YESWe had been open for about three years when we first thought about expanding the business. With the success of the first salon in Balham, our intention was to further our reach in the local South West London area.
“You can appeal to a wider demographic”
We found that a lot of clients were travelling to our salon and so by opening another venue we were able to appeal to a wider demographic. The new salon in Wimbledon was originally intended to be run as a completely separate entity, but it has become more like a sister to the original salon. Lots of clients will come to both salons when their desired stylist is there. We found giving the staff an opportunity to build a column in both sites was beneficial as they found that they could build a loyal clientele quicker. It's great to see the growth not only in the financial aspects but in your employees too.
If someone is thinking of expanding, be sure that you are able to properly split yourself between the two businesses or have someone who can. Remember, one is an established business and one is new, so comparing them to each other isn’t always a good thing. New businesses need time to get established and need to be nurtured. Don’t dilute your product, add to it. The new site should be an enhancement of your successful business, if it is only going to bring stress it will only serve to disrupt the already successful product you have.
ROBERT KIRBY, OWNER OF ROBERT KIRBY BALHAM AND WIMBLEDON
NOI’ve gone from having one salon to three, back to one again and I am more successful and less stressed with just one. I opened my first salon in the late 1990s, in a central location of Northampton. The business grew quickly and I decided to open another shop on the other side of town, which I staffed using the team on a rotation basis. The business was doing well and when a unit became available in another town, I opened a third site. This is the point where I realised that I couldn’t be in three places at once.
“I’m more successful with one salon”
I couldn’t find the right people to work in this third site, so I staffed the salon with the Northampton team. I worked in each salon two days a week and every day presented further challenges. With every salon I worked in, I would build the team’s enthusiasm, iron out problems and would leave that location feeling I had cracked it, until I returned the following week to sort out the same issues again.
I was then offered a unit that was larger than any of the sites I had at the same time as the leases on the three sites were coming up for renewal. I decided it would be easier to consolidate the three sites into one central location. It was the best move I could have made. I wouldn’t rule out opening another salon, but you need to ensure that you have the right team, training procedures and a manager who has an invested interest in the business.
CHRISTIAN WILES, MATRIX ARTIST AMBASSADOR AND OWNER OF CHRISTIAN WILES, NORTHAMPTON