We talk to salon owner Suzanne Flanders about owning her own salon business, Beautiful Hair and Beauty in WA, the challenges she faced when Perth experienced an economic downturn – and how she boosted her business to be the success it is today.
When did you start your salon business?
I opened Simply Beautiful Hair and Beauty in January 2012.
What is the philosophy behind Simply Beautiful Hair & Beauty?
I wanted to offer a salon that had complete day spa experiences including both hair and beauty treatments. My philosophy in merging hair and beauty together was to provide my clients with a convenient and time saving solution to pampering themselves. My end goal was to allow for my customers to enter a state of pleasurable bliss and complete tranquillity
How big is your business? (Staff, treatment rooms, etc)
I have up to six staff members and seven treatment rooms. Our staff are fully trained and experienced using only the very best products.
What is it that you love about owning your own business?
What I love about my own business is the freedom I have in setting the times in which I start and finish my day. I am able to be in control of myself and run the business in accordance with my goals and vision.
Have you had any challenging moments in business?
An ongoing business challenge is finding good staff and achieving my targets every week. A key moment that stands out for me was at the end of the mining boom in August this year when Perth was experiencing an economic downturn. I knew then that for my business to survive I would need to refresh its look, feel and offering in order to remain competitive.
How much does the wider market affect your business?
The wider market is directly affecting Simply Beautiful Hair & Beauty as people are often not looking to invest in luxury services when facing financial hardships which has been particularly challenging for the business. This is why we pride ourselves on providing the best customer service so that we have a point of difference and are competitive in this market.
What did you do to stay as a successful business? And did you learn anything from this experience?
To remain successful in my business I looked into external finance options as I didn’t have the cash flow to facilitate a reinvest – I wanted to extend the spa’s premises, invest in more stations and improve my reach within the local market. I felt that these would be the changes that would enable me to grow the business in such a tough economic climate. I didn’t have the time to go back and forth with the big banks as I knew they would make me reassess and re-submit all of the paperwork. So I did my research and discovered Reckon Loans on Facebook which gave me access to finance that didn’t involve submitting a lot of paperwork like business plans and projections. I’m not a clairvoyant and don’t have time to spend away from the business creating forecasts so this was the perfect option for me.
How did enlisted financing help your business?
The loan provided me with the funds I needed quickly which allowed me expand the rooms, invest in marketing and bring in new product. I was really keen to introduce the Skinstitut brand to the salon and the extra funds provided me with the cash flow to do so. It has already proved to be a profitable addition; in fact we had one of our best sales weeks following its launch. The loan also allowed for me to employ an extra staff member which added new expertise and value to the business.
What are your three top business tips to other salon business owners?
Never give up when things seem tough. Stay focused and always work towards your goals; follow your heart and dreams. Be a point of difference and never comprise your standards