By Bimbola Oyesola
Beauty salon business is one of those businesses that can thrive irrespective of the economic situation of the country. Previous investigations had revealed that recession hardly had an effect on how the population take care of their hair and other personal hygiene. Industry analysts in the United Kingdom actually claim that beauty salons have performed well during the country’s recession; a 2009 report found out that only one in 10 women had stopped going to the salon to save money during the downturn.
In Nigeria here, women still adorn different hairstyles every week, children either boys or girls including men eqaully visit salon from time to time. Furthermore a number of recent trends, notably the increasing number of men seeking specialist health and beauty treatment, have provided real benefit to salons. This means that operators will always be in demand and that proves unending flow of income.
Running a beauty salon goes beyond hairstyling, it cuts across manicure, pedicure, spa, facial treatment, beauty treatment and you can also have a department where you can sell all the products that your clients need. More like operating a one stop shop services, it can be quite lucrative. Generally, with the trend in fashion statements nowadays, operators are usually busy.
Although it is good if you have some basic training and experience, but this is also one of the businesses you can do even without experience. However, If you do not have a beauty background, all you need is to ensure the staff you take on are sufficiently qualified, you will need to employ a beauty therapist as a day-to-day manager to make up for any shortfalls in specialist knowledge.
You can have a unisex salon under one roof, where you can cater for both men and women including children. You can get hands from the neighbouring country in Benin Republic, they are very good in weaving and braids, place them on salary or commission and you are good to go.
Below are some essential tips you will find invaluable as you plan your salon:
No business can function properly without a plan. You need a roadmap, a document that will guide your business to success. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. In fact, you’ve probably already put together a lot of the information mentally, or even scribbled a few notes on paper. The point of a solid business plan is to figure out what your business is, how it will be successful, and how you’ll solve problems.
You need to figure out how much money you need to get started, and where it will be coming from. Is it from a personal saving, a loan from relatives or bank?
Mentor is important
As you’re planning your business, it’s a great time to find a business mentor. It’s best to find someone in the salon industry that can answer questions for you as you start and grow your business.
Accounting and inventory
To keep track of your money and project growth, you’ll want to implement an accounting and inventory program. On the accounting side, you’ll need a program to track your revenue and expenses. You can seek help from an accountant to get started.
The right location is the difference between success and failure. You want to select a spot with good traffic, high visibility, and is located where your target demographic shops or lives. Be fussy about your location, it is very important. Equally if you have space in your compund, you can actually start from home as well.
Opening your salon
With the planning stages complete, you’ll move on to the nitty-gritty details of actually opening your salon.
Design your salon around your clients
As well as providing top-notch beauty treatments, you have to put effort into making your salon a place people want to go to unwind, and be prepared to offer great customer service to make everyone feel welcome. So before you start painting the walls and picking out furniture, make sure that your design matches the kind of clientele you want to attract. If your customer base is the younger generation, go with fun, bold colors and furniture. For a higher-end vibe, go for a modern and sophisticated look. In other words, tailor your look to your intended client base.
To be successful, you need clients. To attract clients, you need a marketing plan. You need to set aside some money to market your business. Without it, you’ll struggle.
Create a killer website: For starters, you need a good website. If you have the money, hire a professional to create your website. Your site should be attractive, easy to navigate, and ideally include helpful information for your customers, such as hours, location, contact info, and pricing. Setting up an online booking system is also a good thing to look into.
Before you dive into a design, take a look at the sites of your competitors and try to design something that sets your salon apart.
Find creative, low-cost marketing ideas: Consider supporting a nearby school inter-house sport competition or a small charity event to attract more customers. You want to get the word out about your salon, and getting involved in your community is a great way to do that.
Social media accounts: Social media is an important component to your marketing plan, facebook, instagram, and others, but make sure you post regularly and engage with your customer
Continue marketing efforts
When a customer finds a stylist he or she likes, they usually become repeat clients. However, this doesn’t mean you should let up on your marketing efforts. Even if you have a steady stream of customers, you should build on the marketing efforts that you’re already using.
Check for ways to save
When you first open your doors, you may have splurged on a few things that you thought you needed, but really don’t. With your business established, review your inventory and see if you can make any changes or cuts to save money.
EU urges FG to sign EPA
By Charles Nwaoguji
The European Union (EU) has urged the Federal Government to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) without further delay.
The Director of International and Bilateral Relations, EU, Mr. John Clarke, who stated this at the 2016 Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry International Investment Conference, tagged: “Creating Enabling Policy Environment for a Private Sector-led Market Economy” said this was the only way Nigeria could woo foreign investors into the economy.
Specifically, he said signing the comprehensive trade agreement with the EU would cut down production costs and allow manufacturers to get better access to high technology goods, especially machinery and equipment.
His words: “This is part of the global campaign to launch together with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for Nigeria to raise awareness and clarify what is at stake with the agreement.”
On what Nigeria stands to benefit from the EPA pact, he said, “the EPA is to contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth as an ECOWAS regional power having become the hub of industrialisation in the whole region.
“We do believe EPA will reduce the duties for the importation of machinery and equipment of raw materials, which would improve the competitiveness of Nigerian industries,” he explained.
“Nigeria is an ideal place to invest provided a few conditions are met and those conditions are primarily the stability of the country, improved governance and improved rule of law and some technical improvement in transport, energy and the skills of the workers,” he noted.
Also speaking at the event, the Ambassador of EU to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Michel Arrion, said EU was interested in having a stable and well developed region with geographical proximity as the EU has a lot of shared history and traditional relations with West Africa.
“The EU believes in the regional relations because we are integrated region and we have benefited greatly for being together in common market and we have free movement with people within Europe. We believe that this is also something that can help in the development of West Africa,” he noted.
Canada to boost bilateral trade with Nigeria
…Promises to support Nigerian exporters
By Bimbola Oyesola
Nigerian exporters now have better opportunity to succeed in Canada as the country has promised to provide a “match-making” assistance to them in a bid to boost more bilateral trade with Nigeria.
The Canadian High Commission has therefore charged Nigerian businessmen willing to export goods to Canada to take advantage of its business opportunities. It promised to link the Nigerian exporters with the right buyers for their goods and services.
The Deputy Canadian High Commissioner on Trade to Nigeria, Mr. Marc Andre Savage gave this assurance in Lagos at an interactive forum with members of Association of Businesspeople and Investors of Nigeria and Turkey (ABINAT).
“We can assist Nigerian investors or local purchasers find the right buyers in Canada.
“What we do is that we note all the information you are looking for and basically check our data base to see if there is a perfect match with what you are looking for and provide a list of several companies in Canada and let you decide on which one you want to transact with.
“Therefore, we support companies who want to export to Canada and also assist business men to find the right companies of their choice,” Savage explained.
The envoy expressed his country’s capability to assist Nigeria in the area of technology, mechanized farming and livestock production.
He also urged Nigerians to engage in the exportation of rice to the country. Chairman of the occasion Chief Ochai Emmanuel noted that the interaction is timely considering the rising rate of global economy and the need to share trade information among countries.
He said: “Today, the world economy is rising steadily and the trend towards globalization has sharply accelerated.
“We are more concerned of building a healthy trade environment which in turn will be a profitable venture towards economic globalization and facilitation of trade not only in Nigeria and Canada in a higher volume but by extension Turkey.”
Lafarge Africa emerges most outstanding company of the decade
By Charles Nwaoguji
Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading construction solutions company in Nigeria, has emerged Best Company in Stakeholder Engagement in Nigeria at the 10th edition of the Social Enterprise Report Awards (SERA), in recognition of its unflinching commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), stakeholder engagement and consistent contribution to sustainable development.
The building materials’ giant was also one of the three companies that got an award as the Most Outstanding Company of the Decade (10th anniversary honorary award) at the event held recently in Lagos.
While receiving the awards on behalf of Lafarge Africa Plc, the Communication and Public Affairs Director, Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, commended the organisers of SERA for conceiving and sustaining the initiative, which has become the wheel for driving sustainable development in Africa.
She emphasised that stakeholder engagement is entrenched in Lafarge Africa’s sustainable development strategy and declared that the company’s 2030 Plan is its roadmap to continue to make a net positive contribution to the society.
“This is not about philanthropy, it is about defining our role towards the society while at the same time creating value for our shareholders, customers, employees, communities and the society at large. Adding value to our stakeholders and the lives of Nigerians, especially in communities where we operate remain a focal point in Lafarge Africa’s CSR activities,” she remarked.
Ambrose-Medebem assured corporate Africa that the awards will spur Lafarge Africa to remain committed to sustainable social investments across the country, particularly in the areas of safety, environment, youth empowerment, health, provision of infrastructure, and also to engage in comprehensive and transparent dialogue with stakeholders.
Lafarge Africa beat seven other companies to emerge winner of the Stakeholder Engagement category. For consistent involvement in CSR, participation in SERA and winning 11 categories so far with 290 points, Lafarge Africa was recognised as the Most Outstanding Company of the Decade, alongside MTN and Nigerian Breweries. Recall that Lafarge Africa won the Most Socially Responsible Company in Nigeria Award in the 2014 SERA.