Archive for the ‘Starting My Own Business’ Category

First Day On The “Job”

February 4, 2009

Yesterday was my first day working in the salon.  And I have to say that it was really an awesome day. I think I fit in well with the other stylists, and the owner loves my eagerness to soak in everything she’s dishing out.

And boy was there a lot to soak in yesterday:

  • Rule #1 of Hair: DO NOT HARM THE HAIR
  • My in-salon training will consist of, and in this order: Sanitation, Shampooing & Conditioning, Relaxing, Color and last, my favorite, Cutting. The owner says that she’d like to have me to begin working on my own within the next 6 months. (HUH?!?!?!)
  • I need 3000 hours in the salon, in addition to my coursework at the Richmond Technical Center, in order to get my hair license. I worked 10 hours yesterday. So, I now have 2,990 hours to go.
  • The owner used to be a platform artist for Paul Mitchell. She continues to amaze me.
  • Only in a black salon do you “manipulate” the scalp. LOL. (Some of you may get it, some of you may not.)
  • The salon caters to a plethora of people, which I’m glad about. So, I’m learning about all types of hair types and textures – Black hair, Caucasian hair, Natural hair, Asian hair.
  • I’m going to work on tightening up the inventory system they currently have at the salon.
  • I asked the owner if we recycled the product bottles, and she laughed. I’ve been given the assignment to implement a recycling program, if I’d like.
  • The owner is looking to expand her business to two more locations by August. That’s pretty aggressive, but I’m SO excited about the possibilities. She also wants to develop a product line. How cool is that?
  • I’m still new to this, but my gut tells me I’m not going to be a stylist. Owner is enough for me…I think…
  • I shampooed one Client yesterday, and she said I seemed nervous.  Shoot, I was. LOL.
  • To me, the other stylists dress pretty hip and trendy. I’m still too corporate and conservative. I’m hoping to loosen up and let the diva out of the bag. I may try wearing one of my wigs to work one day. I never did at the agency because I was too self-conscious.
  • I shall wear comfortable shoes to work!!! The new shoes I bought (though flats) did my poor feet a disservice. Trying to be cute, but by the end of the day, my dogs were BARKING! One stylist says it takes about a week or so for your feet and legs to get used to a new floor. *sigh*

Even with all of that, I’m happy to say that I left the salon and headed straight to the library to update the Industry Analysis section of my business plan. Thank goodness the library is right down the street. I’m going to attempt to do that every Tuesday after work since that’s our least busiest day.

And to top off my long, but great day, I came home to find the very email I was hoping to get. One of my mentors agreed to meet with me this weekend to discuss my survey for gathering consumer data. I’m ecstatic!!  She’s the bomb when it comes to research!

Little by little… 🙂


When I’m off, I’m off.

February 3, 2009

But when I’m on, I’m on.

And yes everyone, I’ve got my swagger back.

You know how? I’ve decided this weekend, just like my friend Monica said perfectly, to DO instead of THINK! Everytime a  million questions run through my mind, that means I’m not doing enough. So, I’ve decided to quit thinking so much about this thing and just keep it moving.

The reality is, yes, this business could very well fail. But I won’t even know if it’ll fail or succeed if I don’t get off my can, as my Pastor would say, and TRY SOMETHING!

So, over the past few days, I’ve been doing just that.

This weekend, I worked on the layout of the salon, gathered the data I needed to add the industry analysis portion to my business plan, which I’m going to do tonight.  I also created a survey I’m going to use to gather primary research from potential customers. Most importantly though, I clarified in my mind what type of salon exactly I want to have. (Thanks Cordell with your help on that because Lord knows I was ALL over the place.)

I also took care of some little, what I’m calling administrative things. I finally purchased my Blackberry and did a little clothes shopping.  The attire in the salon is white and black so I went and bought few items for work.

I’m still a little behind on my schedule, but I’m taking steps toward my goal and plan this week to make up for the days last week where I didn’t do too much. I just had too much “think” time on my hands, and when I have too much time like that, I and my mind just run crazy. lol. 

Anyway…I’ll be sure to report tomorrow how my first day in the salon went. I’m a little nervous, but even more excited that I’m working towards my goal.

Hope you have a wonderful day.

Enough about money…

January 26, 2009

How was your weekend?

Mine was quite uneventful. I was sick with a pretty bad cold.  So between dieting and being sick, I thought someone was out to get me – and some kinda bad.  Needless to say, I made it through the weekend just fine and feeling a whole lot better. 🙂

I sure didn’t accomplish much of anything for my business though. Which is not cool since school starts tonight and my apprenticeship tomorrow. 

At least I got a good report from my SCORE counselor on Friday. 

I let John know that I’d like to have the salon up and running by January 1, 2010.  Based on that timeline, he said I’m in pretty good shape.  I just have to work hard on finishing my business plan for February so that I can shop it around to potential investors.

That’s it with me.  You?

How Am I Going to Fund My Business?

January 26, 2009

I get asked quite frequently, “If you don’t have any money saved for the business, then how are you going to open a hair salon?”

And my answer to that question is and has always been, “I don’t know.”

Because the truth is, I really don’t know yet.  When I jumped off the Corporate Ladder, I literally took a huge leap of faith and JUMPED!!

I jumped believeing that some way, somehow, I’d attract the money I needed to get my business up and running. And yes, the economy is much worse than I had anticipated when I resigned, but I still believe and trust that the money I need is out there with my name on it!

This past Friday when I met with my SCORE couneslor, we considered all of my funding options:

  1. Family & Friends
  2. Credit Cards
  3. Bank Loans
  4. Venture Capitalists
  5. Grants
  6. Selling the book I plan on writing
  7. Placing ads on my blog
  8. Cashing in my 401(k)

Of the two hair salon franchises I spoke with last week, they said it’d cost between $150,000-$200,000 to build out a new salon depending on the location.  So, I’m anticipating that I’ll need  between $300,000-$450,000.

But, we’ll see. I may not need that much.

I know it’s not going to be an easy task. But I also know that once my business plan is finalized, I’ll be able to shop it around and see what happens. 

I’m looking for a miracle… Expecting the impossible…

Business Resource: Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For

January 22, 2009

As a budding entrepreneur, I think it’s helpful to see what other companies are doing to stay on top of their game. Some of their ideas, we can use to apply to our businesses.

I love being productive.

January 21, 2009

I didn’t do all I planned to, but still, I had a very productive today.  And for that, I am so very grateful.

  • I decided that owning a salon franchise isn’t for me. But I called and got information from a couple of them as a way to gather  competitive data and market research. 
  • I accepted the apprenticeship opportunity I learned about from one of the salon owners I met with last week. I am expected to be at work this Tuesday at 10:00am. (I’m pretty excited and scared all at the same time.)
  • I met with a fellow entrepreneur, Kelly, who recently started her own interior design company.  She gave me the most helpful tips and advice on being an entrepreneur.  Plus, there may be an opportunity for her to design my salon, should I in fact decide to go down that route.
  • Plus, a friend of mine invited me to a networking opportunity to meet other budding entrepreneurs. I met some amazing people and made some wonderful contacts.

I don’t know when or where exactly I’ll be opening this salon, but I do know this:

 The journey so far has been so much fun and spontaneous and rewarding and freeing.

Our President is off to work today.

January 21, 2009

And so am I.

I forgot to tell you, but this past Thursday, I met with (5) people in the hair industry – 3 salon owners and 2 areas supervisors for hair salon franchises (Supercuts & Smart Style at WalMart).

And for the most part, the general consensus  is that I should have some knowledge about hair and how to do hair if I’m going to own my own salon. On the flip side, I could own a franchise, and the majority of them KNOW NOTHING about hair… I’m just going to be sure to check out all of my options.

I learned a lot last week, however. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Know how to do hair if you want to own your own salon
  • Find your own voice regarding hair and establish your own vision about what type of salon you want to run
  • I can either go to hair school OR learn through an apprenticeship (in which I’d work under someone and get more hands on training) to learn about hair and hairstyling
  • There are (3) ways in which to own a salon – create a salon from scratch, buy a previously owned salon or invest in a hair salon franchise

So, today, now that my room is now nice and neat, I’m going to do a little following up and:

  • Send Thank You cards to everyone I met last week
  • Explore various hair salons and get a sense of their ambience and what they’re trying to accomplish
  • Research franchising possibilities and options
  • Schedule a time to speak with the one salon owner who’s currently looking for an apprentice and ask her some more questions about that opportunity

I should be pretty busy today.

Hope you’re expecting to have WONDERFUL day today!!

Business Resource: Inc. Magazine

January 17, 2009

\Like Entrepreneur magazine, Inc. magazine is a publication for entrepreneurs and small businesses.  I feel like this magazine’s emphasis is more on start-ups and less established businesses however.

I’m definitely going to subscribe to this.

I’m moving along, slowly but surely…

January 14, 2009

So, today I finally accomplished what I’ve been trying to accomplish for days and days now.

I pretty much completed the Company Description AND the Product & Services sections!!  All I have to do now is decide what type of business structure I want the salon to be, ie LLC, Corporation, etc. But before I make any final decisions, I want to talk it over with my SCORE counselor.

In any event, I’m happy with my progress. All in all, since my last progress report, I’ve done the following:

  • Written out the Company Description and Services section of my business plan.
  • Spoken with a local salon owner who gave me great tips/advice on how/what to do to get started. The thing that was so fascinating was that her story was similar to mine. She had gone to college, got a degree in Business Management, worked in Corporate America and then “jumped off the ladder” to pursue her dream of owning a hair salon. She then decided to go to hair school, and within 2-3 months upon graduating, she opened of shop. This year makes three years in which she’s been in business. 
  • My aunt gave me an old filing cabinet, so I’ve set up my little system of what goes where, so that I’ll be more organized here on out. When I’m crazy and everything’s all over the place, I never can perform at 100%. So I’m grateful for that.
  • Tomorrow, I’ll hopefully be speaking with two more salon owners, or at least I’ll be introduced to two more who I’m hoping will allow me to pick their brains.  One of the owners in particular works alone, so I’m hoping there might be an opportunity for me to be a shampoo technician or receptionist or something – in exchange for some business advice. We’ll see…
  • And then on Friday, I have my next session with my SCORE counselor. I’m also meeting up with another fellow entrepreur who owns her own interior designing business. Just want to pick her brain to see how she likes doing  her own thing. The pros/cons of it all, so that I’m fully prepared.

That’s all for now. I’ll keep you posted when I’ve got more to share…

Business Resource: Entrepreneur Magazine

January 12, 2009

Last week, I purchased the latest issue of Entrepreneur magazine from Barnes and Noble, and plan on subscribing to it. I love it, and think it’s a great tool for current business owners and/or for those interested owning their own business one day.

This month’s issue focuses on the top franchises of 2008.