Archive for October, 2010

Newly-opened Leamington hair salon offers clients a drink

In a bid to stand out from the competition, a brand new hair salon in Leamington is offering clients the chance to have an alcoholic drink during their visit.

The Salon, which opened on Warwick Street in the centre of Leamington recently, has a licence to sell alcohol on the premises between the hours of 9am-6pm Monday to Saturday, and from 12pm- 5pm on Sunday.

The owners of the salon, Zoey Hill and Pardeep Bhachu, believe that this unique selling point will vastly improve the salon experience for clients significantly. This is especially true for brides and their bridesmaids, who may want to sip champagne from their salon chairs as they get hair and beauty treatments done.

Pardeep, who used to work alongside Zoey at the nearby Toni and Guy salon, explains the original concept behind their business:

“Everything about this is different, starting with the decor. We’ve gone fairly traditional with some really modern twists, including a bar.

“It will just enhance the experience, whether you’re in the salon to have your hair done ahead of your special day, or even if you just want to have a relaxing drink as you have your hair done.”

How to find décor and design inspiration for a new salon

Starting a new salon business, or even opening up a second or third outlet, is an extremely exciting time, albeit with many challenges to come as you progress with your design project. The space you have in front of you is a blank canvas, ready for you to bring to life with your own style, personality and vision for the future of the business.

This said, you can’t just pluck a design concept out of thin air. Without proper planning and professional help, your salon could end up looking amateur and ill-conceived, a mish-mash of conflicting styles and colours.

So, where should you go to find inspiration for your new salon? Even though the aim for your salon is for it to be original and cutting-edge, there is still much to be learned from looking at what other salon owners have done.

Browse through industry magazines and take a look at other salons, gauging what works and what doesn’t. Without actually copying other salon décor ideas, you can learn how to create certain moods with colour and lighting, and the best kinds of salon furniture and equipment you should be considering.

From that point, you can start to develop ideas for your space. Try creating a ‘mood board’ for your salon décor, and consult a professional designer for practical help when planning out your space. Above all, try to envisage your salon as clients will see it.

The importance of enticing salon exteriors

For most new salons struggling to make a success of their business in tough economic times, half the battle is getting new clients through the door. Once you’ve tempted new clients away from your rivals and through those salon doors, you can knock them dead with killer décor, comfortable salon furniture, friendly service and expert treatment.

So, how do you make your salon enticing to new clients? The most important factor is obviously how your salon looks from the outside. You need to stand across the road from your salon and assess its appearance with new eyes. If it looks shabby and unkempt, unoriginal and forgettable, or ‘so five years ago’ – something needs to change.

Try the following tips, to make your salon sparkle as much from the outside as it does from the inside:

Think about branding and how the name of your salon is presented. Come up with a professional-looking, memorable logo or sign for your business, and use it on the shop front and all promotional material. Remember: sometimes the simplest designs are the most elegant and effective.

Invest in feature windows to make your salon look bright, spacious and welcoming.

Maintain your shop front. Clean the windows regularly and maybe even retouch the paint job once in a while.

Bringing your salon up to date with technology

The latest trend in salon design is technology, moving on from just a TV or a radio as in-salon entertainment to iPods, Wi-Fi and high-tech graphic displays.

Giving your clients a more interactive, entertaining experience can really make you stand out from the competition, but it isn’t easy to implement.

To start with, the latest technology is expensive, so make sure you have budgeted for all essentials – decorating materials, salon furniture and equipment etc. – before splurging on the latest electronic gadgets.

Remember – your clients above all want quality service which can only be delivered by well-trained staff using the proper salon equipment, so don’t sacrifice your salon’s excellent reputation for the sake of entertainment.

Case study – American Cutting Company in Seattle, USA

If you do want to implement technology into your cutting-edge salon, however, a good example to follow would be this new salon which opened up in Seattle in August 2010.

The American Cutting Company salon is well-planned out and features décor that prioritises comfort over everything else. Whilst still being chic, the space is unpretentious and welcoming to clients.

The salon goes one step further in its quest to enhance the client experience. Guests are offered the chance to use iPads or Wi-Fi whilst in the salon, along with a choice of comforting hot drinks. Thus, the balance between comfort, style and technology is perfectly struck, whilst keeping all the focus on the client and his/her needs.

Give your clients a warm welcome

Whether you own a hair, beauty or nail salon, you will know that first impressions always count, and this is why you need to ensure that you make the right impression from the very moment that clients step through the door.

Giving clients a warm welcome doesn’t mean stifling them though, and you need to remember that as well as beautifying themselves, they’re also visiting your salon to relax.

Ensuring that the reception area in your salon has a friendly feel is vital, and a comfy waiting area with salon chairs is essential. A gorgeous glass table filled with up-to-date magazines and bowls of sweets and mints will also go a long way in helping clients to feel at home.

If your salon is very modern, a radio softly playing the latest chart hits can help to create a relaxed ambience, and is also great for combating any awkward silences.

In addition to ensuring that clients feel at ease on entering the salon, ensure that they don’t feel daunted even before stepping inside by ensuring that windows give a clear, unobstructed view inside.

Keep these things in mind, and you will be welcoming loyal clients back time and time again.

Where should you take salon design inspiration from?

Thinking of giving your beauty salon a makeover but don’t know where to start when it comes to creating a stunning new design? If so, you don’t need to risk ruining the look of your salon with mismatched decor and salon furniture, as there are lots of places from where you can take inspiration.

Even if you want your salon to really stand out, you do need to ensure that it doesn’t look out of place in its location. Taking a sneaky peek at the style of other successful salons in your locality can give you an idea of what works, although rather than copying design and decor outright, you should create your own unique twist.

Bearing your target client base in mind can also help you to create the perfect salon setting. If your client base largely consists of those in their teens and twenties, you can really go out with a fun and funky feel. Salons which attract older clientele could look at creating a contemporary twist on classic decor. However, you do need to be careful not to alienate anyone.

Seeking opinions from friends, family and existing clients could also prove useful, and they’re sure to come up with some wild and wonderful ideas.

Seek salon design inspiration from a number of sources, and in amongst them you are sure to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Opening a second salon

If your hair salon is enjoying booming business, and you’re getting set to open another, you’re likely to have a ‘to-do’ list as long as your arm.

Opening a new salon is a very exciting time, and it goes without saying that you will want your new premises to enjoy a similarly high level of success.

Replicating the success of your first salon will be high on your agenda, and you may be wondering how you can achieve this whilst still ensuring that your new premises also offer something unique.

Look at any large chain of hair salons, and you will notice that most have a personal signature style. A signature style will really help to boost brand identity, and maintaining a familiar yet fresh look can be achieved through the use of similar decor and salon furniture.

If you’re opening your second salon in a new area though, you need to take a good look at your surroundings.

Assessing your competitors and conjuring up unique ways of setting yourself apart from the crowd is vital in such a competitive arena, and will help to ensure that your salon opening doesn’t go unnoticed.

You also need to consider the location of your salon. A salon in a quiet, quaint little village may benefit more from classic decor, whereas a salon in a hip town or city can makes its mark with contemporary creativity.

Make your second salon a success and really make a name for yourself.

What makes for the perfect manicure station?

The furniture in your nail salon plays a huge part in its overall look and feel, so whenever you’re investing in new furniture, you need to make sure that you get it right every time.

You literally can’t afford to choose unsuitable salon furniture, as doing so could have very expensive consequences.

As manicure stations are obviously one of the most important pieces of furniture in any nail salon, you need to invest a little time and thought into purchasing new models.

There are several factors which contribute to the perfect manicure station- some of the most important are detailed below…

Size

You need to ensure that your manicure stations are spacious enough to allow staff to work comfortably and for clients to sit comfortably, but not so large that they leave your salon looking and feeling cramped.

Style

You should ensure that your manicure stations enhance the look of your salon, rather than stick out like a sore thumb, and this can be achieved through choosing styles in neutral shades of black and white.

Storage

Think carefully about how much storage space you will need your manicure stations to provide you with. Nail technicians need quick and easy access to tools and products, so drawers and even small shelves are usually essential.

Bear these things in mind, and you will be on the right road to purchasing the right manicure stations.

Regularly refreshing your salon

The beauty salon industry is an extremely competitive one, and new super salons seem to be appearing on a really regular basis.

Whilst a bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone, you need to ensure that you give yourself a real fighting chance by making sure that you keep your salon looking and feeling fresh.

If you’re thinking ‘I just don’t have the budget to keep making major changes’, you don’t have to worry, as you don’t have to spend thousands of pounds every few months to give your salon renewed vigour.

Moving salon furniture, product displays and other decor around every so often can help to make a significant difference to the look of your salon, and will also help to prevent boredom setting in amongst your clients.

Changing the look of your salon will help to give your customers the impression that you’re constantly evolving- and this will help to keep them coming back for more. A salon which looks dated or boring is highly likely to send your clients fleeing in the opposite direction- which is hardly the impact you wish to have.

Having a mini re-vamp every now and again will also give you the opportunity to clean all those nooks and crannies, and help to maintain a clean and fresh feeling environment.

Make the effort to tweak your salon every now and again, and both your staff and your clients will really notice the change.

Dividing your salon into zones

It is important for a salon to flow, for it to be easy to use for staff and pleasant for clients. A well-planned salon will also be more efficient and potentially more profitable, as you will be able to accommodate more clients at any one time.

The key to a successful and organised salon, then, is a carefully thought-out floor plan. Consider the placement of salon furniture and equipment items in relation to each other. For example, you should ask yourself: are the backwash units near enough to the salon chairs? Furthermore, do backwash staff have easy access to towels and products from nearby storage cabinets? This is what we call ‘flow’.

Zones

A good way of creating good flow in your salon is to divide it up into different zones, each with a particular purpose. For example:

Zone 1: Hair cut, style and colour
Zone 2: Backwash
Zone 3: Beauty treatment (i.e. manicure and pedicure stations)
Zone 4: Health and wellbeing (i.e. massage chairs)

These zones don’t have to be actual rooms, nor do they need to be decorated in a completely different style to the rest of the salon; you just need to make some sort of distinction between them. Remember though: zones where massage and other body treatments occur will need to offer a higher level of privacy for clients.