Salon Business Blog #1 - No cutting corners in doing it properly – the importance of market research before you set up

Posted on Jun 12, 2017

In this series of blogs we talk to experts who will give invaluable advice on how to start your own hairdressing business, how to price your services, insurance, employing staff, finding the right premises and much more.  Follow us over the next 12 months to get all the tips you need to make your new salon a success from day one. 

No cutting corners in doing it properly – the importance of market research before you set up

No-one could say that a career in hairdressing is a mundane nine to five routine; but sometimes there simply is no excitement, no new challenges and no drive to go further either by you or by your employer. Sound familiar? Do you have a burning dream to start up your own salon? To make a difference; to do it your way?

As we ease towards the end of a recession, now might be the best time to commence your new business and we at Savvy and Shine are 100% behind your adventure; sharing our knowledge and top tips along the way.

Appeal to your ideal customer

You have now put your foot on one of the most important steps of your business ladder – knowing what kind of salon to set up to appeal to your ideal customer.  There are many questions that you will need answers to and undergoing thorough market research can supply you with extensive knowledge to ensure your business idea will actually survive in the long term as well as short term. 

Who will avail of my service? What price will they pay? Where will I set up the salon? How many potential customers can I serve? How will my target market find out about me? How will they pay? Why will customers come to my business? What competitors exist? What is my unique selling proposition (USP)? What makes my business different and better?

While your timing might be right, you will still face a lot of competition. There are over 1000 salons in Northern Ireland.

Don't underestimate market research

One of the biggest benefits of a start-up is that you have some latitude in determining who your customers will be. So, don’t underestimate how beneficial market research can be at the start and as your business progresses and don’t take short cuts! If you want to be successful and competitive, know your market inside and out! And know how you will stand out from the competition. Take James Wallace Creative Hair and Makeup boutique for example. Based in Downpatrick, aside from being a multi award winning hair stylist and makeup artist James salon uses solely animal cruelty free products.  What a way to stand out!

Conducting primary market research is your opportunity to understand what will make your product or service appeal to your market segment. It provides an outlook into customers buying behaviours and characteristics and may give you that vital upper hand over all competition. How? By simply going out there and asking your target customers what they want, when they want it and how they want it. 

Further resources

Analysing secondary research already available can educate you on what has worked well before and what has went disastrously wrong for similar businesses, almost a heads up on what to do and what not to do! Check out for useful guides on starting a hair business including mobile to barber to specialising in children or Afro-Caribbean to even wig making and hair-extension specialist.  And don’t forget to get in touch with our blog partners Antrim Enterprise Agency on guidance to start up your business.

Hopper & Co Chartered Accountants

Ferguson McEldowney Solicitors

Mark Mason Employment Law

Antrim Enterprise Agency