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How to start a salon

By Regina Samson And Michelle Cortes |

Every mall in Metro Manila is said to host two to eight beauty salons.

SM Megamall alone boasts eight including a barbershop offering, aside from the usual haircut, manicures, foot scrubs and hot oil.  According to the 1999 Job Demand Survey of the Levittown Beauty Academy, salon owners receive an average of 174 clients a week. But a chair, a mirror and a pair of scissors aren’t the only things you’ll need if you want your own parlor.

 

Lidwina Morales, owner of Lid Salon in Malate, Manila, invested P500,000 initially on equipment and her parlor’s interior. Janett Pineda, a franchisee of David’s Salon in San Pedro, Laguna, bought the franchise for P2 million and took over the parlor in November 2002. You need not spend big bucks right away, however. Says Patrick Bishop, author of Money-tree Marketing: “Don’t overspend. Buy used equipment or rent a space that was a beauty salon previously, but is vacant and includes all the equipment.”

 

PICK YOUR LOCATION WELL

You must also pick your location carefully. You won’t go wrong picking a mall. “You want to cater to all from Class A to C,” says Marabelle Kwek, general manager of Color My Hair at SM Megamall. “When we entered Megamall we decided to put up a Class-A salon [that also catered to the B and C classes]. “We chose Megamall because it is one of the biggest.” Salon Studio chose Libis in Quezon City. “We spent time looking for a good location and an area that would give us a comfortable size,” says owner Leah Gundran.

 

“The first ones we saw had such small spaces. Also, we wanted one near a restaurant so that it would be convenient for our customers to buy snacks in case they got hungry.”

It’s a good idea to pick an area with lots of foot traffic if you think you’ll depend on walk-in clients. Lid Salon did just that. “We target students and these customers come because of our very affordable prices,” says salon manager Debra Bumanglag. Her parlor in Manila is close to many schools, government offices and the Robinsons Ermita mall.

 

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INVEST IN GOOD EQUIPMENT

It’s better to buy good used equipment if you can get it. If you prefer new supplies, shops like Hortaleza and Accessories and Beauty Equipment stock everything you are likely to need (see box). It is also important to buy high-quality shampoos and chemicals for nail care, hair treatment and coloring to please your clients. Lid Salon charges reasonable rates, but does not compromise on quality. “We follow the right formulas and we don’t use inferior brands,” says Bumanglag.

 

TRAIN YOUR PEOPLE

After picking your location and buying your equipment, it’s time to recruit good people for your parlor. “They should have the technical expertise especially in hair coloring and styling using international standards as a benchmark,” Kwek says. “They have to undergo regular training to update them on new products, hairstyles and customer service.”

 

Salon franchises take care of personnel training and provide equipment and supplies.  “They take care of almost everything—even bookkeeping and accounting and the preparation of the payroll,” says Pineda. “I just wait for my monthly dividend. It’s up to the owner if he wants to visit the parlor once in a while.”


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