When Beth Wanjiru was a little girl, you could count on finding her busy at work on another little girl’s hair. In fact, her sisters had no use for the local salon when Beth was around.
After completing her education, she wanted to get into the hair business but her father wasn’t for it. He thought that only the uneducated pursued that. He wanted her to go into the world of information and technology.
But Beth, knowing that she would not be truly happy if she went along with her father’s desire, packed her bags and went to Thika. She hoped to get a job at a salon there. And she did. She later joined another salon in Nairobi where she began nursing a dream to open a salon.
A few months into her new job, she quit and opened Maxxy Salon in Nairobi’s Mirema Drive. That was almost 10 years ago. Despite the long tenure, she is yet to expand her business. I linked her up with Terry Mungai of Ashley’s Salon and Beauty School to offer some mentorship.
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Terry had this to say to her.
1. Seek to create a better experience
The salon business is all about creating an experience for the client. When one creates a better experience in comparison to other competitors, the existing clients will almost always spread the word through word of mouth. This is your greatest marketing tool.
2. Seek to grow gradually
Growth in the salon business should be gradual. One needs to first grow and stabilise the first business such that it can support other expansions over time. In most cases, revenue from the first salon supports the others and its cash flow can help you access credit facilities.
3. Don’t deviate from the company’s ethos
The salon business, just like any other business is marred with its own set of challenges. But despite the hurdles that come with the business, always stick to the original company ethos that were established during establishment.
4. Have a specific target audience
It is vital to establish the salon business based on your core target clientele. The target clientele informs the kind of services offered as well as the prices to be charged.