fully believe in and love yourself.
– I wouldn’t do this, if I didn’t love my work, says Nabeelah who says that her cute little salon is a crucial part of her life.
Don't miss the previous article about Nabeelah, Moving from a salon chair to a luxury personal parlour: The Hairboutique by Nabeelah. And if you're located in the Birmingham area and in need of a colouring or a haircut – give her a ring at +44 7919 812701.