My business is the sort of hair salon I would feel comfortable walking into. Too many times a salon will be beautifully decorated with state of the art equipment and top of the range coffee machines but really all a client wants is a friendly welcome from every team member. They don’t come in for the rest – except maybe the fabulous fresh coffee!
Advantages of Hythe
I chose to set up my business in Hythe as we have lived here for some years and I had previously worked on Hythe high street for 16 years so had already built up a large client base many of which I had been seeing for 20+ years. We did consider opening in Folkestone as we believe its a real up and coming town with a fabulous community but we decided to stay closer to home with our first salon and also I’m very aware of the clients we attract in Hythe and am aware that many clients travel from Folkestone/London/Ashford to Hythe as its well known as a hair salon town.
Hythe has many advantages for my business. It has got the most beautiful high street to walk along full of fabulous independent shops and a few main stream shops which I believe do have a place in our town. We have divine eateries from all corners of the world and enough great coffee shops to make Italy envious. There is no doubt that the people whom live in Hythe have slightly more disposable income than some other towns and this is great for the beauty industry where having your hair done is sometimes considered a treat rather than a necessity.
We have been fortunate to have received an apprenticeship grant from Shepway District Council for employing our young apprentice Lauren and it provided us with a good sum of money that enabled me to purchase tickets to two separate hair exhibitions in London and provide train tickets so she could enjoy the day learning from watching top London stylists perform fabulous hair.
Advice for Start-Ups
The advice I would give to anyone considering opening their first business is do your homework first. It is important that you know who will walk through your door – who are you aiming your business at? Who is your main competition? What do your customers want and need from your business? I opened without doing all my homework. However, I was lucky enough to have some wonderful contacts that I have met through networking within my industry and also hold Kent business woman of the year as a good friend so have been able to ask her for her opinions.
Saffron Hair were recently recognised at the Kent Health and Beauty Awards 2016 where they won gold for Hairdresser of the Year, and bronze for both Start-Up Health and Beauty Business and Hair Salon of the Year. Read about their success here